Tickets can be purchased by members for these events at the Lectures

  • If you have any special requirements, eg wheelchair provision please make it clear when buying the ticket.
  • Tickets are not transferable therefore if you are unable to attend the lecture having bought a ticket notify the organiser who will offer the place to someone on the waiting list. Only if this is successful will a refund be arranged.

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Sunday 17 March 2019 – The Bodleian Library, Oxford – Upstairs and Downstairs

Booking Months: January 2019 and February 2019
                     Cost: to be advised

This guided tour offers an opportunity to visit the 15th century Divinity School, Convocation House, the Chancellor’s Court, Duke Humphrey’s Medieval Library, the Radcliffe Camera and the Gladstone Link.
The Divinity School was designed specifically for lectures, oral examinations and discussions in Theology. It is built in the Perpendicular style with a very beautiful vaulted fan ceiling. The Convocation House and the Chancellor’s Court adjoins the Divinity School which pre-dates it by 200 years. It was built as a meeting place for the University’s supreme legislative body and Parliament was held there during the Civil War
Duke Humphrey was the youngest son of King Henry IV. He collected many books (a relative term as the printing press had not been invented). He bequeathed his collection to the University which built a new library to house it. Today it is the oldest reading room in the Bodleian.
There are 5 reading rooms in the old Bodleian and the Radcliffe Camera and the two buildings are connected by the underground Gladstone Link.
There will be availability for 2 groups of 13 on different Sunday afternoons in March 2019 – either the 3rd or 17th. Both visits start at 13.15pm. The guided tour is 90 minutes long and will finish with a cream tea at the Bodleian cafe. There are a number of stairs.


Wednesday 15 May 2019 – Watt’s Gallery Artists’ Village, Compton, Surrey

Booking Months: March 2019 and April 2019
                     Cost: £48

George Frederic Watts OM, RA (1817 – 1904) was widely considered to be the greatest painter of the Victorian era. A portraitist, sculptor, landscape painter and symbolist, his work embodied the most pressing themes and ideas of the time.
His wife Mary Watts (née Fraser Tytler) (1849-1938) was a renowned designer in her own right, founder of the Compton Pottery (1900) and creator of Watts Chapel.
Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village is a unique Arts & Crafts gem nestled in the Surrey Hills. Discover stunning Victorian paintings and sculpture, wander to the nearby Grade I listed Watts Chapel, taking in the beautiful woodlands and grounds, or find out more about the lives and works of G F and Mary Watts at Watts Studios before taking a tour of the artists’ home, Limnerslease, which was designed by Sir Ernest George with original ceilings designed by Mary Watts. Hear about the people who visited and the creative and cultural life of George and Mary, as well as their contemporaries and the local community who they welcomed here.
Mary Watts was the artistic force behind the creation of Watts Chapel, and she dedicated it to ‘the loving memory of all who find rest near its walls…..’. G F and Mary Watts both rest in Cemetery, as do many other people who have played a role in the Artists’ Village over the years. Landscape, art and remembrance are beautifully blended together in this Grade I listed building. Up close, the extraordinary design and decoration both fascinate and overwhelm all who venture up the winding yew tree paths.
In 1895 Mary began to run evening Terracotta Classes at Limnerslease, the Watts’ nearby residence and studio. At these classes Mary would teach local villagers how to model tiles from local terracotta clay with the beautiful and symbolic patterns that she had designed to decorate the walls of the Chapel. G F Watts financed the building of the Chapel through painting commissioned portraits.

Coffee & biscuits on arrival
Tours of Limnerlease House/Watt’s Gallery/Watt’s Chapel
Free time to visit the studios & De Morgan Collection


Thursday 04 July 2019 – Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol

Booking Months: May 2019 and June 2019
                     Cost: to be advised

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is one of the most important historic ships in the world. When she was launched in 1843 she was called ‘the greatest experiment since the Creation’.
By combining size, power and innovative technology, Brunel created a ship that changed history. She was built as a luxury liner but ran aground in 1846. She then carried 15,000 emigrants to Australia, after which she was converted to sail as a cargo ship and finally acted as a floating warehouse. In the thirty years between her scuttling and recovery the elements had taken their toll on her iron hull. At the time of her rescue she was in a poor state and a team of seven conservators took three years to complete the restoration.
We’ll have a private guided tour of the ship, with lunch on board, and visit the Brunel Institute to see items from the archive/hear about passenger diaries etc. and still have plenty of time to visit The Dockyard Museum.


Tuesday 15 October 2019 – Royal Worcester Porcelain Museum

Booking Months: July and September
                     Cost: £35

The museum is housed in factory buildings remaining when it closed in 2009. It holds the world’s largest collection of Worcester porcelain dating back to its inception in 1751.
In 1751 John Wall, a physician, and William Davis, an apothecary, with investment from a group of local businessmen, established a porcelain factory in Worcester on the banks of the river Severn.  Royal Warrants were subsequently granted by George III, George IV and Charlotte, Princess of Wales due to the high quality of Worcester Porcelain and the word ‘Royal’ was added to the name.
Manufacture was consolidated on the current factory site in 1840 and major modernisation followed in 1862 leading to the formation of the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company Limited

On arrival we shall have a cup of tea/coffee and a biscuit and then enjoy a talk by Roger Green. With over 40 years experience in Ornamental Ware, Roger is well qualified to take visitors through the process of figurine construction from design to construction. His role at Royal Worcester covers every aspect of production and he will talk about the many designers and characters he worked with and will use real examples to show how the models were cut into pieces, blocked,cased and propped up ready for firing in the kiln. Many different skills are required in the ornamental department, and with the use of his own quirky stories about the eccentric workforce and the factory social scene, Roger will unravel the process which took seven months from design to completion.
Once you have heard Roger’s talk, you are free to visit the Museum Galleries at you leisure and watch Ken Russell , a master gilder, at work and marvel at the skills he shows .
We shall have lunch in a private room in the museum at about 1pm
After lunch you are free to leave the museum and can re-enter at any time of the day.
In addition to the Museum there is a Heritage Trail Walk. It is all close by.( You will be given a map) It includes Worcester Cathedral, 5mins away, The Commandery, a grade 1 listed property which served as King Charles’ 11 headquarters during the Civil War, Friars Street, which contains some of the oldest buildings in the city dating back to the 13th Century and The Infirmary which combines history, science,art and technology.
There is plenty to do and see for an enjoyable day out.


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