The Newsletter

We continue into 2021with a programme of talks presented online and this will continue for the foreseeable future. Our January presentation, with the subject of 'The Prince and the Prophet' was given by Professor Colin Davies. This was followed in February by 'The Subtle Science and Exact Art of colour in the English Garden' by Timothy Walker and in March, 'The Work of British Artists, Architects and Garden Designers in the Palaces and Gardens of St Petersburg' by Patricia Andrew. For April we have a talk on the changing role of sculpture in our open spaces entitled 'Fresh Encounters: Contemporary Sculpture and the Public Space' by Anna Mosynska. You can more detail on this on the Events Page. As with all online presentations, there will be a connection notification in advance by Mailchimp.

Apart from our own online talks, there are presentations provided by local societies available on Zoom via the Arts Society. There is usually a fee of around £5. To find out what is available you need to go to the Arts Society website. There is also a list of talks available to download and print. Theses will also contain the illustrations used originally. There is also an Arts Society YouTube site which schedules what is, or will be, available.


From Rosalind Platts:


Since the inception of Church Recording in the early 1970s, thousands of members of The Arts Society have been engaged in the fascinating activity of recording the contents of many many churches throughout our land. From 1st January 2021, however, this activity will be transferred to an independent national body for Church Recording, the Church Recording Society (CRS).  We are delighted that the CRS has come to fruition and wish it well.  


All Church Records which have been started and registered with The Arts Society and which will be completed during 2021, will be able to claim the agreed compiling grant. In contrast, records which are started after 1st January 2021 will be registered with the Church Recording Society, the national society for Church Recording, to which our Church Recorders are now affiliated.  The connection with The ArtsSociety will be retained as individual Arts Societies continue to sponsor the recording of specific churches in separate agreements with CRS.


When life returns to normal we hope to start making a record of Church Furnishings of St. John The Baptist in Egglescliffe (just over the river from Yarm) and we would welcome more volunteers.

We describe the furnishings in sections, Memorials, Metalwork, Stonework, Woodwork, Textiles, Paintings, Library, (including local records), Windows and Miscellaneous.

Each object is described, measured and photographed and we try to find out the date, donor and history. We will meet together as a team, working in pairs, previous experience not necessary, perhaps meeting one morning every 2 weeks.

I hope to arrange an initial meeting for early July at the church.

If you are interested or would like to know more please contact me or 01642 701007


For further information please contact

From Rita Smith, Chair:


We  are excited to learn that the Blackwell Grange Hotel plans to reopen in September 2021 and the prospect of meeting up again for live lectures. Fngers crossed that our long period of lockdown and separation from our families and friends will be coming to an end. In the meantime while we cannot go on trips we have organised some virtual experiences for you via Zoom which we hope you will enjoyl


On Wednesday 24 March at 7.30pm  we have a lecture by Jonathan Foyle, who you may have seen recently on BBC TV  ‘Climbing Great Buildings’. The topic which he feels passionately about is ‘The State of British Crafts’. After Easter, on Wednesday 28 April at 11am we can indulge in a virtual trip to Venice in the company of our guide Luisella Romeo. Information can be found here or via our MailChimp. We hope you will enjoy both of these extra experiences. Also look out for our popular Virtual Coffee Mornings and a chance to chat to your friends online.

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