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.

Update and Coronavirus

Although attendance was down at last week’s lecture, we were fortunate to have Mark Hill from Antiques Roadshow who entertained us with “Regency Revelations – The Private Jourdan of a Regency Dandy”. The lecture researched the potentially scandalous story behind John Margesson and his return from France in 1831 to the Sussex country house where he grew up. Mark showed us excerpts from a volume of the lost private journals of John Margesson Esq (1794-1866), which was discovered by chance in a quantity of books bought on eBay in 2010.

Our members are only too well aware, the Coronavirus is affecting us all, in one way or another. The Committee is, therefore, sorry to make the following announcement:

“As the Government has announced additional steps to delay the spread of Coronavirus, it has become clear that further measures will be taken in a phased approach to protect the vulnerable and elderly.

The Arts Society has issued the following directive:

Whilst we recognise the Government’s plan to delay the epidemic peak, it is our assessment that the well-being and safety of our Members, Volunteers and Lecturers, many of whom fall within the high-risk category, is likely to benefit from The Arts Society taking active measures to reduce non-essential Arts Society activity before the pandemic reaches its peak in the UK and Europe.

We therefore regret to inform you that the following Arts Society Walton events for the period 16 March to 30 April will be cancelled:

9 April Lecture “Bernard Leach and his influence on 20th Century Studio Ceramics”

16 April Special Interest

Event “The Brilliance of British Architecture and Design”

Your cheque for the Special Interest event will be returned to you and we will continue to keep you advised of future lectures as the situation evolves.

In the meantime, we are hoping to re-schedule the above lectures for later this year or 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.”

We will continue to keep you advised by email and Facebook but if you need further information, please contact a member of the Committee.

February update

Despite the rain, we had an almost full house at our lecture on 13 February when Anne Sebba told us the story of women’s lives during the dark days of Nazi occupation during World War II which included British and American women caught up in Paris, some of whom flourished in war time. Anne is a writer/presenter and lecturer. She loves interviewing extraordinary people and ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and is the author of nine non-fiction books, mostly biographies of iconic women with a strong historical context. This lecture certainly reflected on some of those women, who are the subject of her book “Les Parisiennes” – how the woman of Paris lived and died in the 1940s”.

On 12 March we welcome Mark Hill (Antiques Roadshow) to talk about “Regency Revelations – the Private Journal of a Regency Dandy”.

Our next Special Interest Day will take place on 16 April when Ian Swankie will hold two morning lectures on “The Brilliance of British Architecture and Design”. Tickets are already on sale (£27) so please contact Alison Lornie on 01932 845372 if you would like tickets.

John Smith reminded members of the work undertaken by TASW Young Arts and particularly Painshill Cobham. Members were encouraged to visit Painshill, an award-winning 18th century landscape garden where you are invited to walk around a work of art. Winding paths will take you on a journey to discover a living canvas with simply stunning views and beautiful garden buildings. Stroll around the Serpentine Lake, wander through woodland and promenade past follies, including the Ruined Abbey, Gothic Temple and Turkish Tent.

The Committee looks forward to seeing you soon.

January 2020

Happy New Year to all our members!

Today we enjoyed a brilliant lecture when Gavin Plumley talked about Mahler and Klimt the “Two Gustavs” and what links and divides them. Gavin Plumley is ‘leading cultural historian’ and well known for his work on Central European music and culture during the 19th and 20th centuries. A fascinating hour which included musical interludes.

In February Anne Sebba will tell us the story of women’s lives during the Nazi occupation; the lecture includes British and American women caught in Paris during the World War II. In February we will also be selling tickets for our Special Interest Event on 16 April “The Brilliance of British Architecture and Design” (Ian Swankie).

We are looking forward to our Visit to London on 26 February “Tutankhamun and the Roaring Twenties” and have been most successful in selling tickets for this event. (Val Woolford 01932 252007).

We hope you have received your 2020 Programme card and sticky labels and that you will enjoy our lectures for the year ahead.

November update

At our final lecture of 2019 we welcomed an almost packed house and our speaker, Jo Banham who took us through “The Roaring Twenties and High Society”. This was a period of enormous vitality in art and design and our lecture explored the decade including fashion, and the lives of its leading figures. Our members were captivated by the story Jo portrayed, following the dark days of the Great War, and how the wealthy and privileged were determined to shock and break with conventions, fuelled by endless rounds of champagne, cocaine, parties and jazz.

Our next event before the New Year, is the Festive Supper on 12 December when Clare Phillips will talk to us about “Stocking Fillers from Faberge”.

If you have not received your renewal pack, this will be in the post to you very shortly. We look forward to welcoming you to our lectures, visits and special interest events in 2020. We have already reserved tickets for the afternoon of 26 February and a visit to the Saatchi Gallery for “Tutankhamen: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh”. In the morning we have organised a “Roaring Twenties” tour through Chelsea and Kensington. Please make sure you put a date in your diary!

In the meantime, the Committee wishes all our members a very Happy Christmas and a healthy 2020.

October News

We hope that you have remembered to renew your membership and, in the event that you have decided not to renew for 2020, we shall miss you at our meetings.

It has been an eventful year and details of next year’s events, the Newsletter, Programme Card and, of course, the sticky labels, will be available early next month.

As you know Halina is arranging a Tour to Madrid at the end of May 2020 and there are a few places still available.

There are also seats available for next week’s visit to Arundel Castle (17th October) – even room perhaps for you to invite a friend to join you. We will be selling tickets on Thursday 10th October but you can contact Val Woolford on 01932 252007 (val.woolford).

We will also be selling tickets next Thursday for the Festive Supper on Thursday 12 December when Clare Phillips will tell us about Stocking Fillers from Faberge.

We look forward to seeing you.