Mike Haynes

Location: Telford, Shropshire
About me...

I am an almost completely retired UK academic who has lectured to general audiences on a wide range of topics both in the UK and abroad. If you are impressed by titles I have a PhD and I am an emeritus professor – if you are not then I have experience of talking to audiences that have ranged from school kids to the U3A and in number from a handful in a pub on a wet Monday evening to hundreds at major events. So you can be sure of an informative, challenging and entertaining talk. My media appearances include Radio Four (Thinking Aloud, More or Less, PM), Radio 2 (the Jeremy Vine Show), TV ( News 24, Midlands Today), local radio and in – wait for it – Wetherspoons News. I have written for the local and national press. I have also authored, co-authored and edited five books. My published research has ranged across British and European history to the story of death and killing in war onto the controversies about the economy today whether at home or globally.

About my Talks...

45-50 minutes presentation, illustrated by power point slides if a  computer, projection equipment and screen  are available. I don’t have my own but can improvise without them if they are not available. Always happy to take questions.


There are no fees. I charge a straight £50 expenses for talks within 40 miles of Telford and a bit more beyond but they are capped at £100 whether you are in Dover, Devises or even Dundee (but we may have to negotiate on Dublin).

Short Notice Replacement of another Speaker:

If your speaker cancels at short notice I am prepared to consider whether I can help out but I probably can’t do shorter notice than a week.

My Contact Details:


Current Affairs - How the Supermarkets Trick Us

I have frequently commented on changes in the High Street. I even once advised BBC Midlands Today reporter Ben Sidwell on how to find the best Christmas buys in charity shops and markets, including underpants for Nick Owen. Drawing on my recent work looking  at the ongoing economic problems and how they impact on the UK and local high street, this talk looks at the tricks that the supermarkets play on us and why they do it. It builds on one first given at the Wrekin Literary Festival

History - Getting Rid of the Stink - the Public Health Revolution

Throughout history millions have been killed by typhoid, cholera, diphtheria and even simple diarrhoea.  Drawing on years of research into the history of public health in the UK and Europe, this talk looks at the ways in which a healthier environment was created for us all – less by doctors and the medical world than by the great nineteenth century engineers building an infrastructure that is still used today.  If you have ever wondered what a world without indoor plumbing and sewers was really like Getting Rid of the Stink takes you into the fascinating history of dirt and disease.

History - Winning the Vote and was it worth it?

For hundreds of years in Britain men and women fought for the right to vote. But today many people are disillusioned with politics while others look for new beginnings. This talk tells the story of how people – from the Levellers of the Civil War to the Chartists of the nineteenth century and  the Suffragettes of the twentieth century all fought for the right to vote to challenge those with wealth and power. But it also asks what would they think about politics in Britain today?

History - Why are carrots orange? The strange history of food and power.

Our food comes from all over the world but what is its real story? Why are carrots orange? Why do we call them ‘peppers’ when they are not peppery? Who invented fish and chips? This talk explores the strange history of our food and the conflicts that it has and continues to give rise to.


 “Thank you Mike for a fascinating evening”

Anne – September 2023

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