Gerrards Cross Summer School

The Memorial Centre,  East Common,  Gerrards Cross,  Bucks  SL9 7AD

Programme 2016

Full details of every course follow these summaries, but you can click on any course number and be taken directly to the details of that course.  Here is a handy tip - when looking at a detail entry, using the back button on your browser will take you back to the summary table.

The 2016 Summer School is now over, but we will leave this website available for a little while.


Course title





The Wallace & Frick collections
Hilary Williams



Tutankhamun in the 20th Century - glass, beauty & history
Caroline MacDonald-Haig



Anyone can draw
David Lewry


Sold out

Have fun with your iPad  Susan Mills


Sold out

Bridge - Learning to count like an expert
Abbey Smith


Sold out
Churchill - a study in failure?  1874-1939
William Tyler


The Lord Mayor - the City & Kenwood House
William Forrester


Charlotte Doe


Sold out

  Creative Writing
Alexia Casale

Colour in the garden
Letta Jones


Travelling with a compact camera
This course has been moved to Friday 5 August
Gill Ferguson


Integrate your iPad into your digital life
Tricia Lockhart


Monet and the Impressionists
Anne Anderson


Evelyn Evans


Sold out
Silk painting
Sharon Hurst


Sold out

Cicada bag
Mary Gamester


Sold out

Beginners watercolour
Denis Pannett


Sold out

Samsung Galaxy tablets
Susan Mills


Sold out
Shakespeare - a man for all time
Roger Askew


Iconic English songs
Tim Porter


Landscape painting in Acrylics
Linnette Bell


Sister Mary Finbar Coffey


July - spaces now available

Drawing for the petrified
Dee Cowell


An introduction to the study of the four gospels
Jeremy Hurst


July - spaces now available

Family history
Tricia Lockhart


Sold out
English faces from famous portraits
Andrew Davies


Northern Ireland - beauty, art, scenery & tension
William Forrester


Draw your pet in coloured pencils
David Lewry


More fun with your iPad - refresher course
Susan Mills


Sold out

  Holiday photos to paint
Dee Cowell
D28 Cancelled

Bridge - five card majors and strong no trumps
Rob Wilkinson


Course description corrected
Affluence of St. James & Old London docks
Sally Botwright


Bridge - battleground secrets, winning tactics
Rob Wilkinson


Rug making
Julia Burrows



Have fun with your iPad
Susan Mills


Sold out

The extraordinary life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Maggie Knight


Sold out

Stained glass in English cathedrals
Keith Halstead


Sold out
Julian Williamson


Bridge - gunning for the overtricks in 3NT
Tim Chanter


  Moral Philosophy
Peter Gibson

Colnbrook and the Bath Road
Julian Hunt


The amazing world of the cell
Chris Jones


Cryptic crosswords Tricia Lockhart


1666 Great Fire of London 350th anniversary
Barbara Askew


The visual arts of ancient Greece
Geoffrey Toms


Line and wash
Geoff Thorpe


Jill Eyers


Bridge - killer defence against suit contracts
Tony Williams


Elizabethan elegance
Kay Dennis


Sold out

Digital photography - using Picasa
Susan Mills


Taking the tram - a journey back to the future
Oliver Green


  1216 the death of King John
Tim Porter

Soft pastels
Geoff Thorpe


Sold out

Turkish delight
Jill Eyers


Places now available


Photos to landscape
Denis Pannett


    Beaded Jewellery
Katie Dean

Computer tips and tricks
Tricia Lockhart


Friday   Alexander Technique
Maggie Lamb

  Lawrence of Arabia's war
Neil Faulkner

  Even more fun with your iPad - refresher course
Susan Mills
Sold out

  Pen and ink drawing
Linnette Bell

 Travelling with a compact camera Gill Ferguson

 Sumptuous strawberries Kay Dennis
D61 Sold out

 Learn to love your Mac laptop
Tricia Lockhart

You may return to our home page here.



holTutor: Hilary Williams studied Art History at the University of East Anglia, she was a postgraduate in English Baroque Architecture at the Courtauld Institute of Art.  She joined the British Museum and became Superintendent of the Print Room.  Hilary is a specialist in 17th century art and has published on Rembrandt.  She is currently Art History Education Officer at the British Museum and is also a guide lecturer at the Wallace Collectionwallace

The course explores connections of connoisseurship between Waddesdon, London, Paris and New York, during the Gilded Age. Characters involved are Sir Richard and Lady Wallace, Sir John Murray Scott, Vita Sackville-West's mother, JP Morgan, Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen.  It was a world when superb examples of the fine and decorative arts were available


Tutor: Caroline MacDonald-Haig started her career as a design and decorative arts journalist and was later awarded a scholarship to study art history. She is a London Blue Badge Guide and NADFAS lecturer and in 2014 toured Australia and New Zealand lecturing on the history of glass and London.

Glass was first made over 3000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks prized it as a precious stone and the Romans discovered glass could be blown and mass produced it: goblets buried with Anglo Saxon chiefs testify to its status. Luxury glass making skills were perfected in Venice in the Renaissance and had a great influence on the development in the 1670s in London of English lead crystal: this marked the beginning of one of England’s unique contributions to the decorative arts and English lead crystal, which was exported all over the world. Some of the finest pieces are the highly collectible and beautiful things made by the Whitefriars glass house in London through the Arts and Crafts Movement and into the 1930s.

D3  ANYONE CAN DRAW   Course sold out    Monday 25th July         £50

Tutor: David Lewry, BA (Hons), SWSBA, runs a number of highly successful courses in watercolour painting and drawing.  He tutors on cruise ships where he has inspired many people to take up this exciting new hobby.  An accomplished botanical artist, he was awarded a silver medal by the Royal Horticultural Society and has contributed illustrations to several award-winning books.

