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Welcome to The Arts Society Weybridge

As at 15th February 2021:

Please see Visits 2021 page for details of upcoming Virtual Visits -

Wednesday 24th February at 10.00 am - live tour of Dorsoduro district of Venice

Wednesday 3rd March - live tour of Ginza district of Tokyo

Wednesday 7th April - live tour of Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan, in cherry blossom time

As at 18th January 2021:

On Wednesday 10th February at 10.30 Anne Sebba will talk online on "Les Parisiennes: How women lived, loved and died in Paris from 1939 to 1949".

Les Parisiennes is a story about women’s lives during the dark years of Nazi occupation and beyond and includes British and American women caught in Paris as well as native born resisters who were eventually sent to camps, couturiers and jewellers, some of whom flourished in wartime, as well as actors, singers, night club dancers and housewives. This lecture has been highly recommended by another local society.

A former Reuters foreign correspondent, Anne is now a broadcaster - she presented a BBC R3 documentary about the pianist Harriet Cohen and for Radio 4 the documentary Who was Joyce Hatto? she regularly appears on television talking about her books, mostly biographies including Jennie Churchill, William Bankes, Laura Ashley and Wallis Simpson. The latter, published as That Woman, was an international bestseller. Her latest book is a history of Paris between 1939-49 through women's eyes published in 2016 as Les Parisiennes How the women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s. Anne is a former chair of Britain's 9,000 strong Society of Authors.

Image: Anne Sebba

The committee is encouraged to continue with online lectures for the foreseeable future. We had over 100 members attending our January lecture. Although online lectures are not the same as a personal lecture at Whiteley Village Hall, they can still be very interesting, and the picture quality is better for viewing the images. We can also hear talks from lecturers from beyond the south-east when we have had lectures from those already booked and in the system.

A day or two before the talk, members will be emailed the link to click on to enable them to participate in the talk. Details of how to attend this Zoom lecture are set out on the Zoom page of this website.

See more details on the Lectures 2021 pages of this website.

In normal times, at this time of the year, we would have booked our future lectures for the next 12-15 months so as to be able to include them in the programme card. Booking this far ahead is not sensible in the present uncertain times. We are booking three or four months ahead. Similarly, visits and special interest days are not being booked at the present time. So there will not be a programme card this year; please look at this website regularly and read the regular monthly email from our Acting Chairman, Val Shaw, to keep yourself up to date. Thank you.


As at 27th January 2021:
Our Chairman, Anne Gregory-Jones, is recuperating from illness. We wish her a full recovery. She has resigned as Chairman, and hopes to rejoin the committee in the autumn (if elected!!). Val Shaw, our Vice Chairman, has kindly agreed to be Acting Chairman for the coming months.

As at 19th October 2020

The Society's financial year ends on 31st December. The committee intends to hold a full programme of lectures over the next year, at Whiteley Village Hall or online. The committee has decided to invite members to renew their membership from 1st January 2021 as usual, but with a reduced subscription to take into account the five cancelled lectures this year (2020). Members should be aware that about one third of the Society's income, about £4,000, is paid each year to the Arts Society head office as a capitation fee. Head office is not prepared to reduce this sum. We have to pay this sum whether we hold lectures or not. Diane Gosling, our membership secretary, will be in touch with members in due course regarding subscription renewal.

AGM October 2020
Accounts and reports were filed online by the committee and members were invited to vote online. 76 members voted, all in favour of the resolutions put forward by the committee. It was not possible to comply with all the requirements of the constitution (for example the constitution requires a "show of hands") but the committee did its best. The AGM draft minutes are shown on the AGM page of this website.

As at 31st July 2020:

We have been told by Whiteley Village that we can resume monthly lecture meetings in Whiteley Village Hall in September, but with a limit of 28 of our members attending, and with 2 metre social distancing. No additional members would be allowed if some members shared the same household. All members would have to sit 2 metres apart, with a limit of 28 including AV team etc.

We had been hoping for 80-100 members being allowed with "1 metre plus" distancing, i.e. 1 metre plus a face mask.

Our TASW committee have decided that it is not practicable to resume lectures in September if only 28 members are allowed to attend. Not practicable for members, the lecturers, or financially for the society as a whole.

Our chairman, Michael Guthrie, will be emailing members shortly setting out the current situation in detail.

Regarding the October AGM, the accounts, previous year's minutes, agenda, committee report, committee nominations etc will be placed on this website in due course, and members will be able to vote online in the 21 days up to the "date" of the AGM. There will not be a live Zoom meeting or similar. This does not completely comply with our constitution, which requires "a show of hands" etc, but it is simply not possible at the present time to comply with a constitution that did not foresee the present lockdown.

Lecturers have been very helpful in allowing their lectures to be postponed; we would like to thank them warmly.

A message from our Chairman, Michael Guthrie - 2nd June 2020

On behalf of the The Arts Society Weybridge committee I wish you well and hope that you are managing during these difficult times, although hopefully the situation is improving.

As you must realise, our society activities are at a standstill and until the Government allows meetings to take place and we have a venue, everything has to remain so.

Your committee has recently had an online meeting via
Zoom, which proved very successful.

I would like to advise members how we plan to get started once we have permission to do so.

Stephen Hayes has been cancelling lecturers with the required notice, who graciously accept the situation, and he is re-booking them for next year.

Tony Perei has ascertained from Whiteley Village Trust that they will reopen the hall as soon as is allowed. There might be restrictions on the number permitted in the hall with social distancing, but at this stage we do not really know.

