Evening Talks

Our Evening Talks explore the stories surrounding the history of policing on Bow Street.

The Walnut Tree: Women, Violence and the Law, A Hidden History

Thursday 18th July, 18:30 (doors open 18:15)

The museum is delighted to welcome back author Kate Morgan, following her sell-out talk last year.

‘A woman, a dog and a walnut tree, the more they are beaten, the better they’ll be.’

So went the proverb quoted by a prominent MP in the Houses of Parliament in 1853. His words – intended ironically in a debate about a rise in attacks on women – summed up the prevailing attitude of the day, in which violence against women was waved away as a part and parcel of modern living – a chilling seam of misogyny that had polluted both parliament and the law. But were things about to change?

In this vivid and essential work of historical non-fiction, Kate Morgan explores the legal campaigns, test cases and individual injustices of the Victorian and Edwardian eras which fundamentally re-shaped the status of women under British law. These are seen through the untold stories of women whose cases became cornerstones of our modern legal system and shine a light on the historical inequalities of the law.

We hear of the uniquely abusive marriage which culminated in the dramatic story of the ‘Clitheroe wife abduction’; of the domestic tragedies which changed the law on domestic violence; the controversies surrounding the Contagious Diseases Act and the women who campaigned to abolish it; and the real courtroom stories behind notorious murder cases such as the ‘Camden Town Murder’.

Exploring the 19th- and early 20th Century legal history that influenced the modern-day stances on issues such as domestic abuse, sexual violence and divorce, The Walnut Tree lifts the lid on the shocking history of women under British law – and what it means for women today.

Kate Morgan is a writer and former solicitor. She worked as a senior in-house lawyer in the water industry for most of her legal career. Long fascinated with the darker side of the law, her writing focuses on British legal history and the stories behind the important cases that have shaped the law over the centuries. Kate’s first book Murder: The Biography (2021, HarperCollins) explored the legal history of the crime of murder in the UK and The Walnut Tree is her second book.

Timings: doors open at 18:15. The talk begins at 18:30 and lasts approximately 75 minutes, including a Q&A with the audience and a book signing

Conditions of entry: this event is recommended for anyone over the age of 16 years. 

Tickets: there are two ways to attend this event, in person at Bow Street Police Museum, or online via a live stream (using Zoom). 

Prices to attend at the Museum: £12/ £9.60 Friends.

Prices to attend via Livestream: £6/ £4.80 Friends.

The Investigation of Serial Killers

Thursday 22nd August, 18:30 (doors open 18:15)

Following his sold-out fingerprinting workshop, we are excited to welcome back former Metropolitan Police D.C.I. Steve Gaskin.

Steve’s talk will reveal how the murky business of serial killing investigation is undertaken. What is serial killing? How is it managed? How do you look after staff? What are the pressures like?

He undertook a cold case review that unearthed a suspect responsible for four murders in the capital. That investigation lasted for 30 years and has just been serialised on ITV1, in the documentary “The Playboy Bunny Club Murders”. Steve will take you on that investigative journey, and uncover the inside track on a murder investigation.

Steve Gaskin was a Detective Chief Inspector in the Metropolitan Police Service. During his service, he had two cases at Bow St Magistrates Court.

Notably, he spent a total of ten years investigating drug trafficking and the money generated from crime. He retrained as a criminal psychology lecturer and works with his wife Kate ( a former Met officer) and his three daughters.

Timings: doors open at 18:15. The talk begins at 18:30 and lasts approximately 75 minutes, including a Q&A with the audience and a book signing.

Conditions of entry: this event is recommended for anyone over the age of 16 years. 

Tickets: there are two ways to attend this event, in person at Bow Street Police Museum, or online via a live stream (using Zoom). 

Prices to attend at the Museum: £12 / £9.60 Friends.

Prices to attend via Livestream: £6/ £4.80 Friends.

Murderous Insight: What Murder Can Teach Us About Society

Thursday 19th September, 18:30 (doors open 18:15)

We are delighted to welcome back museum favourite Naomi Ryan, following her two sold out events in 2023.

The components of murder often seem clear cut: one person kills another with malice aforethought.

But behind that simple statement is a maze of philosophical, technical, and societal quandaries. What is a human? What is death? Is there anything the state can’t do to catch a killer? 

For centuries, juries and judges have considered issues traditionally entrusted to philosophers, academics, religious leaders, and scientific luminaries. Their decisions are a snapshot of our society, revealing both our worst prejudices and our greatest values. 

In this talk, Naomi Ryan will discuss some of the most controversial murder cases in British criminal history, and explore how juries are still expected to consider some of the most cutting-edge moral and scientific issues facing society today.

Naomi Ryan is a criminal barrister. After qualifying with a Masters in Law from St Catherine’s College, Oxford, she taught criminal law to undergraduates at St Hilda’s College Oxford and University College London before embarking on her career as a criminal barrister, where she both prosecuted and defended. She now works as an advisory lawyer on criminal matters within the civil service. She regrets that she has yet to cross-examine a demon mongoose.

Timings: doors open at 18:15. The talk begins at 18:30 and lasts approximately 75 minutes, including a Q&A with the audience.

Conditions of entry: this event is recommended for anyone over the age of 16 years. 

Tickets: there are two ways to attend this event, in person at Bow Street Police Museum, or online via a live stream (using Zoom). 

Prices to attend at the Museum: £12 / £9.60 Friends.

Prices to attend via Livestream: £6/ £4.80 Friends.

Check back here soon for future talks or subscribe to our Newsletter to be first in the know.