Testimonials for lectures

 John Harrison has appeared in our series on three occasions, in 1994 and 2005, talking about his canoeing trips in the Amazon, and most recently in February this year (2020), talking about his trips in the Barren Lands of the Canadian Arctic. 

All John’s lectures have been superb, well illustrated and told informatively with appropriate humour. 

It’s a measure of how much he is appreciated by our audience that his most recent lecture was a complete sell-out and we only just managed to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. 

My colleagues and I are very happy to recommend him, highly.  Dick Willis, Wilderness Lectures in Bristol

'You have an enviable ability to hold the audience enthralled through frequent changes of pace, wry humour, and fascinating asides on history or wildlife. Many people have had rare experiences and done extraordinary things, but you can share them with your audience in an intimate and unassuming style. Your photos are superb too. As the attendance at your lectures showed you have been one of the most popular lecturers we have ever had on Seabourn.'   The Cruise Director of the 'Seabourn Pride'. Seabourn Cruise Line.

‘Our guests are extremely well-travelled and John’s expertise shone through and brought the Amazon alive, which reflected in great attendance to all his lectures. A definite highlight to our Amazon experience. I would highly rate Mr Harrison and hope that I have the pleasure of working with him again, as he has been a true asset.’   The Cruise Director of the ‘Caronia’, Cunard Lines.

‘In all my years I don’t think I have ever seen a lecturer have such a following. He started off with a fairly full room, but once word got round it was nearly standing room only. His lectures were immensely interesting, yet humorous and illustrated with superb slides. I shall personally try and have him on this ship again.’    Cruise Director of the ‘Silver Cloud’  Silversea Cruises.

‘A great lecture. Your calm, low-key and humorous approach to extremely dangerous and challenging adventure is rare.’     Dr John Hemming. Royal Geographical Society.


‘Sincere thanks for a superb evening. Your slides were fascinating and the information about the people, the land and the history gave the lecture real depth – and to cap it all a lovely clear and relaxed delivery. You are a superb story teller. We look forward to seeing you again and hearing some more.’  The International Travel and Holidays Association.


‘Thank you very much for an excellent evening's entertainment. I have today received nothing but congratulatory remarks about your graphic lecture. Should you take any further treks across interesting terrain do please let us know. You will always be welcome back.’   Eastbourne Ashridge Circle.

'Thank you so much for such an interesting and engrossing talk last night. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and it must be one of the best we have had. We would love you to pay us a return visit to give another of your talks.'      Chester Society of Natural Science, Literature and Art.

‘As you will have gathered from the reluctance of the boys to be dragged away to tea – and the food is good here! – your lecture was a tremendous success. The pace, and content, were exactly right, as was the combination of humour and dramatic anecdotes. The only complaint received was that the lecture and the session afterwards should have gone on longer!’   St Aubyn’s. Rottingdean.

'Thank you very much for the wonderful lecture which you gave to our Sixth Form.   I am extremely grateful to you for giving our pupils such a personal insight into your adventures.  It was exciting, challenging and full of those personal glimpses which make such a talk so memorable............I thought that your ability to combine adventure with the environmental issues worked extremely well to deliver a powerful message.'     Clifton College 

'Thank you so much for today. I thought you were brilliant. You pitched everything just right, and the children have got so much out of the day.

It was just the launch of the project that I was hoping for.'    Western Church of England Primary School, Winchester (in collaboration with 'Creative Partnerships.')

‘…… an excellent combination of the light-hearted and the serious, accompanied by some extremely interesting slides.’   Lancing College.


 ‘The pupils certainly did enjoy your lecture. I get fairly used to some pretty negative comments even for our better speakers, but I can truthfully say that I have had nothing but positive comments about yours. I hope that you might be willing to come back next year…’ Clayesmore School.


‘An excellent talk. A number of pupils made a point of coming up to me to say how much they had enjoyed it, and it was clear that the whole audience appreciated your combination of humour and serious information.’  Loretto. Musselburgh.

