The English Speaking Union by Kate Stuart

Simon Le Frenais gave a wonderful talk on Charles Darwin at the third meeting of the English Speaking Union. Darwin, 1809-1882, changed the way we look at the natural world. Simon divided his very informative talk into three parts - Darwin's childhood, his HMS Beagle voyage and his life at Down House in Kent until his death.

As a boy he lived in Shrewsbury and loved botany and insects etc. He then went to Cambridge to study Natural Sciences. Later he was invited to join HMS Beagle and spent the next five years on research and realized that species can change. His book "Origin of Species" sold out when first published and has never been out of print since. The book caused great controversy in Victorian times. He is buried in Westminster Abbey, but never honoured in his lifetime. The bishops blocked all honours. Down House in Kent his owned by English Heritage and is well worth a visit.

The next meeting is December 8 at Portal Premier Golf Club. The speaker is Terry Woolliscroft - his subject ‘Flushed with pride’. New members very welcome. Please contact 01606 215908 for further information.