This very popular course is designed for anybody who has always wanted to take up some form of art but is convinced that they just have no artistic talent! Using simple exercises the tutor will have you drawing pictures that will amaze you and your friends with just a couple of hours of tuition. You will learn why it is that drawing seemingly simple everyday objects seems to elude some people and how easy it is to correct it. The results of this course have been described as ‘absolutely incredible’ by previous participants who are now enjoying a rewarding new interest. All materials provided - absolutely no experience needed


D4 HAVE FUN WITH YOUR iPAD   Course sold out     Monday 25th July         £50

Tutor: Susan Mills, Cert Ed, MA, experienced teacher.


Be guided through all those apps and icons on your iPad in a relaxed atmosphere  We start with settings, internet connections and how to save battery power. Then gain confidence with emails, sharing photographs and searching the internet.  Know the difference between Skype and Facebook. Learn how to use the Calendar, Notes and Bookmarks.  All will be revealed and you will leave feeling confident and knowing how to get the very best from your iPad.  Please bring your iPad and power lead


D5   BRIDGE – LEARNING TO COUNT LIKE AN EXPERT!     Course sold out     Monday 25th July         £50

Tutor: Abbey Smith runs her own bridge club and teaching facility near Milton Keynes.

She was a leading junior international player who at senior level partnered Sandra Landy in the Beijing World Championships! She was also a member of the British Ladies Team which won the European Championships in Malta in 1999. Abbey plays less these days  due to family and bridge teaching commitments.

Have you ever wondered how the experienced player “know” what cards you hold and manage to make those extra tricks? Expert players are not just lucky or good at guessing”, They make informed decisions and constantly gather clues from the opponents and their partner….it is a bit like being a detective!

The course will help you to
* Train yourself to count more quickly & easily & to work out what you should be counting.
* How to extract information from the bidding and the lack of bidding!
* How to read the opening lead to help you locate the length and the high cards in that suit
* Using all the information to come to logical and sensible conclusions in order to play a bridge hand better from a declarer or a defender’s point of view

Everyone will have the opportunity to practice with plenty of hands. All hands will be explained what “should” happen and the reasons why! This course will benefit anyone who wishes to improve their card play either as a defender or declarer

D6  CHURCHILL – A STUDY IN FAILURE? 1874-1939     Tuesday 26th July        £50 

Tutor: William Tyler has worked in Adult Education all his professional life. He holds three degrees: MA (Oxon), MA (Keele), MPhil (Nottingham). In 2009 he was churchillawarded the MBE for services to adult education.

 We remember Churchill as the great leader during The Second World War; yet he was then 64 years of age, and had been out of office for a decade. This course will focus on those first 64 years of his life, a period labelled by the late Tory MP and historian, Robert Rhodes James, as ‘a study in failure’. We shall see that by contrast there were many successes in Churchill’s first 64 years, ranging from the political to the literary to the military. He had served in numerous senior Offices of State, including The Home Office and The Admiralty, as well as serving as Chancellor of The Exchequer. There were failures also, including in particular The Gallipoli Campaign of The First War, and the romantic support of the king during The Abdication Crisis.


D7 THE LORD MAYOR, THE CITY  &  KENWOOD HOUSE     Tuesday 26th July        £50

Tutor: William Forrester, MA (Oxon), PGCE, Diploma in Art History, Lecturer for the National Portrait Gallery and British Museum, Tour Guide for London and the City.


We start with the history and significance of the guilds of the City of London… taking the story right up to the present day.  We look at the twelve great companies in particular.  We move on to consider the unique way the City is governed, tracing the roles and significance of the Court of Common Council, the Court of Aldermen, the Sheriffs and the Lord Mayor. We examine how the Lord Mayor is elected, invested and shown to the people in that great day in the London calendar – the Lord Mayor’s Show.  We also view some of the highlights from the City’s Art Collection. In 1989 the City took over the running of Hampstead Heath. We consider the jewel in the heath’s crown – Kenwood House and its great collection after its closure and major refurbishment between 2012-2014.

D8  CREATIVE USE OF POTTERY    Course sold out  Tuesday 26th July       £50

potteryTutor: Charlotte Doe: Qualifications: BA (Hons) Fine Art Sculpture

 The aim of the day will be for you to make a selection of ceramic pieces using hand building techniques. You will be able to make a selection of shallow dishes, bowls, vases or jugs using the technique of rolling out and cutting to templates. You can decorate these using texture blocks, incising, sprig additions and painting with underglazes. You will be using stoneware clay and at the end of the day will be able to choose from a selection of glaze colours. Your ceramic pieces will be taken away for firing and glazing and returned to Gerrards Cross. Additional material and firing costs of £5 per person

D8a CREATIVE WRITING     Tuesday 26th July       £50

Tutor:Dr Alexia Casale: an author, teacher and international writing consultant. She was  shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize and Jugendliteraturprei and selected for the Book of the Year 2013 by both the Independent and Financial Times. She writes young adult fiction and adult historical novels.

Developing characters, creating a story, write what you know: using family history as a starting point we’ll discuss ideas, inspiration and research – and how to use those to decide which stories you want to tell. We’ll discuss how characterisation and plot are inseparable in the best fiction – and how to go about crafting exciting stories with memorable characters, voice & aesthetics. We’ll discuss the concept of the writer’s ‘voice’ – and how to find your own. Putting it together: writing a story for your family.  We’ll discuss the extent to which you need to consider your ‘audience’ when writing – and have a go at outlining a story, whether grounded in fact or flights of fancy, that you would like to share with your family.

D9 COLOUR IN THE GARDEN      Tuesday 26th July       £50

Tutor: Letta Jones, MA, is a lecturer in Landscape, Horticulture and Garden History. She teaches at City Lit, South London Botanical Institute, Denman College, Knuston Hall and at Marlborough College Summer School.


Do you wish your garden was more colourful and interesting in the winter months?  Are you keen to discover more about plants with textured bark, colourful stems, variegated foliage and rich green leaves?  This course will show you how, with careful planning, your garden, window box and containers can be more colourful all year round.  The focus will be on trees and shrubs which provide an essential framework.  There will be a walk in the Centre’s grounds for inspiration and practical plant identification and plenty of time for discussion, question and answers.  You will go away with ideas to plan changes for your own planting

D10  TRAVELLING WITH A COMPACT CAMERA     Friday 5th August       £50

Tutor: Gill Ferguson, freelance photojournalist, lecturer and qualified tutor of Adult Education.

