Please use the links below to view our previous meeting programmes.
Gyles Brandreth's career has ranged from playing Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest to being a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in John Major's Government. Known for his colourful personality he has featured in the Guinness Book of Records for making the longest ever after-dinner speech – lasting 12.5 hours. Let's hope he doesn't try and beat that record tonight!
Dame Beryl trained at the Sadler's Wells School and was taken into the Company aged 14. She performed Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on her 15th birthday and went on to achieve world renowned status as a ballerina. Now aged 85, Dame Beryl will give us an insight into her remarkable life.
On 1st September 1939 the largest mass evacuation in British history began. Over the course of the next six years some 3.5 million mothers and children were affected. This illustrated talk captures the stories of what happened to some of those children when they returned home.
Now that we are no longer in the 20th Century we can stand and look back. Anthony will take a major work from each decade – we are promised a wide variety of artists and genres, including painting, sculpture, and architecture. A fascinating illustrated talk.
Mr Waite will give a compelling, powerful and inspirational story of belief, determination and hope after 1763 days in captivity in Beirut.
'In Voice and Verse' are an experienced concert trio who have performed at venues across the country including the National Gallery and the Buxton Festival. Lance Pierson is a professional actor and poetry performer. Belinda Yates is a member of the Monteverdi Choir and Heather Chamberlain is an accomplished pianist. The trio will perform a seasonal selection of words and music, some traditional and sacred, some more modern and light-hearted. Betjeman's beloved poem 'Christmas' will be included as will a setting of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'.
Barry is the son of the late Brian Johnston, the BBC cricket commentator. After leaving Eton, Barry worked in over 50 TV shows with numerous stars including Morecambe and Wise and Tommy Cooper. Barry will take us behind the scenes of both radio and TV as well as recounting some of the many amusing tales involving his father.
Fergus Garrett is Head Gardener at Great Dixter who worked with the late Christopher Lloyd and has been in control of the house and gardens since Christopher Lloyd's death in 2006. Fergus presents an amazing voyage through the past and the present of Great Dixter.
Anne is no stranger to Ashridge having been Chairman for three years and Programme Secretary for ten years before that. Her talk traces the development of our Justice system through the ages and includes some anecdotes from her own experience as a Magistrate. Having retired as a Junior School Teacher she now spends her time as an author, writing books for children, and to date has published five paperbacks and three electronic books.
An ordinary woman's account of an extraordinary adventure. Rebecca's ascent of Everest is a lesson about what any one of us can achieve. It's about setting sights, overcoming fear, sheer tenacity and grit.
This illustrated lecture examines why Trinity House was formed in the late 15th Century and why a Royal Charter was bestowed upon it by King Henry VIII in 1514. We then trace its somewhat turbulent history to the modern day.
Although David Lloyd George was born in Manchester, by blood, birth and instinct he was a Welshman. It was because of what he learned in the village school and chapel that he became the authentic radical of British history – the man who founded the welfare state. But his whole life, scandalous in private and brilliant in public, make him one of the most fascinating politicians of the 20th Century. The Rt Hon. The Lord Hattersley is a politician, author and journalist. He served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1983 to 1992. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His latest book, a biography of Lloyd George, was published in 2010.