Programme of Talks 2021

Venue: To be announced (The South Downs Memorial Hall, our home for the last few years, is currently being used as a Covid vaccination centre.)

Date and Time: Usually the 3rd Thursday in the month at 7pm

Entry Charge: Members Free; Visitors £5; Students £1

An abridged programme has been arranged for 2021, to be held by Zoom until it is safe to hold public gatherings again.

Note: It might be possible for us to arrange for one of our members to give illustrated talks on Midhurst to (fairly) local organisations.  For many years Bridget Howard offered this service; more recently Dave Rudwick has taken up the challenge.  Historical walks in Midhurst can also be arranged.


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Thursday, 25 March 2021.  Online.  Ian Keable presents . . .

The picture you are looking at is one of the great Hoaxes of the eighteenth century...

Do you see all those baby rabbits that the woman in labour is giving birth to? This and many more such deceptions will be the subject of this intriguing  Midhurst Society talk.

Presenting live online will be Ian Keable who has been baffling audiences with his observations and wit for years.


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How Green is my Valley?

Thursday, 22 April 2021.  Online

Colin Hedley and Ses Wright of The Rother Valley Farmers Group kindly shared the slides from their presentation, and we have reproduced some here. Click on 'More' at the bottom of this section.

For more information on RVFG click here

and for South Downs Farming click here


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Sussex Inn Signs and their History

Thursday, 20 May 2021.  Online by Zoom.   Please note this is a change to our printed programme.

Dr Janet Pennington invites you to the pub!  Although as this will be a Zoom session you will have to provide your own drinks!

"The research for my doctoral thesis took me to pubs all over Sussex and in many other counties. If you think you know your White Horse from your Red Lion, or your Kings Head from your Royal Oak, come along and learn something new.

"Inn signs were, and still are, much more than external advertising for food, drink and possibly accommodation nowadays. The signs and their brackets reveal patronage, land ownership, social status and local personalities and events, opening a window on to the past. Sussex inn signs are a colourful addition to our urban and rural surroundings and they are still full of meaning in the twenty-first century."

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San Francisco

Thursday, 24 June 2021.  CANCELLED!!!

This presentation by IAN GLEDHILL has been cancelled due to extended Government restrictions.  Rearranged for 23 November 2021

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A Garden Party

Our new President, Philip Jackson and his wife Jean have kindly arranged for members to visit their beautiful garden in Cocking.  This will take place over two days on 15th and 16th September.  Members who have already expressed an interest will receive details.

Refreshments will be served, members will be free to wander round the garden to admire the sculptures in this stunning setting, and there will be an opportunity to meet Philip and Jean.  This is a wonderful way to meet up again after suffering the effects of Covid restrictions for such a long time.



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In the Dock

Wednesday, 22 September 2021. 

Our September presentation "In the Dock with the Magistrates" will be held at the Grange Leisure Centre on Wednesday, 22 September.  (Please note the change of date and venue; the Memorial Hall is still needed for Covid Vaccinations.)

There is a bar at the Grange for pre-meeting drinks.  Start time is 7pm.  Don't be late or you'll find yourself in the dock!

IN THE DOCK WITH THE MAGISTRATES - their work and workings revealed - and a mini courtroom drama in which you are invited to participate!

Aimee Blattman-Esswood, a local Magistrate, will give a presentation about the British criminal justice system. She will be accompanied by four colleagues who will talk about one of the oldest public offices still active in this country.   The audience will be asked to assist in a mock trial of an offender at the end.

Venue: The Grange Centre

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AGM and Brewing

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 at THE GRANGE CENTRE

Please note the change of date and venue!  (Our apologies; we had hoped to be back in the Memorial Hall, but when that was declared unavailable we had to grab a late booking at The Grange.)

Our 2021 Annual General Meeting, accompanied by a short presentation on Steam heated micro brewing.  Members will be asked to vote on resolutions that will be sent out in advance.   This is an important meeting and essential for our continuing existence as a charity.

Non-members are also welcome (although they will not be allowed to vote) to enjoy an exciting presentation from Langham Brewery which will follow the formal part of the evening.

Papers can be found on the next page.

Venue The Grange Centre

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Halfway to the Stars

Tuesday 23 November 2021. 

***  Please note the change from our advertised programme  ***

Halfway to the Stars - San Francisco and its Cable Cars

Venue The Memorial Hall, North Street, Midhurst

Celebrated in song, the cable cars of San Francisco are a unique and endearing form of public transport.  This is their story, and that of the city which created them.

Ian Gledhill began his career as an engineer, designing extensions to the London Underground.  However, most of his working life has been spent in the theatre,  mainly in opera and musical theatre, as a director, set designer and opera translator.  He has also worked in television, music publishing, travel and tourism.

Ian has entertained us on two previous occasions and we look forward to another informative and amusing evening.


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2020: Summary of Talks

We held the first two talks, in line with the programme, but then Cocid-19 intervened.  Lockdowns, interspersed with restrictions on public gatherings, meant that we were unable to hold any further talks.

We were also unable to mark our 60th Anniversary with the planned summer garden party.  We continued to produce our magazines, and in Spring we brought out a special issue of 60 pages -the closest we could get to a celebration with our members.  We also updated and extended our web site, adding new pages, and we continued to post to Facebook.  In fact, our following on Facebook grew considerably as we provided news items, puzzles and entertainments - often with several posts a day.

Our AGM was delayed in the hope that restrictions would be eased, but eventually we had to arrange a Zoom session on 29 |October.

In November, Rev. Derek Welsman kindly gave a talk for us on the meaning of community, which he uploaded to YouTube.  This is still available to watch at your leisure


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2019: Summary of Talks

2019 was a busy year; with some interesting and engaging talks with good attendances.  Can we maintain the standard for 2020?  We believe we have a very good programme and would love to see more Members and visitors joining us...

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2018: summary of talks

2018 was a good year, some excellent talks with good attendances.  Can we maintain the standard for 2019?  We think we have a very good programme! 

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