In August we normally send out membership renewal notices. Until we know when we can restart, we will not send these notices out. When they do go out however, an allowance on next year’s subscription will be made for the lectures not given during this year.

Therefore, there may be a delay in issuing Programme Cards for 2021 until the programme is finalised and visits rebooked. Hopefully, we will be able to supply you with head office membership cards, and you will be able to look on our website for details of lectures and visits.

Tony Collinson-Jones has provisionally rebooked the visits to Stratfield Saye for April 2021, and Lullingstone Castle for June 2021.

The only visit for this year not cancelled so far is the extended visit to Liverpool. The tour operator, Tailored Travel, has advised that at present they are ready, willing and able to run the tour. Therefore, if those booked or TASW decide to cancel the visit on or before 20th July, regretfully those booked will have to forfeit their deposit.
Tony adds that he will be assessing the situation constantly, and we will take a decision in early July in the light of the government position then, and will communicate directly with the affected members, probably in the second week of July, before the balance of payments are due. If, by then it seems that the visit could go ahead, he will discuss with members concerned if in the light of their own circumstances they actually wish to.

The Special Interest Day in October is still planned, but again it will all depend on Government advice and whether the venue will be operating.

AGM: We have decided that the AGM should still take place in October, but in case we are unable to have it ‘live’ because of social distancing, we plan to have it online.

The relevant papers will be sent to you well in advance by email or post for those not having email, and will also be available on our website.

On the website there will be a voting paper. All you will have to do is insert your email address and tick the required box for yes or no for the proposals.

Our constitution states that a show of hands has to be made, but in these exceptional times I hope you will accept this method of voting.

If you have any objection to this, please let me know.

As has been mentioned many times, this society can only operate by having a committee. Committee members are re-elected at the AGM.

The current Vice Chairman Anne Gregory-Jones is the Chair designate, as I will be standing down having served for five years on the committee. However, I will remain as part of the AV team.

Therefore, there is a vacancy on the committee for someone to take over Special Interest Days. This involves choosing a double lecture for two events each year, March and October, arranging the hall venue, normally at Riverhouse Barn, and liaising with the caterer. Next March is already fixed, and if October this year is cancelled, hopefully the lecturer will accept a re-booking for October 2021.

This position does not take too much time but allows that committee member to become part of the team that runs the society, join the luncheons after the lecture with the lecturer and other committee members and helpers, and take part in the monthly committee meetings usually on the Friday after the lecture, and the annual self financing ‘committee only’ outing.

So please consider putting yourself forward!

I hope that you are receiving emails from head office. They are offering a lot of information on their website (
www.theartssociety.org) . Click on The Arts Society Connected, where you will find lots of information on the arts and what head office is offering.

Sian Walters, who lectured to us last October on
Caravaggio’s Final Years, is giving free lectures on Facebook every Monday morning at 09.30 hrs.

Live lectures will be on the main page every Monday at 9.30  - 

Please do not hesitate to phone any of the committee members should you need any further information or just an opportunity to keep in touch.

Keep safe

Best wishes

Michael G Guthrie – Chairman of TAS Weybridge on behalf of the committee.
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Val Shaw (left) (the TASW committee member handling Heritage Volunteers and Young Arts) with Caroline Coleman (Chairman of The Arts Society West Surrey Area) at the launch of Dementia Awareness Week (May 2019)

Welcome to The Arts Society Weybridge

Parking at Whiteley Village

Spaces have been allocated at the Rugby Club car park. Signs will direct you and there should be some signs to direct pedestrians to the hall.

There will be a mini bus, which will do two runs to the hall, 09.50 hrs. and 10.05 hrs., and two runs back to the car park after the lecture.

The bus seats twelve passengers each run.

There will be limited parking in
South Avenue near the hall for those who cannot manage the walk. This area will be marked by cones.  

The cones indicate where to park!

This is in addition to The Sanctuary car park area for those who need to be nearer the hall. (Car parking pass needed and available on request).

Please note that only members with a 
blue parking badge will be allowed to park next to the hall.

For a map of the parking areas please see the Venues page of this website.

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The Arts Society Weybridge

Weybridge Decorative & Fine Arts Society was founded in 2000. We are affiliated to The Arts Society formerly known as the National Association for Decorative & Fine Arts. In October 2017, following the lead of The Arts Society, we changed our name to The Arts Society Weybridge.

The Arts Society comprises Member Societies throughout the country whose aim is to increase enjoyment and knowledge of the arts and to stimulate interest in the preservation of our cultural heritage. The first Society was founded in Buckinghamshire in 1965 by the late Patricia Fay OBE and there are now over 320 societies with a membership of over 88,000. We have 300 members.

Our primary activity is a programme of lectures with a guest speaker. These talks take place at Whiteley Village Hall (pictured above), Octagon Road, off Burwood Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 4EH, at 10.30 am on the second Wednesday of each month (except July).

We also arrange visits to local places of interest, and trips abroad.

At our October 2017 AGM, our members voted unanimously to change our name from Weybridge Decorative & Fine Arts Society to The Arts Society Weybridge. This follows the recommendation of The Arts Society (formerly the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) and its rebranding.

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There are also special interest days which are usually held at the Riverhouse Barn (pictured right) in Walton-on-Thames.

The Arts Society Weybridge supports the Young Arts in Weybridge and local area by contributing to an arts activity for young people between the ages of 8 and 18.

We are in need of more help for our Audio Visual team, especially someone knowledgable in sound equipment.

18th January 2021 updated

Any comments on this website to be sent to webadmin@theartssocietyweybridge.org.uk