For information the previous season programmes are further down the page.
PROGRAMME 2020-2021 SEASON
We regret that the first half of the season, up until Christmas is cancelled. We shall review the second half during September and update the website at that time.
Following a review in early September we have decided that the remainder of the season is also cancelled.
We have arranged for the speakers we had hoped to visit this season to visit in our 2021-22 season
PROGRAMME 2019-2020 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
7th October – The Life and times of Edith Cavell
We are pleased to have a return visit by Melanie Gibson-Barton. you can be assured of an excellent presentation.
21st October – Jerusalem Botanical Gardens…and more
This is a return visit by Neil Miller (the Head Gardener at Hever Castle). This time he will speak about the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and other gardens in that part of the world.
4th November – The Hidden City of London
We welcome a return visit by Christine Jarvis. You will be taken on a grand tour of unusual sights of London by our speaker who is a Blue Badge and City of London Guide Lecturer
18th November – Guildford Past and present
David Rose was a journalist with the Surrey Advertiser Group of papers for many years. He is a local historian and collector of old photos and memorabilia. He has written numerous books with reference to Guildford and the Surrey area.
2nd December – Light-heated and seasonal songs
The Meadvale Singers will entertain us with a range of songs, both serious and light-hearted, to get us in the mood for the Christmas season. They will include some more traditional carols with which we can join in.
6th January – Scouting: the early years 1907-1920
This as a return visit by Michael Gilbert. He has had an extensive involvement in the Scout Movement. He has researched the early days of Scouting from its foundation . Scouting’s local Defensive role in the first World War is also revealed.
20th January – The adventures of a lady balloon pilot
We welcome for the first time Dani Maimone who will give a presentation which will grip you to perhaps undertake such an adventure
3rd February – The School of Stitchery & Lace (The Grange)
Jill Caldwell will be giving us a very interesting talk on the history of “The School of Stitchery & Lace” and how we use creative arts today. Plus how our shops and mini businesses give our clients the confidence to live more independent lives.
17th February – Womens’ Land Army
Ian Everest will be telling us about the history of the Land Girls. The role of these women on Sussex farms contributing to the vital role of feeding the country during WWI and WWII. His mother was one of 80,000 land girls during WWII, so he will include some of her memories as “a Cinderella of the Soil”
2nd March – 30 years in an aluminium tube
Having spent 30 years as an airline pilot, Chris Green will tell us of his flying experiences from the time he left school to learn to fly until he retired. He has also written a book to go with the talk
16th March – Media & Other happenings
Hilary Osborn, our speaker will give a presentation covering a career spanning some 40 years broadcasting on BBC, Television, Radio, ITV and British Forces Broadcasting Service in which we shall hear stories both amusing and memorable of years past- not to be missed.
30th March – Travelling solo as a Mature Volunteer Teacher in Burma
We welcome Valerie Helstrip for the first time who will give us a presentation as a Volunteer Teacher in three countries. This talk will be on her visits to Burma teaching Graduates and under graduates.
This meeting will be followed by the Annual General Meeting
PROGRAMME 2018-2019 SEASON
1st October – Steaming on
We welcome a return visit by Paul Whittle who will give a presentation on train travel from a more leisurely time on some of the UK’s 100 plus preserved railways. You can be assured this will not be just for railway buffs.
15th October – 60th Anniversary of the Surrey Hills AONB
Ken Bare, who is Vice Chairman of the Surrey Hills Society, makes a return visit to give a presentation about the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was the second AONB to be set up. We can be assured of an excellent talk and photographs of the Surrey Hills and surrounding Countryside.
29th October – Around the world in a double decker bus
We welcome Richard King on his first visit to us. He will give a talk on his adventuress travelling around the world on ab double decker bus. You will much enjoy this interesting talk which will include some amusing stories.
12th November – Traditional Textiles of Thailand
Jennifer Hughes will give us her first talk on the traditional techniques in weaving and embroidery by village artisans & hill tribe people. For clothes, costume and household goods. With lots of examples to show.
26th November – The Foundling Museum
We are delighted to have Jane King on her first visit when she will explore the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery
10th December – A Very Sweet Villa
We welcome Nigel Arch LVO who will give a presentation about Kensington Palace, discussing the architectural development of the palace and garden in the context of Royal inhabitants. Nigel has spent 40 years in museum and historic houses and is a former Director of Kensington Palace.
7th January – Confessions of a Guide Book writer
We are always pleased to welcome Kev Reynolds, a regular speaker to our meetings. Tonight he will talk about his experiences as writer of guidebooks. He is already the author of many books and those of you who perhaps inspire to be writers may find his lecture of value.
21st January – Wildlife Hospital – Leatherhead
Dr Mike Berwick from the Wildlife Aid Foundation will give us a talk on their work on all areas of wildlife care and rehabilitation. As well as being informative and educational, our speakers draw on their own personal experiences to make the presentations anecdotal and fun, with a fabulous PowerPoint presentation to make the talks visually stimulating.
4th February – The Titanic, the ship and the wreck
We are delighted to welcome Rob Goldsmith who in 2005 was lucky enough to become one of the few people to dive down to the wreck of the Titanic and see it first-hand. He will give us a presentation on his experience showing video footage and photos. He will also give a bit of background history on the ship and it’s sinking.
18th February – Fanny Burney, Surrey and the French
We welcome Sir Brian Urwin who will give a presentation about Fanny Burmey visiting her favourite sister, Susanna, at Mickleham near Dorking profoundly affected the life of the famous 18th century novelist, Fanny Burney. It was there in 1793, at Juniper Hall, that she met a distinguished group of exiled French aristocrats, married one of them, and spent a decade of her future life in post-revolutionary Paris.”
4th March – The Story of the National Garden Scheme
We welcome Margaret Arnott to give a presentation on the origins of the scheme and to advise us of the various procedures involved in opening your garden to public display. This is followed by a selection of N.G.S. gardens open in Surrey, with all proceeds going to charity.
18th March – Magic fit for a king
Tonight we will enjoy an evening of light entertainment with John Derris who will tell us about what goes on behind the doors of the Magic Circle. A relaxing evening for us to end the season.
This meeting will be followed by the Annual General Meeting
PROGRAMME 2017-2018 SEASON
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