Saturday, 12 June 2021

Caversham Heights Society

MARCH was a busy month for the society with two visits and two lectures.

MARCH was a busy month for the society with two visits and two lectures.

On March 3 members enjoyed a fascinating day in London visiting the Imperial War Museum in the morning and the Royal Courts of Justice in the afternoon.

Because of traffic delays, the time spent in the museum was, sadly, curtailed but members were able to appreciate the horrors of the First World War in the specially developed exhibition commemorating that conflict as well as other conflicts.

The clarity and sensitivity which has been used to explain different facets of war were fully appreciated.

The tour of the Royal Courts of Justice was both informative and fascinating. Few of us had appreciated how many courts there were, the range of cases that might be heard at any one time and the splendour of the buildings.

Only civil cases are heard in the Royal Courts; criminal cases such as murder trials are heard in the Old Bailey.

The following evening we were challenged to think about the causes of, and the implications of, population growth when Len Mann gave a talk on “Population matters”.

According to David Attenborough, this is the biggest challenge facing the world today because it affects the climate, pollution, water supplies, species loss, health and pressures on housing.

While 100 people die every minute, 250 are born, leading to a growth in the global population of about 205,000 every day. On current predictions, the global population will reach 9.5 billion by 2050 and 10.1 billion by 2100.

Since the early Sixties, with economic development and improvement in sanitation, health and education, certain regions of the world, such as Europe, America and parts of Asia such as Japan, have seen a notable decline in the birth rate.

Even so, the top 22 countries have 70 per cent of the world’s population.

The pressures on water usage and land for food as well as on energy use and fossil fuels are going to become unsustainable unless the world’s population is curtailed drastically.

Many experts believe that the sustainable global population is about 5.2 billion. This can only be achieved by limiting the birth rate through taxation, contraception and education or through wars.

That is unless new sources of energy, water and food can be found â?? a sobering thought!

Our next lecture was equally fascinating but in a very different way.

Alan Copeland, a keen member of the Royal Photographic Society, took us on a superb photographic tour of the Cotswolds, focusing less on the scenery and more on curiosities in the area.

These ranged from unusual inn signs and war memorials, through unusual topiary, road signs and drinking fountains to stocks and unusual  buildings.

Alan kept his audience enthralled with his historical knowledge, enthusiasm and excellent photographs. A good evening’s entertainment.

The final event of the month was a trip to the Royal Albert Hall to hear a classical spectacular on March 19.

The performance was excellent, the repertoire varied, the soloists brilliant and, after the last Night of the Proms extravaganza, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with the guns and muskets of the Moscow Militia was truly spectacular.

New members are always welcome. Enquiries should be addressed to the chairman Jill Hodges on 0118 959 5307 or email her at irishjill@

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