Christoph Bull,Guided Walks and Illustrated Talks


 

   
Historian
Speaker
Guide
  

    

Landline 01474 320156
Mobile    0770 228 7147

christoph.bull@talktalk.net
        
Email Me


Christoph Bull is a tour guide and Speaker who has entertained many local groups
 with his illustrated talks and walks.
He is also Municipal Mace Bearer for Gravesham Borough Council,
 O
fficial Cobham Hall House & Garden guide,
and historical advisor to Swanscombe & Greenhithe Town Council.

ZOOM talks as well as personal appearances.

Talks & Walks          by Christoph Bull, BA (Hons), MCLIP, ALA

Illustrated Talks
* Chalk Parish- Marshes, midges and medicine
* Amazing Swanscombe
* Shorne Parish - saints, sinners & scenery.
* Northfleet's Secret History
* The forgotten parish Denton, near Gravesend.

* Folklore of Chalk Parish: things that go bump in the parish

* Neum
ünster - Gravesham's twin town in Germany: historical twins
* A Kentishman in Transylvania (about Romania)

* "The good, the bad & the ugly":The amusing story   of Kentish public libraries
                                     
* Gravesend: Gateway to the Thames
* Dirty Dartford…
* Dickens in Kent
* Gravesham Round & About - a virtual historical tour.
* From Grot to Great: Gravesend Library’s transformation
* Our Thames from Dartford to Grain
* Some Real Kentish Ghost stories (not illustrated)
* Pocahontas – the non-Disney story
* The Kaiser’s War?? – a different perspective on the First World War
* Cobham Parish - A Kentish Gem.
* Stone near Dartford – the tale of the incredible shrinking parish.

* Greenhithe to Grayhithe and back again  (a talk about Greenhithe’s history)
* Amazing Swanscombe, Greenhithe and Neumünster – Kent and Germany during World War One

* Grim Gravesend – a guided walk or an illustrated talk about the sad, mad and bad of the town- tales of poverty disease and crime.

* Who’s who in Hoo – a journey through the Hoo peninsula”

* “The only one that got away”the story of a German POW escape from Kent in 1915 and the amazing adventure which took him from China via America to Gravesend.
*
Some Gravesham Characters – well known and unknown people who have shaped the borough’s story (illustrated talk)

New Talks

Gravesend the day before yesterday (the town’s transformation over the last 70 years)

Northfleet the day before yesterday (the town’s transformation over the last 70 years)

Dartford the day before yesterday (the town’s transformation over the last 70 years)

The Griffin, horse & harp – the Earls of Darnley at Cobham Hall & their Irish connection.

Myths & Legends of Gravesham & Dartford

Dartford Rural Rides: Darent valley delights

Dartford Rural Rides: West Kingsdown to Southfleet

Guided Walks
Chalk Village

Chalk Parish Footpaths
Chalk Church
(  including the tower)

St. Helen’s Church, Cliffe
S.S. Peter & Paul’s Church, Swanscombe
Dartford Central Library (Historical tour of the
magnificent Carnegie building inside & out)

Gravesend Central Library (Historical tour)
Gravesend town centre: walking the historical
spine of a Kentish riverside town

Swanley town: a blooming Kentish railway town.
Guided walk of East Chalk & the churchyard

 Swanscombe Town: Kentish industrial revolution revealed
Shorne Village
Greenhithe Village
Delightful Dartford – from the workhouse to the grave.
Gravesend – riverside guided tour
Gravesend Old Town Hall
Gravesend County Court and King Street.
School Trips around NW Kent parishes and towns –
contact me on 01474 320156 – e.g. Victorian Gravesend, Industrial Revolution in Swanscombe or Dartford etc.
Grim Gravesend – disease, poverty, crime and marine disasters in old Gravesend
.

