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1st November 2023


Hello Everyone,


Our lecture on 16th October was given by Siân Walters, on the subject of


Behind the Scenes at The National Gallery


Which gave some lively and unexpected insights into this aspect of museum life. The picture of the enormous, specially constructed frame to move large and fragile pictures will stay with me for some time.


31 of us went on the September trip to the Midlands and Birmingham. We were, to take a very traditional approach to any outing, extremely lucky with the weather. The torrential rain kindly waited until our journey home.

Moira Fletcher had organised this trip for us, once again, as well as arranging the catering for September’s New Members’ Lunch. We all owe her a huge Thank You. There were many visits on the trip, from the fascinating Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found, the tour by little train of The National Memorial Arboretum, a backstage tour of  The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the new Birmingham Library, the Botanical Gardens and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at Birmingham University. It was a personal pleasure for me to return to old haunts, and especially to find that a favourite picture was still in its place at the Barber Institute.


A number of our members were very brave in facing the trip through the Dudley Canal Tunnel and Limestone Mines, which took us deep underground by boat. The thought that little boys started work in the freezing cold water at the age of 9 was horrific enough, but we learnt that the average life expectancy was 27 years. A strange and mysterious environment, and a huge obstacle for those with any touch of claustrophobia. Out again and a final visit at Wightwick Manor, a National Trust House near Wolverhampton. Then a final check that we were all on the coach and back to Heswall Squash Club. By the way, if anyone is missing a rather fine black waterproof hat, it was retrieved from the coach and is safely with me. I will bring it to our November meeting.


The North West Area meeting took place at Brockholes, off the M6 on October 2nd, and was as usual interesting and useful. 17 of the 19 societies which constitute the North West Area were represented.


November 6th is our Day of Special Interest, when Mary Alexander will be talking on the subject of


Why Paris?


So that is our next event to look forward to.


As previously mentioned, the Christmas Theatre Trip to The Royal Exchange, Manchester is on December 13th for the 2:30pm matinée performance of


Brief Encounter


The coach will be leaving Heswall Squash Club at 9:30am, allowing time for shopping and lunch before the matinée. It will return immediately after the performance.


 May I mention again that The Christmas Meeting this year will be on Monday, December 11th at the normal afternoon time of 2:00pm on a suitably seasonal subject.


In The Frosty Season: How The Romantics Invented Winter


So on the 2nd Monday of the month, rather than our usual 3rd Monday.


Meanwhile our next lecture, on the 20th November is given by Marie Conte-Helm, on the subject of


The Great Age of The Shogun: Art and Culture in the Edo Period Japan


Which I look forward to greatly.


I come now to my sadly usual final paragraph and am bowed down by the prospect of putting into words the increasing despair we now feel at the state of our world. The dreadful situation in the Middle East threatens totally to overshadow the continuing war in Ukraine. All the other regional conflicts, so real and dreadful to those trying to survive them continue also. I, and I am sure many of you, cannot remember such a dangerous and appalling time. Heaven help all those living through these terrible events.


My sincere good wishes


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

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