All talks are illustrated and will take place at the church of St George the Martyr, 206 Andover Road, Wash Common, Newbury, RG14 6NU, starting at 7.30 pm. A map is on page four of this newsletter.

The church is a quarter of a mile south of the Falkland Memorial on the A343 road. There is limited parking on each side of the church, on the road in front, in Warren Road opposite, and in other side streets.  It is recommended that members should consider car-sharing if possible.

All talks are illustrated and will take place at the church of St George the Martyr, 206 Andover Road, Wash Common, Newbury, RG14 6NU, starting at 7.30 pm. A map is on page four of this newsletter. The church is a quarter of a mile south of the Falkland Memorial on the A343 road. There is limited parking on each side of the church, on the road in front, in Warren Road opposite, and in other side streets.  Please consider car-sharing if possible. Please note item at AGM in March on possible change of venue for talks.

January 13th   Andy Kempe - ‘With the Eyes of the World upon Us’
Andy’s talk will be on WW2 and the Cold War.  The above title is, of course a reference to the speech that Eisenhower gave to the troops at Greenham on the eve of D-Day. Andy is an Emeritus Professor of Drama Education at the University of Reading where he led the Post Graduate Certificate of Education Secondary Drama course. Much of his work in drama has been concerned with making history accessible and exciting for young people. In 2017 he was involved in the production of the community theatre event “Greenham: One hundred years of War and Peace”.

February 10th Neil Suttleworth & Thomas Plant - ‘General Antiques plus Fakes and Forgeries’
After obtaining a degree In Fine Art Valuation Neil spent 4 years working for Sotherbys in Amsterdam. He is one of the main auctioneers at SAS auctioneers Newbury and his dulcet tones can be heard on auction day at one the salerooms or on the internet. Thomas Plant (known by some of you via TV antiques programmes) became the director of SAS in 2006 having some 10 years’ experience at this point. He worked his way up the ranks from porter to Auctioneer and Valuer at Philips in Bath. He developed a love of all things sparkly leading on to two diplomas in jewellery and gemstones alongside a Fine Art Valuation degree.

March 9th AGM (at Deanwood Park Golf Club) followed by talk by Chedworth Villa Outreach speaker
An outreach speaker (name to be advised at a later date) will detail how our donation to Chedworth has been utilised. This will be followed by a talk on the history of Chedworth Roman Villa.

April 20th (N.B. this meeting is the THIRD MONDAY of the month. The second Monday is Easter Monday) 
Kirsten Ash - History of Tea
From Japan to Holland to overtaking the Nation’s favourite drink of Coffee in Charles II era, through to the development and concept of Afternoon Tea, Suffragettes to Modern Times. Also, the importance of etiquette at Afternoon Tea. During her working life Kirsten has trained as a Montessori teacher, run her own publishing company and converted a 600-year-old house in France. Since returning to England she has volunteered for Towcester Museum and assisted with her local History Society. Eventually she began working for Woburn Abbey as a Tour Guide in both English and French, delivering outside talks on behalf of the Abbey. 

May 11th   Roger Stace – BBOWT Management and Wildlife of Greenham Common
Roger, the Land Manager for Conservation in Berkshire, will talk about the varied and dramatic history of Greenham Common describing how that led to the beautiful nature reserve we have today. Roger started with BBOWT as a volunteer in 2004 after completing a Masters in Conservation at Reading University. For the past two years he has been managing BBOWT’s 30 nature reserves in Berkshire which are a mixture of heathlands, meadows, reedbeds, woodland, chalk and acid grasslands.

June, July, August Summer Break talks resume in September

September 14th   Andy Thomas – The Crop Circle Mystery
Andy Thomas is one of Britain’s most experienced presenters and authors on unexplained mysteries, intrigues and the paranormal, and also a passionate speaker on English history and folklore traditions. Andy is renowned for his thought – provoking and entertaining lectures. He speaks widely across the UK and other countries.

October 12th   Carl Portman – Animal Masquerades
For those of you who attended Carl’s lecture last September (Spiders and the Rainforest) you will recall what an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker he is. This year Carl will speak (without “Tarantula” support) on the wonderful art of camouflage in animals - and humans. Carl is semi-retired having worked in the MOD for 30 years. He now coaches chess, lectures and does “some “photography.

November 9th Dr Gillian White – Henry VIII and the Field of the Cloth of Gold 
1520 the King of France and the King of England met in a field outside Calais to celebrate peace. Gillian will give a talk exploring the history and especially the artistry of this magnificent yet futile event. Dr White specialises in the visual arts of the late medieval and 16th century England. She formerly worked for the National Trust as Curator and collections manager at Hardwick Hall. She teaches part time at Leicester University and is involved with the Continuing Education Department at Oxford University, as well as freelance lecturing.

December 14th   Christmas Social – talk by Dave Stubbs
After our social festive nibbles and a glass of wine Dave will entertain us with a talk entitled The South West Peninsula Coast Path or “Three Times up Everest”

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