Category Archives: GROUPS

▷ Hogarth’s House

Hogarth’s House, Chiswick

Roslyn, Outings Group Convener writes: “Thanks to Linda for suggesting this visit. We enjoyed the house, former country (now has the Great West Road roaring outside!), home of painter Hogarth and now owned by Hounslow Council. There was also a small exhibition by Paula Rego, inspired by Hogarth. I thought the best exhibits were the ‘wine series’ ones commissioned for label designs by a wine company, but they showed alcohol in such a damning light they weren’t used. Tea outside the Chiswick House cafe in the early autumn sunshine afterwards.”

★ New Group : Art Appreciation 3


 
Art is not what you see, but what you make others see ― Edgar Degas
All art is quite useless ― Oscar Wilde
 
In this fun and friendly Group we share what we see and love in art, ask if or how it moves us, and discuss if it is important and relevant. Members pick themes, schools or movements in art, researching artists and their work and sharing what they learn with fellow members.
 
  We alternate meetings with gallery visits and have visited Guildhall Art Gallery, Serpentine Galleries, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Estorick Collection, The Wallace Collection, Two Temple Place and Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery where Group members admired a painting by British artist John Bellany.
 

 
  Group Convener : Graham Bennett

The Group meets in Grove Avenue, N10 on the fourth Wednesday of every month, 12.30 – 2 p.m. The number of places available per meeting is no more than 12. There will also be regular gallery visits

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    ▷ Art Appreciation Group 2 update


     
    Art is not what you see, but what you make others see ― Edgar Degas
    All art is quite useless ― Oscar Wilde
     
    In this fun and friendly Group we share what we see and love in art, ask if or how it moves us, and discuss if it is important and relevant. Members pick themes, schools or movements in art, researching artists and their work and sharing what they learn with fellow members.
     
      We alternate meetings with gallery visits and have visited Guildhall Art Gallery, Serpentine Galleries, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Estorick Collection, The Wallace Collection, Two Temple Place and Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery where Group members admired a painting by British artist John Bellany.
     

     
      Group Convener : Graham Bennett

    The Group meets in Grove Avenue, N10 on the fourth Wednesday of every month, 10.30 a.m. – noon. The number of places available per meeting is no more than 12. There will also be regular gallery visits

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      Updated September 2021

      ▷ Talking Women Group update

      A group to talk about historical and contemporary women who members find interesting, and would like to know more about.
       
      Individual members will suggest women to discuss and the group will find out about them and bring their thoughts and opinions to share.
       
       
      We will talk about women who have achieved something significant, or have been active in society. or have been famous, or have done something we find of interest. Some of the discussions will focus on issues that particularly affect women in our society and the impact this can have on their lives.
       
       
        Group Convener : Rosalind Davy

      The group meets fortnightly on Thursdays from 2-4 p.m. in the Group Convener’s home in Muswell Hill. In good weather we will meet in the garden, in bad we will be in a well ventilated large room. There are two steps to the front door and two internal steps to the room where we meet or the garden. Bathroom access – other than the outside WC – involves stairs. It is, therefore, not accessible to anyone with anything other than minor mobility issues. It is not wheelchair accessible.

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        Updated September 2021

        ▷ Working life songs

        The Americana Group met at the Victoria Stakes and listened to and discussed songs about working life. The playlist:
         
        Grateful Dead (Dead & Company) : Easy Wind
        Bruce Springsteen : Factory
        Gillian Welch : Miner’s Refrain
        Peggy Seeger : Gonna Be An Engineer
        Candace Corrigan : Hard Times Cotton Mills Girls
        The Animals : We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
        Bruce Springsteen : Highway Patrolman
        Lee Clayton : Old Number Nine
        Little Seven & the Disciples Of Soul : Bitter Fruit
        Billy Joel : The Downeaster (Alexa)
        Bob Dylan : Working Man’s Blues #2
        Bruce Springsteen : John Henry
        Paul Robeson : Joe Hill
        Glen Campbell : Wichita Lineman
        Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks : Payday
        Alabama : 40 Hour Week
        Patty Griffin : Making Pies

        ▷ History Group update

        We are not historians, but we are all fascinated by history. We try to look at the less familiar parts of the world, and explore science, trade, art and the lives of ordinary people as much as monarchs and wars. It’s fun to see the connections in the jigsaw puzzle, and we find also that many present-day problems have their roots in the past.

        We are a co-operative group; there isn’t an “expert” leader. We take it in turns to research a subject and then present what we’ve learnt to the group. A talk may take five minutes, or an hour. Our experience is that members, however new to history, find it surprisingly easy to gather the facts and talk with ease in what is a small, friendly and supportive group.

