Colin's public presentations

Colin's testamonial for his talks
About me Artist Speaker Schedule Testimonials  

LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" Thank you for a most enlightening and detailed Talk. You have revealed so much about Lawrence that we were previously totally unaware of. We will be inviting you back to speak to us agin. "
Malcolm Collyer (May 2017)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" Thank you so much, Colin, for an detailed and entertaining presentation. No doubt next time we watch the Red Arrows we shall all view them with a better understanding of how they do what they do. Everyone here has thoroughly enjoyed your amazing presentation. We look forward to enjoying many more of your talks. "
Andrew McElwee - Catleton Probus, Sherborne (May 2017)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" Once more, a huge thank you for a marvellous talk - many compliments from members before they rushed home - plus a couple of requests for you to come to us again. I shall peruse your list of talks and send you some dates, so do hope you'll be able to return to us!  "
Julia Sandison - Speaker Secretary WARG (May 2017)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" "We are delighted to welcome Colin van Geffen back aboard MV Aurora as our Guest Speaker for this cruise. Colin will be opening 'The RED ARROWS : Selection and Training' and will conclude with 'LAWRENCE : Before and after Arabia'. "
Leon de Ste Croix - Entertainments Manager, P&O Aurora (Apr 2017)
Calshot : a place in time
" "On behalf of the Weyfayre Social Club I would like to say thank you for the very interesting Talk you gave us yesterday, I was only sorry that we did not have all our members present. We would like to hear some more of your Talks, so I will be in touch with you again. "
Margaret Richardson, Club Secretary - Weyfayre Social Club, Weyhill (Apr 2017)
Calshot : a place in time
" "On behalf of the Weyfayre Social Club I would like to thank you for the very interesting Talk you gave us yesterday afternoon, I was only sorry that we did not have all our members present. We would like to hear some of your other Talks , so I will be in touch with you again. "
Margaret Richardson - Club Secretary, Weyfayre Social Club, Weyhill. (Apr 2017)
Strange Planes
" It has been a pleasure to welcome Colin back to our group again, and his Talk on Strange Planes has not only amused, but also opened our eyes to the many different forms of aircraft over the years. "
Ray Jones, Chairman Langport U3A Aviation Group (Apr 2017)
Sign of the Times’ (1, 2, 3 or 4)
" Thank you Colin, for a most amusing and enlightening presentation to the Solent Wives Group. I know you have spoken to us in the past and I am certain you will be asked back again. "
Yvonne Short - President, Solent wives (Apr 2017)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" "I have the pleasure of thanking you on behalf of the members and visitors (visitors have now joined us) who were at the airport on Wednesday to hear your wonderful Illustrated Talk on the Selection & Training of the Red Arrows pilots". We all had a great evening. As usual I was asked the same question 'will Colin come back again next year?'. Well I know the answer and I can confirm the date will be 21st March 2018. Thank you once again for a really special evening" "
Jim Peters - Chairman, Shoreham Airport Society. (Mar 2017)
Airfields of the New Forest
" Many thanks Colin, all our residents really enjoyed your talk and we look forward to the next one.  "
Jackie - Belmore Lodge Nursing Home (Mar 2017)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" We have been looking forward to Colin's talk on Lawrence since booking him in 2015. Tonight's audience is the biggest we have ever had and we are all amazed at the amount of detail Colin has managed to incorporate in his excellent talk, as well as the stunning graphics - the best we have ever seen. Thank you for coming to us and bringing this magnificent presentation. "
Chairman - Gosport Theatre-Goers Club (Feb 2017)
" We are delighted to have Colin back with us again and, once again he has given us another excellent presentation, giving us all an insight into the famous Spitfire aircraft and its manufacturing, showing us a detailed look at this iconic plane. We look forward to welcoming you back again in the future. "
Chairman - Romsey U3A (Feb 2017)
Calshot : a place in time
" Those of us who have visited Calshot may already have known something about the place but certainly cannot have imagined just how much history and interest there is in such a small area. Thank you Colin for opening our eyes and sharing the wonders of Calshot Spit and castle with us. We will certainly be inviting you back to speak to us again. "