Cobham Village. Guided Walk

Northfleet – historical tour and eye opening experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say NO to  Option C

Take part in the consultation

It’s important!

www.lower-thames-crossing.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

2021
Local History & Chips:2021

Programme of talks by Christoph Bull (Local Historian) – all illustrated,
with a humorous delivery at the Reliance Restaurant, Queen Street, Gravesend, & other venues.~
 
Zoom talks as well as personal appearances
Walks for everybody. All are welcome to join us as we explore our landscape, local history and foklore in the company of interesting people. Please note that these walks are steep in places , have stiles , uneven surfaces and are muddy. Please dress and act accordingly for yourself your family and pets.

Dear All,     We are praying that COVID restrictions will be lifted over this and next month.

In this hope, I offer some public events for your magazines and websites for people to come an enjoy after such a long hibernation. 
Please note that due to Covid restrictions booking are needed-even for free events.

  

2022

Tuesday  18th January 2022    2pm

Due to the church not having enough volunteers for refreshments, the following needed to be changed:    New Date: Tuesday 15th March 2022

 

 Saturday 29th January 2022   3pm
Cement-Civil War & Cleopatra’s needle – guided tour of St Peter & St Paul’s church, Swanscombe
, Swanscombe Street, Swanscombe

Guide: Christoph Bull (Local Historian)

Meet:3pm   Price: £5-tour of external and internal areas of church, lots of secret history stories.
A charity fund raising event of the Town Mayor of Swanscombe & Greenhithe, Councillor Lesley Howes, who will be attending.

No need to book – just turn up and pay at the door. Latest edition of illustrated booklet on Swanscombe Church available.

 

Friday 4th February 2022  6.30pm

Northfleet’s story from A to Z (illustrated talk)

Speaker: Christoph Bull (Local Historian and former local librarian)

At: Coldharbour Library, Coldharbour Road, Northfleet

Begins: 6.30pm         Price: £5

Booking required at the library itself or via coldharbourlibrary@kent.gov.uk or 03000 413131

A brand new talk on the history of Northfleet, promoting its identity and celebrating the town’s heritage. An event celebrating the centenary of Kent County Library.


Monday 7
th
February 2022    6pm

Gravesend the day before yesterday-how the town has changed over the past 60 years (illustrated talk with supper)

Speaker: Christoph Bull           At: Reliance Restaurant, Queen Street, Gravesend

Begins: 6pm for meal-talk to follow

Cost: £18 includes both talk and award winning fish & chips

Booking essential: Reliance Restaurant 01474 533593

 

Sunday 13th February 2022     12.30 for 1pm

Sunday Lunch-with the Mayor of Gravesham (Councillor Lyn Milner)
and a talk on the Earls of Darnley by Christoph Bull

At: Gilt Hall in Cobham Hall, Brewers Road, Cobham, Kent DA12 3B

Cost: £30 for three course meal and talk - £17 for under 16 year olds.

Tickets can be purchased by sending a BACS payment with reference ‘Mayor’ to: Bank account holder: Gravesham Borough Council Bank name: Lloyds Bank, Gravesend Bank sort code: 30 93 60 Bank account number: 54599860 Please email bev.sanderson@gravesham.gov.uk with your name and the number of tickets you have purchased. Alternatively, Cheques can be made payable to: Gravesham Borough Council (marked on the back Mayor’s Charity) Send cheques to: Bev Sanderson, Committee Section, Gravesham Borough Council, Civic Centre, Windmill Street Gravesend DA12 1AU.

Come and enjoy the stately surroundings of Cobham Hall, enjoying the food, fellowship and facts about the Darnleys.

 

Sunday 27th February 2022       3pm for talk – dinner to follow

Grim Gravesend- the underside of Gravesend’s history-the mad, bad & sad (illustrated talk with dinner)         Speaker: Christoph Bull

At: The Three Daws public house, Town Pier Square, Milton-next-Gravesend

Cost: £18 includes both talk and dinner

Booking essential: Three Daws 01474 566869

 

 Tuesday 15th March 2022  2pm

Guided tour of St George’s Church, Gravesend – no longer 18th January 2022

Guide: Christoph Bull       Begins 2pm.         Cost: £10 includes refreshments.

