Anthony Collis
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About acol presentations

I have given more than 200 presentations to various Civic Societies, Community Groups, Cricket Societies, Heritage Groups, Probus Groups, Retirement Groups, Rotary Clubs, University of the Third Age, Women's Groups plus local Festivals and Heritage events.

Please note:

  • I present talks predominantly in Worcestershire and the Black Country

  • I do not charge travel costs for presentations in Worcestershire and the Black Country

  • I am unwilling to sit through local meetings prior to my presentation

  • Payment is requested following my presentation

  • Satisfaction guaranteed - read my testimonials below!

  • I am included on the national list of speakers: see

I am willing to consider presentations further afield (subject to travel and any accommodation costs payable by the client). I have accepted and fulfilled engagements in Edinburgh and London!


Reviews - Some Kind Words of Appreciation *


"Your talk [on Worcestershire Worthies] was really interesting and very amusing in equal measure and I received very positive feedback from our members afterwards."

[Rod Pardoe – National Trust, Malvern – by email]

"Thank you for giving such a fascinating talk to the Hanbury History Group. Please find attached the biographical information on Nelly Copson as promised."

[Paul Adams – Hanbury History Group – by email]

 "Thank you so much for coming to talk to the History Group last night. You were very entertaining and everyone enjoyed your talk.  I will certainly be in contact again for the next instalment of Worcestershire Worthies.  I am also involved with the WI and will make sure the new Programme Secretary has your details too."

[Mandy Cook – Hanbury History Group – by email]

 "Our members so enjoyed the talk on Worcestershire Worthies that you gave in February 2018, I would like to ask if you could give us your talk on Inn signs and pub names."

[Jacquie Davies – Unison Pensioners – by email]

"Thank you for your entertaining evening about Worcestershire Worthies. It was an excellent presentation and very interesting." [Broome WI report in Stourbridge News]

"Thank you for your It's not Cricket presentation. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it very much." [Brenda Stevenson, U3A, Stourbridge]

"Thank you for your most interesting and entertaining talk - 175 not out [since renamed It's not Cricket!]- that you gave this afternoon. I’m glad I have you on my list of GOOD speakers who appeals to both sexes." [Barbara Smith, Stourbridge Probus]

After your talk on Swinging Ladies, (which we enjoyed very much) we looked up on Google about Wyn Bach Melangell. Legend has it that she was a holy woman who sheltered and rescued a hare from being hunted – hence the illustration on the pub sign." [Judy Jones, Heightington "Owls"]

"It was nice to meet you again and many thanks for a nice relaxing and enjoyable talk. I would be very pleased if you could return to give the group another talk in April 2018." [Jenny Manchester, Make Time Fellowship Group, Worcester]

"Once again thank you for giving your series of talks over the last couple of weeks. I have 'pencilled' in the dates for 2018." [Jill Hughes, Halesowen College: Over 50's Club]

"I enjoyed last night's talk at Pedmore Men's Club so my thanks for that." [Mike Braddock, Stourbridge]

"We all enjoyed your talk that you gave us early this year and look forward to seeing you for Worcestershire Worthies in September, 2016." [Susan Jones, Finstall Cross WI]

"Thank you for a most enjoyable presentation on Worcestershire Inn signs/pub names!"
[Diana Pavey, Peopleton WI]

"On behalf of Finstall Cross WI many thanks for an interesting slide show and talk about Swinging Ladies, which we all enjoyed. Your new talk about famous Worcestershire people sounds also interesting which will be something to think about for next year." [Susan Jones, Finstall Cross WI]

"Thank you for your most interesting talk on Worcestershire Worthies. We had our biggest turnout of 71 members and judging by their comments, they very much enjoyed your talk!"
[Pat Dunn, Lye & Wollescote Historical Society]

"Thank you for your presentation to our AGM. It was very well received. [John Atkinson - The Milestone Society]

"I am sure that all our members found your talk interesting and informative. The artwork of pub signs has always fascinated me." [Sue Willetts - National Federation of Occupational Pensioners - Stourbridge]

"Your talk went down very well and all the members I have spoken to said how much they enjoyed it. Your talk was indeed interesting and your presentation engaging. I do think some of your other subjects could be the sort of thing that Probus could find of interest." [James Bradley - Belbroughton & District Probus Club]

"You will be pleased to know that your recent lecture about the Foster family, at Malvern Theatre, attracted 122 paying customers in addition to our members and various guests. A good result!" [Roger Sutton - Malvern Civic Society]

"Our members found your talk full of interesting facts on the development of pub signs. I note you have other talks. I will contact you again." [David Whymant - Teme Valley H.S.)