Chairman - St Anne's Monday Fellowship, Calmore (Feb 2017)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" Once again Colin has given us another excellent Talk, this time on Lawrence, and giving us an insight about which we had not imagined, although we probably all thought we knew enough about Lawrence of Arabia, as he had such close connections with our area. We have already booked Colin again, for next year. "
Beryl Parker - Bournemouth Civic Siciety (Feb 2017)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" Hi Colin, Just a quick email to thank you once again for your fantastic Red Arrows talk and to ask if we can book you for next year - Tuesday February 6th ????? If that is possible - fantastic. The new talk on the LUCY HOUSTON : The Lady who Saved the Nation - intriguing. "
Jacqui Allen - New Forest NHS Retirement Fellowship (Feb 2017)
Airfields of the New Forest
" Lots of nice comments (as usual) following your Talk last Thursday. We always look forward to you coming, knowing how well researched and detailed your Talks are. I will contact you again with a date for 2018 "
Juan Phillimore : TalkAbout, Woodfalls. (Feb 2017)
Guided Tour of Calshot Castle & Spit
" "Thank you very much for your time yesterday, it was all very interesting and useful." "
Helen Wallbridge : Maritime Arxhaeology Trust (Jan 2017)
The CENSUS : Did I Count?
" "Interesting, informative, unusual & amusing - thank you for an entertaining Talk" "
Glenys Downs - Romsey Over 21s Group (Jan 2017)
Calshot : the flying years
" "Such an amazing and eclectic variety of aircraft types - who would have thought there could be so many, in such a small place, over such a relatively short period?" "
David Tappin - Chairman Wimborne Model Aero Club (Jan 2017)
Calshot : a place in time
" Thank you Colin, for another detailed an interesting insight into our local heritage. "
Jeff Tucker - Chairman : New Forest History & Archaeology Group (Jan 2017)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" Most of us know a little about Lawrence of Arabia - perhaps we thought we knew it all. I certainly have a deep interest in the subject and thought I knew all I needed to know, but Colin's Talk has shown us all so much more about this fascinating and enigmatic man". "
Graham Otter, Chairman : Brockenhurst & District Probus Club (Jan 2017)
Calshot : a place in time
" "We anticipated another fact-filled and entertaining Talk from Colin, and once again we were not disappointed." "
Chairman : Lentune Probus Club. (Jan 2017)
Calshot : a place in time
" "I've lived here for years & had no idea there was so much history in such a small area - I will visit Calshot again & see ti with new eyes". "I'm new to the area & look forward to exploring this wonderful site - thank you for this introduction". "
HYADS members (Jan 2017)
GUEST SPEAKER on Cruise Ship (as detailed)
" Colin is a popular speaker within the fleet and we are pleased to welcome him on board AURORA as our Guest Speaker. We look forward to the series of five talks that he will present during this cruise. "
Emma : Enertainments Manager P&O Aurora (Dec 2016)
Nelson & HMS Victory : Their Lives and Times
" "Thank you for the most excellent and enjoyable talk that you gave. It was most illuminating, and those members who are ex-RN certainly puffed out their chests at the exploits of this very early BLESMA Member - even though we didn't exist (in those days) "
Stephen Coltman, Branch Hon Secretary, BLESMA (Nov 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" We normally expect around 50-60 members to our regular meetings, but as you can see from today's 'full house' of approx 150, we have been looking forward to your visit for a long time. We were not disappointed and will be contacting you again for a return visit. "
Chairman - Hayling Island U3A (Nov 2016)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" This was a fascinating insight into the era of flying boats and the birth of commercial transcontinental passenger services around the world. I will be in touch very soon to book you for another of your excellent talks. Thank you for a most enjoyable evening "
David Tappin - Wimborne Model Aero Club (Nov 2016)
" It was a pleasure to hear your detailed talk on the Spitfire - an aircraft which is very dear to us here at Hamble. The depth of your research, both information and illustrations, kept us all enthralled. We look forward to meeting you again "
Ian Underdown - Hamble History Society (Nov 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" Thank you for this amazing presentation Colin - so much we didn't know about the Red Arrows (and you have increased our attendance here tonight quite considerably. We didn't think that 'The Red Arrows' would be well-received by a Geneaology Group - how wrong we were. "
