Following a very successful season over the winter of 2016-2017 we have prepared the following lectures for the next season. Brief details are below and a fuller description will be added soon. For information the 2016-17 programme is further down the page.
PROGRAMME 2017-2018 SEASON
(Membership is open to all. Visitors are most welcome and pay £3.00 for each meeting)
Meetings begin at 7.45 p.m. in the Upper Hall and tea and coffee served after lectures
2nd October – PLANT HUNTER AND GARDENER WITH PASSION
For our opening presentation of the new season we will welcome a return visit by Tom Hart-Dyke who will give us an update on “The World Garden” at Lullingstone Castle, which is visited by hundreds of people from 1st April each year.
16th October – GLAMOUR IN THE SKIES
We welcome David Henderson on his first visit to the Society who will give a presentation on his life in the sky, which will be most interesting and amusing.
30th October – SLOW TRAIN TO DAMASCUS
We shall welcome back Paul Whittle to our Society who has a wealth of knowledge of his travels. Tonight he will give us an insight non Petra, the Dead Sea, Roman cities and a rare desert train ride on the Turkish-built Hejaz Railway wrecked by “Lawrence of Arabia in WWI.
13th November – VISIONS OF GLORY
We shall welcome a good friend of the Society in Kev Reynolds, who makes regular visits to Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. His magnificent presentation will give you a glimpse of this enchanting land, a compilation of dramatic landscapes and smiling faces.
27th November – THE WEY AND ARUN CANAL TRUST
We are pleased to have Graeme Lewington from the Trust whose aim is to restore the 23 mile canal built some 200 years ago between the Rivers Wey and Arun as the final link in 3,000 miles of inland waterways and the route from London to the Channel.
11th December – ROYAL CHRISTMAS
Siobhan Clarke will be making a further visit to us and will give us a presentation which explores Christmas at Court from the middle ages to the present day and how the Royal Family have influenced our own celebrations. What could be better to round off the first part of the season!
8th January – HISTORY OF HEVER CASTLE AND GARDENS
Unfortunately Neil Miller, the Head Gardener was unable to join us in the last season. However we welcome him on this occasion to give a presentation on the 700 years of history at the 13th Century castle set in 125 acres of natural and formal gardens. You will enjoy the amazing topiary, Tudor herb garden, pergolas of roses, climbing shrubs and perennial planting in the Italian Garden.
22nd January – A TONIC TO THE NATION
We welcome a return visit of Michael Gilbert who will give us a presentation which will bring back memories for you of London in 1951 and the Festival of Britain. You can be assured of a very interesting talk.
5th February – GRACE KIMMINS AND HER CHAILEY HERITAGE FOUNDATION
We look forward to a presentation by Ros Black. Little did Grace Kimmins know that her charity would grow into what is now a nationally recognised disability charity.
19th February – UNEXPLAINED MYSTERIES AND COVER-UPS
Andy Thomas makes a return visit to give a presentation in which he investigates some of the famous unexplained mysteries of recent history and asks why the mainstream ignores items in the face of sometimes impressive evidence. A thought provoking illustrated talk.
5th March – BRUGES, ITS MORE THAN JUST CHOCOLATE
Melanie Gibson-Barton will give an illustrated talk. For those who know Bruges well, it will nevertheless be inspired by this presentation to learn more about this town and its history.
19th March – A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE
We look forward to a return visit by Peter Thompson who will give an interesting talk on his life as a solicitor and QC.
This meeting will be followed by the Annual General Meeting
PROGRAMME 2016-2017 SEASON
October 3rd – HAMPTON COURT PLEASURE PALACE
This evening we welcome a return visit by Siobhan Clarke who is a Historian and is based at Hampton Court Palace. She trained as a customer Interpreter before becoming an HRP Guide and Lecturer. This is a story of two palaces, a Tudor palace and venue for pleasure. You can be assured of an excellent lecture delivered with digital images.
October 17th – WESTMINSTER ABBEY
We welcome Robert Fromow for the first time to give an illustrated talk on the Abbey, its multi-faceted history, astonishing beauty and less known peculiarities and eccentricities. Our speaker is a London Blue Badge Guide with over twenty years association and with the Abbey both as a guide and volunteer.
October 31st – BEST OF SOUTH ENGLAND
We are delighted to have Kev Reynolds this evening – a regular visitor to our Society – and we can be assured of viewing beautiful pictures and a talk covering Kent, Surrey, Sussex and other counties.
November 14th – TALES FROM THE TOP TABLE
Neil Hunt will give an informative and friendly talk about the Toastmasters profession, plus a few humorous anecdotes appertaining to large banquets. He is a Fellow and Past President of the National Association of Toastmasters. We look forward to Neil Hunt’s first visit with much pleasure.
November 28th – WILDLIFE OF THE FALKLANDS
We look forward to an interesting digital presentation by Brian Pettit who will show stunning pictures of every resident form of life that can resist the rigours of being near Port Stanley and the edge of the Antarctic.
December 12th – HISTORY OF HEVER CASTLE AND GARDENS
Neil Miller, the Head Gardener, will give us a presentation of Hever Castle and Gardens. Discover 700 years of history at the 13th century castle, once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and set in 125 acres of natural and formal gardens. You will enjoy the amazing topiary, Tudor herb garden, pergolas of roses, climbing shrubs and perennial planting in the Italian Garden.
January 9th – GONGOOZLING FOR BEGINNERS
We welcome Neil Sadler to our meeting to give a light-hearted look at joys and mishaps whilst exploring England’s canals. You can be assured of an interesting and amusing talk.
January 23rd – THE LADY WITH THE LAMP
We are pleased to have Paul Whittle with us who has given such detailed presentations in the past. Tonight he will give a presentation on the Florence Nightingale Story.
February 6th – AN ENGLISH HISTORY OF FREEDOM
We will welcome Andy Thomas who is renowned for his thought provoking and entertaining lectures across Britain and the wide world.
From the rebellions of Boudicca against Roman invaders to the Peasants Revolt and the modern Poll tax riots, from the truly revolutionary ideas put forward in Cromwellian times to influential movers and shakers such as Thomas Paine, the Suffragettes and George Orwell. An excellent presentation not to be missed.
February 20th – MY INVOLVEMENT IN THE FILMING OF WARHORSE
Andrew Robertshaw is an independent Military Historian, writer, broadcaster and Director of Battlefield Partnerships Ltd. He has worked as Curator and Manager of Royal Logistics Corps Museum in Deepcut, having previously been Head of Education of the National Army Museum in London. For the film Warhorse, director Steven Spielberg chose his military historian adviser Andrew Roberstshaw. He explains how he made trench warfare authentic in this children’s story of a horse which worked for both sides.
March 6th – THE SECRETS OF THE MARY ROSE
We welcome Trevor Sapey who will give a presentation on the history, sinking, raising and conservation of the Mary Rose and we have the opportunity of seeing some real and many replica artefacts to discuss life on board. The talk will appeal to all age groups due to the social history of the story.
March 20th – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ADMIRAL NELSON
For our final lecture of the season, we welcome Roy Buchanan who has made a study of the subject, having been in the police service for over 30 years to retirement.
Following this talk we shall have the Annual General Meeting