April 1st 2021


Dear Members,


My first letter, and my first opportunity to say hello to you all in my new role as Chairman following Fenella’s enormously successful term of office. Some of you may know me already, and I can only say that I look forward so much to meeting everyone and greeting you all in real life, when circumstances allow.


I am sure that everyone who was able to join the AGM online on March 15th must have been pleased and impressed by the manner in which it was arranged, conducted and by which voting was enabled. Fenella has previously praised the huge amount of hard work faced by the Committee team of Anita Stokes, Web manager, Martin Amlôt, Treasurer and Julia Leary our Membership secretary, without whom we would not have reached the Zoom and YouTube position we now enjoy. I can only echo everything she has said.


Sadly, our President Dorothy Brining could not be with us for the AGM, but I am sure that everyone would wish me to thank our Vice Presidents, Susie Noble and Suzanne Cook for their capable and polished running of the meeting. Our very best wishes go to Dorothy of course. For those who could not join us, may I add that full and well-earned thanks were expressed to those on the Committee who were stepping down from their roles. As well as Fenella we say farewell to Lorna Baygot, Vice Chair and fund of knowledge, Julia Lecky and Gerald Clifton, Programme Secretaries. Many combined years of hard work and dedication are represented there.


However, the Arts Society Wirral is lucky in having a very experienced Committee in place, which is a huge relief to me as I start my new role. I had the great pleasure previously to be co-ordinator for Young Arts, working with a very experienced and long-standing Committee. It’s a fascinating part of the Arts Society, and one I am sure we will hear much more from in future as a new Young Arts Committee take over. Welcome to Paige, Vanessa and their colleagues.


Our March Lecture, entitled  “Gilt and Gorgeousness” a celebration of the 200th anniversary of King George 1Vth’s accession to the throne in 1820 given by Barbara Askew was a vastly entertaining and delightfully illustrated guide through the life of George 1V from youth and charm to a sadly contrasting later life. The insights we gained into his art collections, the influence of the French in his décor and building projects, and of course that extraordinary edifice The Royal Pavilion, Brighton opened new doors into our view of the man and his times. 


The Committee looks forward to being able to continue to provide the very best of inspiring and entertaining lectures, live or on screen to you the members. To those who have just joined the Society, a very warm welcome indeed. Under normal circumstances I would be looking forward to welcoming you all at our New Members’ Lunch and introducing you to the Committee. In the meantime, we will hope to arrange an online meeting until real life resumes.


Our next lecture is on 19th April, when Nicola Moorby presents Turner v Constable: The Great British Paint-Off.


My very best wishes to you all, Happy Easter and may the weather permit friends to meet in gardens, and the return of sports so missed by so many.


Yvonne Woodhead

The Arts Society Wirral members meet monthly to hear, from a varied programme of inspiring lectures given by top experts in their fields. Regular tours, outings and visits throughout the year complement the lectures.

In addition, the Volunteer programme, open to all members of our society, includes Church Recording, involvement with local young people by way of the Young Arts Group, Archiving for a number of organisations together with the development of Church Trails for children