Angela Winteridge - Hants Genealogical Society (Fair Oak Branch) (Nov 2016)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" We are delighted to invite Colin back to give us another of his excellently researched presentations and he has certainly lived up to our expectations. "
Roger Lister Shaftesbury & Gillingham U3A (Nov 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" Thank you for a most enlightening and entertainig presentation - certainly up to the standard we have come to expect from you. I'm sure many of us thought we knew all about Lawrence of Arabia, but we have cetainly learned a lot that we didn't know. We look forward to inviting you back again next year. "
Colin Denley - New Forest Probus Club (Nov 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" "Just a note to say a big “Thank You” for your Lawrence talk last Thursday evening. Fascinating stuff..............and you were right, a lot of info that none of us knew about!" "
Gerry Gallop Chairman Bournemouth North 41 Club (Oct 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" Thank you so much for your wonderful presentation to our members yesterday, and for giving us the time afterwards to tell us more of the facts and details to those who were able to remain. I've had so many great comments and phone calls of appreciation. We look forward to seeing you again. "
Monica Parkman - Waltham Priory Probus Club (Oct 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" thank you for an excellent presentation, thoroughly enjoyed by both myself and the audience.n We will definitely be asking you to come back next year. "
Sarah Greenaway - Gosprt Discovery Centre (Oct 2016)
Nelson & HMS Victory : Their Lives and Times
" We are delighted to welcome Colin back for his third visit to GXSA. Colin's extremely-well researched presentation has again lived up to ou hopes and expectations, and we look forard to welcoming him back again next year. "
Ray Prowse - Gerrards Cross sailing association (Oct 2016)
Guided Tour of Calshot Castle & Spit
" Had a great afternoon at Calshot on a very enjoyable group tour of the activities centre and castle. Led by the very entertaining Colin van Geffen . His knowledge of the history of the area is astounding. Really interesting. Thank you. [Lou Jones] Many thanks to Colin for the tour at Calshot today. Never realised the place had so much history and Colin gave a story at every corner. [Mike Harrison] I was also on this tour,really learnt a lot today thanks very much. [Colin Rawlins] Yes, was lucky enough to do the tour a while back. Learnt so much - and so enjoyed the talks. Maybe do another one perhaps. [Carol Halle Holt] "
Lou Jones / Mike Harrison / Colin Rawlins / Carol Halle Holt (Sep 2016)
Strange Planes
" "On behalf of the Air ACES Team, Members & Guests may I thank you for a brilliantly researched, witty talk on a subject close to your heart. . . . . . . as an almost life-long enthusiast I must say it was evocative to see some of Britain`s aviation`s disasters . . but also to be reminded of what I would call the weird and wonderful . . . . . . Your research and talk went further and researched every type of flying machine from hot air balloons, blimps, helicopters, gyrocopters, ground effect, hovercraft, light aircraft, solar & pedal powered, car plane hybrids, airliners, fighters, bombers and marine aircraft including sea planes, float planes and even flying wings. I have no doubt missed some categories. May I thank you once again for a thought provoking talk and slide show."  "
David M Smith, Team Secretary - Air ACES (Aug 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" "We're delighted to welcome Colin back & still remember very well, his amazing talk on the Red Arrows in 2008. Tonight's presentation showed us so many things we didn't know about that amazing man, Lawrence of Arabia. I'm sure we will be seeing Colin again, soon." Betty Everett - Speaker Secretary Highcliffe Local History Group "That was an amazing insight into a person I for one thought I knew all about - now I realise how little I knew. Wonderfully detailed research & so well presented. Withut a doubt the best graphics I have ever seen" Chairman - Highcliffe Local History Group "Let me start by saying that I’m striving to find the right adjectives to say how good your presentation was – I enjoyed it that much!" Anna Pietruszewska - member Highcliffe Local History Group "
Members as noted above (May 2016)
Guided Tour of Calshot Castle & Spit
