10.15am to 12.15pm
Community Arts Centre
When Radio was King
Tutor Stephen Barnard
10 week course commencing Tuesday 7th May 2019
Whether our personal choice of listening includes 'The Archers' or Zoe Ball, Radio 3 or Classic FM, radio is an ever-present companion, a 'portable pal' without which life would be considerably duller. In this course we’ll look at the history of the medium from the earliest days of the BBC to today’s multi-platform broadcasting, with plenty of excerpts from classic programmes. We will see how the format, style and subject matter of radio has changed over the years - and we’ll consider how much this is due to changes in our lifestyles and leisure patterns.
10.15am to 12.15pm
Community Arts Centre
London through Literature.
Tutor Ros Connelly
10 week course commencing Thursday 25th April 2019
London is a fictional place. That is, as one of the most written about places in fiction, much of what many people think about London has been created by the imagination of writers. We will look at, and discuss, the ways writers have used real places and re-created them for their own ends, giving us all a much deeper and richer, multi-layered view of our capital city.
This course will be thematic rather than chronological (although covering several centuries of writing), looking at for instance, how crime, work, great events, class, poverty, immigrants and the weather(!) have been all been portrayed with humour, suspense, tragic intensity, and metaphor.
Free Extra Summer one off lectures.
Tuesday 30th April
Professor Henry Oakeley
Why Poisonous Plants make good Medicines.
Plants have been on the planet for 470 million years, and it is obvious that only those which became poisonous survived. Of 370,000 current plants, only two dozen are to be found in the vegetable aisle of the supermarkets. Plants produced poisons to protect themselves from predators – such as parasites, and we use these poisons to make medicines to treat our diseases – such as parasites (eg malaria); to kill cancer cells, and to treat numerous diseases. The lecture will concentrate on those plants that make prescription medicines and how their properties were discovered.
Dr Henry Oakeley has been a Garden Fellow at the Royal College of Physicians in London for the past 12 years where he teaches on the properties of the plants in their Garden of Medicinal Plants. He has been interested in plants, particularly orchids, since the age of 8 and served on many RHS committees, exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show, held National Plant Collections, and written a dozen books on various aspects of plants. He used to be a psychiatrist.
Tuesday 21st May
Julie Moore, University of Hertfordshire
Farming in Hertfordshire during the First World War
In 1914 Britain imported around 60% of its food from countries across the globe. When war was declared, those who worked on the nation’s farms were called upon by the government and the wider population to increase production and fill the gaps which were appearing on larder shelves. They were expected to do this with fewer men and horses, and against a backdrop of increasing government involvement in the day to day decisions on the farm. Drawing on archival and newspaper sources, this talk will explore some of the issues faced by Hertfordshire’s farming community, and how they responded.
Thursday 30th May
Dr. Helen Fry
‘Trent Park’s Very Secret War – Bugging the Nazis in WWII
During WWII British intelligence bugged the conversations of German prisoners of war at three stately houses, including Trent Park in north London. Thousands of prisoners passed through the clandestine centre at Trent Park from 1939-1942, then from 1942 it was reserved for Hitler’s captured Generals. In an astonishing turn of events, the Generals were housed in luxurious conditions and were lulled into a false sense of security. By the end of the war, there were 59 German generals in captivity with British intelligence. They relaxed and became unguarded in their conversations, and inadvertently gave away some of Hitler’s most closely guarded secrets, including discussions about V1 (doodlebug) V2 and atomic bomb programme. For over 60 years the secret listeners (German Jewish emigres who had fled Hitler) never spoke about their work, not even to their families. They died, little knowing that they, alongside Bletchley Park, shortened the war. Having worked through the decflassified files, historian Helen Fry sheds light on one of the little known but greatest deception of WWII.
Historian Dr Helen Fry has written numerous books on the Second World War with particular reference to the 10,000 Germans who fought for Britain, and also British intelligence, espionage and WWII.
Thursday 11th July
The Art of The Album Cover
Part packaging, part advertising, often an insight into an artist’s worldview, and usually the happy result of a successful collaboration between creative minds, the best album cover art will illustrate and accompany the music in such a way as to create a whole package that is greater than the sum of its parts. Great album covers from the last 70 years have become recognisable cultural objects in their own right, and some in particular have become influential works that have made their mark on other media. Join Christopher Budd, a regular contributor to Shindig! magazine’s Vinyl Art column and a man who definitely judges an album by its cover, to look at a number of great examples from his own collection and beyond.
Thursday 18th July
Van Gogh and David Hockney
Details to follow
Tuesday 23rd July
Kettles Yard - a masterpiece of curatorship
Kettles yard is the vision of one man, Jim Ede, who described himself as a ‘friend of artists’. The Edes and their collection remain at the heart of Kettles Yard which reopened its doors in 2018 after a major redevelopment. What was Jim Ede’s motivation in creating Kettles Yard in the 1950s and how has it developed since then.