The Lectures take place between 1st October and end of March, at Bethesda Church HallGt. Norwood Street, CHELTENHAM, GL50 2AP at 2.30pm. on the FIRST Thursday of each month, and at Southam Village Hall at The Close, School Lane, Southam, GL52 2NS at 7.30pm. on the THIRD Thursday of each month usually.

Our next lecture: - THURSDAY, October 18th. 2018 - details are below on this page

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

The Thursday afternoon meetings to remain at Bethesda Methodist Church Hall until further notice.

The Thursday evening meetings have moved to Southam Village Hall. (Details on how to get there, are given below )

From the  A435 (GE traffic lights) travel along Southam Lane, through Southam village. Turn left onto Old Road and left again into School Lane by the War Memorial. Travel 200 yards and the village hall is on your left.

From Prestbury travel towards Winchcombe on the B4632 and just after the Ellenborough Park Hotel turn left onto Old Road. Turn left again into School Lane by the War Memorial. Travel 200 yards and the village hall is on your left.

From  Winchcombe travel towards Cheltenham on the B 4632. At the bottom of Cleeve Hill turn
right onto New Road and then sharp left onto Old Road. Turn right into School Lane by the War Memorial. Travel 200 yards and the village hall is on your left.

Please note – there is no access to the village hall from Ratcliffe Lawns.


Report on talk, Dyrham House and Garden  4th. January 2018, Tom Boden

Tom‘s talk was very well received.  He told us they have three areas ripe for improvement.  Firstly, restoring large parts of the garden to how it looked in Blathwayt‘s time.  With a £100,000 legacy, they have created ironwork to support new espalier fruit trees.  They are increasing their planting of tulips in the long rows of formal beds: I can feel a visit in late April/early May coming on!

Dyrham is one of eight properties to receive extra funding from Heelis, and inside they will convert the 19th Century drawing room back into a late 17th Century parlour, with gilt leather, if they can afford it.  The 1688 'Glorious Revolution‘ heralded many new ideas: the start of Parliamentary democracy, the Bank of England not far behind.  This will be called 'A World Away‘, emphasising Blathwayt‘s life, and glorifying the Hoogstraaten perspective painting, as seen and commented upon by Pepys.  They now have a harpsichord and invite professionals to play while the public is going around.  Still in the house, 'Money, Maps and Marmalade‘ will emphasise globalisation.  They have two statues of negro slaves, in keeping with the period but nowadays slightly questionable.'Sugar and Spices‘ will be in the Victorian kitchen: obviously food and drink, but also the medicine of the time.  Tom appreciates how difficult it is to allow access to the conservation studios at the top of the house, but reminded us to go online to 'National Trust Collections: 'Growing Dyrham'.

                                                                       Julph Miers


                                              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 this 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. 

 The photo below was taken at the September meeting shows Peter Walker, Jan Turner, (chairman), June Stroud, Julph Miers and Ann Nye. Bill Cronin was hiding behind the camera and Duncan Reid had sent his apologies.     


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