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Newsletter August 2013


The HEDFAS Quarterly Newsletter

                                                                                                               August 2013

What a beautiful summer we have had.  A good English summer is a precious commodity and we do hope all our HEDFAS members have thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine and blue skies. 

July and August are quiet months for HEDFAS. However, in that time the committee has been finalising plans for 2014 in good time for our annual mail-out in October and we hope that you will be pleased with our choices.

In the meantime do enjoy our third newsletter.  With four newsletters every year now we considered that brevity was best, with pictures to remind you of some happy memories over the last three months.  We look forward to seeing you again on 19th September for our lecture "One Architect, Two Temples & Three Museums: the Adventures of Charles Robert Cockerel".                                                                                                                                                             Editor

                                               A Letter from the Chairman, Pauline Simmonds


A look behind the scenes

As you may be aware from the NADFAS REVIEW, we are celebrating ‘Four Decades of Volunteering’ this year. Some of you I hope will visit the festival on 12 November at Kensington Town Hall.

In Henley we are marking this special occasion with a local display in the ballroom at our meeting on 21st November. Book restoration and conservation, Young Arts events and examples of research undertaken by our Church Recorders will all be featured.

Our excellent heritage teams work many hours each year ‘behind the scenes’. We hope this will give you an opportunity to meet some of them, see their work and learn more about their projects.
                                 Pauline Simmonds   -  Chairman

A Splendid Study Day on Dresden Art and Architecture
on Wednesday 26th June 2013

With holidays much in our minds at the moment we were delighted to welcome Mrs Eveline Eaton back to Henley to lead our day.

Eveline, a freelance Art Historian who has huge knowledge and passion for the city of Dresden, has recently become Chair of the Dresden Trust, the organization committed to promoting reconciliation and cultural understanding.  She took us on a fascinating journey around the city, showing the incredible restoration work undertaken following the Second World War. 

We visited churches, art galleries, stables and palaces and were guided through the treasures on show.  We were relieved to hear that flood prevention measures put in place after the last serious floods were very effective.

During lunch in the Club Room I picked up a buzz of enthusiasm for the day.  The afternoon continued with a tour of Colditz, Meissen and the Pillnitz Palace.  I had the distinct impression that those fortunate enough to be going on holiday to Dresden will have been given new insights into the city and must be full of anticipation for the visit.  Those who are not may be wishing they were going too!

      (Our holiday is from 29th September
to 3rd October)

                                                      Una Murray Wood

 HEDFAS Volunteers needed for exciting new project
                 Lincoln College, Oxford
             Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DR 
 The Library at Lincoln College
As many of you know, a team of 18 Heritage volunteers has been working for the last three years on the conservation of the library at Stonor Park, Henley. That work will come to an end in October 2013.
However, we are excited to be starting on a new book project in the library at Lincoln College, Oxford. Many of the existing team will be involved but we would like to recruit one or two new volunteers to join us. No previous experience is necessary as full book conservation training will be given to the whole team on November 11th at Lincoln College. There will be three teams of six people, working on a Monday at the college once every three weeks, from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m, commencing November 18th after the training. The work will involve recording, cleaning and repairing many wonderful books. Each team has an experienced team leader. Travel expenses will be paid by the college.
I am looking for enthusiastic, committed members, who are able to use emails and like to work within a team of similar people. It is imperative that you would attend the book conservation training day before starting. Obviously, we are able to accommodate your holidays when they arise.
If you think this would be something you would like to take part in then get in touch with Ann Lincoln who is the HEDFAS HV Co-ordinator. Her email address is . Please include something about yourself and your telephone number. I hope that it might be something new and challenging for you to consider.
                                                                                                         Ann Lincoln 
                                               More news of HEDFAS Young Arts
 HEDFAS sponsored the wonderful poster crafted by youngsters for Music in the Meadows held at Mill Meadows on Saturday 1st June to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.
Pots of  paint were  given to the
which   had   been  pledged  by
wonderful time and then a most
which set the scene perfectly for
by the children.
children to decorate a large canvas
HEDFAS.  Everyone had a truly
beautiful, colourful poster emerged
 the stunning music festival created







                                 A lovely day out to Snowshill Manor and Lavender Fields on
                                                               Wednesday 10th July

Our latest Day Outing started with a visit to Snowshill Manor just outside the delightful Cotswold village of Broadway.

