31 January 2020News from our Chairman
28 November 2019Latest News of our Young Arts Projects
21 November 2019Newsletter
22 October 2019Visit to Warner Textile Archive, Braintree and Paycocke's House and Great Barn, Coggeshall
14 October 2019Martyn Clarke : an afternoon of early music and history
09 October 2019Chairman's Letter
07 October 2019Advent Lunch on Friday, 13th December 2019
15 September 2019King's Lynn Heritage Day
06 September 2019Chairman's Letter
28 June 2019Chairman's Letter
07 January 2014Local Information to be found on Useful Links Page

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the news

News from our Chairman
Friday 31 January 2020


Dear Friends,

It is astonishing to realise that we are into February and our sixth lecture.   Andrew Prince is coming to talk to us about the wonderful jewels which appear in royal portraits.  As a special treat for us, he is going to bring with him some of the fabulous jewellery that he made for ‘Downton Abbey’, proving that beauty is not reliant on precious stones, but on the quality of the design.   All sounds unmissable, so l look forward to seeing you on 13th February.

Late last spring the chairmen of all the Arts Societies were asked to complete a questionnaire about the volunteering activities we undertake.   We were asked how many people join in, how much is spent on the various projects, and so on.   After that, the personnel at our head office made strenuous efforts to discover how much value was placed by other organisations on our efforts.   This week we have received the first intimations of the results of this survey, not so much in a compilation of the responses, but in a sort of fait accompli following decisions already made on our behalf.   It appears that our Heritage Volunteering is regarded highly, and we may continue to clean books, conserve tapestries and the like, and we’re encouraged to undertake even more projects.   Similarly, the Children’s Trails, which started out as Church Trails, then expanded to be notable building trails, and finally encompassed town trails and similar, are welcomed as drawing children into aspects of our cultural heritage which they might otherwise not encounter.   Young Arts will be renamed Arts Volunteering and has widened its scope to include those in deprived areas, and not necessarily particularly young.   However, Church Recording, which has just managed to record its 2000th church, has been given the coup de grace.   It has been judged that no-one (not including, of course, those who actually undertake this activity, on hands and knees, in chilly churches) is particularly interested in detailed records of the rather exceptional artefacts one finds in a church, and accordingly this activity will cease to have support (or funding) from the national body after December this year.   Our gallant band of Church Recorders, who have recorded what exists in twenty local churches, are understandably dismayed.    I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has any views on this.   Do please contact me on .

Before Young Arts expands to include the rather more mature, you may be interested to hear that Barbara Vincent has organised on our behalf country dancing for five primary schools, for whom such activity is an amazing novelty.   Barbara wrote to 17 schools offering this opportunity, only five responded.   It proved to be a learning curve for all.   It appears that 5 year olds are just too small to be able to cope with the intricacies, but that it became more and more wonderful the older the children became, with Year 6 children (even rather doubtful boys) finding the experience of country dancing absolutely absorbing and something they were really reluctant to give up!   

On a less hectic note, the textile conservationists are back at work on the Holkham Hall tapestry, and this photograph shows some of them working at conserving the eighteenth century British made Soho hanging, which would have been new when Holkham Hall was first built.   

They would welcome some new members.   The work is not difficult, requiring good eyesight and conscientiousness, rather than wide experience and needleworking skills.   Training would be given by a conservator from the National Trust’s Textile Conservation Studio at Blickling Hall.

I look forward to seeing you and hearing from you soon.

With best wishes, Kate