The Society was established in 1974 and follows The Arts Society’s ethos of providing first class lectures, days of special interest, cultural visits and holidays.

Roger Mitchell at Shaw HillOur President is Roger Mitchell MA (Oxon), pictured right at a Christmas Lunch, Shaw Hill.

He studied History at Oxford and Fine Art at Leeds. He then travelled and studied in the USA with a Churchill Award. A former College Vice-Principal, he now lectures at the University of Liverpool and for Adult Residential Colleges. He organises and leads Country House tours and also tries to find time to do research at Chatsworth.

Society meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at Samlesbury Hotel, Preston New Road, Preston, PR5 0UL.

Coffee is served from 10:00 to 10:30am, followed by a lecture which starts at 10:45am and finishes at approximately noon.

We are a member of The Arts Society. To find out more click here.

Registered Charity No. 514394

Upcoming Programmes

    • 10/10/2018

      The Story of the Cook Sisters and how they used opera to save lives – Anne Sebba

      Ida and Louise Cook were destined never to marry after decimation of the men of their generation in World War One. When Ida became a successful Mills and Boon novelist they used their earnings to indulge their love of opera, travelling all over the world but especially to Salzburg. Familiarity with Austria enabled these two eccentric opera loving sisters to undertake dangerous undercover missions in the 1930s rescuing Jewish musicians and others from the Nazis.

      This talk will explore the world of Opera in the 1920s and 30s – the clothes, music, celebrities, and the signed photographs coveted by fans. It will also show how Opera transformed the lives not just of these two sisters but of at least 29 families they saved. In 2010 the Government posthumously created the Cook sisters British Heroes of the Holocaust. 

    • 14/11/2018

      Thomas Heatherwick: Leonardo of our Times – Anthea Streeter

      Thomas Heatherwick, has won many awards and honours: in 2004 he was the youngest practitioner to be appointed a Royal Designer for Industry; he won a Gold Medal for his British Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010, and in the same year he was designer of the year in Japan. Sir Terence Conran spotted his talent early on and has described Heatherwick as “the Leonardo da Vinci of our times”. Heatherwick’s work received world-wide coverage in 2012 when with his studio team he designed the Olympic Cauldron at the London Olympics. The giant ring of fire rising up from the centre of the Olympic Stadium was a memorable sight, and in the lecture we’ll look at how they achieved that spectacular moment. The Heatherwick Studio has also designed the new red London bus, the first re-design of such an iconic symbol of London for 50 years. 

      Heatherwick’s approach is multi-disciplinary, and with his colleagues he blends architecture, sculpture and engineering to produce elegant results, from large urban spaces to individual items such as his Zip Bag for the French firm Longchamp. As well as the conversion of the Coal Drop buildings at King’s Cross into a shopping area, the Studio has major projects underway in Cape Town, Shanghai and New York. In New York, it is involved in four concurrent projects, two forming part of the development of West Manhattan: Pier 55 and The Vessel – a great achievement for a British designer. Heatherwick’s innovative approach is now in demand all over the world, and the lecture will highlight the broad range of his designs.