" Dennis Skillikorn : "Thank you so much for such an enlightening and amusing walk & talk. I never realised that our local landmark at Calshot was steeped in s much history, from the Saxons through to modern times. The Castle has a long & fascinating history, and the aviation heritage of the sight is a real eye-opener : World Air speed Records and all" Thank you Colin Sue Birchall : "Great Calshot tour this morning led by experienced speaker Colin van Geffen. We were given a wide ranging historical talk about the site at Calshot, and a tour of the 3 storey Tudor castle. The site is a little hidden gem at the end of Calshot Spit and is scenic, historic and very accessible with a huge range of activities for all ages from the sailing, velodrome, climbing walls, dry ski slopes, archery, rifle shooting, camper van pitches, beach huts, dog walking and bird watching. We ended our morning with lunches in the refurbished Calshot beach bar with its super views of the Solent and passing boats and various ships and ferries." Veronica Noonan "I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Cashot Castle and hearing the information about the previous life of the hangars when it was an RAF station. Thank you Colin and I will look out for future tours." John Searle "I second the above a very interesting and informative talk" Linda Gelling "Thank you so much Colin for such an interesting tour......My Dad was part of the Berlin Airlift in 1948 aboard the Sunderland Flying Boats so it was quite poignant. He would also have so loved your tour." Liz Merrett "That was a terrific morning ...thank you Colin. It was great fun"  "
various participants (May 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" "What a fascinating & entertaining presentation. You have given us all a real insight into so much of the work done by the Red Arrows, which makes us realise why they really are the very best. We will certainly invite you back t give us anther Talk from your extensive list" "
Margaret Peel - Itchen Valley Ladies Probus (May 2016)
Guided Tour of Calshot Castle & Spit
" ‘Our members had a really interesting time with you and as I said on the day, having your input made the whole campus come alive. If I had turned up with the members and said to them ‘Here’s the Castle, I suggest you get a guide book and read all the displays as you go round’ it would have been more than a little dry and taken half an hour at most with all the interesting stuff about the flying completely left out. I couldn’t have filled in the gaps at all. Thank you for a fascinating insight into what went on during a very important period in our recent history as well as telling the Tudor story so well.’  "
Juliet Bowell - North Hampshire National Trust (May 2016)
The Story of the Schneider Air Races
" 'Many thanks for your excellent talk this afternoon. You took us back to those exciting early days of aviation. . . Your detailed information was fascinating and enjoyed by all. (I) have already had very good feedback . . Thank you again for giving my group such an entertaining afternoon. "
Penny Senior - Milford-on-Sea U3A (May 2016)
" "An absolutely fascinating presentation - many thanks for once again bringing us another excellent Talk" We will book Colin again for the same time next year, with 'Airfields of the New Forest' "
Derek Olden - New Forest Tractor Club (Apr 2016)
Sign of the Times’ (1, 2, 3 or 4)
" Sign of the Times Too - On The Road" This is Colin's fourth visit to us. Amid the sadness of the sudden loss of our much-loved Treasurer, and the imminent closure of this club, it was good to have this uplifting and very humorous look at life on the roads. Thank you Colin for giving us all a good laugh. "
John Cates - British Gas Retired Employees Assn (Apr 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" "I would like to thank you, on behalf of the Branch,for the very enjoyable talk on 'Lawrence : Before & After Arabia'. It was most illuminating and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone present. He obviously had a fascinating life . . Certainly a Man of his Time" "
Stephen Coltman, Branch Hon Secretary, BLESMA (Apr 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" We have been looking forward to this talk on Lawrence's life, as he is a 'local personality' to us. You have told us about so many other aspects to this man of which I'm sure we were all totally unaware. Such an eye-opener, thank you Colin "
Wendy Benbow - Meyrick Ladiews Probus (Apr 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" For those of us who thought we knew all about this man, there is certainly a lot more than we realised. Another well-researched presentation delivered so professionally from a popular speaker whom we are pleased to welcome again. (john Heath) "Excellent presentation, thank you" (member) "I loved the way you've put the show together - fantastic use of PowerPoint" (member) "
