Hedley Grenfell-Banks

first visited Paris when he was fifteen years old. During this first week he lost his wallet, and on the way to the Lost Property Office he lost his passport. It was four years before he saw Paris again, this time just passing through, and in the course of three hours he managed to leave his case, trunk and umbrella in three different stations. None of this, however, stopped him falling in love with Paris, where in the course of some fifty visits he has also managed to lose his credit cards, several items of clothing, a minibus and a beauty queen.

HGB is a freelance writer, publisher, photographer, guide and interpreter, and the author of a number of little books on France. He gives talks in both French and English to Luncheon Clubs, Lecture Clubs, French Circles and Travel Clubs.


Slide Shows:

A Tour of Secret France
Two thousand kilometres of countryside, forest, valleys and gorges, lakes and mountains, avoiding main roads, guide-book attractions and the dreaded English tourist; Normandy, Brittany, Anjou, Poitou, Limousin, Auvergne, Berry, the secret depths
of rural Western and Central France
in stunning slides.

Normandy, my Normandy
More a country than a province, Normandy
contains a vast variety of landscapes, from the downland of the Perche to the windswept heath of the Cotentin peninsula, to the chalk cliffs of the Pays d’Auge, from the hidden forest of Brotonne to the deep valleys of the Norman Switzerland.

West of Centre
North of the Dordogne, West of the Auvergne, South of the Loire Valley, East of Aquitaine, the regions of Berry and Limousin are unjustly neglected by the visitor.Their ancient villages, stout churches, radiant valleys and wild hilltops deserve better.

A Taste of Burgundy
There's more to Burgundy than the world's finest wines. This was once a kingdom richer than France, and one of the great religious centres of the West. Castles, palaces, and above all magnificent romanesque churches remain as mute witnesses of past splendour.


Tour de la France Inconnue
Deux mille kilomètres de paysages, forêts, vallées et gorges, lacs et montagnes, à l'écart des grand’routes, des étoiles Michelin, du redoutable touriste anglais; La Normandie, la Bretagne, l’Anjou, le Poitou, Le Limousin, l'Auvergne, le Berry; d'éblouissantes diapos de la France profonde et secrète de l'ouest et du centre.

Ma Normandie
Plutôt un pays qu'une province, la Normandie offre une immense diversité de paysages, depuis la plaine ondulante du Perche au Cotentin toujours balayé par le vent,  aux blanches falaises du Pays d'Auge, de la forêt cachée de la Brotonne aux vallons creux de la Suisse Normande.

Dans le Limousin
Au nord de la Dordogne, à l’ouest de l'Auvergne, au sud du Val de Loire, à l'est de l'Aquitaine, les pays du Berry et du Limousin son souvent délaissés par le visiteur. Leurs vieux villages, solides églises, vallées riantes et collines sauvages valent bien la visite.

Un Goût de Bourgogne
La Bourgogne, c’est davantage que les meilleurs vins du monde. Voici autrefois un royaume plus riche que la France, un des grands centres religieux de l'Ouest. Châteaux, palais, surtout les magnifiques abbatiales romanes, témoignent en silence les splendeurs du passé.

 And also...

War Memorials

French architecture

Secret France II

The Martyrdom of Caen

Village Festivals

My Home in Normandy

Et avec cela...

Les Monuments aux Morts

Un peu d’Architecture

France Inconnue II

Le Martyre de la Ville de Caen

Les Fetes de Village

Chez Moi en Normandie

Basic Paris
When one visits Paris for the first time, there are some things and places that have to be seen. Equally, there are things that ought to be seen.
This slide presentation offers a preview
and a reminder.

Secret Paris
Behind every great monument in Paris
there lurk several curiosities; amusing,
enchanting or impressive corners, pleasant parks
and streets with stories.

The Story of Paris
Over 200 slides tell the story of a great city from prehistory to the present; Kings, Saints, sieges, revolutions, Empires and Republics have all left permanent marks on the face of Paris.

A stroll through the Left Bank
In Paris, every street has its story. How did King Charles VIII go mad? Where did monks sell stolen goods? Who shopped at the Toad Market?
All these questions are answered in an hour's stroll through living history.

What's New in Paris?
A great city is constantly building. The streets of Paris present a complete history of 20th-century architecture, traditional and controversial, and constantly updated – as is this set of slides.

The Centre of Paris
seen from the finest of all viewpoints,
the roof of the Samaritaine Department Store

Paris Obligatoire
Lors de la première visite à Paris, la visite de quelques monuments est obligatoire. Également, il y en a quelques autres qui se doivent d'être vus. Ce diaporama constitue un avant-goût et un

Paris Inconnu
Derrière chacun des grands monuments de Paris se cachent des curiosités; des coins amusants, impressionnants ou enchanteurs, d'agréables squares et des rues à anecdotes.

L'Histoire de Paris
Plus de 200 diapos racontent l'histoire d’une grande ville depuis la préhistoire. Les rois,
les saints, les révolutions, les empires, les républiques; tous ont laissé leurs traces.

Une Balade dans le Quartier Latin
À Paris, chaque rue a son histoire. Le roi Charles VIII, pourquoi était-il fou? Où était le marché aux objets volés, tenu par des moines? Qui fréquentait le marché aux crapauds? Flânons une petite heure à travers un passé encore vivant.

Quoi de neuf à Paris?
Une grande ville ne cesse jamais de se construire. Les rues de Paris présentent une histoire de l'architecture moderne, rétro ou avant-garde, incessamment renouvelée – comme ce diaporama.

Le Plein Centre de Paris
vu du meilleur des belvédères, la terrasse
du grand magasin de la Samaritaine

Talks not illustrated by slides

particularly suited for after-dinner entertainment.

v The Last Time I saw Paris

a light-hearted look back at thirty years of visiting the world’s most beautiful city.

On HGB’s visits something always goes wrong, but that won’t ever stop him going back for more.

v Christmas Stories

Readings of HGB’s own stories and others, guaranteed to render audiences helpless with laughter.

v A Walk through time

a stroll around the Left Bank of Paris, where every street has a story.

How did King Charles V go mad? Where did monks sell stolen goods? Who shopped at the Toad Market?

v Rolling in the Aisles

Church people are often seen by the world as a pretty glum lot, but the Church – even, amazingly,

the Church of England – has its own humour and is by no means averse to a good giggle from time to time.


Dramatic Readings

v I, Paul, the Prisoner

All the Epistles of St. Paul in chronological order, with extracts from the Acts of the Apostles to place them in their context.

v Old, Old Stories

Stories from the Old Testament, read in the Authorised Version: Joseph, Samson, the Burning Fiery Furnace and many others. 

v Poetry of the Second World War

Less well known than the poetry of the First war, but worth of more attention. 

v Lost in Translation?

Poems in French and English, the latter being versions or translations of the former.