This course has been transferred to Friday 5th August

D11  INTEGRATE YOUR IPAD INTO YOUR DIGITAL LIFE     Tuesday 26th July       £50

Tutor: Tricia Lockhart, BSc; PGCE; PGD IT.  Tricia has been teaching for over 30 years.  Part time tutor to PGCE students of Computer Studies at King’s College, London.


This course is aimed at new users or those who feel they have only scratched the surface of their iPad.  We will look at some techniques/tools that are frequently overlooked and the tutor will share some of her favourite apps.  Some features will suit those who use iPads predominantly and some will integrate iPads with the use of other computers/devices.  It may be possible to cover areas of interest for the participants especially if they take the opportunity to email the details to the tutor once they have booked.

D12 MONET AND THE IMPRESSIONISTS    Wednesday 27th July       £50

Tutor: Prof. Anne Anderson BA, PhD, FSA & NADFAS lecturer. From 1993-2007 Anne was a senior lecturer on the Fine Arts Valuation degree courses at Southampton monetSolent University, where she specialized in Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Modernism. She is currently a tutor at the V&A teaching 19th and 20th century art and design. Anne toured Australia in 2000, 2006, 2009 and has lectured on Swan Hellenic Minerva and the Spirit of Adventure. Her television credits include BBC’s Flog It

The Impressionists, as they were dubbed after their first exhibition in Paris in 1874, sought to capture a ‘moment’ in time; consequently they worked several canvases one after the other in rapid succession, as the conditions changed. Plein-air painting became a touchstone for them as they placed a premium on direct observation, speed, and spontaneity; they hoped to capture the effect of changing weather, seasons, and times of day. Moreover, a new interest in naturalism emphasized ‘truth’ and ‘authenticity’, real people in real situations, prompting artists to paint life with unembellished directness, ‘warts and all’. Critics decried such paintings as ugly, even sordid and immoral, as they captured the everyday rather than picturing noble moments from history. By focusing on Claude Monet, and his gradual migration down the Seine, we can explore how Impressionism focused on the river, the garden and the sea.

D13 JAPAN  - WHAT MAKES IT SO DIFFERENT?   Course sold out      Wednesday 27th July       £50

japanTutor: Evelyn Evans has a History degree from Trinity College Dublin. She has further studied Colonial History, is a Chinese Speaker, has worked and travelled extensively throughout Japan. She is also an Enrichment Lecturer on Silversea Cruises and Cunard amongst others

An introduction to an extraordinary country with a fascinating history, we will look at its geography, history, culture and costume and what makes it so different. We will examine the customs that are unique to the Japanese and the differences between the Chinese and the Japanese. The part played in the feudal class system by the Samurai Warrior will be explained and how Japan’s conflicts with Korea and China have impacted on it. Lastly we will see why the impact of foreigners and Christianity led to 200 years of isolation which was only penetrated by the Dutch who set up a trading post at Dejima at Nagasaki


D14 SILK PAINTING   Course sold out   Wednesday 27th July       £50

Tutor:  Sharon Hurst is known for the vibrant colours and bold designs in all her work, from fantasy watercolour and silk scarves through to beaded jewellery.  Entirely self-taught, she believes in breaking rules because, as she says, “No-one ever taught me any, so I just go my own way and experiment”!  Sharon’s work is available in galleries both here and abroad

This course, working with silk and heat set silk paints, is suitable for both beginners and improvers.  We will have time to explore various techniques, using gutta to design your piece and different salts for effect, and we will have design books to help with ideas. Silk is available at a cost of £5 per metre and ready made silk scarves at £4.50 each

D15 CICADA BAG     Course sold out   Wednesday 27th July       £50

Tutor: Mary Gamester  Qualifications:- Cert Ed;  City & Guilds Cert and Diploma in Patchwork and Quilting and Machine Embroidery. Currently teaching in several venues.

In Japan a gift made by hand and sent from the heart is the most cherished of all. The bag you will make is in the shape of a cicada, an insect, the symbol of new life through reincarnation. Emerging from the larva stage only once every seventeen years, thousands of them, their shells an unusual mix of blue and green, cover the summer fields. Their sad, lonely song has moved the hearts of poets.
This is a delightful drawstring bag that could take a mobile phone, a lipstick or be used to keep a special treasure in. A small project that will be hand sewn. The body forms the bag with wings and head pieces as decorative features and the draw strings will become a hanging strap from your wrist. These small enchanting bags will bring much pleasure either to keep or to give away.

D16  BEGINNERS WATERCOLOUR    Course sold out   Wednesday 27th July     £50

Tutor: Denis Pannett, professional artist, experienced Adult Education tutor, Honorary Freeman of the Painters Stainers Livery Company, President of the Wapping Group of Artists and Chairman of the Chiltern Painters.

This course is designed to help beginners and less experienced painters to learn the basic stages in tackling a subject in watercolour.  All students will complete a painting step by step under the guidance of the tutor, with tips on materials, composition, colour mixing, tones, and painting skies, trees, water, foregrounds and watercolour techniques. Top quality watercolour paper will be available from the tutor at £3 per sheet.

D17  SAMSUNG GALAXY TABLETS   Course sold out     Wednesday 27th July     £50

Tutor: Susan Mills, Cert Ed, MA, experienced teacher

This tablet is the new kid on the block and has proved very popular.  How can you get the best everyday usage from this tablet.  We will cover basic usage, settings, emails, photographs and some of the numerous apps you can download.  Please bring your charging cable.  All will be revealed and you will leave feeling confident and knowing how to get the very best from your tablet.

If you have another make of tablet (not a laptop) please contact the Summer School team who will forward your question to the tutor

D18   SHAKESPEARE – “A MAN FOR ALL TIME”     Thursday 28th July     £5

Tutor: Roger Askew is a graduate from Magdalen College, Oxford and holds degrees in English literature and in Music. He lectures widely to National Trust, U3A and other special  interest groups.

