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).

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.  However, for the remainder of 2020, lectures will be delivered online via Zoom as follows:-

14th October – David Wright 11.00 a.m.
11th November – Barry Venning 4.00 p.m.
9th December – Brian Healey 4.00 p.m.
Some of the early 2021 Lectures may continue to be held on-line via Zoom.  We hope to return to The Mercure Preston Samlesbury Hotel as soon as is possible.  Members will be informed of the return date and any specific requirements regarding social distancing that may be in force at the time.

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

Registered Charity No. 514394

Upcoming Programmes

    • 11/11/2020

      Giles: His life, times and Cartoons – Barry Venning

      The cartoonist, Carl Giles, once said that he loved his creation, Grandma Giles – that fearsome, black-clad, gambling, drinking battleaxe – because she allowed him to say things through his cartoons that he was too polite to say in person. She helped him to poke fun at authority in all its forms, from Hitler to traffic wardens and even his employers at the Daily Express, who didn’t trust him and had sub-editors scouring his cartoons for subversive background details. His admirers included Prince Charles, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Tommy Cooper, and it was no surprise when he was voted Britain’s best-loved cartoonist in 2000. Few people realise, however, that this likeable and humane satirist was also a war correspondent who witnessed the horrors of Belsen, where he found that the camp commandant, Josef Kramer, was also a great fan of his work. Giles gave us a remarkable picture of a half-century of British life. He was also, as his editor John Gordon put it “a spreader of happiness’ and ‘a genius…with the common touch’.

    • 09/12/2020

      All about Icons – Brian Healey

      Why is it that so many icons appear so similar, so dark, so primitive even? It takes a trained eye to reveal the fascinating language of icons, the symbolism of colour and line, the meaning of reverse perspective, elongated fingers and faces and desexualised features. Combine this with an understanding of the process of creating or ‘writing’ an icon and the many variations of a particular theme, and suddenly it all makes sense. Through a close look at their construction, common themes and characteristics of Russian icons in particular, this lecture will help de-mysticise these intriguing artworks and help explain why they are so central to Orthodox belief.