We have various study days and visits throughout the year.
Christmas Lecture & Lunch
Thurlestone Hotel Yarmer Suite
Malcolm Jones - Pantomime

9th December 2019
Sometimes called Britain's greatest 'Art Forum', pantomime has been a popular form of entertainment for over 300years. In the 19th century it was often seen as an opportunity for political satire but it is through the 19th century that the fairy-tale plots were established and the extrovert Music Hall entertainers create the traditions that we know as pantomime today.

Click here to download the menu and application form
28th November 2019
This year's AGM will be held before the Thursday morning talk.
Visit to David Tovey's House and Garden
24th October 2019
David Tovey is an expert on Cornish artists and has a collection of over 400 in his lovely vicarage home, with many other interesting and beautiful artefacts. The garden too with sculptures is worth seeing.
The visit was so popular in April 2019, we are repeating it.

Click here to download the details and application form
Meet me at the Waldorf NY - Mary Alexander
21st May 2019
Study day at the Thurlestone Hotel
Visit to David Tovey's garden
30th April 2019
Study day visit to
RAMM, Exeter

10th April 2018
Christmas Lecture & Lunch at the Thurlestone Hotel
4th December 2017
Visit to Cothay Manor
13th June 2017
Visit to Cothay Manor, Greenham, Nr Wellington, Somerset.
Study Day at the Thurlestone Hotel
7th March 2017
Dartington – Estate of Art, Education and Historic Beauty/Memorable South Devon

Colourful Images in words & pictures of South Devon/Creativity and the South Devon Landscape

by John Risdon
Christmas Lecture & Lunch at the
Thurlestone Hotel

5th December 2016
“Charles Dickens Conjurer”: The Playbills of Victorian Showmen

by Ian Keable

Ian describes himself as a Comedy Magician
and Mindreader.
Visit to Beaminster, Dorset &
John Makepeace Furniture

14th June 2016
Visit to Beaminster, Dorset, together with a guided visit to Farrs - the house and garden of John Makepeace the furniture designer and maker
Study day at the SS Great Britain in Bristol
8th March 2016
A coach trip to the SS Great Britain, with a private guided tour and a visit to the Brunel Institute. There will be free time to explore.
Study Day at the Thurlestone Hotel with John Risdon
1st March 2016
Unfortunately this event has been cancelled. It has been replaced by a trip to the SS Great Britain in Bristol on 8th March.
Christmas Lecture & Lunch at the Thurlestone Hotel
7th December 2015
“Here’s a Howdy Do: Coleton Fishacre & The D’Oyly Cartes” by Jeremy Pearson
Visit to Tyntesfield, Wraxall, North Somerset
9th June 2015
Tyntesfield is a fine Victorian country house created by one of England’s richest commoners, William Gibbs, who bought the estate in 1843 and built his fortune on fertiliser. Spiralling turrets and pinnacles adorn the roof, ornate stone carvings and church-like windows complete the Gothic look, giving the feel of a mysterious, fairytale mansion. Beyond the grandeur that visitors of the Gibbs family would have seen, you will also discover a family home and the evidence of their changing fortunes. Terraced lawns give way to spacious parkland filled with hundreds of trees collected by the family, and a glorious walled kitchen garden beyond. The rolling Somerset hills in the distance create an atmospheric backdrop at any time of year. This year, the focus will be the story of Antony Gibbs (1841-1907), who inherited the estate in 1875. During his time here, he built Home Farm (now our Visitor Centre), brought electricity to Tyntesfield and had ten children with his wife, Janet. Whether your group has green fingers, wants to learn about Antony’s story or just loves to get away from the hustle and bustle, Tyntesfield has something for everyone.” It is a 5 minute walk from the coach parking to Home Farm Visitor Centre and then a 10 minute walk to the House. One route to the house involves some steep gradients and uneven gravel paths; however there is an alternative route along a tarmacked road, although this still involves some gradients. There is a courtesy bus from Home Farm to the House which is free (donations are welcome).

