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Talk by Richard Mayson on the Music of the Revolution


We are pleased to announce that Richard Mayson, the noted writer on Portuguese wine, will reprise a talk given to the Lisbon Branch of the Society in April of this year. 


Venue: Oporto Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club, Rua do Campo Alegre, 532

Date and Time: Thursday 12 September 2024, 18.30

Admission: Free for members of BHSP. €5.00 for guests. All welcome!

The talk will be followed by an optional dinner for €25.00 (approx.)


Please RSVP by 5 September to: Alan Dawber.

Phone: 966497183; or 


The speaker: Many of us know Richard Mayson as an expert on Portuguese wines. After graduating from the University of Sheffield in 1983, he began his career working for The Wine Society and won the Vintners’ Company Scholarship in 1987. He specialises in the wines of Iberia (especially fortified wines) and has written five books on wine including The Wines and Vineyards of Portugal (winner of the André Simon Award 2003); Port and the Douro (2013 and subsequent editions); and Madeira: The Islands and their Wines. His most recent wine book is The Wines of Portugal. He writes regularly for The World of Fine Wine and Decanter magazines, chairing the Port and Madeira panels in the Decanter World Wine Awards. In recognition of his services to the Port wine trade, Richard is a Cavaleiro of the Confraria do Vinho do Porto. Richard lives with his family in the Peak District, North Derbyshire. He was Pro-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield from 2018 to 2021 and in 2023 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Sheffield. Richard is also interested in twentieth century art and architecture and wrote a book on the artist L.S. Lowry, Lowry’s Lamps, published by Unicorn Press in 2021. He is currently preparing a book on the northern artist and L.S. Lowry contemporary, Trevor Grimshaw.   


The Talk: Two significant songs were played on Portugal’s national radio either side of midnight of 24th/25th April in 1974. One was Portugal’s Eurovision Song Contest entry (the year that Abba won with Waterloo), the other became the anthem for the political upheaval to come.  The songs were both used as coded messages for the Armed Forces to move on Lisbon and overthrow the regime that had ruled in Portugal for nearly fifty years.

Half-a-century later, Richard Mayson, who was a schoolboy at the time of the revolution in Portugal, shares his recollections of the music that became symbolic of profound cultural change in the country. With the abolition of censorship, revolutionary songs that could not have been previously played, now filled the airwaves. Fado, which had been nurtured by the Estado Novo was briefly banished. General Vasco Gonçalves, the influential pro-communist prime minister in 1974/75, is one of very few national leaders to have a song written specifically for and about him. Then there is A Life on the Ocean Wave…....

Richard Mayson first delivered this talk to the Anglo-Portuguese Society in London to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the revolution in 2004. He returns with items from his archive to deliver the talk again for the British Historical Society twenty years later, in commemoration of the half century that has elapsed since this momentous event in Portugal’s recent history.