40th West London Conference, on line 28 November 2020

As one of the 10 sponsoring societies, the Society is pleased to confirm that a virtual conference will be taking place on 28 November. We lost our chance of this annual get-together in March because of the pandemic but all of the themes we planned to cover will be included in this -line event. The steering committee has sent out the statement below and most ticket holders should by now have been notified of this event:

“We know that many members of our potential audience will have been using Zoom for the last 6 months, to keep in touch with work, family and friends and, while we know some will not wish to take part by this medium, we hope that the majority of ticket-holders will do so.

By providing most of the original programme on a single day we hope that it will still feel like an “event” even though participants will be at home. We will begin with an introduction to the way we will run the day and then offer the programme as one-and-a-half-hour elements with half-hour breaks for coffee, lunch and tea in between. The zoom meeting will not be closed down during these breaks and participants may wish to talk amongst themselves in these periods! We will start at 9.45am and aim to finish at about 3.45pm. There will be scope for questions after each talk.

Ticket holders who wish to join the Zoom conference should email the Secretary to the Conference, Elizabeth Velluet, on rich.hist@yahoo.co.uk. They will then be added to the list of bookings and notified of the Zoom link, together with the revised programme, shortly before the event. There is a limited number of places, so if you book a place then find you cannot attend, please let us know in case we have a waiting list.

Ticket holders who do not wish to join on 28th should return their ticket, together with their name and address, to West London Conference 31B Brook Road South, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0NN with a stamped self-addressed envelope, so that a refund can be arranged.”

Chiswick Writers, online talk, 16 November 2020

7.30pm, Monday 16 November 2020, via Zoom

Members of the Society’s Chiswick Writers Research Group will be presenting some of their favourite authors. The Group has been researching authors’ biographies to enhance the Chiswick Books & Writers pages of the Chiswick Book Festival website.

We have six speakers:

Francis Ames-Lewis will be comparing Samuel Richardson, England’s first novelist with Pamela – or Virtue Rewarded (1740) & Don Taylor, playwright and director and a leading light in the Chiswick Youth Theatre

Meg Clarke on Robert Fortune, in the 19th century the manager of the Horticultural Society of London’s Chiswick hothouses. He then became their plant-hunter in China and Japan, discovering (among other plants) tea and kumquats

Hazel Dakers on Daniel O’Connell, the Irish lawyer & politician known as “The Liberator”, who campaigned for home rule and Catholic emancipation

Diana Oppé on the Tuke family, Victorian specialists in the care of the mentally ill, who had asylums at The Manor House and Chiswick House

James Wisdom on 3 generations of the Barnaby family, naval architects and Thornycroft’s chief designers

Val Bott on Jessie MacGregor, artist, teacher and writer, author of Famous Gardens and the Gardens of the Famous and Bedford Park resident

Details of this event have already been sent to B&CLHS members, but non members are very welcome to join us. To book a place at this Zoom talk, please email info@brentfordandchiswicklhs.org.uk.

Your details will be added to the list of participants and the Zoom link will be emailed to you a day or so before the event. We have 100 places available, so if your plans change and you won’t be attending, please let us know beforehand. Then, if we have a waiting list, we can re-allocate your place.

The Hidden Horticulturists, online talk, 19 October

7.30pm, Monday 19 October 2020

We are delighted to have been able to rearrange this talk, originally planned for March 2020.

To book a place at this Zoom talk, please email info@brentfordandchiswicklhs.org.uk. Your details will be added to the list of participants and the Zoom link will be emailed to all a day or so before the event

Fiona Davison, Head of RHS Libraries & Exhibitions and author of the award-winning book of the same title, presents an illustrated account of her research. The young men who trained at the Horticultural Society’s Chiswick garden grounds in the 1820s wrote brief notes about themselves in an exercise book. Using these, Fiona Davison has traced the stories of some of these gardeners, revealing their careers from grand estates to suburban gardens, their success and failures (and even crimes), as well as following their connections across the world.


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