Talks & Presentations

A series of live presentations on the theme of the “High Point of Sailing Ships” and the “People and Ships of R&J Craig of Glasgow” has been delivered to enthusiastic audiences – around the globe.

An initial talk on this theme was delivered whilst rounding Cape Horn in a large American ship in December 2008. Subsequently the first land-based presentation on this theme was given to the Dorset Branch of WSS (World Ship Society) – who had booked a talk 14 months in advance. It was delivered in May 2009, followed by a presentation to the Tayside – Family History Society (Dundee) in June 2009.

There is a forward plan of talks planned for societies and events which have a major family interest in, or link with, UK Maritime History.

There was a special presentation to a large gathering on RRS Discovery in June 2009. The latter was sponsored by the Tayside – Family History Society (Dundee). Other similar societies and Club bookings have followed.

One recent Talk (to a private Yachting Society with a keen interest in maritime matters) was sold-out at 160 seats. A delegation of members from the International Association of Capehorners had also requested places – and a few late comers had standing room only! The popular questions and answers session included a rich variety of insights (from the learned audience) covering 19th century aspects of navigation, build materials, anti-fouling and top sailing speeds.

A further series of talks is scheduled for those with a significant family interest in (or link with) UK Maritime History.

Two talks were delivered on board a large cruise ship navigating around New Zealand en route to the Tasman Sea. The audience (of around 80 people) prompted an outstanding crop of interesting and fruitful questions. It was thought that the boisterousTasman passage probably reduced numbers who would have otherwise attended!

Two Presentations were given in November 2017 on a large ship (well-known Liner) in mid-Atlantic. The questions & answer sessions were, as usual, full of new information & insights from experienced passengers. This is much appreciated as it contributes greatly to building a better picture of the history of the period.

Some recent comments are:

” . . . . .quite remarkable original photographs of the era”

” . . . . brought some hitherto unclear seafaring history to life . . . . .”

”  . . . we want to book you again to have another great evening”

” . . . wonderful illustrated talk, giving fascinating details”

” . . . the speaker certainly knew his stuff . . . “

“. . . impressive photographs of that era”


“why had I not heard of you before . . . . . you must keep your light under a bushell” (Ed.- probably true)!

“Not to be missed” said another attendee.

Presentations, with digitally-upgraded images of R&J Craig ships, have been given to subsequent audiences on-board two large Cruise Ships. Feedback included:

“The story explained why Scotland (a small country) became so well known around the world”

“I hadn’t appreciated that Britain had so many important ships – before the big Cunarders”


” . .  when is the next talk . . . I want to be there”!

A new presentation on “Circumnavigation” has been added to the inventory of Talks (since 2018). Another talk on the “Panama Canal” has been available since 2019. 

An International Maritime Forum was organised and facilitated by the author and web-coordinator (‘Bill’ Cumming) on the Queen Mary II in March 2019. It had contributions from the UK, USA, Italy and Canada.  

A forward schedule of speaking commitments was paused in 2020, but several talks have been given since the end of Covid-19, including to a “Local History Group” on Tayside (September 2022) , keen to hear of the Seafaring History of the region. This was followed some months later by another specialised talk to a large assembly of Dundee Historians on the history (ancient to modern) of seafarers and ships emanating from the Firth of Tay – in June 2023. 

If you or your organisation would like to book a presentation on the above or similar subjects, please supply your organisation’s details in the “Contacts Section”.