Helena Drysdale


Alone Through China and Tibet

Tibetan children near Lhasa

A classic talk from Helena’s early travels

A voyage from Canton to Kathmandu, via the Gobi Desert and Tibet, this is a story of a China which, in the early 1980’s, was only just emerging from the shadow of Chairman Mao.

With music and slides, Helena Drysdale reveals a world of utterly different customs and beliefs which is rapidly vanishing. Arriving in time for Chinese New Year, Helena Drysdale made her way via Hainan Island (where she was mistaken for a visiting VIP) to Lhasa where she witnessed the famous Sky Burial. She also discovered the exhilaration and anxieties of travelling alone – the contradictory urge to go on or to turn and run for home.

Some Impressions

‘Never ever have I enjoyed such a captivating hour – not a note had you, no hesitation, beautifully spoken, in fact excellent in every way.’ York Ladies Luncheon Club

‘It must have been quite apparent to you your lecture was enormously appreciated. Without any doubt it was the most exciting and most beautifully presented lecture we have had this year.’ Hull Literary and Philosophical Society

‘Of travel lectures there are no end, but yours made an impression that sent it far ahead.’ London Members Centre, National Trust for Scotland

‘It was the most enjoyable and interesting meeting we have had.’ Royal Geographical Society Southern Region

‘I must write and tell you how very grateful I am to you for suggesting Helena Drysdale as Guest Speaker at our 55th Birthday Celebrations. She was absolutely wonderful! From all sides I am hearing how much our members enjoyed her talk, admired her courage and found her such a delightful person. She had no notes, talked fluently and clearly and had a lovely sense of humour.’ Birmingham Federation of Townswomen’s Guilds

‘I have over my twelve years here sat through many travel lectures and your really had something quite different.’ St Audries School for Girls

‘Thank you for that wonderful talk. It held all the ladies spellbound, you were so enthusiastic about the journey that everyone was reliving it with you, dirt and all.’ Stratford upon Avon Ladies Luncheon Club

‘Thank you for attending our Half Yearly Council Meeting, and for giving us a most exciting, colourful and informative trip. I am sure many members were transported with you through what must have been an adventure of a lifetime.’ Worcestershire Federation of Womens’ Institutes

‘There was unanimous agreement that your talk was exceptionally fine – a real triumph!’ Globetrotters Club

‘What marvellous slides and such bravery.’ National Trust West Middlesex Centre

‘I’m sure you could tell from the applause and the many questions how well your talk was received. Indeed, I have received numerous telephone calls, also one or two letters, even at this early date, saying how much they enjoyed your talk.’ Shropshire Federation of Women’s Institutes

‘Your visit here is remembered with the greatest of enthusiasm. I hope there will be another story to tell.’ Rydal School, Colwyn Bay

‘Helena Drysdale did not look the part! The account of her spectacular Chinese Tibetan adventure proved her to be a very special kind of traveller. She backed her excellent slides with sound recordings from her journeys and manipulated the sound, pictures and commentary to great effect.’ Globetrotters Club

‘Everyone was enthralled. What courage and determination! Her delivery was so excellent one could have listened for hours more.’ National Trust for Scotland London Members Centre

‘Everyone, and I mean everyone, thoroughly enjoyed your lecture and slides.’ Hornsea Luncheon Club

‘Everyone was delighted with your story and are busily working out when they can ‘have you again’. Upminster Women’s Institue

‘I have had many requests that you should come again some time.’ Maidstone and Mid-Kent Conservative Women’s Luncheon Club

‘It was so refreshing to have something a little different and has given us something to think about.’ Clacton Luncheon Club

‘You kept our members enthralled with your tales and experiences.’ Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institutes (County Annual Meeting)

‘Thank you for giving us such an exciting travelling experience. We enjoyed your talk so much.’ Dorset Federation of Women’s Institutes

‘Everyone thoroughly enjoyed your talk and I assume you have other topics at your disposal.’ WEA, Vaughan College

‘We were all enthralled by your adventures – thank you so much for coming to our council meeting. We all left the meeting wanting to hear more.’ Derbyshire Federation of Women’s Institutes

‘It really was a most enjoyable talk from which we all learnt a great deal – especially the geographers!’ Eastbourne College

‘We were amused and enthralled. It was lovely to have you with us and made for a most enjoyable evening.’ Suffolk East Federation of Women’s Institutes

‘From the many letters of thanks we have received, it is obvious that your talk brought back many memories to those members who had been through China, albeit on an organised trip.’ Kent-West Kent Federation of Women’s Institutes

‘Everyone was most impressed with your talk and the professionalism.’ Cirencester Ladies Luncheon Club

‘I found your talk fascinating, and I do envy you having been to Tibet. I have met a number of members during the week and they have all commented on how much they enjoyed your talk.’ Surrey Federation of Women’s Institutes

‘Thank you for speaking at our County Annual Meeting and particularly for assisting at such short notice. It was obvious our members thoroughly enjoyed your fascinating and amusing talk.’ Federation of Essex Women’s Institutes

Book a talk: info@helenadrysdale.com

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© Helena Drysdale 2006
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