        At the moment we are in the seventeenth century. We started in the Roman world, and then explored the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. When next?

        Group Convener : David Pashley

        The Group meets in Stroud Green, N4, fortnightly on Wednesdays, 10 – 11.30 a.m.

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          The photos are of Krito, mourning the death of her mother, Timarista (c.410 BC); poor King Harold (1066); and Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and women’s rights campaigner (1792-1892).

          ▷ Members’ talks

          Updated September 2021

          ▷ Lea Valley walk : the source

          September 2021
          Lea Valley 7 : Harlington to Leagrave
           

           

          Rather than negotiate an urban stretch in the Luton area, we approached the source of the Lea in Leagrave from the north so that we could enjoy the Bedfordshire countryside before reaching our destination. We began our walk from Harlington, which judging by the number of blue plaques has a rich history, and as we walked
           

           
          through the churchyard of the 14th century parish church (St Mary the Virgin) we struck up a conversation with an elderly resident who was keen to talk. Once she was informed that we were a walking group from north London, the floodgates opened as she reminisced about her life in Highbury over fifty years ago and London smog … alas, we had to move on. It all felt a little autumnal as the fields has been harvested, although there was enough compensatory greenery
           

           
          in the clover planted to fix nitrogen, and hedgerows with blackberries still ripening. We followed the paths round a succession fields which were punctuated by direction signs including one for the strangely named Sharpenhoe Clappers , fingerposts of the walking routes we were following (the Icknield Way, for one) … and an abandoned piece of agricultural machinery whose shapes
           

           
          fired the imagination (can you see the horse?). Just as we were thinking that we were on an easy stroll through the countryside we came to a long rather muddy flight of steps of the National Trust’s Moleskin and Markham Hills. At Sundon we stopped for lunch, before turning south towards Leagrave via Bramlingham Park. Then through a housing estate – with an underpass featuring murals
           

           

           
          of stars of popular music. Then the final stretch – a pleasant woodland walk ending at a bridge and platform overlooking the River Lea at its source. A short walk along the path beside the river (be warned, the water-cress is not suitable for human consumption) led us to a busy road and Leagrave Station. Another challenge completed!
           

          ▷ Book Group 1 update


           
          At each meeting we discuss a book that has been suggested by a member of the group. We choose, in turn, from a wide range of literature in English, including translations.
           
            Our books, on the whole, are likely to be recent, and possibly on prize lists, but there is no reason not to delve into the past for classics and old favourites. They will usually be fiction, but not necessarily.
           
            In the recent past, for example, we have read A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, Golden Hill by Francis Spufford, Motherwell by Deborah Orr, and English Passengers by Matthew Kneale.
           
           

           
            Group Convener : Andrew Sich

          The Group meets in The Maynard Arms, 70 Park Road, N8 8SX (summer) or a group member’s house (winter) every fourth Thursday, 3 – 4.30 p.m. The number of places available per meeting is no more than 10.
           

          Currently meeting via Zoom
           

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            Updated September 2021

            ▷ Wycombe wanderers

            Details
            High Wycombe circular


             

            Inclement weather threatened to ruin members of the Longer Walk Group‘s enjoyment of an undulating “figure of eight” walk starting and ending at High Wycombe Station, exploring the area around Hughenden Manor and the West Wycombe estate. Leaving the town behind we quickly got into our stride along Benjamin’s Footpath which skirts the vast High Wycombe Cemetery. We then followed a series of wooded paths in the direction of Hughenden Manor, passing
             

             
            the Grade II Listed Brands House, in the hamlet of Four Ashes. Our next landmark was the Church of St Michael and All Angels at the northern end of Hughenden Park. Then the lure of a National Trust coffee proved to much to resist at the stable block : an exploration of the adjacent walled garden found offers of vegetables and apples (unwashed) in return for a contribution to the Trust. Here the weather
             

             
            took a turn for the worse, and after a short perambulation around Disraeli’s Victorian Hughenden Manor to admire the parterre and statuary (but no time unfortunately to browse in the second hand bookshop), we took to the shelter of the woods and made our way to Dashwood country at West Wycombe. On the climb to the mid-18th century Dashwood Mauseoleum, we passed the (very Gothick)
             

             
            entrance to Hellfire Caves. At the top of the hill (with a fine view over the Chilterns countryside and West Wycombe Park (the
             

             
            seat of the Dashwood baronetcy) we stopped for a lunch break observed by an interested bird of prey, and watched as a rain shower approached from the valley below. Luckily the heaviest rain fell when we were walking through some quite dense woodland on the return journey
             

             
            to High Wycombe, via Hughenden Park, where an impressive array of weeping willows line the Hughenden Stream. A perfect walk, despite the weather!