Plan for the day:
08.00 am - Meet at the Quay, Kingsbridge, to board Tally Ho coach
08.15 am - Depart promptly for Tyntesfield
10.45 am - Arrive at Tyntesfield (coffee/tea served on arrival in Cow Barn Kitchen restaurant to be paid for individually)
11.30 am - Tour of Tyntesfield – depending on how many in our group - we may be divided into groups going around the house
12.45 pm - Lunch served in the Cow Barn Kitchen restaurant (to be paid for individually). After lunch free time to visit the chapel and to enjoy and explore the gardens independently or join a free guided garden or glasshouse tour. Afternoon tea is served in the Cow Barn Kitchen restaurant (to be paid for individually).
4.30 pm - Depart for Kingsbridge
7.00 pm - Arrive at Kingsbridge Quay, depending on traffic conditions

If you wish to come on this visit, please complete the application form available below and return to Mrs Susan Wright, Higher Barn, 4 Scoldens Close, Modbury, Devon PL21 0SN by Tuesday 5th May at the very latest.

If you have any questions please contact Mrs Susan Wright through the Contact section of this site.

Click here for the Application Form in Adobe PDF format
or here for the application form in MS Word format
Study Day at Buckfast Abbey
“Monasterium Resurgans: Realising a Vision in Stone”
with Mark Cottle

3rd March 2015
Christmas Lecture & Lunch at The Thurlestone Hotel
“The ‘Naughty Nineties’ Upstairs, Downstairs: A Victorian Christmas”
by Dr Anne Anderson

8th December 2014
Summer Visit to Powderham Castle
10th June 2014
Historic family home of the Earls of Devon for over 600 years
Study day at The Thurlestone Hotel
Theatrical Personalities of the 20th Century: Evans, Gielgud, Richardson, Olivier, Redgrave & Ashcroft
with Mrs Frances Hughes

6th May 2014
“In the two decades before the First World War a group of children were born who, arguably, became the greatest generation of actors the United Kingdom has ever seen. Using paintings by artists such as Sickert and photographic images from the cameras of Beaton and Snowden amongst others, we shall trace their careers and their influence on the major actors of today, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellan and Simon Russell Beale. The torch is handed on and they have all proved that theatre is a fine art”. Mrs Frances Hughes has spent thirty-eight years in education, eighteen of which as a head teacher and is now a freelance lecturer at the National Portrait Gallery; the National Trust; Secretary of the Shakespeare Reading Society (founded 1875); Chairman of the Irving Society and the Chairman of the Henry Irving Foundation. There will be anecdotes, scenes and dramatised anthology delivered by Mrs Hughes and her daughter.

This day will be different and fascinating.

09.30 am - Registration

10.00 am - 1st Session – ‘FIRST NIGHTS’ – Early lives and careers of the actors up to 1950

11.00 am - Coffee/tea to be served in the Yarmer Suite

11.30 am - 2nd Session – ‘THE LAST CENTURY’ – Anecdotes, poems, scenes, criticisms, witticisms! Dramatised anthology for two voices - Sarah & Frances Hughes

12.30 pm - Lunch with coffee in the Margaret Amelia Restaurant

1.45 pm - 3rd Session – ‘CURTAIN CALLS’ – Frances Hughes on the changing theatre 1950-2000 and the later careers of seven great actors

2.45 pm - Day will finish – depart from Hotel

Tickets: £33 per person including a two course lunch

Postal Applications only: CLOSING DATE: FRIDAY 7th MARCH 2014

Payment is not refundable after this date except when a place is filled from waiting list. Members are welcome to bring a friend.

Please contact Sue Wright for more details or to book. You can contact Sue through the contact section of this website.
Christmas Lecture & Lunch at The Thurlestone Hotel
“The Singers of Oldway” by Mr John Risdon

9th December 2013
The Speaker for our Christmas Lunch may be known to some of you as
he runs a company celebrating the heritage of South Devon, Mr John Risdon.

His subject is a well hidden mansion between Paignton and Torquay, and its
creator the Singer family. Their sewing machine gave them immense wealth
enabling the family to live a very extravagant and indulgent life at Oldway, a mini Versailles. They also brought fame and notoriety to the area.

