Previous presentations

A summary of some of our earlier presentations.  For the latest event news, refer to our main News page.


20th April 2017 - "Lara"


Lara’, the untold love story that inspired ‘Doctor Zhivago’ 
  an illustrated talk to be presented by Nadia Ainsworth.

A new time, and a new place:
2:00 pm, Thursday 20th April
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (
Map, and how to find us)


18th May 2017 - Russian Art and the state


It is 100 years since the 1917 October Revolution and this illustrated talk will explore a "revolution" in Russian Art, 1917 to 1932 - one of the most significant periods in modern world history. The talk will be given by Barbara von der Heyde.


2:00 pm, Thursday. 18th May.
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (
Map, and how to find us)


15th June - Dickens's Russia and Russia's Dickens.


Charles Dickens's published works were known in Russia from the early stages of his career: he was excerpted and then soon afterwards translated into Russian from the late 1830s onward and has retained a popularity from that time forward. Dostoyevsky acknowledged his influence and Tolstoy particularly praised his writing in David Copperfield.

In this talk, Dr Tony Williams will explore these and other connections between Dickens and Russia. Dr Williams is a frequent speaker on Dickens, both in this country and overseas, and is currently President of the International Dickens Fellowship.


2:00 pm, Thursday. 15th June.
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (
Map, and how to find us)


21st September - Sochi then and now


The history of the city and the area, and where it is today.
Sochi is situated  on the shores of the Black Sea near the Caucasus Mountains, hosted the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 as well as the Formula 1 Grand Prix.  It will also be one of the host cities for 2018 FIFA World Cup.

 By Sandra Hurst  


2:00 pm, Thursday. 21st September
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (Map, and how to find us)


19th October -  V. Lenin, Petrograd, 1917


V. Lenin, Petrograd, 1917
In 1917 the climate of dissatisfaction in Petrograd — its name was changed from Saint Petersburg in 1914 — became too much for its people to bear. Disputes and conflicts between the city’s civilians, its police and its military culminated in the October Revolution bringing the Bolsheviks to power with V. Lenin as their leader.

An illustrated talk by Nadia Ainsworth

2:00 pm, Thursday. 19th October.
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (
Map, and how to find us)



16th November -  Three Remarkable Women


The account continues - 

    Three more remarkable Russian women


An illustrated talk by Dr Ruth Sobel

2:00 pm, Thursday. 16th November
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre.
(Map, and how to find us)


18th January 2018 -  Memories of Berlin during the Cold War


Espionage, intelligence, the night the Wall collapsed, and more…
Ian presents his own personal memories of living in Berlin - the divided city. 
An illustrated talk by Ian Gronbach

2:00 pm, Thursday. 18th January
Oak Room, Downley Community Cen
tre. (Map, and how to find us)



15th February -  Stone Carvers of the Ural Mountains


The practice of creating coloured ornaments by carving and fixing together pieces of coloured rocks and minerals, has been carried out in the Urals, since the 18th century, when the mining of a large range of minerals first began.

This talk will cover the practice of Stone Carving from the early years to the present day. Samples of some of the various rocks and minerals will be on display. 
You will learn of one famous Stone Carver, and find out about museums where such ornaments can be seen.https://sites.google.com/site/gorussianclub/home/arsameia2.jpg?attredirects=0

An illustrated talk by Geoff Youd

2:00 pm, Thursday 15th February
Oak Room, Downley Community Cent
re. (Map, and how to find us)


15th March - Siberia and the Russian Far East

Russia's land beyond the Urals is a land of superlatives - immensely large, unimaginably cold, full of natural resources and "eastern promise".
An illustrated talk by Barbara von der Heyde

2:00 pm, Thursday 15th March
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (
Map,
and how to find us)


19th April - Russian Churches


 a talk on Russian churches, including their architecture and historical background, as observed on a river journey from St Petersburg to Moscow.

An illustrated talk by Jessica Houdret.

2:00 pm, Thursday 19th April
Oak Room, Downley Community Centr
e. (Map, and how to find us)


17th May - Uzbekistan and the Silk Road


Uzbekistan is known for its mosques, mausoleums and other sites linked to the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean.
This presentation looks briefly at the country, its geography and history, the importance of various cities along the Silk Road and the people who live there today.

An illustrated talk by Sandra Hurst.
2:00 pm, Thursday 17th May
Oak Room, Downley Community Centr
e. (Map, and how to find us)