Events

Events for 2018

Welcome to our programme of events for 2018. We hope you will find something of interest. Many events are held at venues with Betjeman associations and in addition to celebrating our 30th, there are other anniversaries to celebrate too!

Events in black are organised by Council of the Betjeman Society: to book a place for these events please use the booking form that is sent out with the Society Newsletter or email Brian Garner: vitalorg@msn.com or where available, follow the link to pay online.

Cheques should be payable to The Betjeman Society and a stamped addressed envelope should be included and should be sent to: 77 Beverley Crescent, Bedford, MK40 4BZ. Alternatively, you may pay on arrival but it is essential to email Brian in advance to enable arrangements to be made for catering. If you have any difficulty booking please contact Brian Garner: full contact details on our Contacts page.

Events in red are organised by the branch as indicated - please contact the branch for further details.

Booking is essential as seating is sometimes limited. Only those events which have confirmed dates are shown; others will follow as the details are confirmed and further detail for events already listed may be added in due course. Please therefore check this page for the latest information.

Events in blue are organised by other organisations which have been included since we believe they may be of interest to our members.

2018 Programme of Events

Thursday 18th January, 1.30pm
Ridings Branch meeting, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
A Ridings Branch Event

Monday 12th February, 6 for 6.30pm – 9.00pm
Poetry and Prose Reading.
Theme: Flight (in any sense) (“Airport” buffet incl.)
St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London, WC1N 2AB
An opportunity for members and friends to read, and comment on, short poems and pieces of favourite Betjeman writing — or other JB related work, at an event that is the Society's contribution to the RAF's centenary celebrations.
Members: £12 Non-Members: £15 Book tickets online here.

Saturday 3rd March, 2.30pm
Magdalen College, Oxford
"JH & WB" John Betjeman and Wystan Hugh Auden were born within a few months of each other, both attended Oxford at the same time and though their poetic outlook differed markedly in some respects they both also represented a return to the native tradition of English poetry. Our member John Dearing, a graduate in English Literature from York University, will lead a consideration of the comparisons and contrasts between these two poets with a reading of representative poems.
An Oxford Branch event

Thursday 22nd March, 1.30pm
Ridings Branch meeting, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
A Ridings Branch Event

Saturday 24th March 2.00pm
"Summoned to Rothley by bells" incl fish & chip supper.
A Shires Branch event

Wednesday 18th April, 6 for 6.30pm – 9.00pm
"Pity about the Abbey"
St James the Less Church, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Pimlico, London, SW1V 2PS.
A screening of JB's only TV play, written in partnership with Stuart Farrar. Plus: hear Director Ian Curteis who will present archive material related to the play.
Members: £15 Non-members: £18 Book tickets online here.

Saturday 21st April 2pm
A Walk in the Park: meet at Wantage Museum for a guided walk round the town and Millennium Park followed by tea at the museum.
A Wantage Branch event

Friday 27th April, 7.30 - 9.30pm
From Bach to Betjeman
                     St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, Bedford Street London, WC2E 9ED
A feast of music and poetry by Sussex Song Makers, Conductor Elizabeth Muir-Lewis.
 Details and to book here

Saturday 28th April, 9.15 - 3.15
North Oxford from Betjeman to Zaha Hadid
A Day School by Oxford University Dept of Continuing Education and the Oxford Preservation Trust
Details and to book here

Thursday 3rd May 1.30pm
Ridings Branch meeting, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
A Ridings Branch Event


Tuesday 15th May, 8pm
Poetry Reading: Mr Betjeman's Lovely and Lonely Ladies
A talk with readings by The Ven. Jonathan Smith, Archdeacon of St Albans
The Chapter Room, St Alban's Cathedral. Details and to book here

Saturday 19th May, 10.30am
Horncastle Heritage: a day exploring the market town of Horncastle with lunch at the Admiral Rodney Hotel.
A Lincolnshire Branch event

Monday 21st - Saturday 26th May, 7.30pm
"King Alfred's Kitchen", a play about Betjeman by Chris James
Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich. Details and to book here

Friday 25th May, 11.00 for 11.30am
Society AGM, Victoria Embankment, Blackfriars, London, EC4 £20 
Morning: Society AGM at St Andrew by the Wardrobe church, Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 5DE followed by buffet lunch. Afternoon: visit to the nearby offices of JB's publisher, John Murray, with a talk by Murray's archivist, David McClay, to celebrate Murray's 250th anniversary.
Book tickets online here

