Details of Recent Events
Note: Where an event requires special booking please refer to the latest Newsletter.
Here are details of the recent Westerham Society events:
- Sir Francis Younghusband
on 9th Feb 2024 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
The presentation will tell the story of how an original set of glass slides from the explorer and spirtualist leader, Sir Francis Younghusband, a former resident of Westerham, came into the hands of the Westerham Society. He is known for his travels in the Far East and Central Asia, especially the 1904 expedition to Tibet which the slides feature. We will show the slides on the evening on a Victorian magic lantern. They are as extraordinary as the life of Sir Francis.
- The Wolfe Family and Quebec House
on 12th Jan 2024 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
The speaker is Ed Katz, who will give a presentation about the Wolfe family, in particular General Wolfe and Henrietta Wolfe, and the history of Quebec House. He is a tour guide at Quebec House who has undertaken much research about the history of Quebec House, its owners and inhabitants during his many years of employment by the National Trust. This should be an interesting insight into an important piece of local Westerham history. The talk will commence at 8pm.
- Christmas Social
on 10th Dec 2023 12:00:pm, at A Private Venue
The annual convivial lunchtime Christmas Social which is open to all Members through advanced ticket sales.
- Churchill Dinner
on 30th Nov 2023 7:30:pm, at ChartwellWe are thrilled to announce details of this year's Westerham Society Churchill Dinner. Our guest of honour is Flt Lt Colin Bell who served in WW2 as a Mosquito Bomber Pilot. During his tour of operations, he carried out 50 bombing raids, all over Germany. For his outstanding service as a Pathfinder pilot, Colin was awarded the DFC. When he was stood down from his front-line role in March 1944, having defied the odds of survival, he had just turned 24. Colin is now over 102 and continues to lecture and give interviews on a regular basis.We look forward enormously to hosting this distinguished Speaker and are delighted to be doing so at Chartwell, back in the home that Sir Winston loved so much.Full details and a booking form will be sent to Members.
- GHQ Auxillary Units
on 10th Nov 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
Jim Gascoyne, the Kent researcher for the Coleshill Auxillary Research Team (CART), will tell us about Churchill's Secret Army, commonly known as the 'Stay Behinds'. Jim would like to encourage Members to have a look at the link; https//www.staybehinds.com for information about the British Resistance Archive. It should be an interesting and fasinating talk.
on 13th Oct 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
We regret that this talk evening has been cancelled due to difficulties securing a speaker for the date. Apologies.
- The Antiques Quiz
on 8th Sep 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
We will have a very different presentation. The renowned auctioneer, Paul Viney, will challenge us with an Antiques Quiz. Paul will bring along 10 items and each one will have questions and clues. We plan to have ‘team tables’ to have a chance of discussion before answering the posed question. Members can form their own table, no more than 6 per table, or can join other members and guests on available tables. It will be a fun evening and a prize will be given to the winning table. To enable us to set up beforehand, it would a great help for members to confirm their attendance by e mail to email@example.com. It would also be helpful to know if you have a team.
- Canada Day Social
on 1st Jul 2023 6:00:pm, at Quebec House
We look forward to welcoming Society Members to our celebration of Canada Day in the Garden of Quebec House for an evening social. The event will include drinks and canapes and there will be a short talk about General Wolfe. This year we will also be inviting members of the Wolfe Society to join us for the first time. As there will be a limit on the total numbers attending, places must be booked in advance and a form will be sent to Society Members to purchase tickets for the event.
- 100 Years in the Life of Quebec House
on 9th Jun 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
Bill Curtis has now published four books on Westerham’s social and commercial history of the nineteenth and early twentieth Centuries. In this Talk he gives us some insight into how you might tell stories spanning that period of history. What references exist today? There are minute books from various Societies and Institutions of the time and we can glean snippets of news from our local hero of the day Charles Hooker, who with great wisdom, produced his ‘Almanack’ from 1864 to 1951 and started the ‘Westerham Herald’ newspaper in 1882. It’s a case of bringing together partially-told stories from a community that lived and breathed the untold histories that have often been lost in the passage of time, or were never actually committed to written word in a completed form. There are hints and clues that must be spotted and absorbed and pieced together, and with careful amalgamation of these elements, the story will often unfold to give a concise picture of Westerham life during that period. The reality is there is no-one alive to ask... The Talk will commence at 8pm.
- All By Myself
on 12th May 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
A staged reading of 'All By Myself ' The performers will be the stars from CHIPS and WADS. We promise it will be a hilarious evening!