A 400 year celebration. Ben Jonson called William Shakespeare “A Man for all Time”. He is “the most quoted author in English literature” and his plays have been translated into every major language in the world. This study day will examine his life in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, his writings and the world of the Elizabethan theatre, which was just coming of age. There will be opportunity to read and discuss selected scenes and listen to recordings of some of our greatest Shakespearean actors.

D19 ICONIC ENGLISH SONGS     Thursday 28th July     £50

Tutor: Tim Porter specialises in two subject areas: the Middle Ages and Music.  He is an experienced lecturer, including NADFAS and the Ashmolean Museum, and works as a tour guide for specialist history groups

The perfect union of words and music is one of the highest ideals in art, yet time and again composers have taken the work of great poets and created three-minute musical masterpieces. This study day examines how it’s done, using examples from our own country, spread across the centuries from Jacobean times through the Georgian and Victorian eras to the twentieth century and the days of Gurney, Finzi and Vaughan Williams, which might be termed the ‘Golden Age of English Song’.  Attention will first be given to the poetry pure and simple, then to the process whereby music was added – a kind of magical alchemy in the hands of great composers, creating in each case a jewel which is truly more than the sum of the parts

D20  LANDSCAPE PAINTING IN ACRYLICS    Thursday 28th July     £50

Tutor: Linnette Bell, BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting, City & Guilds Teaching Certificate Stage 2.

Experience in drawing, or other painting media will be helpful, but not essential.Demonstration & help given, to achieve the following-
* Use acrylic paint efficiently and clean materials & equipment
* Plan a landscape with a variety of features
* Use painting techniques to create realism
* Mix colours needed using a limited palette
* Use mixed media with acrylic (optional)
The tutor will provide acrylic paint, disposable palettes, painting boards, and acrylic painting paper at a maximum cost of £10. Brushes and painting knives will be available to purchase.
Bring sketching paper, pencils, eraser, sharpener, ruler, a piece of chalk, a couple of clean jam jars, paints and brushes if you have them and an overall. Bring your photographs as a source of inspiration. The tutor will also bring a selection of landscape photos

D20a THE WORK OF NIETZSCHE - A RADICAL PHILOSOPHER   July - spaces now available   Thursday 28th July     £50
Tutor: Sister (Dr) Mary Finbarr Coffey holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Heythrop College, University of London; and a Bachelor of Scholastic Philosophy and English form Queens University, Belfast. For ten years, she lectured in Philosophy for a Bachelor's Degree.

Nietzsche is one of the most influential thinkers of our tradition. He is a radical philosopher who attempts to unmask the motives which underlie the Western philosophical tradition, morality and religion, and his work has affected philosophers, theologians, psychologists, poets, and novelists. Richard Rorty has described our current age as ‘Post-Nietzschean’, doing so on the ground that Nietzsche was able to think through the consequences of the Enlightenment. Nietzsche was the subject of Thomas Mann’s great novel Dr Faustus, and, Hitchcock’s film Rope. He has been taken seriously by various analytic philosophers – Bernard Williams, Philippa Foot, Richard Rorty, and Alasdair MacIntyre. This course examines and evaluates a range of central arguments in debates, regarding Nietzsche's conception of philosophy; Nietzsche's works; Nietzsche on Truth; Nietzsche's 'Perspectivism'; and Nietzsche on God.

D21 DRAWING FOR THE PETRIFIED    Thursday 28th July     £50

Tutor: Dee Cowell, BA Fine Arts, professional artist, retired art teacher, demonstrator. President of the Crowthorne and Sandhurst Art Society in Berkshire She has cheetahdemonstrated for the S.A.A., Derwent and Daler Rowney in the UK, Germany, South Africa and Denmark.

Drawing is easy once you know how! For those who think they can’t draw and for those who would like to improve their drawing techniques this is for you. Starting with an easy way of measuring and progressing onto tonal studies, create textures like fur, feathers, do realistic eyes and end up with a drawing of a magnificent wild cheetah! An animal portrait that you will be proud of. These techniques once learned can be used for many other subjects. Feel free to bring your own subject and start on
your journey towards a most enjoyable hobby

D22  INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE FOUR GOSPELS   July - spaces now available  Thursday 28th July     £50

Tutor: The Rev. Canon Dr. Jeremy Hurst was from 1985 – 2005 Rector of Langley, Slough, and from 1996 – 2005 chair of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education. In retirement he has taught a yearly course in New Testament Studies through the Windsor branch of the WEA

You may be familiar with the Gospels without your reading involving rigorous objective study. Some people are rather frightened of this, thinking that it may undermine their faith. Indeed, much biblical criticism of the mid-20th century appeared radical and destructive. But the current climate is more affirmative. We can look calmly at questions of authorship, date, intended readership and purpose of writing. We can see how truth is presented in different modes. We can search for the original words of Jesus while showing how  the early church and the evangelists preserved and interpreted them. Above all, examining these fundamental Christian documents we can look for the key principles of their accuracy, their authenticity and their authority.I like to work with small groups where every member can join in. I welcome comments, questions, reflections. So come prepared to contribute to the discussion


D23 FAMILY HISTORY   Course sold out   Thursday 28th July     £50

Tutor: Tricia Lockhart, BSc; PGCE; PGD IT.  Tricia has been teaching for over 30 years.  Part time tutor to PGCE students of Computer Studies at King’s College, London

Researching your Family History can become addictive but using the computer to find the information you want sometimes needs an unusual approach.  You will be given a variety of tips on how to search and how to assess the accuracy of the sources with some examples. We will explore a variety of resources to aid researching and recording your Family History.  We hope to have free access to one of the main Family History sites during the course.

Participants should be familiar with using the internet and with saving and relocating files on their computer.  For those keen on starting their family tree, some of your own information relating to births, marriages, deaths, residences and military service will allow individual searches to be made. A memory stick or portable hard drive may be useful so that information can be saved for use later.