John Heath - Southampton East Probus Club (Apr 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" "I thought I knew all about Lawrence of Arabia, but your Talk today has certainly opened my eyes to so much I didn't know. Thank you for an excellent presentation "
Member : Southampton east Probus Club (Apr 2016)
CALSHOT : the RNAS Years
" Thank you for an interesting & informative presentation, and for keeping precisely to the time allocated, in our busy schedule "
Ann Coats : Naval Dockyards Society - annual conference National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (Apr 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" We are always pleased to welcome Colin back, knowing his Talk will be well researched & packed with detail. Again today, we were not disappointed and look forward to the next time. "
Chairman - Ashurst & District Probus Club (Apr 2016)
Sign of the Times’ (1, 2, 3 or 4)
" Sign of the Times (1) Thank you so much for coming to speak to the Guild on Wednesday evening. I think the flavour of your talk was just right in the lead-up to our AGM next month with serious items to discuss! Thank you also for the current list of all your talks. As I mentioned, we are now fully booked for 2016/17, but we will keep you in mind for succeeding years.  "
Heather Platt - Stratford-sub-Castle Guild (Apr 2016)
Nelson & HMS Victory : Their Lives and Times
" "Having served in the Royal Navy for very many years, I have heard many Talks about Nelson and believed I had heard them all. But now I wish I could have had Colin there with me, to add to my knowledge. what an amzing story, of Nelson & his ships - and what a fantastically-researched and presented Talk" "
Member - Probus Club of Sherborne (Apr 2016)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" "We always look forward to having Colin with is for his interesting & detailed presentations. Many of us remember the days of the Flying Boats on Southampton, and tonight Colin has refreshed many of these memories, and given us a lot of new information" "
Peter Richards - Bitterne Local History Society (Apr 2016)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" Thank you for a most interesting and entertaining presentation and for taking the time to answer all of our questions "
Angela Rose - Southampton Canal Society (Apr 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" "We've all seen the Red Arrows when they've displayed locally, but i future we will see them in a new and informed light, thanks to Colin's amazing presentation. We look forward to welcoming you again for another of your very interesting Talks. "
Mike Jackson - Romsey Abbey Probus Club (Apr 2016)
BEACHCOMBER : the Secret Sunderland
" We are delighted to welcome Colin back for another of his in-depth presentations. Tonight Colin has given us a deep insight into the otherwise untold story of an important aircraft. Thank you another highly informative and entertaini9ng talk. "
Malcolm Small - Friends of Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton (Mar 2016)
Calshot : a place in time
" CALSHOT : a Place in Time We are pleased to welcome Colin back to talk to us again. Thank you for another excellent presentation - its so nice to learn more about the buildings and history of this lovely location.  "
Totton Probus (Mar 2016)
Airfields of the New Forest
" Airfields of the New Forest I just wanted to thank you personally for the great talk you gave to our members last night. You had clearly done a huge amount of research and the archive material really brought the subject to life Pam Morrisey : Speaker Secretary Lymington Society  "
Pam Morrisey : Speaker Secretary Lymington Society (Mar 2016)
Strange Planes
" Once again Colin has amused and entertained us with a fascinating and humorous presentation. We always look forward to Colin’s visits to us at Shoreham and he never disappoints.  "
Jim Peters : Chairman Shoreham Aviation Group (Mar 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" Thank you so much for giving us the brilliant talk on the Red Arrows. We raised £362 on the night, thanks to you. I am at the Centre this morning and everyone who attended is talking about the Red Arrows. It’s funny how we have all become experts! Everyone is saying how great it was and others are saying "why didn't I come". This is a new venture for us so I hope to have you back to talk again later in the year.  "
Jenny Alderson : Bournemouth &District MS Society (Mar 2016)
Calshot : a place in time
" We are delighted to welcome Colin back and appreciate you stepping in at short notice. Most of us have sailed past Calshot on many occasions and now have a much better understanding of this beautiful location which has so much remarkable history. I feel a visit would be in order.  "
