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The day got off to a strong start with the masterclass by historian and broadcaster Dan Jones on the subject of the iconic Magna Carta and its significance to our times as a milestone in the long road to modern constitutional democracy.

As Britain celebrates the 800th anniversary of its signing, his book ‘The Making and Legacy of the Great Charter,’ (2014) examines the revolutionary political concessions extracted from a reluctant King by nobles in the 13th century. The document questioned the absolute power of monarchs for the first time and placed legal limits on how it was exercised. Ever wondered where Habeas Corpus comes from?

Art Historian Caroline Campbell, took us on an inspirational journey across the rich pictorial textures and monuments of 15th century Italian medieval and Renaissance Art. An expert on this critical epoch of European cultural and political history, Dr Campbell has curated and written about the incredible art and architecture produced during this seminal period for two London Museums. She also analysed how these works of art have been viewed through the ages, helping readers to understand their timeless significance and unremitting transcendental appeal.

Edward Lucas gave us a comprehensive insight into the dangers behind everyday use of the global information superhighway, otherwise known as the  internet, the growing sophistication of cyber-criminals, and our vulnerability to pranksters, and more seriously, to identity thieves, and those intent on harming society whether hardened criminals, terrorists or paedophiles.  In an absorbing talk covering key aspects of his new book ‘Cyberphobia’, he examined issues of identity, the ease with which it can be faked, privacy and trust. Mr Lucas argues that unlike road traffic which is heavily regulated and controlled, the Internet’s freedom a vital part of its appeal and value, is countered by a darker side that can wreck lives and compromise our political, legal and economic systems.

Adolfo Canepa’s memoirs, ‘Serving My Gibraltar’ formed the basis of his talk examining some of the critical political developments in Gibraltar, during his extensive and meritorious career in public life. Mr Canepa witnessed and participated in momentous events of the Rock’s history. The Brussels Agreement, the opening of the frontier, the dockyard closure, negotiations with UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, all happened during his time.  Currently Speaker of the Gibraltar Parliament, Mr Canepa held key Ministerial portfolios in successive AACR administrations between 1972 and 1988. A life-long political associate and close collaborator of the legendary Sir Joshua Hassan, Mr Canepa became Chief Minister in 1987 upon the latter’s retirement from politics. Mr Canepa is living history of the Rock, and old school politician noted for his uprightness and integrity.  

Gastronomy also featured heavily with husband-and-wife team, the Israeli couple Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer, talking about their Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culinary influences. Owners of the fashionable Honey & Co restaurant in London, they discussed their cooking style and recipes contained in their highly acclaimed food books. Their dishes are based on the food they enjoyed at home and with friends growing up in Israel.