Monthly Archives: October 2020

Pre-Raphaelite Study Day – October 2021

The next Day of Special Interest will be on Friday 22nd October 2021 and will have three lectures on Pre-Raphaelite painters.   It will be held at The Warwickshire Country Club, Leek Wootton, CV35 7QT.

The presenter will be Mr. Julian Halsby, MA RBA FRSA.  Julian studied History of Art at Emmanuel College Cambridge and had a career in lecturing and writing, working as a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department.  

The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott, 1888
John William Waterhouse

Tate Collection
Image released under Creative Commons Licence

The Pre-Raphaelites were young, revolutionary artists who defied the traditions of the Royal Academy and produced highly original and innovative works from 1848 until the 1880’s.

The study day will start by looking at the origins of the movement and the battles for recognition from 1848 to 1860, moving on to examine the wonderful Pre-Raphaelite landscapes, amongst the finest landscapes of the 19th century. The young Pre-Raphaelites were also social rebels rejecting Victorian morality and associating with girls whom their parents considered to be below their social standing.  The day will continue by examining the loves and scandals surrounding these artists. What is less well known is that their paintings often comment on social evils of the time – prostitution, vagrancy, poverty and the Scottish clearances.

After lunch (which is included in the ticket price), Julian will look at the later Pre-Raphaelites and their influence in Europe, as well as examining Pre-Raphaelite design led by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones which became the famous Arts and Crafts Movement.

I think you will agree that we can look forward to a very interesting day.
Tickets are now on sale, priced at £50 per person. Please email for more details and to reserve your place.

Susan Dunnett

Chairman’s Update, November 2020

Dear Member,

I am delighted to say that all the news this month is good news! – so I hope that helps to lift your spirits at least somewhat. This update contains the following:

an update on the ’50 Treasures’ project that I referred to last month.

an update on the re-opening of the Spa Centre.

the announcement of a very well-deserved award of a West Midlands Gold Award for volunteering to Angela Watkins.

an update on our involvement with the Leamington History Group project.

details of our next online lecture on 4th November 2020.

1. 50 Treasures of the West Midlands
I referred to this project in my update last month but, just by way of a reminder, it is a project to assemble fifty of the lesser known artistic (using that term in a wide sense) objects and places in the West Midlands area and publish the result in a glossy booklet.

Although completion of the project has, inevitably, been delayed by the pandemic, Carol Austin, who is coordinating this project at area level, has confirmed that we should be able to publish the booklet by Easter 2021.  As soon as it is published I will, of course, let you know how you can order copies of it.

2. The Spa Centre and Leamington Museum & Art Gallery
Firstly, the Council has confirmed that the future of both of the above are secure and secondly, that they will re-open by the end of March 2021, although they may, of course, open subject to various conditions such as social distancing etc.

This is very good news for us and brings the time when we can realistically have physical lectures in the Spa Centre an important step closer. We will continue to liaise with the Spa Centre to establish what can, and cannot, be done and as soon as we have a definitive date and plan I will let you know.

At the moment we have planned our April 2021 lecture to be online and I suspect that will remain the case as it is only a few days after the rescheduled opening but, again, I will keep you fully informed of developments as they occur.

3. Angela Watkins
Very many of you will know Angela but for those who do not, she has led our church recording activity outstanding well over more than 20 years and she was also the area church recording representative for several years.

I am very pleased to announce that Angela has been awarded a West Midlands Area Gold Award for volunteering in recognition of all her work in this particular field – well done Angela and many congratulations!

4. Leamington History Group (LHG) project
In last month’s update, I included a reference to the Virtual Fair that LHG held on 26th September, including a video from us showcasing the work of our Heritage Volunteers and Trails of Discovery. I know that a number of you logged into the day and to our video in particular and I hope you enjoyed them; personally, I thought our video was particularly good (although I might be accused of a slight bias!). 
You can still watch it on YouTube
One of the LHG videos is on the broad history and development of Leamington and you can find it at:
Having viewed it myself I can thoroughly recommend it and you will also see that we get mentioned in the credits at the end for helping to finance its production.

5. Online lecture on Wednesday 4th November
I am pleased to announce that our next online lecture will be broadcast, as is now usual, on You Tube on Wednesday 4th November at 11.00am.
More details can be found on this link to our website 
As with all our previous online lectures, members are very welcome to invite friends and family to watch it with you or, if you prefer, forward them the link to You Tube to enable them to watch it separately if they are interested in joining us.
The lecture is entitled ‘The Day Parliament Burned Down’and our lecturer will be Dr. Caroline Shenton. Caroline is an archivist and historian. She was formerly Director of the Parliamentary Archives in London and, before that, a senior archivist at the National Archives in Kew.
The lecture will be streamed live via You Tube which makes it very easy to access as there is no need to download or set up and additional software.  A link to enable members to access the broadcast will be emailed to members a few days before the 4th November. 

With Caroline’s kind permission, the video will remain available online for 24 hours after it has been broadcast live (i.e. until 12 noon on 5th November) to enable those members who are not able to join live on the 4th an opportunity to view it.
I hope that you are all keeping safe and well and, for those of you who log in, I do hope that you enjoy the lecture.

Shaun Pitt
28th October 2020