Booking essential: Rev Jim Fletcher, Rector on 01474 532505

Plenty of great & grizzly local history stories throughout the tour.

 

All the events below at Reliance begin at 6pm for a fish and chip supper (drinks not included), followed by the illustrated talk.

Monday 7th March 2022   6pm
Greenhithe’s rise, fall & rise again
. Greenhithe’s maritime history and how industry built and then almost destroyed it, and what happened next...

Monday 16th May 2022   6pm
Gravesend & Kent from Reformation to Revolution 1580-1660
What upheavals there were in Kent before, during & after Pocahontas’s lifetime.

Monday 18th July 2022   6pm
Cobham Parish-a Kentish gem:
a talk about the picture box village and parish of Cobham-one of Kent’s gems.

Monday 17th October 2022   6pm
Great women of Gravesham- some local female personalities from all walks of life.
Prepare to be astonished at the stories of these women and how they affected Gravesham-and the world.

Monday 7th November 2022    6pm
Royal visits to Gravesham from many countries
. A collection of stories about various emperors, kings, queens and a maharaja who visited Gravesham.

Monday 5th December 2022   6pm
Myths & legends of Gravesham & Dartford:
a talk for Christmas.

All the events begin at 6pm for a fish and chip supper (drinks not included), followed by the illustrated talk.

Booking Essential – Reliance Restaurant on 01474 533593.

Only £18 for a stimulating and tasty evening.

 

All the above are subject to the vagaries of Covid- if there are severe restrictions imposed by the government, then events cannot happen.

 

This website was updated  6th January 2022

Say NO to  Option C

Take part in the consultation          It’s important!

www.lower-thames-crossing.co.uk
 

 

Comments

Dear Christoph,   Thank you so much for your talk “Gravesend the day before yesterday” which you gave to the group last Thursday.  It was very well received and as usual you both entertained and educated us in equal measure.  I was at school in Gravesend in the 1950s and can recall something of what it was like then.  As your talk demonstrated many of the changes have not been for the better!  Anyway, thank you once again for an enjoyable and provocative evening, and as Secretary I hope we can rely on you to return with another talk next year. David Johnson Shorne Local History Group. November 2021

Dear Christoph,    Once again, it is my pleasure on behalf of the members and committee  of SouthAra to thank you for your talk at last Thursday meeting (On Libraries in Kent). Your presentation was not only interesting in its content, but as always was delivered with enthusiasm and humour which made an enjoyable afternoon for all present. Geoff Till,
SouthAra (Southfleet Active Retirement Association) November 2021

 

I think that your reputation as a speaker proceeded you and I’m sure that helped us to get our largest audience to date. I’ve also heard members saying how much they enjoyed your talk with your enthusiastic, humorous delivery and of course that array of different voices/accents!Gravesend & Northfleet U3A.via Zoom, March 2021

 Dear Christoph   I have been meaning to write and thank you for your talk on 14 December 2020 and apologise for being so late in fulfilling the intention. It was very informative and entertaining. In the circumstances, you went above and beyond.  
(Miriam from Dorking Local History Society referring to a Zoom talk)

We certainly have enjoyed all the talks we have heard and the guided walks around Gravesend, there is always something new to learn about the area and we particularly like the way you mix facts with humour.  Excellent evenings.
Mrs E Norris, Cobham, May 2020.

Dear Christoph,  Thank you for coming to share with us at The Friendship Club a couple of weeks ago.  We thoroughly enjoyed your visit to our group. My colleague, Penny, delivered a quiz based on your talk last week which they enjoyed.  Dartford YMCA Jan 2020

Thank you very for last night's presentation. Again, a fascinating and enthusiastic talk that
(I'm sure you could tell) was very much enjoyed by the gathered mob. 
Mike – Oddfellows West Kent-Otford. January 2020

"Thanking you for the wonderful talk on Pocahontas which the members thoroughly enjoyed”.  Rainham Historical Society, Dec 2019

“Thank you for visiting us on 27th November 2019 to talk about Gravesend & important buildings. Thank you for your time in answering all of our questions and we hope you will come back in the near future”.       Ifield School 6th Form students, North Kent College, Chalk, Dec 2019.

