Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of each month in the Corn Exchange, Faringdon.  We begin at 2:30pm with a welcome from the Chairman who also introduces our speaker. After the talk there is time for tea and biscuits and the chance to meet old friends and make new ones. 

The planned programme, in brief, for the  next 9 months is as follows:

Thursday 12th December

This month Sally-Ann Spence, a lecturer at Oxford Natural History Museum will speak on the topic of Dung Beetles. Sally-Ann is an informed and engaging science educator who has spent many years enthusing children and adults alike with the wonders of invertebrates. She is the founder of Minibeast Mayhem, a specialist teaching company. She takes great delight in delivering lively material on this often misunderstood and underrated section of Biology. Keen to increase factual engagement with invertebrates Sally-Ann also works as a consultant on many books including the Dorling Kindersley range and even on the subject of eating insects with the BBCs food scientist Stefan Gates.

Thursday 9th January 2020

This month we celebrate the New Year with our January Japes, once again. Following a lovely meal our speaker will be Mr Al Sylvester whose presentation is called, “My Walk to Freedom.” The talk gives details of his personal account of his unsupported 881 miles walk between Land’s End and John O Groats.

Thursday 13th February 2020

Our speaker this month is Howard Robinson who will talk about Eleanor of Aquitaine, one truly amazing lady who was King John’s mother. King Henry II and his wife Eleanor often stopped with the royal court at Worcester cathedral where Howard is a volunteer guide. She was one of the most powerful and influential figures of the Middle Ages. Inheriting a vast estate at the age of 15 which made her the most sought-after bride of her generation. She would eventually become the queen of France, the queen of England and lead a crusade to the Holy Land.

Thursday 12th March 2020

Dr Lynda Ware works at Cochrane UK in Oxford and was for many years a GP in Oxfordshire and she will talk about Evidence Based Medicine (further details to follow). Cochrane UK aims to raise awareness and knowledge by producing high quality research which is made available to healthcare professionals.  This is certainly a topic of interest to everyone.

Thursday 9th April 2020

This month we are pleased to welcome Bernard Purrier who will talk about Whales and Dolphins – A Look into their World. Bernard regularly presents to a wide variety of groups.This talk will give lots of fascinating facts, provide a look at their evolution, their behaviours linked to their advanced intelligence, the ways in which they have adapted to their environment and the increasing threats to their habitats which threaten their ultimate survival.

Thursday 14th May 2020

We are always pleased when one of our members is willing to give a talk and this month, we are pleased that Danielle Mills will tell us all aboutthe work of the organisation, Medical Detection Dogs. This organisation trains dogs to detect the odour of human disease. It is at the forefront of the research into the fight against cancer and helping people with life-threatening diseases.

Thursday 11th June 2020

Natural History is a subject that interests most members and this month we are very lucky to have Richard Rickitt, the editor of Bee Craft as our speaker. His talk is called, ‘Introducing the Amazing Honey Bee’ and he explains lots of intriguing facts about bees. He is very passionate on this subject and what began as a hobby is now a job. He will also bring some of his own honey to sell and always urges everyone to buy from local bee keepers where possible.

Thursday 9th July 2020

We welcome back Valerie Calderbank who entertained us by speaking about A Tour of the Universe, last year. This time her talk in entitled, “Observing the Universe”. She will tell us what you might expect to see from Earth if you look up at the night sky. This includes descriptions of the Moon, Sun, Planets, Stars, Galaxies, Constellations, Meteor Showers and more.

August Summer Lunch – date to be confirmed

Thursday 10th September 2020

A rather unusual title has been given to this month’s talk, “Cloth from Thread, Curd from Milk and Ring of Gold” and the talk will consider three ways of looking at the world. David Lacey, is the speaker and he intends to examine the thinking framework which we use to interpret the facts. He considers that they are the glasses through which we see the world and hopes to open our eyes to seeing the world afresh. This will certainly be rather different from many of our talks which are mainly about facts and unfamiliar situations.

Thursday 8th October 2020

We are delighted to welcome back Paul Colley showing his amazing images of underwater animals and much more! He will provide a photography related talk with the emphasis on the marine environment and his conservation work which is full of interesting stories and pictures. Paul is a freelance wildlife photographer and winner of the British Wildlife Photography Awards. His work has been used by the BBC and published in many newspapers.

Thursday 12th November 2020

An opportunity to purchase books for grandchildren in time for Christmas! Debi Evans is an author of children’s books and her talk is entitled, “Dragons and Rescue Dogs – My Inspiration to Write Books.” She writes as if she is her Jack Russell and her books include lots of history woven into the adventure stories in which Rolo (the dog) takes part in the events. She is an experienced speaker having spoken at festivals and to many groups.