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:

Recent Events

  • Tibet 1904 – Adventure and Danger and Trickery all around

    on 17th May 2024 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall

    'Younghusband and the Chinese Givernment's Irish Negotiators.' We are delighted to invite Limpsfield resident, Robin Masefield CBE, speaker and the author of ‘The World Administered by Irishmen’. The talk will largely look at the life of Robert Hart, a vocal critic of Sir Francis Younghusband. Hart rose from being a student interpreter in the UK’s Consular Service to the most important and most influential westerner in the Qing Chinese Government. His story is astonishing and Robin is a most enthusiastic presenter who worked in Hong Kong in the 1980's and is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.

  • Beating the Bounds and Fair on The Green

    on 6th May 2024 9:00:am, at The Green

    Beating the Bounds of a Parish is an ancient tradition, based on the need for inhabitants to know the extent of their land, before the days of maps. The Westerham Society and Westerham Town Partnership are delighted to welcome families, groups, friends and visitors to join the residents of Westerham in checking our boundaries are still in place! Residents and visitors can explore our wonderful countryside, enjoy the views and the spring weather. The Scouts make a welcome return with their Family Section and fun Quiz (on the north east part of the trail) Join the community for a Maypole Dance by the children of Churchill School, with food from Westerham Scouts and local business. Live entertainment and refreshments on the Green after 11am organised by the Town Partnership, with stalls coordinated by Edenbridge and Westerham Rotary, who are joining us again with their annual Rotary Fair.  The official Beating the Bounds start point is on The Green in Westerham but feel free to start anywhere. Walk clockwise or anticlockwise and do as much or a little as you wish. The whole walk is just under 12 miles.  Note the route is different from previous years. To see and download the route map and route cards go to the Heritage section of the website. This year we have teamed up with the National Trust who are supporting the event by offering free entry to Chartwell (gardens only) to all walkers who have a wrist band which will be handed out on The Green. Walkers who collect a second wrist band from Chartwell and who return to The Green before 5pm on Monday 6th May 2024 (by any means) will be entered into a prize draw to win an Annual Family Membership to the National Trust (or £100). Prize kindly donated by Westerham Town Partnership.

  • The Amazing Doctor Johnson

    on 12th Apr 2024 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall

    Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  to 13 December 1784) English critic, biographer, essayist, poet, and lexicographer, regarded as one of the greatest figures of 18th-century life and letters. Tim Moorey, a professional crossword setter, will tell us about the life and achievements of The Amazing Dr Johnson, who, despite huge personal difficulties, gave the nation its first authentic dictionary. Tim Moorey, a Man of Kent and former Sevenoaks resident, has a lifelong love of words. He is a consultant for Chambers Crossword dictionary, author of two crossword-related books for HarperCollins and runs cryptic crossword solving workshops around the country for The Times and Marlborough College. Tim belongs to the Johnson Society of London and is an ambassador for the London Symphony Orchestra, classical music being his other passion.   The Talk will be preceded by the Members AGM between 7.00 and 7.30 pm.

  • The Suffragettes of Kent

    on 8th Mar 2024 7:30:pm, at Westerham Hall

    A talk by Jennifer Godfrey, the author of the book SUFFRAGETTES OF KENT, to hear stories of hope, determination, courage and sacrifice of those campaigning for women’s suffrage in Kent. Topics covered will include: a peaceful suffrage pilgrimage, suffrage van tours, militant action in Kent, the previously untold story of a Kent working class maid arrested and imprisoned for window-smashing in London and forcible feeding.

  • 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 Chartwell

    We 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.  

  • 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 prolinkint@aol.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.