Ray Prowse : Gerrards Cross Sailing Association (Mar 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" We are used to seeing the Red Arrows when they visit Farnborough each year, but had no idea how much work goes into preparing their displays. Thank you Colin, for this detailed insight – I’m sure we will all see them with a new awareness in the future.  "
Jill Miller : Farnborough Clocktower TWG (Mar 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
"  Attendance really took off for a talk on the world famous RAF Red Arrows aerobatics team at the March meeting of Crewkerne & District U3A. Almost every seat was taken at Henhayes community centre on March 7 for the illustrated talk by Colin van Geffen, who spoke about how pilots are selected and trained to take part in the display team which was first formed more than 50 years ago.  "
Rob Wells : Crewkerne U3A (Mar 2016)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" RED ARROWS : Selection & Training Thank you very much for a fascinating talk on how . . . to become a Red Arrow pilot! The qualifications and high standards that is required to apply for an interview is incredible. You highlighted areas that we had not thought about before Colin. It’s a shame we did not have more time to listen to you for many have commented how interesting your talk was.  "
Denise Smith : Speaker Secretary Crewkerne U3A (Mar 2016)
" SPITFIRE! Thank you so much Colin, not only for your excellent presentation on the Spitfire, which we all thoroughly enjoyed, but also for stepping in at such notice to help us celebrate its 80th anniversary. You’re a star  "
Nigel Talbot-Ponsonby : Langrish House Hotel (Mar 2016)
Strange Planes
" we are pleased to welcome back this evening's Guest Speaker Colin van Geffen, who has been a great friend of this group for a long time. Once again Colin has enthralled us with another of his well-researched & comprehensive presentations. I'm sure we all look forward to hearing from him again in the future. "
Mel Porter, Chairman, Royal Aeronautical Society, Christchurch Branch (Feb 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" Without a doubt a most interesting, detailed & comprehensive talk. And top of our list for content & presentation style. "
Chairman : Southampton Universities Retired Staff Association (Feb 2016)
LAWRENCE : Before & After Arabia
" We always look forward to Colin's Talks, knowing that we are always in for an interesting & well-researched presentation. Once again Colin has more than met our expectations. Thank you for your wonderful Talk. "
John Cates (Chairman) & Norma Wheeler (Treasurer) (Nov 2015)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" I just wanted to drop you a note on behalf of the Committee and indeed everyone who attended your excellent talk last night. I am sure the Red Arrows have always had a special place in everyones hearts, however you really brought the whole story to life. "
Peggy Andrews, Solent Evening WI, Lee-on-the-Solen (Nov 2015)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" On behalf of Locks Heath U3A I would like to thank you for such an interesting and informative presentation. I have had so many positive comments from our members about how enjoyable the talk was & also the Power Point Presentation and sound effects. "
Judy Barrett – Speaker Co-ordinator Locks Heath U3A. (Nov 2015)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" Thank you for the very enjoyable speech you gave last Thursday evening on ‘Flying Boats of Southampton’ From the feedback received it was a great success as you gave us a good insight on the subject that frankly we knew little about. "
Sally Drewitt – Committee Memebr Rownhams Ladies Club (Nov 2015)
Sign of the Times’ (1, 2, 3 or 4)
" I am writing to thank you very much for coming to Woodley Women’s Club on Monday evening April 13th, 2015. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed your visit . . . The evening proved to be extremely interesting and amusing - your delivery was excellent. . . . the Ladies all loved it! It is always stimulating to hear of the very different interests, jobs and experiences that other people have in their lives – thank you for sharing yours with us!  "
Sheila W Smith, Woodley Women’s Club Secretary (Apr 2015)
Calshot : a place in time
" It was a great pleasure to welcome you again as guest speaker for our July meeting. Everyone thought it a most enlightening talk, illustrating how strategically important Calshot has been in England’s history from the early Saxons to the Reformation, the Civil War, Napoleonic Wars, WW1 & WW2. We have heard from your previous talks about the importance of Calshot in both British and World pioneering aviation history. We are now aware of its importance to Marconi . . . also the development of high speed boats . . . WE enjoyed your slides and thought the Q&A session underlined the general interest in your talk. "
