Our Programme For 2019 – 2020

We are pleased to announce our new lecture programme for the coming season. It’s an eclectic mix of topics, all delivered by well recognised and respected lecturers, and we look forward to welcoming you along with our new members on the first day of the new season.

1st October – Temples, Tombs and Treasure: In Search of the Queen of Sheba – Louise Schofield

The fame of the Queen of Sheba has lasted across the many intervening centuries since she made her epic journey from her distant land to the court of King Soloman.

Louise is an archaeologist who, for many years, was a curator at the British Museum. She has been involved on many prestigious projects and is currently working in Ethiopia. She last visited us in 2012.

To find out more about Louise’s lecture then click here.

5th November – The Day Parliament Burned Down – Caroline Shenton

In the evening of 16th October 1834 huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament.  In front of thousands of witnesses the conflagration destroyed Parliament’s glorious old buildings and their contents.

Caroline is an archivist and historian and was formerly the Director of Parliamentary Archives. Her book of the lecture title was Political Book of the Year in 2013.

To find out more about Caroline’s lecture then click here.

3rd December – Contemporary British Theatre: A Second Golden Age – Giles Ramsay

Giles is an independent theatre director and producer who specialises in creating new work with artists in developing countries.

7th January – Painting Winter: Snow Scenes in Art – Stella Grace Lyons

Stella is a relatively recent addition to the Arts Society after art studies at Bristol, Warwick, Florence and Venice.

To find out more about Stella’s lecture then click here.

4th February – The Art of the River – Alexandra Epps

Discover a selection of artists from the historican to the contemporary and experience their fascinating views of the river and interpretations of its eventful history.

Alexandra is an official guide and lecturer at the Tate Galleries and the Guildhall. Her background is in graphic design and she has her own consultancy.

To find out more about Alexandra’s lecture then click here.

3rd March – Domes and Minarets: Mosques of the Islamic World – James Allan

The lecture explores the different styles of minarets and domes and illustrates the rich designs, whether in mosaic, tile, or other media, that adorn these buildings.

James was formerly a curator of the Islamic Collection at the Ashmolean Oxford and taught Islamic art and architecture at the university.

To find out more about James’s lecture then click here.

7th April – The Easter Story – Richard Box

As well as being an art historian, Richard is also a practising artist and author of several books including Drawing for the Terrified.

5th May – Artists and the Sea – Tricha Passes

Trichia is currently teaching at the University of Bristol and her art interests are therefore impressively widespread.


2nd June – Henry VIII and the Field of the Cloth of Gold – Gillian White

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the fabled meeting near Boulogne of Henry VIII and Francois I.

 Gillian is a specialist in the visual arts of that period and will transport you to a distant age and another attempt at Anglo French cordiality.

To find out more about Gillian’s lecture then click here.

7th July – Turner v Constable: The Great British Paint Off! – Nicola Moorby

As unlike in background and temperament as their paintings were in style, these two creative geniuses transformed the art of landscape. This lecture sets them head-to-head and examines their differences and their similarities.

Nicola specialises in British art of the 19th and early 20th centuries. She was a curator at Tate Britain and has published widely on Turner.

To find out more about Nicola’s lecture then click here.