“Thank you for a very interesting talk on Worcestershire inn signs and pub names. Well done!” [Paul Timmins – Clent History Society]

"Anthony Collis stepped into the breach with a presentation of an impressive collection of photos of signs relevant to the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee." [David Roe, Inn Sign Society AGM, Bedford]

"Many thanks for your excellent Diamond Jubilee talk to Milford Probus."  [Douglas Smit, Godalming, Surrey]

"Thank you so much for a very interesting talk on 'The Evolution of Inn Signs'. It not only gave us much information on the subject but also English history, which added to the enjoyment. Finishing with references to our local inns also added to our knowledge." [Norman Holness, U3 Age, Hagley, Worcestershire]

"Thank you very much for the excellent and informative talk entitled Swinging Ladies, which you gave to our club on the 28th of February." [Mike Sheppard, Rotary Club of Worcester, Wychavon]

"Anthony's well-illustrated talk, humorous as befitted the subject, served a more serious purpose, as has happened with so many of these 'special interest' subjects: to remind us of the rich and varied local history sources which are so familiar to us that we hardly notice."
[Extract from Stourbridge News review]

"Thank you for the extremely interesting talk on Black Country pub signs you gave to our Society. It was evident from comments made by members that the references made to particular inn and pub signs proved of considerable interest." [Philip Pritchard, Wordsley History Society, Stourbridge]

"Can I thank you on behalf of all the membership for your cricket presentation yesterday. It was certainly something different from what we normally have and all the more enjoyable for that. There were certainly some interesting characters and venues depicted on the signs, and I will take more interest in all pub signs as I travel round." [Ervin Devney, Bassetlaw Umpires Association, Nottinghamshire]

"Thanks very much indeed for making the effort to travel north. I thought the Inns & Outs presentation was excellent and, from speaking to the guys in the east, I know it was as well received in Edinburgh as in Glasgow. It really was a first rate evening. As I said to Fraser this morning, it was the sort of evening that Cricket Societies are supposed to be all about."
[David Sleight, Glasgow Cricket Society]

"Many thanks for the excellent Inns & Outs presentation of cricket signs last night. I am only sorry that not more people were present to see the enthusiasm displayed." [Derek Barnard, Cricket Society, London]

"A big thank you for your good humoured and instructive talk on Black Country pub signs this afternoon. It was great to see the audience so involved and obviously enjoying themselves. I hope you enjoyed yourself and also learned something too. I must say they are a great bunch of folks, typically Lye stock. Do you have any more talks of a historical nature? I should be glad to be able to invite you to talk to us again." [Pat Dunn, Lye & Wollescote Historical Society]

"Just a note to thank you very much for talking to the Civic Society last night about Worcestershire inn signs. Everyone enjoyed it so much – particularly being able to join in and comment! It was an interesting and informative evening." [Kate Chester-Lamb, Upton-Upon-Severn Civic Society]

The original communications are available for inspection.

A word or two about acol

My name is Anthony Collis. As acol, I have been photographing pub signs for twenty-odd years!

My nation-wide collection now numbers about 15,000 images – and, despite pub closures, is still growing!

Pub signs often provide heritage links and also represent examples of local distinctiveness.

I am a past-Chairman of the Inn Sign Society of which I have been a member for the past two decades.

Besides inn signs, I am extremely interested in cricket - of yesteryear. I have researched the lives of the Foster family of Malvern, Worcestershire and have published their biography.

© acol 2012-18


Page last updated: 12 April 2018