Stuart S Moody – Speaker Secretary Sway & District Probus (Jul 2013)
The Story of the Schneider Air Races
" A1 probably the most professional we have had. The screen display off your computer was excellent as was your narrative with the humour. Well done! Will ask you back next year when I start planning the calendar "
Tony Fuller Devizes U3A Aviation Group (Mar 2011)
Guided Tour of Calshot Castle & Spit
" I have been proud and honoured to have welcomed Colin van Geffen as our guest speaker on many occasions over the past 15 years or so. Whether it be Spitfires or the Schneider Trophy, Seaplanes or Strange planes, Signs of the times or the Census or even The Red Arrows or what-have-you, Colin's talks will appeal to a wide range of interests and are well researched, well illustrated; sometimes refreshingly humorous, but always enthusiastically presented. Not to be missed. "
Terry Trevett (Chairman Bournemouth Red Arrows Association) (Mar 2011)
Guided Tour of Calshot Castle & Spit
" I am so grateful for Colin van Geffen for allowing me to tap into his knowledge of flight in the Southampton area, his good humour and his useful feedback and advice regarding my current writing project, which I’m hoping to have published later this year. Colin took my research seriously and since then has kindly read several chapters and been on hand to answer my many questions. "
Diana Diggins (author of ‘Riduna’) (Feb 2011)
The Story of the Schneider Air Races
" We did enjoy having you in Farnborough again. Many thanks for another very interesting and professional lecture. Will you come again next year? "
Pat Sedgwick Farnborough & District U3A (Feb 2011)
Sign of the Times’ (1, 2, 3 or 4)
" On behalf of New Forest / Waterside U3A thank you so much for coming and giving your talk on ‘Sign of the Times’. It was good to hear so much laughter in the hall. I am sure we will be asking you if you will speak again. "
Hilary & Tony Harris (Speaker Secretaries) (Jan 2011)
The Story of the Schneider Air Races
" Many thanks for the interesting and informative talk you gave the club last Thursday. Our members really enjoyed it and were still talking about it on Sunday when we went to the VCC London to Brighton Rally (as spectators. "
Trish Godfrey Events Secretary Solent A7 Club (Nov 2010)
" I would just like to thank you for your interesting talk on the Spitfire that you gave us on Friday the 8th. I think it was evident that despite general knowledge of members regarding the Spitfire, you provided much new information...and your research provided a fascinating account. Once again many thanks for delivering a fascinating insight to what on the surface appears to be a well known subject. "
Steve Robson Chairman & Speaker Secretary New Forest Aviation Group (Oct 2010)
The Story of the Schneider Air Races
" Just a very brief note to thank you so much for coming to speak to our Probus club. It’s a testimony to the level of interest that you were able to create and hold that (uninterested as I am in aircraft) you held my attention and interest throughout. I confess I hadn’t even heard of the Schneider air races, let alone know anything about them, but now I’m both better informed and more enthusiastic!. So thank you again for coming. "
Jeff Watson (Speaker Secretary) New Forest Probus (Sep 2010)
" Firstly I wanted to thank you again for the three super lectures you gave at the Civic Centre Lecture theatre this month ( from Flying boats to the Spitfire ). Most informative and incredibly well presented. It was obvious just how much time and dedication you have put into these presentations. Your archive of pictures is truly amazing. I know my friends who attended your lectures have also expressed similar praise. "
Geoff Grandy (distant relative I believe of the late Air Marshall Sir John Grandy) (Sep 2010)
Calshot : the flying years
" Local aviation historian and artist Colin van Geffen gave a short history of the aviation achievements with which Calshot has been involved. ‘’Calshot Naval Air Station was established in 1913 by the Royal Flying Corps; during World War I, the station was responsible for the protection of shipping in the English Channel, utilising a variety of flyingboats and seaplanes. It was then home to the High Speed Flight preparing for three Schneider Trophy competitions, hosting the event in 1929 and 1931 – each competition was a triumph for RJ Mitchell’s Supermarine designs, paving the way for the Spitfire. During World War II, Calshot was responsible for the repair, maintenance and modification of RAF flying boats, particularly the Short Sunderland. During the Berlin crisis of 1948, Sunderland aircraft from Calshot flew over 1000 sorties to the Berlin lakes from Hamburg. The last flying Sunderland came ashore at Calshot in 1984 "
