TALKS

All my talks last from 45 to 50 minutes and are accompanied by a Power Point Presentation.

I am based in Wetherby in West Yorkshire and will travel up to a 25 mile radius of my base. During the Autumn, Winter and Spring I only speak during the day but am prepared to talk during the evening in Summer.

I charge a fee of £50 plus reasonable travelling expenses if I have very far to go. I only need a suitable screen.

Please contact me at bobsoper@live.co.uk for more information.

Antiques and the Stately Homes – the story of Castle Fairs.

A fascinating talk on spending 25 years organising top of the range antique fairs in some of Britain’s finest stately homes. From the exhibitors with extra-ordinary personal stories, to working with the aristocracy, and some of the amazing people who walked passed our desk, this talk tells it all. From the descendents of a former king, to the grandfather of a future one, from forgers to Admirals, from spies to Holocaust survivors, they were all part of our world in those days. How just two people changed two separate industries from moribund complacency into dynamic multi million pound world beaters, changing the way of life of the country in the process – and all by accident!

Fakes and Forgeries in the world of Antiques.

The nightmare of trying to ‘vet’ a dateline antiques fair.

Was everything that our exhibitors had on offer each time the genuine article? Were all those pictures that hung on the walls of those great houses quite what they appeared to be? No, as it happened, not necessarily so. Anything but in many cases which hardly does the credibility of the trade much good. I look in careful detail of the lengths that some went to cheat over the centuries and how difficult gathering together a credible provenance is.

Motor Sport’s Golden Years – the era of ‘The Old Farts’.

Grass roots motor sport in ‘60s Yorkshire including the story of the Harewood Hill Climb. Beginning by creating a reliable small sports car with which to ‘pull’ the ‘birds’ by inserting a Ford engine in a pre-war MG, I went on to found the iconic ‘Rally and Speed Shop’ in Leeds that specialised in supercharging and then through my time in the British Automobile Racing Club where I wrote the monthly magazine for five years. All the greatest fun, pity I was supposed to earn money as well!

The Real Riviera

Life as an ex-pat living in retirement on Europe’s most glamorous coastline.

When I retired I dreamed of retiring to the sun and so, when the boys were off my hands and through university and the last family ties at home were cut, I sold up and made my way south to where we had spent so many happy years on holiday. Was it the same? Well, not quite, as this light hearted talk will show.

Enigmas and Anomalies of the Very Ancient World.

We think we know everything there is to know about our past but this talk shows that we do not. In fact, as soon as we go further back in time to the period before recorded history, our knowledge of what went on becomes dramatically less. I look, through the eyes of an engineer, at the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt. It confounds every theory on how it was built, when it was built and why it was built. It is the latter question that is the evasive one for answers, especially when it becomes linked with other equally big construction projects across time and distance. I look at buildings that could not have been built and maps that could not have been drawn in this fascinating talk that shows that we really do know nothing about our very ancient past.

The Men Who Built The Empire

Another look through an engineer’s eyes, this time back to the period when the great European land grabs were taking place. I do not question the morality of those times, other than to look at what went on in the context of the period, but to marvel at the way engineers went out to open up countries to the outside world. Using as my source the experiences of family members and one amazing catalogue I show that an isolated engineer must think of every last detail as he laid the railways, built the docks and the factories and only coming home when cities and countries were up and running.

Atlantis? In Search of the First Civilization to walk on this Planet.

The follow up book to From Whence We Came takes a forensic look at six sites from the ancient world seen through the eyes of an engineer. I strip away all that is thought to be known about them and look only at what is there in front of our eyes. By so doing some remarkable thoughts about a long lost people emerge who may or may not have come from the mythical land of Atlantis.

The Golden Age of Sail - The Romance of the Clipper Ships.

The last sixty years of the age of sail when the majestic Clipper Ships ruled the waves. A beautifully illustrated look at this time that began with the gold rushes of Australia and California and ended with the steam ship and WW1. I look at the beauty of the ships and the hardship of the men who sailed them during the days when you only went to see if you had to do so.

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©2017 BY JAKE SOPER