Community News

English Speaking Union – Diana Burden

By November 7, 2023No Comments

The next ESU talk will be on Wednesday 8th November 2023 at Boxgrove Village Hall, The Street. Boxgrove PO18 0EE at 11am (doors open at 10.45) – by Diana (Didi) Burden.

This event will take the form of an interview with Didi who will talk about her life as a court stenographer, including the evolution of independent verbatim reporting which goes back many centuries and the different types of shorthand developed. She will describe how machines were developed to take over from transcripts that were typed and transcribed manually from the shorthand note and hopes to show us some of them including the computer programme she uses these days.

She has covered select committees and private bill procedure in both Houses of Parliament for Hansard along with the Law Lords before they morphed into the Supreme Court. She was also involved in party conferences, TUC conferences, ACAS hearings and large public hearings, some of which we will remember. She has had a hugely varied and interesting career ranging from shipping, medical and military inquiries and hearings in the High Court through to press conferences at the London and Sochi Olympics.

She will describe the extraordinary demands of the job, and also tell you some of the more memorable and amusing moments!


Ticket price – at the door – £7.50 collected for the benefit of the ESU, the national and international Education charity.

Author: Rachel

The Octagon Parish administrator