Author: Penny Brentnall

A very interesting day was enjoyed by our members and guests on Monday 14th October at The Arthur Morison Memorial Hall, Cucklington when lecturer Anne Haworth gave us some excellent talks about The Silk Road, China’s Windows on the World.

The new venue seems to have gone down well with our members who appreciated the lovely hall and facilities. Let us hope for better weather for the March event so that we can open up all those lovely glass doors and venture out onto the terrace for our coffee and lunch breaks!

With the use of some old maps shown on the big screen, Anne showed us just how extensive the Silk Road routes were and she also showed us some of the many goods that were exchanged along the routes both by sea and through the desert from Ancient times, through the Middle Ages and the European Renaissance, into the 19th Century. We learnt how the Silk Road was named in 1877 by Ferdinand von Richthofen, a well-known German geographer and how the movement of goods were affected at times by the different Rulers of countries that they had to pass through.

As always, this was a very sociable day and we were very well looked after by our caterer Donna and her helpers who served up lots of tea, coffee and biscuits as well as a delicious seated lunch. It’s always good to hear the great buzz of conversations going on around the hall during the coffee breaks and lunch on these days and we look forward to the next Day of Special Interest which will be held on Monday 16th March 2020 when lecturer Rosamund Bartlett will be talking about St. Petersburg.

Penny Brentnall

Members and guests enjoyed another very successful day at Charlton Hall near Shaftesbury when Mr. Antony Penrose visited us to talk about his parents, the legendary Lee Miller and her husband Roland Penrose.  The talks were outstanding and at times quite moving, we were shown some fascinating photographs which had been taken by Lee, and her artistic friends from 1930s -1970s. We learnt about Roland’s work as a surreal artist and Lee’s work as a fashion model, then her progression to a fashion and fine art photographer.  During the Second World War Lee became a war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as The London Blitz, the liberation of Paris and the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps.  Lee’s childhood had been blighted by abuse and after her experiences during the war she suffered from clinical depression and post traumatic stress disorder, but eventually battled her way through to a calmer life becoming a gourmet cook and providing photographs for her husbands biographies on Picasso and other artists. As always, this was a very sociable day with everyone chatting, getting to know other members and discussing the talks over a delicious lunch.