D24  ENGLISH FACES FROM FAMOUS PORTRAITS    Friday 29th July     £50

Tuhenrytor: Andrew Davies is a lecturer, guide, author, historian, broadcaster and journalisthol


Portraits from Holbein and Gainsborough, Freud to L.S. Lowry.  Who doesn’t enjoy watching people and today we join the greats.  From the Tudor masterpieces of Holbein’s Henry VIII and Thomas More, to the swaggering and often doomed royals of van Dyck, Hogarth’s ordinary people, the contrasting work of Gainsborough and Reynolds, the Victorian titans of Millais, flamboyant Whistler, sumptuous John Singer Sargent, AugustusJohn, Stanley Spencer, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, the matchstick men of L.S. Lowry. A people’s portrait of England over th e last 500 years.


Tutor: William Forrester, MA (Oxon), PGCE, Diploma in Art History, Lecturer for the National Portrait Gallery and British Museum, Tour Guide for London and the City.

NI aWe take a look at a part of our own country that is so little known to most of us.  We consider the NI bregion’s background, and more recent history (including the horrors of the troubles and the fragile miracle of the Peace Process).  We view sights from prehistory to the present, including castles, cathedrals, country houses, museums, prisons, churches and some of our best natural wonders.  We look in detail at Derry/Londonderry and Belfast,.including the controversial loyalist and republican murals as well as the brave symbols of reconciliation.  It’s a moving story of hope against all the odds which involves us all

D26  DRAW YOUR PET WITH COLOURED PENCILS    Friday 29th July     £50

Tutor: David Lewry, BA (Hons), SWSBA, runs a number of highly successful courses in watercolour painting and drawing.  He tutors on cruise ships where he has inspired many people to take up this exciting new hobby. An accomplished botanical artist, he was awarded a silver medal by the Royal Horticultural Society and has contributed illustrations to several award-winning books.

Coloured pencils are an exciting new medium that are convenient and easy for beginners to pick up. They are ideally suited to capturing animal fur and eyes, subjects than can prove tricky in normal watercolour. During the day you will be shown how to transfer a photograph of your pet onto suitable paper and complete the portrait. Students will need a good quality photo of their own pet or other suitable subject, around 10 x 8 inches in size. Alternatively they can work from a photograph that will be provided by the tutor of his own dog Blondie. Some pencils will be available for you to borrow on the day but ideally you should bring a selection of your own pencils in a range of colours suitable for the animal you have chosen.

D27 MORE FUN WITH YOUR iPAD - A REFRESHER COURSE   Course sold out    Friday 29th July    £50

Tutor: Susan Mills, Cert Ed, MA, experienced teacher.

For those of you who are now happily using your iPad.  A quick refresher on those apps Apple gave you and the use of settings.  We then explore all those new capabilities that have been developed recently, including upgrades.  The iPad has innumerable uses in our everyday life and is becoming indispensable.  Harness all that communication and information power.  A confidence booster to ensure you make more use of you iPad.

D28 HOLIDAY PHOTOS TO PAINT  Course cancelled     Friday 29th July    £50

Tutor: Dee Cowell BA Fine Arts, professional artist, retired art teacher, demonstrator. President of the Crowthorne and Sandhurst Art Society in Berkshire She has HOLSdemonstrated for the S.A.A., Derwent and Daler Rowney in the UK, Germany, South Africa and Denmark.

Turn your holiday snaps into a fabulous painting! (Select from your own photographs, or from a large selection provided by the tutor) Using “Mixed Media” Dee will demonstrate washes (watercolours and inks) then using acrylics or pastels on top show you the way to produce a vibrant exciting painting. She will demonstrate composition, colour mixing and tones, with some useful tips on how to paint people, foregrounds and backgrounds. Textures will be explored as well pushing the boundaries and capturing the essence. Come and have a go!

D28a BRIDGE - FIVE CARD MAJORS & STRONG NO TRUMP  Course description corrected   Friday 29th July     £50

Tutor: Rob Wilkinson is a qualified bridge teacher and runs The Bridge School at Gerrards Cross where there are classes for beginners, intermediate and more advanced classes and play sessions

Most people have been brought up on ACO using four card majors and a weak no trump. However, more and more people are converting to Five Card Majors and a Strong No Trump as this approach provides a better framework for bidding accuracy.
The key advantages are
* You can confidently raise partner’s major with three card support
* Finding 4-4 Major suit part-scores is easier
* No trump rebids are more efficient and leave space to check for major suit fits
* You concede fewer penalties playing a strong no trump, whether doubled or undoubled
* Five Card Majors are played all over the world so play bridge anywhere with confidence.

Even if you decide this approach is not for you, it will prove invaluable to understand what your opponent’s are bidding when they play Five Card Majors! There will be plenty of demonstration hands and practice play hands throughout the day.

D30   AFFLUENCE OF ST JAMES & OLD LONDON DOCKS              Monday 1st August     £50
Tutor: Sally Botwright qualified as a London Blue Badge Guide 12 years ago. Sally was born in London which is still her favourite place and she feels fortunate to be able to show visitors from abroad and the UK around our wonderful capital city. She also gives lectures on London to clubs and groups in Bucks, Berks and Surrey.'s_Square,_London_-_April_2009.jpgLondon is one of Europe’s largest cities in size and population yet many would still describe it as a city made up of villages.  These villages have blended their boundaries to form the Greater London we know today.  Each area still has it’s own character, shaped by many different factors with location being the most important as that will provide the people who live and work there.   We will be looking at 3 totally different areas and how they have grown and developed over the centuries.  St. James’ which offers one of the best addresses in London, Southwark where the works on the south side of the river were and the Old London Docks which has been transformed into Docklands in the 21st Century.

D30 composite

D31    BRIDGE – BATTLEGROUND SECRETS WINNING TACTICS AT BRIDGE!       Monday 1st August     £50                              

Tutor: Rob Wilkinson is a qualified bridge teacher and runs The Bridge School at Gerrards Cross where there are classes for beginners, intermediate and more advanced classes and play sessions. 

