Programme 2019 -2020

Wednesday, 9th October

Caroline WALKER

Discovering MacDonald Gill: architect, artist, and mapmaker 

Macdonald ‘Max’ Gill was best known for his pictorial maps, especially those for the London Underground. He created painted maps for Arts & Craft houses. and magnificent murals for Cunard liners. An enduring legacy is his alphabet for the Imperial War Graves Commission used on all British military headstones since WW1.

Macdonald Gill was Caroline Walker’s great-uncle. Caroline has given talks for the National Archives, the Art Workers’ Guild, Christie’s, Friends of Kettle’s Yard and the National Trust. She is currently writing a biography and currently runs the MacDonald Gill website. 

Wednesday,13th November


Inspired by Stonehenge

This lecture explains why Stonehenge must be regarded as architectural in its layout and construction. We also look at how, over the last two centuries, this iconic structure has inspired painters, potters and poets. Finally, we look at Stonehenge as a global icon and how its instantly recognisable stones adorn tea towels, phone cards and stamps.

Julian studied archaeology at Reading University and has since worked as a professional archaeologist, in commercial archaeology, for English Heritage, for the BBC and as an independent.

Wednesday, 11th December

Bertie Pearce

Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion

We will be given a whistle stop tour of the history of mystery from 3000BC to the 21st century. From Egypt the cradle of magic to the Music Hall, and now the Harry Potter craze. The Great Illusionists gave birth to legendary tricks such as sawing a lady in half. If magicians guarded their secrets how was the Magic Circle formed? – Home to 10.000secrets, be careful you may be amazed and bewitched.

Bertie Pearce is a member of the Inner Magic Circle, with Gold star. He has written articles for newspapers and magazines on entertainment and theatre. Past experiences include lecturing and performing on cruise ships, and to U3A, historical societies, festivals, schools and colleges.

Wednesday, 8th January


The Art of Snow and Ice-how artists transformed the winter landscape

The bleak midwinter held little appeal to the artist for many centuries until Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow in the 16th century. From pristine backdrop to the tempestuous snow storms of Turner to the capturing of snow effect by the Impressionists, the ability of artists to convey snow as a symbol of peace but also of grandeur and terror is compelling.

Sue Jackson was originally in art and design publishing (Phaidon and Yale University Press), She now lectures for the National Trust, U3A, City Literary Institute and is a qualified Blue Badge Guide.

Wednesday, 12th February


Treasures of the Livery Company Halls

The city of London is home to no fewer than forty Livery Company Halls. Many of the original Halls succumbed to the Great Fire of London, others to the Blitz and several to the property developer. However, the remainder contain a wealth of treasures in art, sculpture, stained glass, silverware and furniture. Collectively the Livery Companies are custodians of an immense array of treasures of national significance.

Paul Jagger is a Court Assistant of The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and author of The City of London Freeman’s Guide. In April 2016 Paul received the City’s Livery Companies Prestigious Root and Branch Award from the Lord Mayor of the City of London for his work in promoting awareness and understanding of the City of London and its Livery Companies.

Wednesday, 11th March

Angela SMITH

Eleanor Coade and Coade stone

Coade is an artificial stone that was invented in the 18th century. The stone was named after Eleanor Coade, who ran a successful manufactory in south London, for many years producing all manner of items. This is the story of one of the most successful businesswomen in the late 1700s.

Angela Smith received a PhD from the Warburg Institute, London University. She is the author of numerous articles and several books.  An experienced lecturer who has taught for several universities and worked as a researcher for the National Inventory Research Project.


Wednesday, 8th April

Martin ELLIS

Painting with Light: Stained Glass in the Age of George III

The blossoming of pictorial painted glass in the late 18th century is one of the great untold stories of stained-glass history. As well as a general review the talk draws on extensive research into the work of Francis Eginton (1737-1805), the most celebrated and productive glass painter of his generation

Martin Ellis is an experienced curator, lecturer and broadcaster. Until recently Principal Curator and Head of Collections Research & Development at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, he now divides his time between curatorial work, consultancy, the development of cultural tourism programmes and broadcasting projects.

Wednesday,13th May


From Bronzes to Banksy; an armchair tour of Public and Street Art

London has a world-class reputation for art in its galleries, but this is a talk about the remarkable range of art outside in the streets. They range from huge and expensive commissions to unofficial graffiti. We look at why art is there, how it has developed over the years and discover many hidden gems.

Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives regular tours at each venue.


Wednesday, 10th June


Field of Cloth-6000 Englishmen in France for 18days-how did they do it?

This lecture celebrates the 500th Anniversary of this extraordinary event. Henry VIII and Francis I met to ratify an Anglo-French alliance. Each brings an entourage of 6000 to a field south of Calais for events & entertainments staged to display the skill and splendour of each king and country.

Joanna Mabbutt trained in wood graining, marbling, gilding, specialist paint finishes and interior design and was awarded the City & Guilds Silver Medal for Excellence in 2000. Now a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and Freeman of the City of London. Originally a trained singer, pianist and orchestra administrator, Jo is now a decorative artist.