SUES Courses

All the events listed are courses taking place over a number of sessions, held at All Saints Church Hall, Park Road, Southport. The courses will be held on Mondays at 10:30am and last for two hours.


January – March (8 Sessions – fee £40)

The Country House in the 20th Century | Roger Mitchell

January 10, 17, 24, 31 | February 7, 14, 28 | March 7

Previous courses have taken the English Country House from its late Mediaeval origins to its Victorian climax. Its 20th Century story is very different but equally fascinating. The emphasis shifts from building new houses to finding ways to adapt existing ones to a very different and very dangerous world. Many houses (and some owners) were lost en route but most survived and a few people were brave enough and rich enough to create new houses and even use new styles and new materials.

This eight session course will introduce remarkable houses like Castle Drogo, Eltham Palace and Eaton Hall and equally remarkable people like Vita Sackville-West, James Lees-Milne and Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire. Although this course is the culmination of a sequence, it is equally open to those who have not attended earlier sessions.

April – June (7 Sessions – fee £35)

The Secret Life of the Human Brain | Dr Alan Potter

April 25 | May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 | June 6

Over the centuries, and despite being essential for life, the workings of the brain have often remained a mystery. Scientific study and dissection provided some evidence but it is only now through modern techniques, including therapy and surgery, and instruments such as MRI scanners, that we more fully understand the brain and can truly wonder at what it achieves.

Using up-to-date research, illustrations and images, this course uncovers the origin of the brain, describes the functions of each part and demonstrates how they connect with each other and the whole body to provide a sophisticated driving force. In this way, common myths about the brain will be debunked and advice shared on how, as we get older, we can keep it healthy, happy and active.


January – March (6 Sessions)

English Travellers | Roger Mitchell

September – November (10 sessions – fee £50)

England Under the Norman Kings and Queens | Peter Firth

September 27 | October 4, 11, 18, 25 | November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

The Norman Conquest and its aftermath, covering barely a century and a quarter, is regularly the subject of much interest in studying the history of the British Isles. This course explores the changing relationships between successive Norman kings of England, their barons and the English Church up to the beginning of the Angevin dynasty. Particular attention is given to the reigns of William the Conqueror and the two sons who succeeded him, the cause and consequences of the civil war between 1139 and 1153, as well as the restoration of royal authority during the early reign of Henry II. As part of a survey of the English Church, consideration is given to the extension of papal authority and the forces which sought to resist it, culminating in the quarrel between Henry II and Thomas Becket. It will also focus on Queenship and roles played by the various women whose contribution throughout the Norman dynasty cannot be understated.


January – March (7 Sessions)

The Victorian Country House | Roger Mitchell

November – December (2 Sessions)

The Travels of Samuel Pepys and Sylvia Fiennes | Roger Mitchell


September – November (7 Sessions)

The Reformation in Europe | Peter Firth