Thursday 7th June 10.00 - 5.00
"Betjeman's Wiltshire and Oxfordshire"
Historic Church Tour by The Churches Conservation Trust taking in St Mark's, Swindon, St John the Baptist, Inglesham & St Katherine's, Chiselhampton.
Fully booked

Tuesday 12th June, 2.30pm
"JB's Oxford"
A guided walk led by Andrew McCallum with poetry and prose along the way, starting at The Dragon School and ending at The Painted Room where JB worked for The Oxford Preservation Trust.
£7 Book tickets online here.

Saturday 16th June
"Arts & Crafts in Leicestershire" incl Stoneywell Manor.
A Shires Branch event

Friday 22nd June 7.30pm
Pimms and Poetry at the New Barn at the Manor, Blewbury.
A Wantage Branch event

Thursday 5th July 2.30pm
Visit to the former home of the Pakenhams, later Lord & Lady
                   Longford, Stone, Bucks, which JB visited with friends, 1931-34. Afternoon tea.
Option of lunch at the Spread Eagle, Thame.
An Oxford Branch event

Saturday 7th July 2pm
Visit to Tom Brown Museum, Uffington followed by tour, talk and tea at nearby St Mary's Church.
A Wantage Branch event

Wednesday 15th August, 10.30am
A Day Return: Steam and Poems. A visit to the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway with readings on the platform and lunch at the New Inn, North Thoresby.
A Lincolnshire Branch Event

Saturday 18th August 8pm
Beguiled by Betjeman: a performance of selections of poetry set to music.
The Quarry Theatre, Bedford. Details and to book here

Tuesday 28th August 4.00pm.
St Pancras Station
JB’s Birthday and St Pancras's 150th anniversary.
Celebrate with poetry readings around the statue on the concourse followed by a guided walk led by Don Kennedy through the redeveloped railway lands between and north of St Pancras & Kings Cross with a 'cuppa, cake and comfort' break and further readings, returning to St Pancras about 6.15.
Free but a collection for Parkinsons UK will be made.


Tuesday 11th September

"JB's First & Last Love" - Victorian Architecture at Kelham Hall, Notts, incl house tour.

A Shires Branch event


Saturday 15th September 2.00pm
Annual Lecture, Horncastle Community Centre. Details to be announced.
A Lincolnshire Branch event

Friday 21st September 7.30pm
Snells Hall, East Hendred: a talk by Joseph Nuttgens about his work with John Piper.
A Wantage Branch event


Wednesday 17th October 7.30pm
On the trail of Sir John Betjeman: a public event based on the brochure of the same name. Part of the Wolds Festival, Conoco Rooms, Louth.
A Lincolnshire Branch Event

Saturday 20th October all day.
John Betjeman and the Victorians
St Alban's Centre, Leigh Place, Baldwin's Gardens, London, EC1N 7AB
A joint event with The Victorian Society. An all day symposium to celebrate the Sixtieth anniversary of The Victorian Society and the Thirtieth anniversary of The Betjeman Society. Speakers to include our President, Bevis Hillier.
Cost to be confirmed, lunch included.
                                              Further details and online booking to follow.

Friday 26th October 2pm
Betjeman's Life in Verse by Lance Pierson
Part of the Wantage Literary Festival: Methodist Church, Wantage
Option of lunch with Betjeman Society Wantage Branch beforehand.
Details and to book here

                                                        Saturday 3rd November 2.30pm
Magdalen College, Oxford
Discussion meeting: "JB's later poems"
An Oxford Branch event

Sunday 18th November
Annual Lunch: details to follow.
A Wantage Branch Event

      Thursday 29th November 12 noon
The Parcel Yard, King’s Cross Station, London
A pre-Christmas Get-together. Join the Council for drinks and an informal lunch, and discussion about matters Betjeman. Pay for yourself.

Saturday 1st December
The Brook Whipper-Inn, Oakham, Rutland
"Christmas by 'The Fireside', an advent pot-pourri.
A Shires Branch event

Saturday 8th December 12.30pm
Annual Party. Horncastle Community Centre
A Lincolnshire Branch Event