Evening Talks

The Story of a Butler’s Christmas

Butler's Christmas 1

Bob France has volunteered as a Tour Guide at both Uppark and Petworth Houses. His work has taken in Costume Interpreter activities in various roles, including butler from Georgian and Victorian eras.

Butler's Christmas 2

Bob will explore the Christmas tradition through the eyes of John Dine, Petworth’s ancient butler, looking at how dramatically Christmas changed from his Georgian youth to late Victorian times. Discover how our Christmas traditions developed. Why did Father Christmas change from green to red? Did the Georgians have Christmas trees, presents and turkeys? What were Mumpers and Hodlers? Why was Boxing Day so important?  Plenty of insight and amusement – a  joyful way to herald the festive season!

This entertaining talk will be held at St Joan’s Center, Tilford Road, Farnham GU9 8DJ

Monday 9 December, 20:00

Refreshments from 19:30

Tickets on Entry:

Members £6 Non-Members £8 Students £4

To pre-book please email: 1socsec.fsoc@gmail.com

Please note change of date and venue

This has become necessary now that the general election has been called for 12 December.

Arts and Crafts Gardens

Arts and Craft gardens talk

 

Cherrill Sands is a garden historian with a great passion for the Arts and Crafts movement.

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With the aim of combining beauty and practicality, the movement saw gardens as places to be explored and enjoyed.

Cherrill’s talk will highlight three talented and creative gardeners from the movement.

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William Morris, with his first garden at the Red House.

William Robinson, whose books and magazines urged people to break away from the geometric seasonal bedding which was fashionable in the 19th century.

Gertrude Jekyll, who won great acclaim as a garden designer, working alone or with the architect Edwin Lutyens.

Please join us for a fascinating historical talk at

St Joan’s Centre, 19 Tilford Road, Farnham GU9 8DJ

Friday 15 November, 20:00

Refreshments from 19:30

Tickets on Entry:

Members £4 Non-Members £6 Students £2

To pre-book please email: 1socsec.fsoc@gmail.com

 

Evening talk : The Rise and Fall of English Switzerland

May 2019 talk poster


Hindhead was once known as a barren and dangerous place, a haunt of highwaymen.

Dr Marion Dell described how, from about 1875, that reputation changed. It became a bohemian retreat known as “The English Switzerland” which attracted writers, scientists, artists and other eminent Victorians. Some notable people who came to live here, included Alfred Lord Tennyson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Flora Thompson, George Bernard Shaw and Grant Allan. But it soon became a victim of its own success, and by the end of the century, its increasing popularity began to cause its downfall.

Monday 1st April at St Joan’s Centre, Farnham

Evening Talk: Simon de Montfort

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Talk by Dr Sophie Therese Ambler

Simon de Montfort, England’s First Revolution and the Death of Chivalry, 1258-1265

Monday 1st April refreshments 7.30 for 8.00pm start

At St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ. Tickets on entry £4 members, £6 non members.

Farnham and its surrounds were at the heart of the first English revolution: it was an attack on the church of Shere, and the dragging of captives to Farnham Castle, that provoked Montfort and his allies to take action in 1258.  Seizing power from the king, Simon de Montfort ruled England at the head of a revolutionary government, until he and his followers were cut down in the greatest noble slaughter since 1066.

Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler is Lecturer in Later Medieval History at Lancaster University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Her new book, The Song of Simon de Montfort: England’s First Revolutionary and the Death of Chivalry, will be published by Picador on 30 May 2019.

Reservations email - 1socsec.fsoc@gmail.com

Our 2019 programme

AGM 2019

Monday 1 April

Evening talk, Simon de Montfort and the first English revolution.

Speaker: Dr Sophie Ambler

May 20th, Monday

Evening talk, The Rise and Fall of English Switzerland

Speaker: Marion Dell

The story of the bohemian colony on the Hindhead at the end of the 19th Century

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

May 26th, Sunday

We will be at Farnham’s Spring Festival

June 30th, Sunday

Come and meet us at our stand at Picnic in the Park

July 6th, Saturday

We have a stand at The Bourne show

July 12th, Friday

Evening talk, Harold Falkner, more than an Arts and Craft Architect

Speaker: Sam Osmond

The story of Farnham’s famous Architect. Harold Faulkner and Charles Borelli, the founders of The Farnham Society

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

September 20th, Friday

Evening talk, The Story of Global Warming: a scientists view

Speaker Prof Candy, Depart of Geography, Royal Hollaway University of London

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

October 18th, Friday

Evening talk, Poverty and Welfare in 19th Century Britain: The Swing Riots in Surrey 1830.

Speaker: Dr Judy Hill, University of Surrey -

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

Friday 15th November

Evening talk: Arts and Craft Gardens, Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens

Speaker: Cherrill Sands, Garden Historian

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

December 8th, Sunday

Meet us at our stand in Farnham’s Christmas Market

December 9th, Monday

Christmas entertainment, The story of a Butlers Christmas and the traditions of the Georgians and Victorians over the festive season

Presenter: Dr Bob France

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

Please note change of date and venue for December talk – this is necessay following the announcement of the General Election to take place on 12 December.

The Story of Global Warming

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On Friday 20 September Professor Ian Candy treated us to “The story of Global Warming from a scientist’s perspective”.

Climate change is a hot topic, with the Extinction Rebellion protests, the government’s 2050 Zero Emission law, Greta Thunberg’s school strikes and David Attenborough’s Blue Planet.

