Geography & Adventure

Welcome to the BRLSI Geography and Adventure page!

Our Geography and Adventure Programme for 2020-21:  Convenor: Dick Bateman; Co-Convenors: Penny Tranter; Jacki Hill-Murphy

Updated by Dick Bateman on 10th November 2020

The subjects of the talks range over all branches of Geography and Adventure and are aimed at non-specialist audiences.

Suggestions of topics and speakers are welcome and should be sent to   [email protected]   In addition to the information which appears about each talk in the BRLSI calendar/newsletter and on the BRLSI website; a special email giving information about lectures related to this group will be sent if you provide your email address to  [email protected]

BRLSI's public lectures are temporarily on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will continue to provide lots of new digital content to keep you informed, stimulated and entertained and hope that lectures in BRLSI will re-start in April 2021.


Thursday 13th February  Duncan  7.30pm start  ‘Buses from Bristol and Bath – Past, Present and Future]  by Martin Curtis,  Managing Director of Bath Bus Company.

"The story of how Bristol influenced bus and tram services throughout the UK through innovation and vehicle manufacturing, how bus service ownership, structure and the Bristol-Bath route network has evolved and how it might change into the future."

About Martin Curtis and Bath Bus Co:

Bath Bus Company was formed in May 1997 by Martin Curtis and three other former Badgerline managers. It commenced operating open top tours in Bath with Bristol VRTs and an AEC Routemaster. It diversified into the operation of tendered services. In 1999, Bath Bus Company became a City Sightseeing franchisee and later started the Air Decker link between Bath city centre and Bristol Airport.


Wednesday 11th March Elwin   “The Meteorology of the Australian 2020 Bush Fires” Dr. Mark Parrington, Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, Reading UK.

Dr. Parrington has been following the recent bushfires very closely and will be able to give a comprehensive overview and explanation of the fires and smoke output in South Eastern Australia..




The BRLSI Geography and Adventure Group programme continues digitally and online during the pandemic. It includes three videoed walks first published professionally by 'Discovering Britain' on the Royal Geographical Society website. Dick Bateman and John Law have converted these walks into PowerPoint videos. 


Here they are with a direct link to each walk  on the Virtual BRLSI You Tube channel in blue below each one.


1. 'Avon Routeways': A figure of eight walk around Saltford showing routeways created by 7 internationally significant innovators.

Avon Routeways


2. '7,000 Years of Cotswold Enterprise'  A circular walk from Saltford to the top of the Cotswold Hills and back showing how people have re-invented the landscape since Mesolithic times.

7,000 Years of Cotswold Enterprise


3. 'Party Real, Partly Dream' A circular walk in Dorset from Thomas Hardy's birthplace to where his heart is buried and back.

"Partly Real, Partly Dream" Thomas Hardy's Wessex


The Geography and Adventure team has also created three recorded interviews,


4. Dr. Bharat Pankhania "Covid-19 after Lockdown"  (interviewed by Penny Tranter and Dick Bateman)

To watch the video please click on the following link


5. Penny Tranter  "Severe Weather" (intervewed by Jacki Hill-Murphy)

To watch the video, please click on the following link


6. Jacki Hill-Murphy "Being The First Woman (Explorer) " (Interviewed by Penny Tranter)

To watch the video, please click on the following link: watch the video, please click on the following link:


7. DIck Bateman "The Geography of The Mauritius Command” in association with the BRLSI Patrick O’Brian Group

8. DIck Bateman  Two PowerPoints on “Hidden Nature”’ one on "Trees on River Banks" and the other on "B&NES Erosion Surfaces".


Plus - On-going liaison with Bristol, Bath Spa and UWE Universities on Young BRLSI links for Winter 2020


2021 Programme         [BRLSI is not expected to open for physical lectures until April 2020]

In negotiation:


Thurs 14th January Elwin 7.30pm Zoom  Film + Q&A  Olie Hunter-Smart  ‘Walking Across India’


Thursday 11th February Elwin 7.30pm   Zoom Lecture / Film + Q&A   Jo Bradshaw ‘Climbing Everest’.

Thursday 11th March  7.30pm   [not yet decided]




Thursday 8th April 2021  7.30pm  Elwin  [Week after Easter]  Film  “Eating Up Easter” Introduced by Dick Bateman     

A film with special permission from Plastic Oceans for BRLSI Geography & Adventure Group [in association with the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers]

Easter Islander Sergio Mata’u Rapu’s award winning film showing a real life drama on his home island.  The local people risk losing everything to the globalizing effects of tourism. Four islanders, descendants of the ancient statue builders, work to  *  Recycle rubbish, *  Use music to reunite their divided community and * Build new businesses. These stories reveal the complexities of development and the contradictions within us all as we are faced with hard choices about our planet’s future.


Thursday 13th May 2021 Live talk  Elwin 7.30pmThe Apache Helicopter – Sustaining a UK Attack Capability’ by Stephen Collins

The Apache helicopter was designed during the Cold War to counter the threat of Soviet tanks in Northern Germany and still considered by many to be the best attack helicopter in service today. This talk explores its procurement by the UK, its capability and the implications of sustaining its fully integrated flying system that is constantly evolving.

Steve Collins is a retired Civil Servant and keen aviation enthusiast with flying experience in the Robinson R22 helicopter. He is a former reviewer of major Government programmes and projects for the Office of Government Commerce including maintaining a future attack helicopter capability. He is a qualified PRINCE2 and Managing Successful Programmes Advanced Practitioner.  


June  Date and room to be announced 7.30pm Live talk Tony Coverdale   Admiral Ramsay and his roles in WW2. Details to follow


Thursday 8th July: 2021 Elwin 7.30pm Live talk  Ian Gilchrist   "Iran"

From 1976 to 1979 Ian Gilchrist lived in Iran, enjoyably having adventures. He returned to England and latterly to a successful time in local politics, representing Widcombe on B&NES where he eventually became Chair and then, from June 2017 to June 2018, Ian was Mayor of Bath. In 2019 he returned to Iran for a study visit. This personal view has illustrations from both periods in Iran and includes Ian's observations on what has changed and what has not.


Thursday   9th September 2021 Elwin Live talk “Why Electric Cars are NOT The Way Forward”  by Professor Sam Akehurst  Bath University 

 [Date to be confirmed with Speaker]

Sam Akehurst is Professor of Advanced Powertrain Systems, with over 20 years automotive research experience. His research focuses on the performance of future powertrain system with respect to CO2 reduction. His current research portfolio includes a range of industrial collaborative projects in advanced gasoline engine and hybrid vehicle technology with expertise in Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs).

Prof. Akehurst leads a number of Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and Innovate UK funded projects with major OEMs including Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and McLaren Automotive.

His research interests include: Future Internal Combustion Engine technology; Advanced Transmission Systems; Turbocharging and boosting systems; Thermal management of Powertrain systems; Powertrain Modelling Techniques


Thursday 14th October 2021 Duncan      Not yet decided                          


Wed. 10th November 2021 Elwin 12.30-4pm Geography "A"Level 6pm - 9pm Geog School Quiz


December 2021 Nil


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