Good duplicate pairs frequently compete in the auction, rarely overbid and often make extra tricks as declarer. Are they good bridge players? Yes! But one of things that make them good is that they understand the concept which really matters: the true goal at duplicate pairs is not to make your contract. All that matters is how your score stacks up against the other scores.  We sometimes generalise and label players as being ‘timid, cautious, aggressive or even reckless’. But to score well we need to be all of these at times! Think of duplicate bridge as a ‘battle’ and we’re in the middle of it. For many that’s what makes bridge fun!

Today we will look at some of the ‘secrets’ of the battleground and recognise them for what they really are: clear goals, good strategies and ‘in-tune’ partnership action. We will look to:
* Think about the ‘table’ opposition
* Be aggressive during part-score bidding
* Assess the ‘par’ contract i.e. what contract everyone is likely to reach
* Judge when to ‘pass’ and when to ‘bid on’
* Recognise when to risk the contract in search of overtricks
* Know when not to play for longshots if the contract is doomed
There will be plenty of demonstration hands and practice play hands throughout the day.

D32    RUG MAKING   Course cancelled  Monday 1st August     £50

Tutor: Julia Burrows, MA.


D32An introduction to the fascinating and ancient craft of rag rug making.  Why not recycle some of your old, outdated garments and release your creativity by turning them into something useful and beautiful.  You will learn something of the history and tradition of this craft and several different techniques will be demonstrated.  You will be given advice and guidance on fabric suitability, colour and design and start work on a small piece in your own time.  Unsuitable fabrics for this purpose include loose or hand knits, most upholstery fabrics, denim and velvet; anything with a little stretch is good to work with, including tights!  This is a fun and sociable activity that is likely to get you hooked!

There will be a charge of £3.50 for base fabrics.


D33    HAVE FUN WITH YOUR iPAD   Course sold out   Monday 1st August     £50

Tutor: Susan Mills, Cert Ed, MA, experienced teacher

Be guided through all those apps and icons on your iPad in a relaxed atmosphere.  We start with settings, internet connections and how to save battery power. Then gain confidence with emails, sharing photographs and searching the internet.  Know the difference between Skype and Facebook. Learn how to use the Calendar, Notes and Bookmarks.  All will be revealed and you will leave feeling confident and knowing how to et the very best from your iPad. Please bring your iPad and power lead.

D 34   THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE  Course sold out   Monday 1st August     £50

Tutor: Maggie Knight BA Fine Art, MA History of Art, PhD History of Art. Founded the Adult Education section at the V&A Museum after working in the Art History departments of various art schools.  She ran her own classes in art and cultural history in London and is now teaching for NADFAS and leading tours to Europe and America.


Eleanor was 81 when she died in 1204, she had outlived all but two of her children and both her husbands. Twice a Queen consort and the Duchess of her own lands in Aquitaine she was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women of the High Middle Ages. Eleanor was well educated, intelligent, wilful and beautiful, she inspired the troubadours who wrote poetry in her honour but her life was no romance positioned as she was at the centre of international power struggles.  Her critics were many, she was blamed for the failure of the Second Crusade, accused of immorality, of plotting against her 2nd husband Henry II and even of the murder of Henry’s mistress. She spent 16 years imprisoned in England but Eleanor was a survivor, in her 70s she was still travelling across Europe in the interests of her family. This day is dedicated to one of the most controversial and remarkable women of the 12th century.

D35   STAINED GLASS IN THE ENGLISH CATHEDRALS  Course sold out     Monday 1st August     £50

Tutor: Keith Hasted studied History of Art and Architecture through continuing education at Oxford. His MA research at Reading University focused on Italian Renaissance palace architecture. He lectures at Oxford University Continuing Education and for the WEA in History of Architecture.

Part of the stunning experience on entering a cathedral in the medieval age must have been the impact of the colour and images in its glass. This course will look at the development of this glass, including its production and the assembly of windows, with an eye to the materials and methods. We will then consider the remarkable surviving early glass of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries at Canterbury and York in particular, followed by the development of glass in the later medieval period. The work of the range of designers and workshops responsible for the production of nineteenth century glass will also be examined, and we will conclude with a look at how modern glass is now being used in our cathedrals.


D36     ROSSINI AND THE EMERGING ROMANTIC ERA    Tuesday 2nd August     £50

Tutor: Julian Williamson LTCL (Trinity College), conductor of many orchestras and choirs in Great Britain and overseas; also an experienced lecturer.


Rossini was born just after Mozart’s death and before Beethoven had made any real name for himself.  By the time he died not only had Beethoven changed music for ever but Berlioz, Verdi, Wagner and others had created a new era of Romanticism.  His creative life covered some sixty years and his immense output spanned the divide between Classicism and the freer ideas of the new era.  His initial inspiration was from Mozart and this admiration never ceased.  He later embraced all the novel exciting ideas of the 19th century, and by so doing he helped form many of the sounds which would dominate the Romanic era. I hope to introduce you to a host of Rossini’s works which are rarely heard and are undeservedly neglected.


D37   BRIDGE - GUNNING FOR THE OVERTRICKS IN 3NT    Tuesday 2nd August     £50
Tutor: Tim Chanter is an outstanding teacher from Richmond Bridge Club which is one of  the leading clubs in the country, having attracted more players than any other EBU affiliated club for the last few years running. Tim recently updated all of their teaching material to use  modern technology and is a strong player who competes regularly in local and national tournaments.

In any session, your partnership is likely to be playing in 3NT several times and usually the rest of the field will be in the same contract. So the match points are often determined by how many overtricks you can make, and the trick target to achieve a good result is often 10, 11 or even 12 tricks rather than simply the 9 to fulfil the contract. You need to be greedy! In this seminar, we will discuss tactics and plays to maximise your chances of overtricks including combining chances between lines; reviewing odds of success; considering which defender you would prefer to be on lead; and at which point in the hand it is best to cash winners rather than develop further tricks. There will be notes on the key points, commentaries on the hands and, of course, plenty of boards to play.