10.45 am - Tea, coffee & biscuits to be served in the Yarmer Suite

11.15 am - “The Singers of Oldway by John Risdon

12.30 pm - Pre-Lunch drinks in the Yarmer Suite

1.00 pm - Lunch served in the Margaret Amelia Restaurant

2.30 pm - Lunch will finish – depart from Hotel

Roast Loin of South Hams Pork
Crackling, Bramley Apples, Calvados Jus
Fillet of Line Caught Sea Bass
Seafood Risotto, Sauce Vierge

Lemon Posset
Raspberries, Melba Sauce
Freshly Filtered Ground Coffee & Mints

Tickets: £25. 00 per person, including a glass of wine
Pre-Lunch Drinks will be available to purchase in the Yarmer Suite

For more details please contact Sue Wright using the contact page of this site.
Visit To Coombe Trenchard & Lewtrenchard Church
18th June 2013
Coombe Trenchard – an Edwardian Estate in the Arts & Crafts Manner – was designed and built for the Sperlings, wealthy Edwardian friends of Sabine Baring-Gould of nearby Lewtrenchard Manor. The family had lived on the site of the old rectory for several years before deciding on a replacement house in 1906. The estate comprises mainly pasture and woodland, with the house centrally located and approached by a long driveway. The gardens were redesigned at the same time. Both house and gardens are redolent of the high Arts & Crafts style of the Belle Epoque.
The Parish Church of St. Peter, Lewtrenchard is largely late 15th and early 16th century with evidence of considerable re-building. Restoration was done by Sabine Baring-Gould, squire from 1877 to 1924 and rector between 1881 and 1924, who is buried in the churchyard. Baring-Gould was a prolific author of fiction and theological works, he also wrote a number of hymns and collected westcountry folksongs. Acting as his own architect he rebuilt a number of houses in the parish including Lew House (now the Manor Hotel). The woodcarvings are some of the best features in the church. The outstanding ones are the work of sisters Mary Rashleigh, Esther and Violet Pinwill. Examples of their work are also to be seen in Ermington Church.

08.15 am - Meet at The Quay, Kingsbridge, to board Tally Ho coach

08.30 am - Depart promptly for Coombe Trenchard

10.05 am - Arrive at Lewtrenchard Church

11.10 am - Depart and arrive at Coombe Trenchard for Coffee & homemade biscuits. Guided tour of house. Buffet Lunch with complimentary glass of wine. Guided tour of the gardens. Devonshire afternoon tea.

4.15 pm - Depart from Coombe Trenchard for Kingsbridge

5.50 pm - Arrive at The Quay, Kingsbridge

If you wish to come on this visit, please contact Susan Wright using the contact page of this website.
“Verdi and Victoria: National Icons”
A study day at the Thurlestone Hotel with Mr Daniel Snowman

14th March 2013
The world will celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi (1831-1901) in 2013. Verdi’s critical fortunes waned and waxed even in his lifetime, but since the days of Ernani (1844) and Rigoletto (1851), his works have roused furore wherever opera is performed.
By popular request we have invited Mr Daniel Snowman back to KEDFAS to give us a Study Day on “Verdi and Victoria: National Icons”. Mr Snowman is a broadcaster and author and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research (University of London). He is a long-time member of the London Philarmonic Choir and has also had a strong and informed interest in music and musicians.
“Queen Victoria and Giuseppe Verdi died a week apart in January 1901. Victoria loved opera while Verdi cared deeply about the politics of Italian unification. Both achieved early celebrity, later “retiring” from public gaze before becoming national treasurers once again in old age. This Study Day examines the shifting iconography of the two “V’s” during their own lifetimes and on through the 20th century as British and Italians alike re-assessed their cultural past in the service of an ever-changing present.” Mr Snowman will be illustrating our Day with Verdi’s wonderful music on CD’s.

09.30 Registration
10.00 First session
11.00 Coffee/tea to be served in the Yarmer Suite
11.30 Second Session
12.30 Lunch with coffee in the Margaret Amelia Restaurant
13.45 Third Session
14.45 Day will finish – depart from Hotel

Tickets: £35 per person including a two course lunch. Please contact Sue Wright for more details or to book. You can contact Sue through the contact section of this website.
Christmas Lunch and Lecture
10th December 2012
Christmas Lunch and Lecture at the Thurlestone Hotel. Dr David Bostwick will be giving a talk entitled: Deck the Hall: Yuletide Customs & Traditions.