Leslie Allman

Location: Medway, Kent
About me...

I have many years’ experience at presenting ‘living history’ for schools, clubs, and associations and also at major public events and festivals and my presentation has always been enthusiastically and warmly received by all my clients. My wife and I founded ‘Voices from Victorian London’  a specialist group dedicated to bringing the Victorian past alive, and she may accompany me in costume as a ‘silent’ partner. (Well, almost!)

About my presentations...

I can provide my own wireless p.a. system if required but do not need, apart from a table, any other facilities.

I am available for meetings at any time but cannot accept evening appointments further than 20 miles from Medway.

Fee:

Currently, my fee is £60.00 to a distance of 30 miles from Medway and £75.00 up to 50 miles. Both fees are fully inclusive. Further distances can be arranged by negotiation.

Hope to see you in the past…….

My Contact Details:
Phone:

tel: 01634 582726

A Voice from Victorian London: Life in a rookery in 1849

Public Speaker Leslie Allman in character as 'Navy'

This is given in historically accurate costume of the period and presented in first person characterisation. The main part of my discourse consists of my character recounting a brief history of his life at sea, culminating with his struggle to stay free of the workhouse in appalling and abject squalor. I then break character and explain in detail what he has been referring to: the hardships of survival the extreme poor of the period had to face on a daily basis. I conclude by welcoming questions from my audience.

‘Trafalgar - a survivors’ story’

Leslie Allman Public Speaker and Raconteur in character as 'Navy' presents his talk ‘Trafalgar - a survivors’ story’

I have also developed a similar subject for my character entitled ‘Trafalgar – a survivors’ story’, which is again presented in authentic costume. This is a monologue in which the character relives the carnage of that terrible battle, culminating in an emotional finale.

Living History - something for the weekends

Leslie Allman public speaker and raconteur

Presented in costume but out of character, this the tale of doing strange things in public and why it’s so rewarding a hobby.

 

What people say about my talks......

“Mr Allman provided a passionate talk titled ‘Tales from the door of the work house’ to the Rochester and Chatham branch of the Dickens Fellowship at Gadshill (Dickens Home) on 20th of October 2016. I would say it was more of a performance as it was given in period costume through his character ‘Navy’. The performance was interactive at times and, as I said before, passionately put across. It was very well received by our members and the feedback to me was all positive. As a television historian and tour guide myself, I know that careful social history research had been done, especially on the working and lower classes of the Victorian period. I would have no hesitation having Mr Allman back for another talk”.   Steve Martin, (Rochester & Chatham Dickens Fellowship Hon. Sec.)

“Leslie ‘Navy’ Allman is registered on the Medway guest speakers list and his presentation was historically accurate, given in realistic costume and for the first part of the talk he was in character as ‘Navy’, one of the thousands of poor living in Dickensian London. His character, dialogue, & stories were all painstakingly derived from contemporary factual accounts.​ ‘Navy’ recounted his upbringing as a poor country boy & his subsequent career in the Kings Navy. Although life in the ‘Wooden Walls’ was in itself very harsh, it did provide him with regular food and an income. Having survived the carnage of Trafalgar, ‘Navy’ rose to the rank of master gunner, leaving the service at Chatham after 26 years,  He and his wife Polly eventually settled in the notorious rookery of the Seven Dials, she as a lowly street seller, he as a crossing sweeper. He tried to stay out of trouble and earn enough to help keep them away from the dreaded workhouse, always being alert for any opportunity to supplement his meagre earnings!  He also introduced us to the notorious and less savoury characters and practices in the rookery at this time, and the ways in which life was made more bearable, usually involving alcohol!   In this way he gave us an entertaining and fascinating insight into the conditions endured by the poorest sections of London society at that time. Definitely a speaker to be remembered!”   Chris Hague-Smith, Website Administrator, Meopham U3A