Melanie Gibson-Barton

Location: Dymchurch, Kent
About me...

I provide a wide variety of talks, many are based on a Belgian theme – though I am an Englishwoman and my talks are delivered in English! – and be assured that your audience will feel entertained and informed. I have passed auditions to become a registered public speaker with the East Kent, West Kent and East Sussex Federations of Women’s Institutes and the Kent History Federation and also receive regular bookings from the Medway Speakers list so you can book me confident of a high quality presentation. I have delivered my talks to an enormous array of groups including Women’s Institutes (I’m a Dual Member), history, church and social groups, such as the CSMA and Probus, and I enjoy regular repeat bookings.

About my talks...

My talks are illustrated with colourful slides using a lap-top and projector and I bring all my own equipment – including microphone and speaker so your audience will hear me – and give my talks without reading from notes. All I ask is a socket to plug into and a table on which to rest my screen unless perhaps you have a screen or blank wall at your venue. I am delighted to accept bookings in Kent, East Sussex and South East London and I can often step in at short notice for you.


I charge a fee of just £80 within a 100 mile radius of my home which is TN29 0QD in Kent. I require a contribution towards travel – I don’t charge per mile!

My Contact Details:

07900 637171

The Belgian Royal Family – murder, madness and mayhem?

Public Speaker Melanie Gibson-Barton speaks about The Belgian Royal Family in a talk called "The Belgian Royal Family – murder, madness and mayhem?"

For a monarchy that has only been in existence since independence in 1830, be assured there’s lots to tell.

Curious Flanders – off the beaten track

Public Speaker Melanie Barton-Gibson talks about Flanders.

The tiny country of Belgium, and especially Flanders, has lots of quirky sights to offer.  A colourfully illustrated talk to entertain your audience and provide ideas of places to visit in Flanders – including further parks and gardens to enjoy.

Bruges – it’s more than just chocolate!

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Even those who know Bruges well will feel inspired to visit again. “Our members are booking their Tunnel crossings already!” reported a delighted host.
“Thank you for your interesting talk, we were very keen to learn about Bruges. Our members were impressed with your talk without notes – something very few speakers seem able to do these days. On behalf of our WI members: thank you very much.”

Wandering in Flanders Fields

2.Flanders Fields

This talk brings to life the well-known and certainly the less well known First World War sites in Flanders in a themed way that will appeal to all elements of the audience. “Each time you told us something new you then came again with an entirely different angle. Fantastic”
“It’s great for family history background. Research so often touches on the First World War”. “This will really help us plan our touring holiday.”
“The topic was very well researched, Melanie had good quality photographs and delivered her talk in a meaningful, well-spoken and poignant manner” – Lyminge History Society

Parks and Gardens of Flanders

3.Parks and Gardens of Flanders

A wide-ranging talk appealing to garden lovers, walkers and armchair gardeners. “Lots of ideas for our garden society to visit”.

Uncovering the Treasures of Bruges

4.Treasures of Bruges

A talk especially designed for audiences interested in the arts.
“This is just to say how good it was to meet you last evening and how much we all appreciated your talk. You spoke so naturally and with an obvious love of somewhere very special. Lots of tempting reasons to visit Bruges! You inspired us with your enthusiasm for the place – “Uncovering the Treasures of Bruges” couldn’t have been a better title.” Wye Arts Association

Favourite Museums and Galleries of Flanders

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A wide selection of the very best that Flanders can offer. Lots of ideas of places to visit.

Ten and More Famous Belgians

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There’s some surprises in store with this wide ranging talk – and way more than just ten famous Belgians. “Plenty of ‘well I didn’t know that’ moments!”.

The Life and Times of Edith Cavell

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Exploring the story of the British heroine who died in Brussels in 1915.  Presenting the experience of  regular visits to Brussels to research the hospitals and homes where Edith would have worked as well as the place of her execution – a humbling experience.  The Life and Times of Edith Cavell talk tells her story supported by photographs of existing artefacts of her life.  “Her story needed to be told and you told it!”, member of Hythe Civic Society.

Wandering on the Somme

8. Wandering on the Somme

A companion talk to my Wandering in Flanders Fields talk, visiting the known and less well-known sites of The Somme to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2016.  Be inspired by today’s beautifully restored landscape that witnessed momentous days
during the First World War.  The talk contains
other sights to see in the beautiful Somme area of France – be assured it’s “way more than the usual mud and trenches”. Currently booking this talk for Spring 2016 onwards.

Third Reich Sites Today for the Curious Traveler

Third Richt

A wide ranging talk, visiting what remains in the landscape from this regime that affected the lives of millions. The material of the talk is sensitively presented in order to appeal to a wide audience.  Currently booking this talk for Autumn 2016 onwards.

Eva Braun – Victim or Contriver?

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Hear the story of the woman who devoted her life to Hitler. The material of the talk is sensitively presented in order to appeal to a wide audience.

Three women, One Man – Glamour, Wealth and Heartbreak

11.Three women, one man

An entertaining, mystery talk giving the story of three iconic women linked by one man.

The History of Morris Dancing – with a chance to try!

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Best in a larger hall to give space for members to try Morris Dancing! Bookable for the Morris Season – 1st May to 30th September each year.

And so to Ted ... a History of Teddies and Other Bears

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A wide-ranging, fun talk of Bear Essentials to appeal to arctophiles and bear lovers!

Melanie Gibson-Barton Contact Details:

07900 637171