Winter is coming: Public Lecture Series starts with talk by Polar explorer

Thursday 8 September 2016

Canterbury Christ Church University’s Public Lecture Series for 2016/17 begins next month with an insightful and entertaining talk from polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE.


Felicity Aston MBE

World renowned Kent explorer, Felicity is a writer, speaker and adventurer and one of a few women to be awarded the Queen’s Polar Medal. Her polar career began as a meteorologist with the British Antarctic Survey and in 2012 Felicity undertook her Antarctic challenge. The two-month, 1,744 km journey saw her entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first person to undertake this journey using only personal muscle power.

Her public talk on Tuesday, 11 October, Pole of Cold: a journey to chase winter, follows her 36,000 km journey from the UK, across Scandinavia, to the Pole of Cold in north east Siberia, the coldest inhabited place on earth.

Setting out from London in November 2013 and travelling in a Land Rover, her team sought to answer the question: what does winter mean to you?

Using expedition images, stories and film footage, Felicity will describe the people and places the team experienced as they headed into some of the most extreme winter climates in the world; documenting the physical, social and cultural implications of the cold throughout their journey.

Later in the term, historian David Lough will provide a fascinating and unique look at how British prime ministers dealt with their own money and financial affairs.


David Lough (photo credit Martin Barraud)

Author of the acclaimed No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money, David’s book was the first fully-researched narrative of Winston Churchill’s precarious personal finances, with exclusive access to his private records.

David’s talk, No more champagne: British prime ministers and their money, from Walpole to Churchill, on Tuesday, 22 November, will reveal how prime ministers from Robert Walpole to Tony Blair have built fortunes from their post. He will also discuss how they dealt with the ethical issues of their day, with particular reference to the usually chaotic finances of Winston Churchill.

The series continues into 2017 with Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, who will visit the University in February.

Appointed Chief Medical Officer in 2010, Professor Davies is the first woman to fill the post. As Chief Medical Officer, she acts as the UK government’s principal medical adviser and the professional head of all directors of public health in local government. She is a haematologist with specialist research interest in sickle cell disease, but her post guides government decisions on diverse subjects such as superbugs, drug trials and obesity.

The series will conclude with a talk by the eminent historian and broadcaster Lord Peter Hennessy.

Lord Hennessy is the country’s leading contemporary historian specialising in workings of British government and its constitution. Starting his career as a journalist, he moved into academia in 1992 with the “aim to write the history of my own country, in my own times, for academic and public audiences alike”.

His lecture on Thursday, 9 March, entitled, Writing the history of one’s own times, will explore recent political history through his own observations and experiences.

All lectures are free and open to all, but reservations are required. To book your place and to find out more about the University’s 2016/17 Public Lecture Series visit:

 Notes to editors

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With 17,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 95% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2013/14 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 23:16:00