January update

Happy New Year!

Sincere apologies again for the incorrect information in the previous update/Facebook. The next lecture is on 14 January and I apologise once again for the mis-information.

Details for the log-in will be issued shortly. In the meantime, we hope this finds you well and, despite the lockdown, you all managed to enjoy the festivities over Christmas and the New Year.

We will welcome to our February lecture, Georgina Bexon, who will tell us the fascinating story of “Koh-l-Noor; the Most Famous Diamond in the World”, which has been the subject of desire, jealousy, intrigue and political chicanery. We hope you can join us at 2pm on 11 February.

You are invited: On Tuesday 26 January 2021 The Arts Society Runnymede, in association with Cumberland Lodge, to a Special Interest event (10.00am – 12.45pm) Online via Zoom Webinair: The Artists of Nice : Explore the life and work of artists such as Matisse and Dufy, who have been inspired by the striking beauty of the coastal French city of Nice.

Tickets: £10 per person, to support The Arts Society and the charitable work of Cumberland Lodge

Guest lecturer: The Rt Revd Christopher Herbert Former Bishop of St Albans, international art lecturer and writer, Member of the House of Lords, Visiting Professor at

the University of Surrey

More information: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-artists-of-nice-with-the-arts-society-runnymede-tickets-131310722907

December update

We hope that this Christmas update finds you in good health during these challenging times.

As most of your know, John Smith, has resigned as Chairman due to ill health. Your Committee is dedicated to carrying on with a programme of lectures and special interest events in 2021, albeit that these will be via Zoom until such time as we can meet for ‘face-to-face’ lectures. Visits will resume as soon as we are able to arrange.

Our Zoom lecture this month was very successful although we would welcome more of you to join us.

On 7th January, Barry Venning will entertain us “With a little help from their friends: the Beatles and the art world” which we are sure you will find fascinating – do please join us. Zoom log in details will be sent to you beforehand.

If anyone would care to consider joining the Committee, or just learning what we do, you would be most welcome. We did have a Committee of some twelve members but, sadly, are now down to seven so are desperate for help! Please contact a member of the Committee (details on your Programme card which we hope you have received).

In the meantime, we wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2021.

Please keep well and keep safe.

November update

When we wrote to members in October, we were able to confirm that our first Festive Lecture using Zoom will be held at 2pm on Thursday 10 December when Gillian Hovell will talk about “io Saturnalia – Happy Christmas the Roman Way!” Early Christians celebrated Christmas at the same time as the ancient Romans were feasting and partying for their pagan Saturnalia festival. Details of how to make the most of our Zoom talk are on the Welcome Page of the website. We will send out further details and the link nearer the time of the talk.

You should have received your 2021 Programme Card and sticky labels but unfortunately there were two errors for which we apologise! January’s lecture is on 14th January and October’s lecture and AGM are on the 14th October. I hope you are able to make a note of these amendments before you put them in your diary! The details sent out with the renewal, and on the website, are correct.

We are also pleased to announce that Linda Smith has confirmed that she will do her Special Interest morning (“Great Tarts in Art”) on Thursday, 16th September, 2021, hopefully at Riverside Barn. Details will be confirmed nearer the time.

This is a very challenging time and we hope that all our members are safe and well. The Committee continues to plan for 2021 and hopes to be able to bring you an exciting programme which we can enjoy “face-to-face”. We are sorry that there are some members who are unable to ‘enjoy’ Zoom and it will be such a pleasure to be able to welcome them to our lectures next year.

A message from the Chairman of TASW

The Committee would like to thank members who have shown support by renewing their membership of The Arts Society Walton for a further year. To date nearly 70% of members have renewed and we continue to receive renewals as well as some new members which, in these difficult times, is particularly good news.

We also appreciate your help in paying your subscriptions on-line and for the AGM voting. All Resolutions were passed, for which the Committee is grateful. However, we are very anxious to see more members joining the Committee to ensure that we can continue to bring you Lectures, Study events and organise Visits as soon as we are able. We do need your help! Please contact chairman@theartssocietywalton.org or a member of the Committee if you would like more information.

As far as lectures are concerned, Sue, our Programme Secretary, has booked ten events for next year and we plan to deliver these via Zoom until such time as we can meet at the venue. The Programme Card and sticky labels will be sent to you later this month.

In the meantime, we are able to confirm that our first Festive Lecture using Zoom will be held at 2pm on Thursday 10 December whenGillian Hovell will talk about “io Saturnalia – Happy Christmas the Roman Way!” Early Christians celebrated Christmas at the same time as the ancient Romans were feasting and partying for their pagan Saturnalia festival.

The Society is arranging this lecture without any charge, as a thank you to our members for their patience and understanding during these difficult times. Further details will be sent to you in due course. Laurence Shafe (ex-Chairman of TASW) and James Moore (ex-Treasurer) are assisting us with this Lecture and will be issuing Zoom guidelines nearer the time in December. We do hope you will join us.

October update

Dear Members,

Recently, you will have received the membership renewal for 2021, together with notice of the AGM on Thursday 8th October. The AGM is a vital part of our year, and probably the one true time that you actually have an input into the Society’s activities. We are all facing challenges outside our normal comfort zone, as the impact of the virus continues to impinge on all our lives. However, I am hopeful that most of us will now have settled into routines that enable us to cope with the problems that we are all facing. To this end, and on behalf of the Committee, I sincerely hope that all of you are well and safe, particularly as we almost certainly face a second spike of the virus.