D38  AN INTRODUCTION TO MORAL PHILOSOPHY      Tuesday 2nd August     £50
Tutor : Dr Peter Gibson was for many years Head of Philosophy at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. His first degree was in English, and he recently completed a PhD in Philosophy at Birkbeck, London.  He runs a philosophy

The four sessions will give a broad overview of the whole of moral philosophy. The first session will look at the foundations of values, weighing relative against absolute views, and the roles of reason and emotion. The next two sessions will survey four main theories that are proposed as guiding principles for moral life: virtue theory, contractarianism, utilitarianism, and the ethics of duty. We will identify their key principles, and sketch their strengths and weaknesses. The final session will summarise our findings, and examine one practical dilemma, to see how the theories perform in real life. There will be scope for group discussions, once the main ideas have been presented.

D39    COLNBROOK AND THE BATH ROAD    Tuesday 2nd August     £50

Tutor: Julian Hunt was born in 1949 at Romsley, Worcestershire. He was a local studies librarian in Oldham, Lancashire, and, more recently at Aylesbury, where he established the  Centre for Bucks Studies. He has written numerous histories of Buckinghamshire market towns, including a History of Amersham (2001) A History of Gerrards Cross (2006) and Beaconsfield, a History (2009), all published by Phillimore & Co., of Chichester. He has been a lecturer at Gerrards Cross Summer School for many years.

Colnbrook, the forgotten town of Buckinghamshire, was one of the busiest thoroughfares in the country, much-frequented by well-to-do travellers on the Bath Road. It had at least six coaching inns, one of which is still a public house, another is a restaurant and four more survive as private houses or flats. With the end of the coaching era, Colnbrook declined from a thriving town to a mere village. There are now more aeroplanes taking off from nearby Heathrow airport than there are cars squeezing through Colnbrook’s narrow High Street. Julian Hunt will bring Colnbrook back to life and compare its coaching inns with those of Maidenhead, Reading and other towns along the Bath Road.

  D40   THE AMAZING WORLD OF THE CELL     Tuesday 2nd August     £50

Tutor: Chris Jones BSc Botany/Zoology Dip Ed. Biology teacher for over forty years ana A level examiner for thirty years.


An introduction to cell biology suitable for anyone interested in learning more about the fascinating world of living cells.  No previous knowledge is necessary so the course is accessible to all. We begin with the history of cell discovery through the development of microscopy from the early pioneers to the present day. Then we will look at the intricate inner life of the cell, different types of cells and how they work together to maintain health and well-being.  Later we outline how cells divide and pass on their genetic material, the causes of cancer, a brief look at the history of cancer treatments and how modern cell biology offers hope for better treatments in the future.


D41  CRYPTIC CROSSWORDS    Tuesday 2nd August     £50 

Tutor: Tricia Lockhart  BSc; PGCE; PGC ITT.  Tricia has been teaching for over 30 years.  Part time tutor to students of Computer Studies at King’s College, London.

This course is for those who have yet to achieve success solving cryptic crosswords.  Types of clues and their solution, approaches to the overall crossword, and information about dictionaries and other aids. Whilst the course does not rely on using a computer, we will use it to source crosswords or to gain help.  We will use past examples from popular broadsheets, particularly the Daily Telegraph.  You might like to bring a small dictionary (or one on a Kindle or Smartphone). This is aimed at absolute beginners.


D42   THE GREAT FIRE 1666 -  350th ANNIVERSARY    Wednesday 3rd August     £50

Tutor: Barbara Askew BA (Hons) History, Diploma in Education. Barbara is a historian and lecturer for the NADFAS. She is a London Blue Badge Guide, a City of London Guide and a lecturer, examiner and Course Director on Blue Badge Guide Training Courses.

fireThe Great Plague of 1665 was a disaster of the first magnitude for London, resulting in the deaths of over 100,000 of its citizens. The Great Fire which followed only a few months afterwards burned most of the old City of London. 13,500 houses, 87 churches and 44 livery halls, as well as many public buildings, were destroyed in just four days. The Study Day examines the devastation wrought by both Plague and Fire, looks at the inspirational plans put forward for the rebuilding of the City and changed the face of London for ever.

D43   THE VISUAL ARTS OF ANCIENT GREECE     Wednesday 3rd August     £50

Tutor: Geoffrey Toms is a classical archaeologist who has spent a lifetime touring the Eastern Mediterranean and leading study tours.  He was for nearly twenty years Head of Education at the Museum of London.

Ancient Greek art was the golden age in the story of European culture; its themes combine beauty and the human condition, its vitality and tranquillity.  This course will embrace the joy of looking at sculpture, pottery and painting, architecture and the fine arts, whose proportion and  harmony continue to speak to us eternally.  We shall examine icons such as the Parthenon and the Venus di Milo, master potters such as Exekias and the astonishing finds from the tomb of Philip of Macedon amid the wealth of aesthetic pleasures placing them in the context of the evolution of civilised mankind.

D44    LINE AND WASH     Wednesday 3rd August     £50

Tutor: Geoff Thorpe attended Lichfield School of Art.  He is a demonstrator and tutor for the Society of all Artists (SAA) and at Earnley Concourse, Chichester.  He also offers workshop courses in all mediums in Harwich, Essex.  Geoff firmly believes that painting should be fun.


An opportunity to ‘brush up’ on your drawing and working freely with emphasis on drawing and loose transparent washes rather than aiming for a complete watercolour. It should be possible to accomplished two works on the day.

D45   THE WORLD OF FOSSILS    Wednesday 3rd August     £50

Tutor:  Dr Jill Eyers, PhD, BA (Hons), PGCE (TLHE) (Open); Director of Chiltern Archaeology


45aThis course is an introduction to the world of fossils. We start with asking ‘what is a fossil and how do they get preserved?’ ‘Where can I find them and what do I do with them when I have?’ We will use the tutor’s large collection to assist in discovering how they are preserved, and then how to identify the main groups. The tutor has everything from dinosaur bones to insects in amber! A special focus will be placed on some groups of fossils, which will include finding out more about the ammonites and trilobites, amongst other types. The tutor will provide everything needed for the day, although a hand lens or magnifier may be useful to ensure there are enough. Students may bring along one or two fossils of their own.



