Thursday, 24 June 2021

The Arts Society Henley (formerly HEFDAS)

The Arts Society Henley (formerly HEFDAS)

OUR society brings people together through a shared curiosity for the arts.

Our events provide welcoming places to hear expert lecturers share their specialist knowledge about the arts.

Our members contribute to and preserve our artistic heritage through volunteering and grants.

Our work creates a better, healthier and more connected society.

This year, the Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Support for Young Arts has always played an important part in what we do.

To celebrate this milestone, the Arts Society in the Chiltern Hills and Wyvern areas are organising the Golden Jubilee Arts Fest 2018 and The Arts Society Henley is delighted to be participating.

There will be a four-week exhibition at Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury from Saturday, March 17 to Saturday, April 14.

Young Arts volunteers are organising the event for young people from all over Buckinghamshire and parts of Oxfordshire. Participants have been invited to enter a digital photograph of a piece of their work, recording their “golden moment”.

The exhibition will be opened by Denise Topolski, head of Young Arts of The Arts Society.

Awards for the successful exhibits will be presented by her to the successful entrants on the opening day.

Last month we saw the beautiful pajaki created by the young artists of Bishopswood School, which Henley is proud to enter into the competition.

We also think the wonderful banner which the children made last year for our 40th anniversary should be entered.

The 1st Henley brownies have entered the Chiltern Hills and Wyvern Young Arts competition entitled “My Golden Moment”.

Together, they built a gold time machine and then each brownie drew a picture on a star, adding the date of their individual golden moment, such as a special holiday or new member of the family.

There was also an individual entry from Zara Machan, nine, who painted a picture in watercolour and acrylic of the sunflower that she grew from a seed given to her at brownies.

We have taken on a new project with the Frazer Nash archives, based here in Henley.

The archive material is extensive. Some of it is currently stored in cardboard boxes still covered in the grime of a factory roof space, remaining untouched since the Thirties.

The bulk of the paperwork relates to the Twenties and Thirties with some extending into the Forties, Fifties and Sixties.

Our role is to clean, sort and generally prepare for scanning all the commercial correspondence, drawings, advertising and promotional material, personal letters, press cuttings and an endless range of unexpected but fascinating information.

The objective is for it all to be available on the internet.

The work opens an absorbing window on the social history of the time and particularly the elite competitive motor sport of hill climbing and long distance endurance events.

We work in the museum amid the basic but surprisingly robust narrow-tyre models of the Twenties, the classic sports car styling of the Thirties and the rounded elegance of the post-war Frazer Nash with the Bristol joint venture engine.

We need two or three more volunteers to join the team. Motor engineering knowledge is not essential. An interest in the history of motoring, accuracy, attention to detail and a cheery disposition are more significant.

The commitment is one Monday per month from 10am to 3pm. The site is in Newtown Road. For more information, call Hugh Fitzwilliams on 07776 160812 or email handbfitz

On Thursday, February 15, our speaker was Peter Medhurst, talking about “The music and life of Johann Sebastian Bach”.

He took the audience on a whistlestop tour of the composer’s life in Germany during the Baroque period of the 1700s. The lecture was interspersed with Mr Medhurst playing the piano and then, to his audience’s surprise, bursting into song.

He uncovering some of Bach’s hidden musical symbolism and featured excerpts from his Prelude in F and Fughetta in C minor.

The audience learned that the composer often hid his own name within the harmony and counterpoint.

The next meeting will take place on March 15 with the ever- popular Marilyn Elm talking about “For the love of flowers”.

Our study day is called “Connoisseurs’ conundrums — fine art forgery” and will take place on Tuesday, March 13 from 10.30am.

Professional art historian David Phillips will take us behind the scenes of the museum world to help us understand the issues and controversies that puzzle and often divide the professionals. The cost will be £35 and cheques can be made payable to “T.A.S.H.”

A new members’ coffee morning will take place at Henley Rugby Club on Thursday, March 1 at 11am (free parking).

Our meetings take place in the Finlay Suite at Phyllis Court Club, off Marlow Road, Henley.

For more information about the society and how to join, call 0118 961 7885 or visit

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