A recent Torrox Spanish History Group meeting at the Mediacaña Merendero. SUR
English-speakers delve into Spanish history in Torrox
Community spirit

English-speakers delve into Spanish history in Torrox

The group was set up by Patricia Shaw in 2017 and, after she passed away in 2022, Keith Rockhall and Chris Sherwood have picked up the baton

Jennie Rhodes


Friday, 3 May 2024, 10:47


The Torrox Spanish History Group will be holding its next meeting on Thursday 9 May and the subject for the meeting is Spain's Near Miss with an Atomic Disaster. The group will be delving into "the 1966 near apocalyptic accident which occurred during Exercise Chrome Dome", explains Keith Rockhall, who will be giving the talk.

"This was possibly the most dangerous accident involving nuclear weapons that the world has seen," Keith adds. The meeting will be held at 11am at the Mediacaña Merendero (formerly El Ancla) in Torrox Costa.

The group was set up by Patricia Shaw in 2017 with the intention of bringing together people of "any nationality from the local area, with an interest in Spanish history to share their knowledge and interest with like-minded people", says Keith.

Sadly Patricia passed away in November 2022, but after a pause following her death, Keith and another history enthusiast and member of the group, Chris Sherwood, picked up the baton.

Facebook page

They have started up the meetings again and a new Facebook page, The Torrox Spanish History Group 2024. "We are trying to encourage other members to contribute with snippets of Spanish history to the new page as at present it is only myself and Chris contributing," Keith explains.

It is the members themselves who give the talks and Keith points out that "as long as it has a link to Spanish history the subject can range from the Spanish in North America to the Spanish empire and its occupation of the Philippines, from the Roman Empire and before, to the recent 2004 Madrid terrorist train bombings. Anything at all to do with Spain".

All nationalities are welcome and Keith says that as well as Brits, there are Americans and northern Europeans that regularly attend the meetings, which generally attract between 25 and 40 people. The Facebook page has around 150 members.

Keith points out that the meetings and presentations are in English and they are generally the first Wednesday of every month, except if it falls on a public holiday, which is the case in May.

While Keith says that neither he nor Chris "have any professional background in history", he says, "I have always loved history of all types and periods, but as I now live permanently here in Spain, I have concentrated more on Spanish history."

Patricia was a tour guide and did a lot of travelling around Spain and north Africa in particular. The group used to organise trips when Patricia was running it, but since they started up again Keith says that so far they have "concentrated on the meetings".

Non-members are welcome to attend the meetings, which are free of charge. However, the group does ask if attendees could purchase "at least one drink" at the bar as a courtesy, as they are able to use the venue free of charge.

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