The Lectures take place between 1st October and end of March, at Bethesda Church Hall, Gt. Norwood Street, CHELTENHAM, GL50 2AP at 2.30pm. on the FIRST Thursday of each month. In the 2019-2020 season there will no longer be any evening meetings as it has been impossible to find a suitable venue.

The admission price for all meetings payable, on the door, £3 Members & £4 visitors. 

The 2019-2022 programme of lectures

3 Oct  Dog-sledding in the Arctic - David Fletcher
7 Nov  Edward Elgar & the Wand of Youth - Joe Tierney
5 Dec  See above for change of speaker and subject.
9 Jan*  Cotswold Canals Trust Speaker tbc (NB: Second Thursday)
6 Feb  Maria Gunning - Amy Forster Smith
5 Mar  The Difficult Years: NT 1943-1971 - Helen Roberts


Talk on Edward Elgar, 7 November, Joe Tierney

Joe Tierney gave us a really interesting & entertaining talk on Elgar on November 7th. He is a local historian from Worcester. Joe has worked at The Firs, Elgar's birthplace, for the last two years as the House Steward but he prefers the title ”Conservation & Engagement Officer." 

He now cares for the historical collection there & is able to access digital material from these archives enabling him to share these with us which generally aren't available to the public.
Joe began his talk outlining Elgar's family & early life, which showed how Elgar always treasured his memories of his childhood & how his mother & wife were great influences in his life.

Edward Elgar was the son of a local musician & piano tuner. He was born on 2nd June 1857. His education was basic & with no formal musical training he spent his early years busying himself in the musical activities of Worcestershire, composing small pieces for local performances. Elgar was a pioneer of early music therapy at mental hospitals.

His breakthrough came in 1899 with the composition of the Enigma Variations. Over the next twenty years he composed all the works for which he is remembered. Elgar's music was performed all over the world & he dined with royalty, yet he never forgot his roots. When he was awarded the Baronetcy in 1931 he chose the title Sir Edward Elgar, 1st Baronet of Broadheath, after the small village where he was born.

Ann Nye

A note from Bill Cronin

Elgar's birthplace has temporarily reduced the days it is open from those shown in this year's handbook. It is advisable to check with them or check their website. Currently according to their website they are  closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week.


                                              The Lectures Sub-Committee at work.

When your list of lectures comes through in your newsletter every year please give a thought to the hard-working members of the Centre’s lectures sub-committee. This seven-member subcommittee ably
chaired by Jan Turner, organise, arrange and run the lecture series for the benefit of members on a
completely voluntary basis.
They are fortified only with copious cups of tea or coffee and a substantial supply of quality biscuits provided free of charge by the host.
The meeting last September reviewed progress and details of the organisation for the coming season’s lectures and tried to anticipate possible problems. It seeks to ensure that speakers arrive, are properly introduced, looked after and paid. Critically the sub-committee tries to ensure that the audiovisual equipment arrives in a working order, the pay desk is manned and that the key for the premises is collected and returned. Additionally, some of the committee members have the responsibility of the storage and carriage of the equipment to the two venues.
The meeting in November concentrates on the choice of speakers. That is followed by sometimes tortuous attempts to contact them and sort out availability. This follows a strict procedure written by the subcommittee Minute Secretary and endorsed by the sub-committee members. Subsequent meetings monitor progress and identify issues arising during the season.
During the long summer break, they are busy ensuring that lecturers will turn up, have all the equipment required and that the publicity is provided for the newsletter, website and the 'What’s On' section of Radio Gloucestershire

Recently innovations by the sub-committee are a request for voluntary contributions for the refreshments on the Thursday evening lectures; investigation of the hearing loop and audio equipment systems in both venues and the introduction of a free guest pass for members to invite non-members to one of the evening series of talks.  All this is intended to give good quality lectures at a reasonable charge of £3. 


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