Tutor: Tony Williams is a qualified English Bridge Union teacher and one of the resident bridge teachers at the Memorial Centre working within The Bridge School at Gerrards Cross.

Bidding and declarer play is only half of the game of bridge. Defence is the other and often the more important half! Good defenders usually score quite well at duplicate pairs and in this seminar we will look at the different tactics, strategies and techniques that are most commonly used against suit contracts.

It is important to work as a partnership and to understand what partner is trying to achieve. So this seminar will focus on:
* Which suit to lead and which card to play
* Responding to partner’s lead
* Trying for a ruff
* Preventing a ruff
* The importance of holding the ace of trumps
* The forcing defence
* Trump promotions
There will be plenty of demonstration hands and practice play hands throughout the day


D47    ELIZABETHAN ELEGANCE   Course sold out    Wednesday 3rd August     £50

Tutor: Kay Dennis is a free lance, professional embroiderer who specialises in stumpwork, Elizabethan embroidery, needlelace and three dimensional embroidery. Kay has City & Guilds qualifications in lace, embroidery and stumpwork.

The embroideries of the Elizabethan period are lavish with trailing gold stems enclosing flowers and insects. Coloured threads, beads, pearls and spangles and a variety of stitches go to make this a sumptuous form of embroidery. "Sweete Bags" are richly decorated little bags, often given as gifts themselves or used to contain small, precious gifts, such as gold coins. They were also used to carry a pourri of sweet smelling herbs and flower petals to help defuse the foul smelling Elizabethan England. Using simple stitches and techniques, beads, metal threads and spangles you will learn how to make a pretty little embroidery, which can be made into a bag at a later date. The class is designed for all abilities.



Tutor: Susan Mills, Cert Ed, MA, experienced teacher.

Advice on using your camera and alternative software programmes will be discussed.  We will cover printing your photographs using online and high street suppliers and attaching photographs to an email. This course uses picasa, a free software programme by Google to edit, store, organise and print your digital photographs.  Please bring your  camera instruction manual (if available) and USB lead to connect to the computer. 

This course is suitable for learners who have some computer knowledge and can use

a keyboard and mouse.

D49    TAKING THE TRAM, A JOURNEY BACK TO THE FUTURE  Course cancelled   Thursday 4th August     £50

Tutor: Oliver Green BA AMA FRSA, former Head Curator of London Transport Museum and experienced lecturer and author on transport and design history. His latest book, Rails in the Road: a history of tramways in Britain and Ireland, will be published by Pen & Sword in 2016.

D49aThe electric tram revolutionised town travel in urban Britain. A century ago there were tram networks in nearly every city in the UK,D49b offering the first really cheap, convenient and classless means of urban transport. By the late 1930s they were in decline, being replaced by the apparently more flexible motor bus and trolleybus, and since the 1960s the private car has ruled. London’s last tram ran in 1952; Glasgow was the final big city system to close ten years later. But trams are making a comeback. As air pollution and congestion gets worse in our car dominated towns, emission free tram systems are now seen as a sustainable and environmentally friendly asset to cities. There has been a light rail renaissance all over the world. We are well behind Germany, France and other countries but the UK now has 10 modern tramways, all built in the last 25 years. We will look at and discuss the rise, fall and return of the tram. Are we now going back to the future with light rail?

D50   1216 THE DEATH OF KING JOHN    Thursday 4th August     £50

Tutor:  Tim Porter specialises in two subject areas: the Middle Ages and Music. He is an experienced lecturer, including NADFAS and the Ashmolean Museum, and works as a tour guide for specialist history groups.D50

800 years ago, astounding events took place which history has largely forgotten, yet which everyone needs to know!  A French invasion which nearly succeeded; a failed regime fighting for its life; a king who died with shocking suddenness, leaving a gaping power-vacuum.  To understand these happenings, we need also to understand King John himself, that most controversial of English monarchs – his character, his family, his problems.  We also need to enter his world – the melting-pot of Europe in 1216, with its politics, theology and art, all in a state of turmoil and huge vitality

D51    SOFT PASTELS    Course sold out    Thursday 4th August     £50

Tutor: Geoff Thorpe attended Lichfield School of Art.  He is a demonstrator and tutor for the Society of all Artists (SAA) and at Earnley Concourse, Chichester.  He also offers workshop courses in all mediums in Harwich, Essex.  Geoff firmly believes that painting should be fun.

An exciting and vibrant medium loosely applied and built up in varying layers.  A quality Pastel Paper will be available since a suitable surface is vital to results.  Starting, the approach will be somewhat cavalier and working with a quick application.  Refinement will be ‘ongoing’ i.e. detail etc., attaining a finished work.


D52   TURKISH DELIGHT   Places now available    Thursday 4th August     £50

Tutor: Dr Jill Eyers, PhD, BA (Hons), PGCE (TLHE) (Open); Director of Chiltern Archaeology                

D52cThis is a course discovering ancient and modern Turkey. Whether you have visited Turkey or not this will be a fascinating insight into an intriguingD52b country. We will look into every aspect of life (past and present) including: customs, culture, art, language, music, food, landscape and archaeology. The course will be well-illustrated with slides and artefacts such as archaeological materials, rocks, carpets and more ‘unusual’ items. Students are encouraged to bring any item they wish to share with the class too. This day is packed with information, good learning, but relaxed and fun. By the end of the day you will hopefully understand a little more of the Turkish people, their history, archaeology and geology, and even speak a few words of the language!

D53    PHOTOS TO LANDSCAPE     Thursday 4th August     £50

Tutor: Denis Pannett, professional artist, experienced Adult Education tutor, Honorary Freeman of the Painters Stainers Livery Company, President of the Wapping Group of Artists and Chairman of the Chiltern Painters


This course is designed for the less experienced painter who prefers to paint indoors.  The tutor will assist students to select a subject from their own photographs, or a large selection provided by the tutor, and will then help them throughout the day to produce their painting.  Special guidance will be given to composition, colour mixing and tones, with tips on skies, trees, water, foregrounds etc.