Our Spring programme promises much. On January 20th Professor Dan Stone will speak on the aftermath of the liberation of the Holocaust camps, followed on February 10th by Professor Nigel Saul considering the importance of Magna Carta from its origins until today. On March 17th Dr. Grant Tapsell is addressing the rich pictorial output of the Restoration period as the Monarchy used art to consolidate its authority whilst the emergence of party politics with the Whig-Tory divide generated a massive output of cartoons and other propaganda.
There will now be an additional meeting on April 21st. Dr. Andrew Blick of Kings College, London will be addressing us on the recent evolution of the British Parliamentary system. He brings both an academic approach and ’insiders’ knowledge as prior to his academic appointment he worked for various think tanks and as an advisor within No. 10. Since 2010 he has been a research fellow to the first ever parliamentary inquiry into the possibility of introducing a written constitution for the U.K. being carried out by the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. Dr. Blick is publishing a major work on the need for constitutional reform to be titled Beyond Magna Carta, a reminder of just how central the role of the original Magna Carta remains in analysis of the constitution. Please add this date April 21st to your diaries.
Tying in with this talk is one of our branch excursions-a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament on Saturday April 25th at 2pm meeting at Parliament shortly before that time. The cost will be £19 pp. Tony Pratt is organizing this event: further details will be available at our regular meetings. Places are limited so please contact Tony ASAP. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our second excursion on Sunday May 24th will be one of the very popular walks series led by Nigel Saul, tel 01784 435630; email: email@example.com to Odiham, a virtually undiscovered gem, a small town of real character, unspoiled, and rich in vernacular architecture. Outside the town are the ruins of King John’s Castle, which actually provide us with our excuse for visiting Odiham in 2015, for it was from Odiham castle that, at the end of May 1215 King John set off to Windsor to begin the negotiating process that ended with the sealing of the Charter at Runnymede two weeks later.
Unfortunately we will not be able to visit the castle as a group because of the very limited car parking nearby. However, individual members can go there separately. We will confine ourselves to the centre of the town, which is rewarding enough in itself. We will meet at the eastern (the far end) of the High St, by an easily noticeable decorative lamppost just beyond the Post Office, at 11 am.
As well as using email to contact our members, we are now also using Twitter to share additional information about our programme as well as details of other local historical talks. If you use Twitter, please follow us at @HAWestSurrey and help to publicise the branch. Our branch website www.historicalassociationsurrey.com
Chris Mitchinson (Chairman)