Author: Tim Slessor

Share this event!
  • Date: Nov 18th, 2014
    Time: 7:30pm
    British documentary film maker and author Tim Slessor will be in Scottsbluff on Tuesday, November 18 speaking to the public at Midwest Theater as part of Chadron State College’s pilot Practitioner-in-Residence program.

Doors open at 7:00 pm

British documentary film maker and author Tim Slessor will be in Scottsbluff on Tuesday, November 18 speaking to the public at Midwest Theater as part of Chadron State College’s pilot Practitioner-in-Residence program. Doors will open to the public at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are not required.

After military service in Britain’s Green Berets, Tim Slessor went “up” to Cambridge. Three years later, on graduation, he set out with five friends to drive overland from the English Channel to Singapore – in two works-provided Land Rovers. It was a journey which had been attempted several times before, but without success. Against the odds and after a journey of six months, Slessor and the team reached Singapore. The three documentaries they shot were shown on BBC, NBC, and subsequently worldwide. Tim’s book First Overland became a best-seller. More than fifty years later, it has been republished. David Attenborough calls it a classic. Another critic called it, “The best travel book I’ve ever read.”

In 1957, Tim Slessor joined the BBC as a trainee. Within a few years he was making films all over the world – in Australia, India, Africa, Europe, and, not least, in the US. It was his growing fascination with the American West that led him in 1965 to take a year’s “time out”- to teach English (or, as he says, “to try”) at Chadron State College.
On returning to the BBC, he worked on more documentaries across the world, including several in Alistair Cooke’s “America” series. For these and other programs he received a Peabody Award and a citation from the Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City- something of which he says, “I am enormously proud.” In time, he became the Deputy Head of BBC’s General Documentaries Department. But in 1990, tired of sending other people on the interesting assignments, Tim turned to freelance work – writing for various magazines and directing/producing for Channel Four, NBC, and the National Geographic. Even more recently, he has written a book, More Than Cowboys. He hopes it might be seen as his homage to the West, and to its people.

Slessor’s presentation covers two topics, respectively titled “Perspectives” and “Immigrants.” With “Perspectives,” Slessor will emphasize the point that, in studying the history of an event, there are a few undisputed facts. After that, it is too often a partisan perspective, in this case British perspective or US perspective of what happened and why it happened. With “Immigrants,” Slessor will discuss his fascination with the American West and examine some of the points where the UK and the US have their similarities, and their differences.

Local organizer and Learning Resource Director Merrillene Wood extends her gratitude to Midwest Theater, Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center at Chadron State College, and the Learning Resource Center at WNCC for their sponsorship. “We are very excited to have Mr. Slessor present to the community,” Wood says. Question and Answer time will follow the presentation as well as a book signing.

“Our ability to attract celebrities, such as Mr. Slessor, speaks to the reputation of the Center and the College’s commitment to the history of the region,” said Sarah Polak, Director of the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center.

Slessor’s presentation on Tuesday, November 18 at 7:00 p.m. is free to the public. Tim Slessor is hosted by the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center at Chadron State College through a private donation to the Chadron State Foundation.
For more information about the presentation or to contact the speaker for press interviews, please contact Sarah Polak at 308.432.6401 or at spolak@csc.edu . For more information about giving to the Center and program sponsorship, please contact the Chadron State Foundation at 308.432.6366.