Ian has worked all over the world studying the causes and impact of climate change. In particular, he has focused on the periods of global warming in the past and the role of climate change in human evolution, dispersal and occupation. Ian will be outlining why climates vary and how the magniude of change we are experiencing is a truly unique crisis that will radically change our future.

Locally, Surrey has just launched the Surrey Climate Comission.

Click here for The Royal society’s overview of Climate Change causes.

Click here for The Royal Society’s 2014 flm in Climate Change.

 

Evening Talk: Harold Falkner, more than an Arts and Crafts Architect

Harold Falkner book cover image

FALKNER AND BORELLI – MEN WHO CHANGED FARNHAM

In 1911 The Farnham Society was founded by the Bishop of Winchester (Lord of Farnham Castle), Charles Borelli and Harold Falkner – two men who had grown up in Farnham and put Farnham at the centre of their lives. During the first half of the twentieth century they dominated the town scene.

Charles Ernest Borelli came from a family of Italian clockmakers who had first come to England in 1820 and settled in Farnham. He was born in 1873 at number 48 Castle Street.

Harold Falknerwas born in 1875, to a family which had been farming at Dippenhall from the 1750’s. When he was aged eight his mother moved back to Farnham to live at 24 West Street where he spent the rest of his life – another 80 years.

Both went to Farnham Grammar School as boys, then on to the Farnham Art School run by W H Allen who inspired his pupils with an interest in art and architecture but especially the Arts and Crafts movement.

After their early education Borelli joined the family business of clocks, and Falkner trained to be an architect.

In their twenties Borelli and Falkner were close friends – both participating members of Farnham Football Club and Farnham Hockey Club, and joint secretaries of the new swimming baths in 1897. Neither married.

Charles Borelli was elected to Farnham Urban District Council in 1906, becoming chairman in 1910, and remained an elected member until his death in 1950.

Harold Falkner might have gone on, like Edwin Lutyens (six years older than him but also a local man) to become a London architect, but Harold never wanted to leave Farnham.

Borelli’s particular passion was for trees – in the centre of town none were allowed to be cut down without his say-so. He was involved in the 1909 conversion of Gostrey Meadow, formerly a Victorian rubbish dump, into a fine open space with fine trees. In architecture he favoured shopfronts in the Georgian style but relied on Falkner for professional advice. Falkner’s advice was crucial, but it would not have got far without the financial and political muscle of Borelli, who could charm property owners into following his ideas.

In the centre of town Borelli purchased several properties – an old pub, the old Town Hall, and several shops in West Street – and got Falkner to re-build, which he did with skill and respect for their Tudor and Stuart elements.

Falkner was also involved in the development of the suburbs of Farnham, especially the Great Austins area, south of the railway station. Initially he concentrated on houses in the Arts and Crafts style, later changing to mansions in Queen Anne style. He also built some remarkable houses in Dippenhall.

When he died in 1963 he left his house to The Farnham Society, which it sold to Surrey County Council. A collection of his drawings found in the house is now in Farnham Museum.

Thanks to Borelli and Falkner the town is not just a neo-Georgian gem but has the added spice of medieval, Tudor, and Arts and Crafts buildings.

A Cracking Christmas Evening

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On Monday 3 December, Brenda Longman, Ray Murphy with Farnham Rep presented an evening of Christmas inspired entertainment.

The performance included exerpts from the following books

“The Age of Bewilderment” by David Sherrington,

“An Almost Perfect Christmas” by Nina Stibbe,

“Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier,

“Toast” by Nigel Slater,

“Recollections” by Gervase Phinn,

‘Le Bumper Book de Franglais’ by Miles Kington.

“Truce in the Trenches” by W.R.M. Percy and

“In Jamaica” Noel Cowerd

They read the following Poems

“Christmas Day” by John Betjeman,

“Ivan Who Shopped Online” Chris Addison,

Four poems by U.A.Fanthorpe’s book of “Christmas Poems”,

“Old Sam’s Christmas Pudding” by Marriott Edgar,

“Parson’s Lea” by Charles Causley,

“Christmas Thank Yous” by Mick Gowar,

“Night Before Christmas” by Harvey Erlich

“Christmas Roses and Mistletoe” by Reginald Arkle

And sang the following Songs

“A Christmas Carol” by Tom Lehrer

“Have yourself a Merry little Christmas” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane

Talking Brains

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The Farnham Society Memorial Lecture “Talking Brains”

Sophie ScottNeuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott is among the world’s foremost experts on speech and the brain.

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Working with local actor/impressionist Duncan Wisbey of Radio 4’s Dead Ringers she explained how our brain negotiates the complex task of talking. Sophie’s research has helped therapists find new techniques to help stroke patients recover their speech.

 

Murder by the Book

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Wednesday 26th September  2018

Farnham-born Professor Claire Harman talked about her forthcoming book, ‘Murder by the Book: a sensational chapter in Victorian crime’.

Claire Harman

It’s the true story of a murder, a best-selling novel and a literary controversy that involved Dickens and Thackeray.  Author of a best-selling biography of Jane Austen, ‘Jane’s Fame’, Claire is well known on both sides of the Atlantic, winning many prestigious awards as biographer and poet.

Murder by the book lecture

 

 

Rebuilding Shakespeare’s Globe

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4 April 2018, Dr Diana Devlin

Diana was chairman of the committee that planned and accomplished the building of Shakespeare’s Globe with Sam Wannamaker and Prof Andrew Gurr. You may have heard her talking about it recently on Radio 4’s ‘The Reunion’. She is a highly accomplished Shakespeare scholar and presented fascinating and lively seminars at the Globe for many years.

St Joan’s Centre