Thanks and Frohe Weihnachten – Craciun Fericit – Happy Christmas.

"Soon we arrived in Gravesend to be met by Christoph Bull, our guide. His knowledge is astounding, and he gave us a comprehensive background to the various sites we visited, all without notes, and corrected any misconceptions we had on the origin of the name Gravesend."
Alison Cresswell, Paddock Wood U3A August 2019.

"Thank you so much for your brilliant talk last evening (on Stone the shrinking parish), you brought back so many memories for me, some I have to admit I’d forgotten about!! "
 Barbara Cannell, Hextable Heritage Association. June 2019

"Thank you so much Christoph for another enjoyable and informative presentation  and your jokes too!  So sorry the microphone was playing up .......just as well you do not need it!!   We  always know we can rely on you to make our meetings go well   Many thanks  Christina" 
On behalf of our committee and members.
     Swanley Local History Group,    May 2019 

We've had some lovely feedback about your talk. Our ladies found it very interesting.
We'll definitely be in touch again.
Hoo WI, January 2019

“Christoph Bull gave an excellent, highly amusing, well-illustrated and well-prepared talk on ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, to a packed meeting of members of the Tonbridge Civic Society, on Tuesday 16th October 2018. Many members later said how much they had enjoyed the talk.”
Peter Charlton    Vice-Chairman, Tonbridge Civic Society

“Another interesting and informative evening delivered with the usual enthusiasm and humour that always accompany these talks”.    Paul Gay, Sept 2018 commenting on a talk about Northfleet.

We hired Christoph’s services for the evening, to present and give a guided tour around Gravesend’s historic town centre.  Being a locally renowned estate agents, it provided a different approach to our community and charity activities.  60 or so guests booked into the walk and it proved to be extremely successful.  Christoph’s grasp of local history is second to none.  It gave both clients and staff a real insight into the history that lies about us that often we dismiss on a daily basis.  Christoph is funny, authoritative and very engaging.  For a taster I would recommend that anyone joins his walking tours and talks and in the future – because of the fantastic feedback we got from the event we ran – we will be holding further history walks in the future under Christoph’s excellent leadership.

Michael Alan Sears, Managing Director, Sealeys Estate Agents Ltd

On behalf of our committee and members,  thank you so much for your absorbing presentation, so  entertainingly delivered, last Tuesday evening.  There certainly was something for everyone  and I  personally want to go out and explore some of the places you mentioned - some very close to Swanley but not really widely known. Our great attendance was I am sure because of your fame as an excellent  speaker! (Swanley History Group, March 2018)

On behalf of the committee and members of  SouthAra, I wish to express our thanks to you  for yet another excellent presentation at yesterday meeting. As always, your talk contained  interesting and in many cases not so obvious  factual information on the principle Churches in and around the area we live; all of which was relayed with a sprinkling of humour  for the enjoyment of the audience.       Geoff Till, Feb 2018

“We all really enjoyed your very spirited and informative Gravesend lecture”. 
Biddenden Local History Society, Feb 2018.

Talk Title: Our Thames: Dartford to the Grain     Saturday, 6 January 2018   Thank you for a thoroughly good talk enjoyed by all our members.  So much information brought to life the Thames side locally, and with your good humour!   We are looking forward to your next talk. Personally I have a much loved copy of "Liquid History - The Thames Through Time" by Stephen Croad so I enjoyed your talk even more.   Thank you once again for a very entertaining talk.    Best wishes   
Raymer  
North West Kent Family History Society     Dartford Branch Programme Secretary