The Annual General Meeting.

As I mentioned, we have our AGM this next week, and it is now possible to vote on the Society’s website (theartssocietywalton.org – AGM Voting 2020), but also to return voting papers before next Thursday 8th October. If you haven’t yet voted, can I please ask that you do so before the deadline, to re-elect the Committee for another year.

Membership Renewal and Lectures.

In the Chairman’s report, which accompanied the renewal papers, I wrote about the decision the Committee had taken with regard to cancelling lectures for the remainder of this year. Quite obviously there are many opportunities for viewing arts events and lectures on-line both from You Tube, but also from the Arts Society. One thing is certain, viewing a lecture on a computer screen is in no way a substitute for “being there”, and meeting friends. The problem is that there is nothing we can do at the moment that would enable us to meet in person. Even the Committee has had to ‘meet’ via Zoom. This certainly concentrates the mind in the 40 minutes available.

However, it has become apparent to me that the Society has been somewhat remiss in their duty to members in this area. A number have contacted me about this. Whilst I have been able to explain the decision we took, in all good faith, in pointing members towards the available lectures on-line, this decision has obviously affected members’ opinions of the Society. For this I apologise to you all on the Committee’s part. It has, therefore, been decided that we need to resume lectures from January. But they will have to be via Zoom. These will, hopefully, follow the programme shown on our website. It may be that some lecturers will be unable to give their talks via Zoom, and if this occurs, then we will make alternative lecture arrangements. Many societies are now undertaking lectures on-line, and it certainly appears that there is now much greater scope for such events to take place.

Obviously, we will let you know nearer the time what the arrangements will be for the lectures and how you can see them. I sincerely hope that if you delayed your membership renewal, in the quite reasonable expectation that the Society would offer you what we promised, then you will now take this opportunity to renew your membership of The Arts Society Walton.

Again, may I wish everyone all the best. Keep well, and, as winter approaches, keep warm.

John Smith – Chairman – The Arts Society Walton


We hope by now you have received your renewal invitation for TASW 2021. This year you can renew on-line as well as by-post. On-line renewals have been arranged at the request of those members who prefer this method of banking, rather than using cheques.

The last six months have been challenging, to say the least, and we don’t know what the next six months will hold for us. The Committee is endeavouring to organise a Programme of Lectures for our members but this all depends on government legislation and whether we can meet – but this seems unlikely in the short term. In the meantime, we will continue to forward TAS lectures for you to enjoy on-line as well as Museums, Galleries and You-Tube.

Our AGM has been planned on-line this year so we would ask you to vote before 8 October. We will write to you again in the weeks ahead to keep you informed of progress and send you TAS membership card together with an update on our 2021 programme.

The Committee hopes all our members, and their families, have kept safe and well and that they have been able to enjoy some reasonable summer weather.

We hope you all keep safe and well.

Update June 2020

We hope that all our members, their friends and loved ones are keeping safe and well during the Covid 19 pandemic. It seems that lock-down is slowly being lifted although we doubt we will be able to meet much before early 2021.

On Facebook, under "Art Gallery Tours", there are “Virtual tours” of galleries and exhibitions such as the National Gallery – Matisse and Picasso, Royal Academy – Picasso and Paper, The Van Gogh Museum tour, Courtauld Virtual Tour, The National Gallery in Washington and the Metropole in New York. We will, however, continue to keep you advised of developments and events.

If you need anything further please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Committee.

With best wishes to your all.

May’s update

We hope all our members and their loved ones are keeping well and safe in these difficult times.

Lindy Wilson has forwarded to you emails from The Arts Society which hopefully you have enjoyed found interesting, to enable you to view “Lectures on Line” – “Street Art and Graffiti” by Doug Gillen, and Sarah Dunant on “Venice: Dressed and Undressed”. Tomorrow’s lecture (5 May) is Mark Hill on the 1960s : Revolutions in Glass. These lectures hopefully make up for our monthly get-togethers at All Saints Church Hall which I am sure we all miss!

As soon as the government announces its lockdown exit strategy we will review our situation with regard to The Arts Society Walton and let you know if there is any change to the current arrangements.

Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing you again soon.


We sincerely hope that our members are staying safe and well in these uncertain times.

As you know, the Society was planning a trip to Madrid in May this year, but obviously this was not possible so we looked at postponing the trip until the Autumn. In the last few days Halina has been forced to take a realistic view at our chances of having a successful trip to Madrid, Toledo and Segovia this September. Taking into account experts’ forecasts regarding the spread of the pandemic, the acute situation in Spain and the effect of Covid-19 on travel and hospitality industries in both countries, the Society deeply regrets the cancellation of our plans for group travel to Spain this year.

We wish to thank Halina for her strenuous efforts with Tailored Travel on our behalf and particularly for her dedication at all times to secure the best for our members on all the trips she has organised in the past.


Although the Government has not issued a formal ban on events and gatherings of the kind organised by The Arts Society, it has become evident that going ahead with activities as usual would not be responsible. We must keep in mind when undertaking any activities on behalf of our Society, all government guidance that has been issued.

The Arts Society Walton has, therefore, decided to cancel all Meetings, Lectures and Visits forthwith until September 2020.

We are hoping to re-book our lecturers and will be writing to you later in the summer with our plans for 2021.

Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Committee if you have any concerns or queries. Perhaps you would pass this message to any other member who may not have received it. In the meantime, the Committee hopes all members and their families will keep safe and keep well.