- Beating the Bounds and Fair on The Green
on 1st May 2023 8:00:am, at The Green
The traditional Beating the Bounds with a sign-posted route around the Westerham Parish boundaries starts from 8.00 am. The event is free and families or small groups of walkers can undertake all or part of the route at their own chosen time. A Family Trail for a section of the route will be organised. Walkers can finish at The Green where they will be able to enjoy food, refreshments, stalls and entertainment. The Fair on The Green is a joint event between The Westerham Society, Westerham Town Partnership and the Edenbridge & Westerham Rotary. The Fair will run from 11.00 am until 4.30 pm. Come and enjoy the day. For further information and to download the route directions please go to: www.visitwesterham.org.uk/whats-on/w-beating-the-bounds
- The Sands of Time: A Cottage in Limpsfield from 1450 to the Present
on 14th Apr 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
The village of Limpsfield, lying only three miles to the west of Westerham, has long been appreciated for its wealth of historic domestic architecture. However, the identities of the people who owned and lived in its houses before the twentieth century have been largely untraced. The speaker, Nicholas Dixon, will explain how he reconstructed the history of one Limpsfield cottage and the land on which it was built, resulting in a revised understanding of its actual age and the discovery of fascinating information about its owners and residents. The story of one seemingly insignificant cottage gives remarkable insights into the history of the Limpsfield and Westerham area from the medieval era to the present day and demonstrates the potential of archival research to shed light on historic houses in Britain more generally. Dr Nicholas Dixon is a professional genealogist and house history researcher in London. He studied History at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and was awarded a PhD for a thesis concerning the history of the Church of England in the nineteenth century. He is an external contributor to the History of Parliament project and conducts research projects for clients.
- Overland from Africa to Chartwell by Land Rover
on 10th Mar 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
On 12th July 2022, Rick Currie left Chartwell South Africa with a group of 3 Land Rovers, a 1956 Series 1 107 Station Wagon, A 1970 Forward Control 110 Series IIB ex-military comms vehicle and a 2000 Defender 110 Td5, to travel to Chartwell House in the UK. Rick is coming to Westerham to tell the story of travelling through over 20 countries, 2 continents and across the Mediterranean to arrive at Chartwell House on Sunday 23rd October 2022. Rick’s presentation will have photographs and maps to illustrate the adventure. We are very privileged that Rick has decided to travel from South Africa to tell his story.
- Chiddingstone Castle
on 10th Feb 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
Naomi Collick, the curator of Chiddingstone Castle, will talk about Denys Eyre Bower (1905 – 1977) and his collections, with an introduction to the history of the castle. Naomi’s talk will be followed later in the spring with a visit to the castle.
- From Bethnal Green to Venice
on 13th Jan 2023 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
A Talk by Bob Holt Bob Holt will tell the story of the cultural change from being brought up in Bethnal Green and marrying into a Venetian Family. It will include some strange and hilarious moments as well as insights into the one of the world’s top tourist destinations. He will also discuss Venice.
- Christmas Social
on 11th Dec 2022 12:00:pm, at A Private Venue
The annual convivial lunchtime Christmas Social open to all Members through advanced ticket sales.
- Churchill Dinner
on 30th Nov 2022 7:30:pm, at Westerham Golf Club
We are thrilled to welcome Professor Kevin Ruane, Professor of Modern History at Canterbury Christ University and By-Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge, as our guest speaker this year. Professor Ruane has written and published extensively on many areas of modern history, including books on the Vietnam War, European defence, and Anthony Eden. His book ‘Churchill and the Bomb in War and Cold War’ was named a ‘BBC History Book of the Year’. He has spoken twice at the annual International Churchill Society conference, most recently on Churchill and nuclear weapons, which was televised. In 2019, he delivered the annual Canterbury Christ Church University public history lecture; he took as his theme: “The Bulldog of Brexit?” Winston Churchill and the Great Debate on Europe’. He has carried out extensive television work in documentaries including looking at royal history (Inside Balmoral), the atomic bombing of Japan and Churchill’s chastening defeat in the 1945 General Election. This year’s excellent speaker comes at the suggestion of Randolph Churchill, who has heard him talk on several occasions. Booking Forms will be sent to Members.
- The Long Walks – Land’s End to John O’Groats
on 11th Nov 2022 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
A Talk by David Taylor-Smith.
In July 2022, David Taylor-Smith completed a 1,200 mile walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The 85-day journey crossed three countries and 19 counties and he was accompanied by his wife, Jacs, and two dogs, Taitao and Mana. He raised £15,000 for charity.David set off during Covid restrictions to learn more about Britain and its people. His route took him along the high cliffs of Cornwall and Caithness, across the high moors of Dartmoor, Northern England and Scotland, along rivers and canals and past some of the most spectacular spots in the UK. He encountered hundreds of people and recorded the wildflower and bird species along his route. In a beautifully illustrated talk, David will share some stories, images and sounds from his journey.
- Crime and the Craft ….. Masonic Involvement
on 14th Oct 2022 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
A Talk by Mike Neville, Author and retired Scotland Yard Chief Inspector
Mike Neville is an expert on the history of Freemasonry and the history of crime. He travels the world advising police forces and gives lectures on the subject. He is world-renowned for his ability to catch criminals with CCTV using ‘Super Recogniser’ officers. He is an author and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Cadet Force as well as being National Training Officer for Music.
- Ordinary People can do Extraordinary Things
on 9th Sep 2022 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall
A Talk by Anne Dickens MBE.
Anne Dickins MBE was an endurance mountain biker who suffered a back injury that left her with a permanently weak left leg that prevented her enjoying her bike. A chance meeting as a volunteer at the 2012 Olympics with a GB Para Canoe Coach led to her being invited to try for the GB Canoe Squad selection. Anne succeeded and became a British paracanoeist competing in the KL3 classification. She won gold in this event at the 2016 Summer Paralympics. Anne has also won two World Championship and three European Championship golds. Anne didn’t stop there. She has continued to inspire by travelling the world on more adventures. Anne will tell her story how ‘ordinary people can do extraordinary things’.