The Herald (edition No 223) (Aug 2010)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" Your visit to the society’s meeting last night was much appreciated, and I thank you very much indeed for travelling all the way from (the New forest) through the dense traffic on the M25. I am sure everyone found your presentation most interesting and it gave an insight into a part of British Aviation History that. Perhaps, has been neglected in the past. "
Michael Dyer (Speaker secretary) St Albans & District Model Eng. Society (Jul 2010)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" Despite the cold and remaining ice a good attendance to hear the speaker give a good account of his involvement with the Red Arrows and their annual flypast in Bournemouth. The Red Arrows are renowned throughout the world as ambassadors for both the Royal Air Force and the United Kingdom. Since the Team was officially formed in 1965, the Red Arrows have completed over 4,000 displays in 53 countries. "
Totton U3A blog (2010)
THE RED ARROWS : Selection & Training
" Thank you very much for such an interesting & amusing talk. Judging by the chat over cups of teas the afternoon was a great success and I’m sure we will be in touch again in the future. "
Ann Robinson Blandford U3A (Sep 2009)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" Thank you for coming to give us your talk on 17th September 2009. You gave us a superb presentation which was greatly appreciated by the audience. The Question & Answer time at the end of a talk is always a very good measure of success and this was lively and informed. I believe that this was the largest attendance that we have ever had since the start of our Society some 40 years ago. Thank you again for coming to speak to us. "
Graham Neale (Secretary) Watford & District Industrial History Society (Sep 2009)
Guided Tour of Calshot Castle & Spit
" Met up with a very helpful expert in sea planes Colin van Geffen, such an interesting man who took my questions seriously, for which I am most grateful. "
Diana Jackson – Author (2009)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" A packed hall was held in rapt attention when Colin van Geffen addressed our September meeting on the subject of commercial flying boats, the interest generated being demonstrated by the large number of questions and comments at the end. His flow was smooth, rapid and full of detail (so much so that comprehensible note-taking was very difficult), and his slide show was equally brilliant. "
Stan Waight (West end Local History Society) (Oct 2008)
FLYING BOATS of Southampton (Ships of the Sky)
" We welcomed back Colin van Geffen with a new show on Ships of the Sky - Flying Boats of Southampton. This subject is always popular with HIAS members, and Colin didn't disappoint us with his entertaining PowerPoint presentation! "
Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society (2008)
THE RED ARROWS : Behind the Scenes
" I attended the lunch on Thursday 13th October at which you gave a very interesting talk and slide display. OUld you please send me your list of talks for future use. My husband belongs to a group which may be interested in your talks, so would you mind if I passed on to them one of your lists. "
Mrs RM Bath (visiting member) Portwsood evening Townswomen's Guild (Oct 2005)
Calshot : the flying years
" Although there is now very little to see at Calshot, John Bussey has arranged for Mr Colin van Geffen to give us a talk on the history of RAF Calshot on Saturday evening prior to dinner for those that are interested. This will be held in a semi-formal environment i.e. we can sit down but the bar will be available for refreshment during the talk! We have invited Colin and his wife to dinner as guests of the Association so you can quiz him during and after dinner too. "
201 Squadron Association Annual Reunion (2005)
The Story of the Schneider Air Races
" Our April speaker was Colin van Geffen and, although now a self-employed artist and illustrator, worked in industry for over 30 years. For his talk on the Schneider Air Races 1913-1931, Colin brought along lots of interesting slides and a collection of publications on the subject for us to look at during the break, including an authentic reproduction brochure of the last Schneider Trophy Race held in 1931. "
Hampshire Industrial Archaeology Society (2005)
Other Products and Gifts

          Colin van Geffen
17 Dane Close
SO45 1ZY - UK

Tel/Fax +44(0)2380897793
Mobile +44(0)7801817928