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 8th February

“The Story of the Volkswagen Beetle” is the title of our talk this month by Bob McFarlane. The Volkswagen beetle, officially the Volkswagen Type 1, was manufactured and marketed by German car maker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003. This talk will take you through the life of the VW Beetle from utility vehicle to film star and will touch on a brief history of the British car industry. If you’re a car enthusiast, interested in recent history or just interested, this talk will appeal.

Thursday 8th March

Graham Carter, a local journalist and historian will talk about Alfred Williams who was a poet, author, historian, linguist and naturalist living in South Marston in the late 19th/early 20th century.

Thursday 12th April

Our AGM will be followed by David Dalton on ‘Life as an author’. David is a qualified mining engineer. He took to writing seriously after retiring from the minerals industry and will introduce his talk by telling how and why he became a writer. From his experience in Cape Town, he will let us into what it was like to be a freelance journalist and how that experience led to his first few books. He will then talk about the incidents that led to the stories based in the UK, “Welcome to Oakhaven” and “Best in show”. He will go on to tell how he develops a story from a basic idea. During the talk, he will mention some of the incidents in his books but will not read from them as each person imagines a character and hears their voice in a different way. Finally, based on his own experience, he will say a few words about publishing and marketing.

Thursday 10th May

A very popular speaker and in great demand, this month we welcome Martin Lloyd to speak on the exciting topic of, “Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies.” This promises to be a thrilling and dramatic account of how the actions of a group of assassins brought about a change in the passport regulations, how the unmasking of a spy caused a modification in passport design and how, for one man, the passport turned into a killer.

Thursday 14th June

We are delighted to welcome Jenny Mallin who has recently spoken on Woman’s Hour. Her talk, “A Grandmother’s Legacy” will cover five generations of her family who lived in India during the British Raj. It will be a visual and engaging presentation with family stories linked to history through the old recipe book of her grandmother dating back to 1844. Jenny will uncover some of the history behind the Anglo-Indian recipe names such as vindaloo and korma and lead you on a culinary journey. Jenny’s book was the winner as the UK’s entry for, “Best in the World” cookbook.

Thursday 12th July

This month our speaker, Diz White, will talk about Downton Abbey film locations in the Cotswolds, including a dip into the history of these sites, encountered during her search to buy a 17th century cottage in this beautiful area. She will include some humorous anecdotes from her meeting with the stars of Downton Abbey.