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Newsletter February 2013


The HEDFAS Quarterly Newsletter

                                                                                                             February 2013
To celebrate the introduction of HEDFAS newsletters on-line we decided
 to create a bumper edition in December 2012 documenting all that we had
seen and done together throughout the year .... little did we know what a
lengthy tome that would prove to be!




Our vibrant committee is continually putting forward new ideas to improve the nuts and bolts of HEDFAS and we hope you will approve of this latest innovation.


Over the years we have often implemented suggestions put forward by members. We're always here at, and would love to hear your views and ideas.


As we have such an active society with so much to report, we have now decided to have four smaller newsletters throughout the year. These will be in February, May, August and November, especially chosen to include up-to-date reports on the spring and autumn holidays. 


And so, as we slowly say goodbye to our snowy winter and herald the early signs of spring, we bring you Issue No 1 of our Quarterly Newsletter.


A Letter from the Chairman, Alvi Shaw


                   Alvi at the 2012 Directory Meeting with the previous
                                    National Chairman, Gri Harrison

Now we can have lunch or tea at Phyllis Court even if we are not a member of the Club (on production of our HEDFAS programme as proof of membership) We can sit in a comfortable chair, having parked a short distance away, and listen to an amazing variety of first class lectures.


We can go on a day trip, a study day, a holiday, all this made possible by the hard work and dedication of your Committee.


I would like to thank all the Committee members for their support over the last three years and may I also thank you, the Members, for your continuing loyalty and interest in your Society. With this, HEDFAS will continue to flourish.


This is my last letter to you as Chairman because, in accordance with our Constitution, I am standing down at the AGM in April.


It has been such a privilege to follow in a long line of Chairmen and women who have all played their part in the success of HEDFAS. I have had the pleasure of meeting Chairmen from other Societies around the country, many of whom envy our strong membership (at 630 we remain the fourth largest in the country), our strong volunteering ethos and our lecture facilities.




                                       Alvi with the lecturer David Phillips

                                                     17th January 2013


Our first visit of the year was to the Tate Gallery for the exhibition of the

                                        Pre Raphaelite Superstars on Friday 11th January



For our first expedition of the year we forgathered at the Rugby Club Car Park, opposite Phyllis Court drive, to meet the coach. Shirley Arber and Anne Taylor, always attentive to our every need, and in this case to those of the coach too, hoped that this would be a more convenient venue: easier parking, better access to the M40 and M4 and greater manoeuvrability for the coach. So far a resounding success!

First stop, of course, was a welcome cup of coffee, before embarking on a wonderful day in this fascinating gallery.


The Pre-Raphaelites exhibition, aptly named the "Superstars of the 19th Century" was superb. World famous works including the well known Ophelia by John Everett Millais and others rarely seen in Britain such as William Holman Hunt's The Lady of Shallot, on loan from a museum in the United States, were on display.

We were able to view  very familiar and well known  paintings  as  well  as some that were virtually unknown. It was a rare treat.

Unfortunately, in spite of having timed tickets, the queue took up to 45 minutes to reach the exhibition entrance, but once there due to the strict number control, the exhibition was not too crowded, which made viewing the paintings easy.

Thanks to the presence of mind of one of our committee members, Richard Fletcher, he telephoned the day before our visit advising us that the restaurants at the gallery were closed for refurbishment. He recommended a pub nearby, where we were able to have a very nice lunch. All in all an excellent start to the year for HEDFAS.


                                         A Reception for HEDFAS Members on Thursday 17th January

On 17th January, following the Afternoon Lecture, HEDFAS held an informal reception in the Finlay Suite at Phyllis Court.

Over hot cups of tea, tasty sandwiches and delicious cake, about fifty members chatted to each other, with the Chairman, Alvi Shaw, and several members of the committee also on hand to act as hosts and hostesses.
It was a splendid opportunity for members to meet the committee and hear a little of what goes on behind the scenes!  It was, of course, the perfect forum for members to meet one another too and proved to be an immensely enjoyable occasion for all.
Over the last few years many members have expressed a wish to hold social occasions in this way, and in response we organised an informal reception before Christmas as well as this.  

Everyone enjoyed themselves so much that we are intending these to be the first of many in years to come.


 Some news of things to come:
                 New Members’ Coffee Morning to be held on Wednesday 20th March


Following the indubitable success of the first two New Members’ Coffee Mornings in 2011 and 2012, our next reception will be in the Chantry House, St Mary the Virgin, on Wednesday 20th March at 11.00 a.m., to welcome this year’s new members.

We very much hope that as many as possible will be able to attend.  It is such a golden opportunity to meet people and make new friends right from the start.

If you haven't replied already, do drop Alvi a line or send her an email (  to let her know you are coming.

   New Members Coffee Morning in March 2012

                                                                    Young Arts
On Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd March there will be a Young Arts Sculpture Workshop at the Henley Youth Centre. This important event has been funded entirely by HEDFAS and we are immensely proud to be supporting some particularly talented young people with their exceptional artistic flair.
On March 16th HEDFAS will be sponsoring 'Fire the Inventor' at the D2, the church across from the town hall, just above the Health Food store. There will be three during the day, firstly 11 - 12:30, secondly 1:00 - 2:30 and thirdly 3:30 - 5:00.
The Crazy Comic Workshop will also hold four shorter sessions on that day at the Kings Barn, firstly 11:00 - 12:00, secondly 12:30 - 1:30, thirdly 2:30 - 3:30 and fourthly 4:00 - 5:00.
Look out for a report and photos soon of all these activities on the Young Arts Page of this website.
    Children enjoying the day at a previous Henley Youth Festival
                                                       Exhibition of Young Artists' Work at
                                           The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, 6th-17th March  


Danny's winning picture of Matilda



NADFAS, together with the Royal Society of British Artists, has organised their third third annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London and this runs from 6th to 17th March. Sixth Form Colleges from around the country were encouraged to put forward work to be considered for inclusion in this exhibition. Four hundred and sixty-five works of art from 86 schools were submitted, including three from Henley College. Lady Camoys presented prizes to these three young artists in September 2012. Just twenty-two pieces were finally selected for the exhibition. This included one from Henley College, Danny Leyland's picture of the girl looking down with flowers on her jacket. 

Danny is now at Oxford Brookes University taking a one year Art Foundation Course. He hopes to go on to study fine art at the Ruskin School, Oxford. His work is an oil on board portrait of a friend, Matilda.

The Royal Society of British Artists Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5BD, opens on 6th March and runs until 17th. Don't miss it!

Danny receiving his prize from Lady Camoys at the morning lecture in September 2012
                                               HEDFAS Annual General Meeting
This year's HEDFAS AGM will be held on Wednesday 3rd April. Following the AGM there will be a lecture entitled The British Seaside Holiday, History, Architecture and Entertainment, given by Mrs Jackie Marsh-Hobbs. This promises to be a most entertaining and informative lecture which we are sure you will thoroughly enjoy. We do hope you will be able to attend. May we remind you that just on this occasion guests may not be brought, due to the large number of members present.  


 And finally ..........






Not everyone enjoyed our snowy winter, but two of our young members certainly did.  Here they are arriving for a Young Arts Workshop the quick way  ....


HEDFAS is full of surprises!