Andrew Summers

Location: Hadleigh, Essex
About me...

My dad, a Polish national spent two years in a Soviet Labour Camp before escaping to the UK on the return leg of an Artic convoy . My mother worked at Bletchley park, but never told me a thing about it.  I was born within the sound of Bow Bells (on a quiet day) but now live in Hadleigh, Essex. I was a partner in a printing business, and after 10 years I moved into sales and for 25 years travelled Europe organising international book fairs. I now run a publishing business Essex Hundred Publications which specialises in local history books. Over my time I have bought books, sold books, printed books and now write and publish books too.  I went to the same school as Alan Sugar and turned down a job with him. We are all young (and foolish) once!

About my Talks...

Most of my talks are ‘Powerpoint’ focused. I can provide my own projector if needed and a laptop.  If sound equipment is available that’s always welcome and I can use a microphone as necessary.  I do have a back-up speaker for our short videos. All our talks can be adapted to stand alone except An AFTERNOON / EVENING OF SHORT VIDEOS.
Timing is between 40 minutes and one hour and allows for breaks and questions. We cover a wide range of topics with history, mainly on Essex, East London, Suffolk and Hertfordshire borders the main theme. We always look at history from alternative perspectives and try to link past events to those of the present day.

 

Fee:

The fee is £45.00 within 10 miles of Hadleigh, Essex; £50 up to 20 miles from Hadleigh; Over 20 miles from Hadleigh £50.00 plus 25p per mile.

My Contact Details:
Phone:

01702557828

BATTLEFIELD ESSEX

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk Battlefield Essex.

Although titled Battlefield Essex, it’s is not all blood and gore! We explore conflicts on Essex soil over a 2,000 year time frame. Some have been violent battles, but there have also been many that didn’t involve loss of life, yet nevertheless fought with passion. In many cases such battles have been hyped in contemporary media as ‘battles’ and the term has stuck. The ‘Essex’ area includes the part of the county now absorbed onto Greater London, in what is loosely termed ‘Metropolitan Essex’.

SNATCHED FROM ESSEX

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk SNATCHED FROM ESSEX.

For one thousand years the county of Essex stretched westwards from Harwich to Waltham Cross on the River Lea. The county boundary then continued south along the course of the Lea to the River Thames at Trinity Buoy Wharf, before turning eastwards following the north bank of the capital’s river all the way to Shoeburyness. This changed in 1965 with the formation of the Greater London Council. Five new London Boroughs were created. Whilst only a tiny proportion of the land was taken, nearly one third of the existing Essex population was removed from the county. Despite these changes over two generations ago, many residents who live in these boroughs still refer to themselves as Essex people, as does much of the media.

The UNSEEN ENEMY (The Great Influenza Outbreak of 1918)

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk 3. The UNSEEN ENEMY (The Great Influenza Outbreak of 1918).

In November 1918 as the First World War came to an end a new and deadly foe established itself on the home front. It was unseen, advanced rapidly, took no prisoners and was commonly known as the Spanish Lady or Flu. Reporting widespread sickness in the military was considered detrimental to the morale of soldiers and civilians alike and although the news of the outbreak in the military was largely supressed, nothing could or was done to stop the spread of the infection itself. The pandemic of 1918 to 1919 was the deadliest in modern history and infected an estimated 500 million people, about one-third of the then world’s population.

The STRANGE HISTORY OF POETS’ CORNER at Westminster Abbey

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk 4. The STRANGE HISTORY OF POETS’ CORNER  at Westminster Abbey

A Stand Alone Session – interactive.

The history of the ‘corner’ is outlined on how some of the 130 poets and writers came to be buried or commemorated there (and the arguments they so caused).  A selection of the well-known works will also be available to give the audience a chance to participate and read extracts from them.

An AFTERNOON / EVENING OF SHORT VIDEOS

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk An Afternoon/Evening of Short Videos.

A series of short videos on events in and around Essex based on the history of Essex in 100 poems. I give additional commentary giving background to the videos

The LAST FLIGHT OF L33 and other Stories from WWI - Inspired by local press reports 1914 – 1918

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk The LAST FLIGHT OF L33 and other Stories from WWI - Inspired by local press reports 1914 – 1918

A Stand Alone talk about the curiosities reported in the papers of the day.

MAGNA CARTA IN ESSEX (and Suffolk)

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk MAGNA CARTA IN ESSEX (and Suffolk)

The Magna Carta agreement at Runnymede, on June 15th 1215, between England’s most powerful barons and King John made little difference to the lives of ordinary people. Most men (and women) were not ‘free’ but tied their feudal overlords. In 1215, nearly all of Essex was designated ‘forest’ and it was where ‘Forest Law’ applied and used as a means levy harsh taxes. Essex Barons were at the forefront of those who pushed hard for the Magna Carta and Robert Fitzwalter, Lord of Dunmow was the leader of the council of twenty five charged with overseeing the enforcement of the charter. Yet within three months England was at war. The charter was effectively dead and Essex racked by conflict.

ESSEX FARM. THEY DID THEIR DUTY

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk 8. ESSEX FARM. THEY DID THEIR DUTY

This talk has three themes. Firstly, it tells the story of Essex Farm and Calvaire (Essex), two First World War cemeteries in Belgium that will forever bear the Essex name. Secondly, we give an overview of the Essex Regiment in the First World War. In the third part we look at the home front through the eyes of the local press, criss-crossing the county, to see what readers were given by way of news. It has to be remembered that during the First World War there was no radio, no television and of no course no internet or social media. Even telephones were a rarity. Essex Farm is also the setting for the Memorial to John McCrae, the author of the poem In Flanders Fields, one of the best known poems in the world.

The NUMBERS HAD TO TALLY (A story of survival and escape)

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk The NUMBERS HAD TO TALLY (A story of survival and escape)

On 1st September 1939, Poland was invaded from the west, north and south by the Nazis. Three weeks later the Soviet Red Army moved in and occupied the east of the country. Twenty three year old Kazimierz Szmauz was picked up and taken into custody by Red Army border guards whilst trying to cross between the Soviet and Nazi occupied zones of Poland. After months of interrogation by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, he was convicted by a court he had never seen of trying to leave the Soviet Union illegally and was sentenced to eight years in a labour camp. In the following 18 months he found himself thrown into a living hell of backbreaking work norms, dominated by the stark realisation that the amount of food allocated was dependant on work output. No work literally meant no food. The sick were considered unproductive so were put on a starvation diet and left to die. Amazingly Kazimierz Szmauz did survive and was perhaps considered one of the more fortunate of those that fell into the clutches of the notorious Gulag system.

A QUIZ WITH A DIFFERENCE - YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS & WE PROVIDE THE ANSWERS

366 DAYS IN ESSEX

Public Speaker in Essex Andrew Summers presents his talk  366 Days in Essex.

This is a Stand Alone and interactive session.

On 28th November (1910) Braintree and Bocking Rat Club held its first annual dinner to celebrate the numbers of rats caught and killed locally that year.
Sad, serious, quirky or perhaps those of great national significance ‘366 days In Essex’ gives details of one or more events through every day of the year in Essex including 29th Feb. You give us a date and we’ll give an answer.

Andrew Summers Contact Details:
Phone:

01702557828