Geography & Adventure

Welcome to the BRLSI Geography and Adventure page!

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

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 activities are temporarily on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we are providing lots of new digital content to keep you informed, stimulated and entertained.


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 video-ed 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)


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


In production . . .


September  PowerPoint on “The Mauritius Command” in association with Patrick O’Brian


Probably more powerpoints and interviews in the Autumn from Dick, Penny and Jacki


2021 Programme


Thursday 14th January    “Eating Up Easter”     

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  11th February   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.

Front Desk


Thursday 11th March ??? Not yet confirmed

“Why Electric Cars are NOT The Way Forward” Professor Sam Akehurst  Bath University


Thursday 8th April     [Week after Easter]


Thursday 13th May 

The 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.  


Thursday 14th June 2020   Tony Coverdale     Admiral Ramsay and his roles in WW2.


Thursday 8th July !! ‘Unintended Consequences of dealing with Transport and Air Quality in B&NES’ (Under discussion) A possible interactive evening with brief statements from panel members made up from B&NES Councillors and a Professor of Geography from UWE followed by questions from the audience.   [In association with the Royal Geographical Society]


Dick Bateman as of 7th August 2020


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