Ian Valentine


Sadly the news has reached us that Ian Valentine has died. Ian was a long term member and former Chairman of the Society.(2004-7) He was Heritage Volunteers Representative for 6 years from 2000 to 2006. Ian oversaw the move from the old Village Hall to our current premises with the potential for increase in membership. His words in the annual report 2005 reflect a concern at the time “However, your committee is concerned to ensure that the society does not become so large that the present friendly social atmosphere (which many of our lecturers comment on) is lost.” The character of Blackwater was indeed maintained and reflected in Ian’s leadership. He was influential in upgrading our audio systems and initiated the Newsletter, editing and arranging printing; which has grown into the excellent organ of communication for members. At Area level he became Secretary and was vocal in the politics of NADFAS, He moved to Wivenhoe some time ago but continued to come to Blackwater regularly. Ian loved sailing, overland skiing in Scandinavia and bell ringing. We will miss him.

Lecture Programme 2019 – 2020


Our new programme for next years’ season is now available on the Website under the Lectures tab. An exciting and wide-ranging selection of lectures and lecturers has been booked by our Programme Team  – Jane Anderson and Patricia Pullen. And our Day of Special Interest next year is a highlight – From Downtown to Gatsby. Jewellery and Fashion 1890 to 1929. with Andrew Prince.

Annual Subscription 2019-20


The summer is coming to an end and a new season of Blackwater Lectures and Visits approaches. To renew your subscription please return the membership renewal form to the Membership Secretary –  Mrs Jennifer Allen.
If you have mislaid your form one can be downloaded under the membership tab on the website.
Jennifer thanks members who have already renewed. Membership & Programme cards will be available at the first lecture on Thursday, October 3rd.

October 2019 Lecture


Note that the first lecture in the new season 2019-2020 will be on Thursday 3rd October 2019

A Tour of Big Ben
Big Ben is one of the most iconic buildings in the world – it identifies the UK and democracy in the Western world. But there is a lot more to this tower than the beautiful external gothic architecture
Tim Redmond

Arts on Saturday NOW CANCELLED


Last year the Greater London Area organised an enjoyable and successful day for recruitment to the Arts Society at the excellent venue of Bridewell Hall near Blackfriars

Building on that event we are planning an equivalent day on Saturday 21st September 2019. Speakers booked include Nigel Bates, Jonathan Foyle and Malcolm Jones. The day is for members and non-members and we encourage Society members to bring along friends and relations who are not already members to give them a ‘taste’ of what The Arts Society offers.

STOP PRESS!!!!! We now know the subject of Malcolm Jones interview. It will be the well known film,TV and Stage actor Kenneth CranhamClick here for the BIO

Tickets are available via Eventbrite:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/arts-on-saturday-the-arts-society-greater-london-area-tickets-60815393479

or by contacting Susan Branfield at susanbranfield@waitrose.com