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.
Our 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
How the Queen entertains at Windsor: Treasures and Curiosities – Oliver Everett
The Library is primarily used by the Queen to show to her guests after dinner parties at Windsor Castle. This is because it is so full of a great range of fascinating objects associated with the history of Britain and the Royal family. The lecture gives a tour of the Library similar to that experienced by the Queen’s guests. The Library is open to academic researchers but not to the general public. The lecture therefore constitutes a rare opportunity to see its rooms and treasures. These treasures include beautiful and rare books and manuscripts; books with personal royal associations; old master drawings (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Holbein, Canaletto) and watercolours; jewellery; insignia of Orders of Chivalry; miniature paintings; clocks; fans; maps; the shirt in which Charles I was executed; and the Queen’s description (when Princess Elizabeth, aged 11) of her father’s Coronation in 1937.
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.