Please use the links below to view our previous meeting programmes.
June Whitfield CBE is one of our National Treasures. She leapt to fame with her appearance on the long running radio comedy Take it From Here and has been in theatre and film, on the radio and television ever since, most recently on the hit TV show Absolutely Fabulous. Tonight, our Chairman will interview Miss Whitfield on stage; be ready for a fun-filled evening!
James Stourton's book on THE GREAT HOUSES OF LONDON opens the door to forty houses, revealing them in all their splendour. London's great houses represent one of the marvels of English architecture and yet they are almost entirely unknown. This illustrated talk, based on the book, looks at about twenty houses, ranging from Lambeth Palace, started in the 13th century and part of the enduring fabric of London, through the romantic 17th century Ashburnham House, nestling in the shadow of Westminster Abbey, on to the splendid 18th century aristocratic palaces of the West End, to the curious and quirky arts and crafts houses of Holland Park and Kensington, then to the cool modernist houses in Hampstead and Chelsea and the exuberant post-modern interiors of the last thirty years.
When she was a child, Shirley Williams believed that being an MP would give her the power to bring about all kinds of good things for society. Now into her ninth decade she has seemingly single-handedly forced the coalition government into a U-turn over their plans to restructure the NHS. Tonight Baroness Williams presents her illustrated talk which was given as the opening event at the South Bank's acclaimed "Here comes the 20th Century" festival.
Women as spies, saboteurs and resistance fighters in the front line, and behind the line. Their part in active - as well as the essential passive - roles. Hugh, originally from Pembrokeshire, now lives in Repton, Derbyshire. His career was mostly with multinational computer companies including tours in the USA & Italy. Hugh is now retired and works as a guide at Bletchley Park, the famous WW2 code breaking centre, His talk concentrates on the human factors of military intelligence.
Alastair's inspiring, funny, challenging talk about his 4-year, 46,000 mile odyssey. Through a fast paced, visually stunning presentation, Alastair shares his thrilling experiences, crammed with the highs and lows of this incredible trip.
Geoff Bowden, editor of the British Music Hall Society's quarterly magazine The Call Boy,takes a look at some of the funny ladies who scored a success in variety and intimate revue in the male dominated world of comedy. With the aid of audio extracts, this fully illustrated presentation covers the careers of such stars as Beryl Reid, Joyce Grenfell, Elsie and Doris Waters, Hylda Baker, Gladys Morgan, Joan Turner, Hattie Jacques, June Whitfield, Gracie Fields and many more.
Friends of Berwick Church present an illustrated talk about how Bishop Bell of Chichester, John Christie of Glyndebourne, Lord Leverhulme, Maynard Keynes and Sir Kenneth Clark commissioned the Murals installed in Berwick Church. The Friends tell the story that runs through the pictures and the identity of the people featured and the scenery behind them.
Peter and Christopher Pyemont have been Headmasters of St Bede's School, Eastbourne where they advocated a wide approach to education, not least with regard to Sport. Their multi-media presentation follows skiing from cave drawings in Russia circa BC 2,000, the Golden Age of Nordic skiing, ski racing, jumping, Nansen crossing Greenland, Scott v Amundsen, the "Winter War" of WW2, the skiing heroes of Telemark, post war skiing champions through to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in February 2014.
We welcome back John who has been on his travels again! This time he covers the less-travelled branch of the Silk Road from the Caucasus across the Caspian Sea to Samarkand then south-east to explore the High Pamirs of Tajikstan and Afghanistan. This illustrated talk reveals the beauty and life of these unfamiliar lands.
Gillian Reynolds MBE, Radio critic of The Daily Telegraph since 1975, having previously held the same post at The Guardian for seven years from 1967. Gillian Reynolds is a Fellow of The Radio Academy, a trustee of the National Museum in Liverpool, a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and an Honorary Fellow of her old Oxford college, St Anne's. Mrs Reynolds was awarded the MBE in 1999.
Mr Thompson is the Archives Manager of Ashridge Business School. His illustrated talk will cover the history of Ashridge from 1283, when it was built as a monastery, through its days as home to Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I to its present life a business school. The Eastbourne Ashridge is one of the longest running 'circles' and Mr Thompson will also talk about some of the groups formed around Ashridge College from 1929 onwards.
Architectural writer, photographer and broadcaster Lucinda Lambton delights in nosing out historical flights of fancy. She has presented some fifty films on subjects as diverse as 'The History of the Lavatory' to her subject today. Queen Mary's Dolls' House was created in 1922 by over 700 artists and 171 writers to celebrate the 'best of British'. Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens took time off from building New Dehli to mastermind the design of this tiny building.