Hello Christoph   
Glad to meet you all but briefly yesterday, The feedback from the members was very good , regarding both the enjoyment of your delivery and content matter on Gravesend & its clock tower.
It is fascinating to learn about the former lives of places and buildings that barely catch our attention now in familiar streets.  However  we can start to look more closely and wonder about the social and historical periods that they have been part of.  We can certainly recommend you to others, and look forward to the next time we see you.  
Kind regards  Rosie Griggs   Lanbara Speaker Diary Sec.  November 2017

Hi Christoph - As I mentioned to you at the time, I got some very good comments from members as they left, and I hope you enjoyed talking to George and Margaret (our Africa correspondents) afterwards as much as they enjoyed chatting to you.  Thank you again for an entertaining and informative evening on the amusing stories from Kent’s public libraries.   Kind regards  Mike Hyde, programme organiser of Oddfellows, Tunbridge Wells District.     9 November 2017.

We so much appreciated your coming to talk to us today. All you had to say about the Kaiser's War was fascinating and it sounded as though it was a subject close to your heart [and your family] Comments from some of the audience afterwards showed that it caused many of us to think about the War from a different angle which I am sure is what you were hoping for.   
Thank you once again. Regards.
Julia Hawkins Wed, 8 Mar 2017    Subject: Talk to Medway U3A

Dear Christoph,    Thank you for coming to talk to Leytara on’ Dirty Dartford’ last week, everyone I have spoken to  said how much they had enjoyed the subject and the way it was delivered.
I  have had several requests for an encore.        
November 2015

"We so much enjoyed your talk about Pocahontas. As I am sure you realised we found it entertaining and thought-provoking especially as it exploded so many of the myths that have grown up around her. Thank you very much for coming and I hope that some of us will be making our way to Gravesend to join one of your tours.  Medway U3A  Sept 2015

"Hi Christoph, thank you so much for the talk you gave yesterday. It was really interesting and entertaining. Our audience really seemed to enjoy it and everyone that I have spoken to was very complimentary".     Dartford U3a, June 2015

 "Hi Christoph     I am sorry I should have been in touch before.  I would like to thank you for your presentation that although we rushed, you came over in a very professional way on the 31st  March 2015.  We had a committee meeting yesterday and went through the feedback sheets.  Everyone had a great day and thoroughly enjoyed your presentation".     Dot Marshall Gravesham 50+ Forum

“I am writing to thank you for a most interesting and informative talk at Loose last evening when many of us would have learned things we never knew before (about Germany in World War One). Your research is obviously extensive and your enthusiasm for the subject was clearly evident.”         David Priestley, Chairman of Loose Area History Society Nov 2014. 

"Thank you for a wonderful presentation today, thoroughly enjoyed it.  Can’t wait for the next one".    Gravesham 50Plus Forum. 

"Thank you so much for coming along to our AGM and doing your history presentation on Northfleet. You were brilliant with loads of great feedback from the audience".    
Council for Voluntary Services – North West Kent. 

"Many thanks for a great tour of Gravesend. The children and us adults enjoyed it very much, and everyone liked you very much".   BH Education, Harmer Street, Gravesend.

Hi Chris. Just been to Strood Library to hear you give your talk on libraries. We both thought you presented your subject with superb wit and knowledge. You made the afternoon so interesting and we would like to be made aware of any future talks on any different subjects that you may offer. Thank you and hope to see you at Chalk Church sometime .  Roy and Margaret Davis. 

Hi Chris, Thanks for your excellent talk at Strood last Saturday. It was very well received, and about as entertaining as the best comedian in the land!      Norma Crowe, Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, Strood.

Had a brilliant morning with Sue’s English group and Derek and Lisa Baldwin and Andrea Dodd at the Mayor's parlour . Thanks to mayor and mayoress Derek and Pam Sales for tea and description of duties of the job.    Extra special thanks to the entertaining and excellent Mace carrier Christoph Bull he made all the history fun to listen to.          Eileen Baldwin, Gravesend        

 

C. R. Bull                   Tel: 01474 320156.         Mobile: 0770 228 7147

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