Our Meeting and Speaker Programme 2024
All meetings are held at Claygate Village Hall, typically on the second Thursday of the month.
My Life as a Personal Protection Officer (PPO) to HM The Queen & HRH The Duke of Edinburgh - Richard Griffin
Richard served in the Metropolitan Police 1970 - 2013 when he retired at the rank of Superintendent. During this time he served as PPO to The Prince Edward, The Duke of Edinburgh and from 1999 - 2013 to Her Majesty The Queen’s position known as The Queen’s Police Officer.
The Lady & The Lamp, the Florence Nightingale story - Paul Whittle
Florence Nightingale was an English social reformer who came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War. She significantly reduced death rates by improving hygiene and living standards - and gave nursing a favourable reputation.
The History of Tollsworth Manor - Gordon Gillett
When Gordon and his late wife Carol bought Tollsworth Manor in 1983 it was in a dilapidated condition - but this now beautiful Grade II* listed Hall House, with stunning gardens, has quite a history. The site dates back to 675AD and includes uses as a Monastic Farm with links to Merton Abbey - and after the Reformation the property was owned by Henry VIII.
‘Oh for a Slice of Naughty but Nice!’ - Kate McBain
Kate will share with us her exciting 25 year career in the food industry - which included time working for a major supermarket developing recipes. She might even share little of her time working with Jamie Oliver - but whatever happens on the night she will definitely be bringing cake for us to enjoy at the end of her talk!
‘Parents at War’ - David Bickerton
In the book of the same name David tells the story of his parents’, Don & Linda, wartime experience through some 150 letters, written between 1942 - 1945. Don in in the Royal Navy and Linda is in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and for much of this period they were separated. David will share with us the intensity of their relationship, the progress of the war and the social history of the 1940s.
A Taste of Honey - Peter Smith
Peter, a keen bee keeper, amateur entomologist and writer will inform, entertain and amuse us - just not necessarily in that order! We will learn why these pollinators are so important, what makes a good honey and why it varies so much in price - plus we will get the chance to taste some of Peter’s Surrey Hills honey.
William Morris at Merton Abbey Mills - Julia Heckles
William Morris was a Victorian British textile designer, poet, artist, fantasy writer and social activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts movement. Julia will tell us more about his life, work, and links with Merton Abbey Mills on the River Wandle, as he moved his textile and printing company there in 1881.
Summertime Swing - Paul Hudson
Join us for a summertime concert of live music and click your fingers and tap your feet to the fabulous sounds of the Kings of Swing! Paul sings the greatest hits from the ‘Rat Pack' era from Frank Sinatra and friends which include ‘Come Fly With Me’, 'Beyond The Sea’ and ’New York, New York’.
Swan Lifeline UK - Cindy Smulders
Swan Lifeline is the oldest registered charity devoted entirely to the care of sick and injured swans in the Thames Valley and surrounding areas. Through stories, videos and pictures, Cindy will share with us what the charity does, how they do it and a bit about the history of the swans, swans and the law, and what we can do to help.