After our usual tea and coffee break we walked the 10 minute stroll to the beautiful house originally owned by the eccentric Charles Wade, who bought the manor and packed it to the rafters with fantastic objects and unlikely treasures, ranging from tiny toys, prams, bicycles and all kinds of wheeled transport, musical instruments of every description, to splendid samurai armour. 

Wade, born in 1883, originally owned sugar estates in the West Indies from which he made his wealth and where he added to his extraordinary collection which he had started since the age of seven.  The manor provided enough space for his collection but not enough space for him to live in, so he refurbished the adjoining cottage as his very basic and meagre living quarters.

The manor is surrounded by beautiful gardens and an orchard.  It was a most interesting place to visit.

After a lovely lunch in the restaurant of Broadway Tower, we continued our day with a visit to the Costwold Lavender.  Our visit to the Lavender Fields was timed to coincide with it at its prime before harvesting.  Unfortunately, due to the very cold late spring, we arrived to find that the lavender had not yet bloomed which was very disappointing.  However, we were given a very interesting overview of the development and fast growing (literally!) lavender industry in Britain.  We learnt how it is harvested and distilled and then manufactured into a very wide variety of medicinal and cosmetic products, many of which were available from the delightful shop on site.

Despite this disappointment, a very good day was had by all.

                                       Shirley Arber

 A sneak preview of our forthcoming holidays in 2014
Our spring holiday is to WORCESTER and the MALVERN HILLS from 22nd to 25th April.

Our first holiday in 2014 will be to Worcester and the Malvern Hills, from 22nd to 25th April. 


We shall be staying in the Fownes Hotel, a converted Victorian glove factory two minutes walk from Worcester Cathedral.  

Visits include Hanbury Hall with splendid paintings by Thornhill, Harvington Hall with its 21 priests holes, medieval Worcester and its great Cathedral, an Elgar day driving the Malvern Hills, the Vale of Evesham and (to be confirmed) the beautiful Madresfield, home of the Lygon family since the 13th Century.

The holiday will be accompanied by Alvi Shaw and Sue Jenkins with our usual special driver, Jeremy Brabyn.


The cost will be £349 (single supplement £45) based on more than 41 members;  £359 if less than 41 members.  

This includes dinner, bed and breakfast, two lunches, coaching, all guiding and visits.  

 Our second holiday is entitled THE PAINTERS of PROVENCE from 24th to 28th September.

We shall take a mid morning BA flight from Heathrow to Nice.  A coach will meet us at Nice airport and take us to our hotel in San Raphael.  En route we shall stop at the Musée Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer.  


The visits include Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Then we venture into the hills to the Fondation Maeght, a museum of modern art in St. Paul de Vence, and the Matisse Chapel, La Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, in Vence. 


We shall have a day in Aix en Provence in the footsteps of Cezanne, as well as a visit to Antibes and the Picasso Museum, Biot and the Fernand Leger Museum.


We shall also have a day in Nice visiting the Matisse House, as well as free time to shop in the markets and sit in the sun!    

We shall return home on an early evening flight home on Day 5.  

The trip will be accompanied by Alvi Shaw and art expert Sue Jenkins.  

The cost will be £759 (single supplement £92) based on 40 members.  

This includes all coaching, flights, hotel on dinner, bed and breakfast basis, all guiding and visits.

 To register an interest in either of these irresistible holidays please telephone Alvi Shaw on 0118 940 3147 or email her on
Don't delay - they will go like hot cakes!
          ........ And finally, two of our eminent HEDFAS members, wearing their best fur coats, caught on camera indulging
                                               in a peaceful swim in the beautiful glistening waters of our river, The Thames:
 Surely not a Shaggy Dog story? Another little surprise from HEDFAS! We hope you have enjoyed this Newsletter.