Programme of Lectures

Lectures take place on the first Thursday in the month in Wickham Bishops Village Hall, but note that the Lecture in May is on the second Thursday.

Members are asked to be seated by 10.55 am for any preliminary announcements prior to the lecture commencing at 11.00am. Tea & Coffee is on sale from 10.30am.


Thursday 3rd October 2019
‘A Tour of Big Ben
Big Ben is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. This lecture explores history and gives us a virtual tour of this stunning building currently under renovation.To start our new season we have ex London Detective in the Metropolitan Police, Tim Redmond to gives us the lecture.Click here for more details and the BIO
Tim Redmond

Thursday 7th November 2019
The Paintings and Wit of Winston Churchill and Noel Coward.
Winston Churchill was a keen amateur artist.Churchill discussed painting with Noel Coward, who was another keen amateur artist.This lecture explores their relationship with examples of their works.
Nicholas Reed returns to Blackwater to explore the friendship of these two great men of the 20th Century.Click here for more details and the BIO
Nicholas Reed

Thursday 5th December 2019
Our last lecture before Christmas is a truly “Festive One”. A celebration of that institution – The Pantomime. Ian Gledhill will explore the history for us.Click here for more details and the BIO
Ian Gledhill


Thursday 9th January 2020
The Astonishing Master Mozart comes to London.
The Mozart Family come to London – Dr Griffiths illustrates his talk with images of 18th century London and at the piano with explanations and performances of over a dozen of Mozart’s witty miniatures.Click here for more details and the BIO
Please note this lecture is the SECOND  Thursday in January
Dr Graham Griffiths

Thursday 6th February 2020
From the Mazarin Chest to Madame Butterfly: The Fashion for Japan in Europe.
The lecture explores the fashion for lacquer screens, furniture and exquisite Kakiemon and Imari porcelain exported from 17th century Japan by European merchants.
A wide ranging lecture looking at the influence of Japan on European fashion and Fine and Decorative Arts Click here for more details and the BIO
Anne Haworth

Thursday 5th March 2020
Pots and Frocks – The World of Grayson Perry from Essex Punk Potter to Superstar National Treasure.
This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s work, his exciting and thought-provoking exhibitions, and the unique character inside the flamboyant frocks.
Ian Swankie

CANCELLED – Provisional new date 7th September 2020
Monday 23rd March 2020
From Downtown to Gatsby. Jewellery and Fashion 1890 to 1929.
A study day in three one hour parts: For the series Downton Abbey, Andrew was commissioned to produce many jewels for the main characters, and this inspired him to create a talk based on Downton and the changing styles of the time portrayed.To accompany his study day, he brings with him many of the pieces used in Downton, so the audience can see what was worn, close up.
Andrew Prince

Thursday 2nd April 2020
CANCELLED – Provisional new date 10th September 2020
Vaux le Vicomte “Fit for a King”: The inspiration behind Versailles Palace & Gardens.
A tale of misplaced ambition, jealousy and betrayal. French 17th century design owes much to one man; an ambitious visionary named Nicholas Fouquet and the chateau he commissioned.
Carole Petipher

Lectures from May onwards will be reviewed nearer the date of each lecture.

Thursday 14th May 2020
Researching the History of Houses
The aim of this lecture is to be an instructive entertaining look at the history of houses. Various sources will be revealed in the form of case studies showing the diversity of materials and archives that are available to the researcher.
Jackie Marsh-Hobbs
Please note this lecture is on the second Thursday of the month

Thursday 4th June 2020
Peggy Guggenheim
This lecture explores the life of the woman who discovered and nurtured a new generation of artists producing a new kind of art. Through collecting not only art but the artists themselves, her life was as radical as her collection.
Alex Epps

The AGM precedes this lecture at 10.00am

Thursday 2nd July 2020
Raphael of Urbino: Artist and Architect
2020 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Raphael. In this lecture, we will study his art and architecture, from his early work in Urbino and Florence to its full maturity in Rome.
Shirley Smith

Cheese and Wine Party after the Lecture – members and guests invited

Note that the first lecture in the new season 2020-2021 will be on Thursday 1st October 2020.

150 Years of London Underground Design
The lecture explores the history and development of London’s Underground railways and personalities involved, and looks to future plans for expansion.
Mark Ovenden