'We thoroughly enjoyed your lecture and it went down very well with the pupils - who were paticularly impressed by the descriptions of the Scottish explorers of the region.   I don't know who is taking over from me, but I shall certainly recommend him to book another lecture in the future; we have much appreciated your visits.'    Fettes College

'There was a unanimous opinion amongst the boys that yours was one of the best talks we have had.  They particularly enjoyed your jokes.....and it all made a very exciting story - and you told it in such a disarming way that the boys were on your side from the start.  I'm sure your story will have a very lasting impact.'  QEH School, Bristol

‘Very many thanks for giving us an absolutely superlative talk – just the thing to help banish all the February ‘blues’. The children obviously loved it all.’   Dunhurst.


‘Many thanks for an extremely enjoyable lecture. The students spoke most highly of it.’   Kingswood School. Bath.


‘Your recent lecture was a real tonic before the start of exams: many pupils commented that they had enjoyed it and that it was just the right length for the topic.’  Culford School.


‘A splendid talk. I have only heard praise from the pupils who regard your lecture as the best of the year.’  Gordonstoun.


‘Thank you for such a stimulating, entertaining and thought-provoking lecture. We have quite a few lecturers who come to describe their experiences in uncharted territory, but none has ever made a greater impression than your talk the other night.’   Rannoch School.


‘It was the perfect balance between fun anecdotes, interesting insights into exploring the Amazon and important education on the problems of rainforest exploitation. You managed to engage the V1th formers’ interest and imagination with your wit and skill – something one is always looking for in external speakers on a General Studies course such as we have here.’    Cranleigh School.


‘I have had nothing but positive feedback from the Sixth form students about your talk. They really appreciated the heady mix of humour and strength of image: I know many of them will be tempted to travel as a result.’    Taunton School.


‘It went down very well indeed. “The best gathering I can remember going to in five years” according to one sixteen year old.’   St Christopher School


‘Thank you so much for your splendidly informative and graphically illustrated talk to our sixth form. Your liberated approach to travel and exploration made a great impression on your audience as did the sobering comments you made on a number of conservation issues.  We hope very much that you will be able to visit us again.’  Bristol Grammar School


‘Thank you very much indeed for a most interesting and informative talk. I have had a steady stream of girls coming to me all morning to say how much they enjoyed it (all ages!).’   Badminton School


‘Thank you very much indeed for coming and giving us such a splendid evening: the parents and boys were speaking most warmly about it afterwards. You also answered their questions in a way that fascinated the boys and they could have stayed there forever!’  Aldro School


‘The boys greatly enjoyed your talk, and have been bubbling about it all day! Do keep in touch so we can hear your next one.’  Worth School


‘Thank you very much for your excellent lecture. It really did give a sense of exploration, adventure and danger, which you certainly conveyed to the children through your talk, which was pitched at just the right level for them. We hope that you will come again.’  St Bede’s School., Eastbourne.


‘Thank you for your really interesting lecture. The girls found it very exciting and it has given them a great deal to talk about.’   Queen Anne’s School, Caversham


‘Thank you very much for coming to visit us and share your experiences with us. Everybody who was there said how much they enjoyed the talk, and regretted that we only had an hour of your time. '   Vinehall School


‘Your visit here and your lecture have been very well received indeed, judging from the many enthusiastic comments I received from the boys the following morning. Well done and thank you! You certainly managed to get an astonishing amount of fascinating material into it, and frankly we are spellbound by your daring in undertaking these very remote expeditions.’   Milton Abbey School.


'Thank you very much indeed for your wonderful lecture. I do hope you will consider returning to the school in the future - I think word will quickly spread throughout the year groups about your adventures, and many will be keen to hear about them personally. The fact that Year 10 were transfixed for the entire hour speaks volumes about the quality of your presentation: indeed the feedback has been wholly positive.'   Blundell's

'I received a number of very positive comments about the blend of challenge and common sense you offered the girls and your great sense of humour.' Red Maid's School Bristol. (After prize-giving address.)


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