“Delightful”; “concise and well-presented”; “one to remember”; “splendid”

Robert is always pleased to present one of his popular talks. Current topics are:

Pre-camera topics

THE GREAT EXHIBITION OF 1851: Hyde Park’s extravaganza pivots the world’s future, and enhances British prospects for the century ahead.

WHAT A SHOW! – 100 years of amazing exhibitions – ambitious, intriguing, grand events aimed at promoting achievement and capacity within the Empire.

 NORMAN MAY – MALVERN’S MARKETING MAESTRO: the poignant story of how a Victorian entrepreneur produced enthusiastic guides to Malvern. 


‘OF SONS AND SKIES’ – military flight in World War Two – strategic complexity which eclipses the much-celebrated Few 1940 Spitfires (based on Robert’s book).

MAKING HISTORY – researching the challenging book with fresh exploration of data, recollections and conventional presentations of RAF war-time achievements.

DEVISING THE ‘M5 SIGHTS GUIDE’ – profiling the artery from Birmingham to Devon; enriching journeys along the holiday route (from the author’s celebrated books).

TV production

PRODUCING THE BBC’S ‘ANTIQUES ROADSHOW’ – 1,500 people arrive at each location event. What processes determine the final shape of the Sunday show?

CHILDREN’S ITV IN THE 1980s: Roland Rat to Ringo Starr; Grotbags to Ghostbusters – engaging, enlightening and entertaining four million kids daily.

“THE FUN FACTORY” – how ATV became Central Television (and sobered up!). Robert recalls his responsibilities and reactions at Birmingham’s big ITV studios.

‘FLOG IT’ BATTLES ‘BARGAIN HUNT’: clever contrivances and taxing schedules engineer unlikely candidates and dodgy collectibles into happy day-time viewing.  

WORCESTER’S MEDIA MILE: anecdotes on what went wrong while filming in and around the city – a cosy, sit-down version of the funny walk and the WMM book.

AND, as mentioned…

‘Not just Spitfires’

‘Very informative and interesting talk, very well received.’   Penarth Aviation Society

‘Packed with fascinating and often little known facts – brings those long years vividly to life to make us acknowledge how fortunate we have been to live in the following peace time.’ Rosemary Harward, Alfrick, Worcestershire

‘Excellent talk – made the evening come alive.’ John Sermon, Chair, North Cotswold Royal Air Force Association

Robert’s talk took his audience chronologically through the war years presenting some of the lesser known facts about the contribution of the allied airmen, both pilots and ground crew. Technological developments on both sides were impressive as were the sheer number of aircraft produced and lost but this only emphasised the awful risks that the aircrews were taking. A thought provoking talk 80 years after the outbreak of WW2.‘ Painswick Probus

‘A comprehensive investigation much appreciated by the audience’ Evesham Historical Society

‘To provide a chronology of 6 years of war in 45 minutes was no mean feat, and without referring to notes – an enviable skill. Splendid.’ ‘Henry Hall, ex-RAF Hendon

‘Robert Arley knows how to tell a story. He swept us from points of interest across Europe to the mysterious battles over the Pacific – breath-taking revelations of difficulties and dangers for crews in the air and on the ground. We were all educated and enthralled. That my dad survived to never speak of these things is clearly more of a miracle than any of us knew.’ Sue Friston, Gloucestershire

It has been my pleasure and privilege to present talks to a wide range of distinguished groups across the Midlands.

I have visited History Societies, Aviation Clubs, Civic Societies, Probus Clubs and Women’s Institute groups.

In the autumn of 2019 I was invited to speak to the Royal Aeronautical Society at Rolls-Royce in Derby, and was given a memorable tour of the formidable facilities at the huge plant on the day.


E-MAIL: severnpix [AT] tiscali [DOT] co [DOT] uk (but with correct punctuation!)

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