PDFAS Interest Day - 17 March 2017
Our special interest day at the Cedar Centre in Castor on16th March was led by Roger Mitchell. His selection of readings and pictures of intrepid Victorian lady travellers included some memorable descriptions and images. Perhaps the one of Queen Victoria and her mounted party crossing a freezing river in Scotland with the ever-mindful Mr Brown up to his thighs in water reminded us just how hardy they were. Variety and colour was added in the afternoon with excellent readings by Pat Maltman, Olive Main and Brenda Fearon. They brought to life Isabella Bird’s recollections on travel in the Wild West and scaling a volcanic crater in Hawaii. And Marianne North in Brazil, “ Walking was said to be impossible, so my first two expeditions were made with 4 bearers and a chair. But as I found that I walked on my own feet most of the time and the men were greatly in my way, I never had them again”. You get the picture!
Lunch was provided to the 49 of us present by Julie Taylor and her team of Castor ladies who contribute their takings to St Kyneburgha’s church, Castor.
PDFAS Interest Day - 16 March 2016
Our Interest Day this year had the intriguing and quite lengthy title “From Magic Lanterns to Metro Goldwyn Mayer: The Birth of the Silver Screen and the Artists it Inspired”. The speaker was Dr Geri Parlby, a former journalist and film publicist.
It promised to be something slightly out of the ordinary for an interest day, and while it was certainly different it fulfilled all the requirements of being very well researched, mentally stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable. Geri took us through the story of animated pictures from the 17th century – yes there were moving pictures then – to the dioramas and peep shows of the 19th century and so to the formation of the great Hollywood studios of MGM and its rivals.
The talk was copiously illustrated with images and excerpts from some rarely seen movies, and Geri, with her insider knowledge was able to tell us some fascinating behind the scenes stories. The flickering black and white images of the chariot race in the (1925) Ben Hur movie, shot live without special effects (or CGI!), will remain long in the memory.
The meeting took place at the Bell Hotel in Stilton, who provided an excellent buffet lunch. Our thanks are due to Jayne Blackman for organising such a successful day.
PDFAS Interest Day - 19 March 2015
Our Study Day was “A History of Jewellery from Elizabeth 1 to Elizabeth Taylor”, given by John Benjamin, well known to many as a jewellery expert on The Antiques Roadshow. John gave us a wide-ranging history of the jewellery that people have worn over the centuries, looking not only at the high value diamonds and rubies prized by the nobility, but also at the more mundane stuff that the majority of us wear, including of course costume jewellery – now growing in value. Even paste and glass can look attractive to the casual look.
That, in John's own words, was “the boring part” of the day (be assured, it was not boring!). After lunch he invited us to bring forward our own items for comment and evaluation. Some 40 items were discussed with considerable frankness, and while no hidden treasures emerged, there was plenty to keep us interested.
The venue for the day was the Bell Inn in Stilton, and they provided a pleasant room and a good lunch. There 62 of us present, a really good turn-out. Thanks to Jayne for organising the day so efficiently.
(Interest Day Organiser - Peter Lee)