Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our social programme which we hope you have found to be both interesting and enjoyable. In the last year we did our best to keep you happy with as wide a variety of visits and get-togethers as possible.
Art fans enjoyed the LS Lowry exhibition at Tate Britain, Matisse at Tate Modern and the delights of the William Morris Gallery. Jewellery enthusiasts were thrilled by 'Pearls' at the V&A and 'The Cheapside Hoard' at the Museum of London. Other interesting visits included an eye-opening tour of the 400-year-old Whitechapel Bell Foundry and a morning at the Royal Society of Medicine where the Library Archivist gave an insight into their fascinating collection of ancient and precious medical books.
Particularly interesting was a walking tour of the new development around Kings Cross. Our excellent guide revealed a whole new area of London with a mix of amazing new and meticulously restored old architecture. The whole area surrounds London's newest open space, Granary Square, home to three art schools.
Rosemary Forgan, is now helping with our events and arranged two very popular visits to The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and The Guildhall.
Our Coffee Mornings, held every two months, continue to provide a popular meeting point, particularly for new members who find it a good opportunity to get to know fellow members. Our thanks to 10 Manchester Street Hotel, the Wallace Collection, Canteen, The Marylebone Hotel and The Arch Hotel for providing excellent coffee and pastries at a reasonable cost. A special thanks to the Wallace Collection for an afternoon tea in December enjoyed by 25 members. In early December Vivien Marshall again hosted a coffee morning at her home to raise funds on behalf of the Tuberous Sclerosis Association.
In November the annual Interfaith Service returned to The Swedish Church after a gap of 10 years, with music and worship of many faiths. There followed a splendid reception in the Crypt, supported by the Portman and Howard de Walden Estates and Ridgeford Properties. This annual event is a highlight for residents and we would like to thank The Very Reverend Michael Persson and Councillor Audrey Lewis for their work in organising the evening.
In January, a quieter month after Christmas, we held the Annual New Year's Drinks Party at 10 Manchester Street Hotel. There 55 members enjoyed an evening of cocktails and canapés and the hotel kindly donated a raffle prize of dinner with wine for two.
We are gradually including more events, such as an excellent dinner at Villandry and a Sunday wine tasting lunch at Ishtar, which working members can attend. Our informal Pub Evening on the second Monday of each month 6.30/8.00pm organised by Angela Sargeant is gaining momentum. We alternate between The Dover Castle in Weymouth Mews and The Larrik on Crawford Place. Everyone buys their own drinks and we have met people who perhaps would not normally venture into a pub but are certainly happy to return once they enjoy their first evening.
Do get in touch if you have any suggestions for new places to visit and restaurants to book. We will happily explore any new ideas. We are particularly keen to hold events in Marylebone and encourage our members to use local businesses. Do book early to avoid disappointment and please remember to read your e-newsletter on the first of each month. Printed newsletters are delivered to those without e-mail.
Sheila Green and Patricia Neville
The Scrabble Club goes from strength to strength thanks to the support and enthusiasm of all its members. We have been meeting, and playing at Canteen for over three years, so it was a bit of a shock to find it had closed! But like a phoenix, our Scrabble Club has risen from the ashes and is now happily ensconced at The Larrik Pub on the corner of Shouldham Street and Crawford Place. They have made us incredibly welcome.
I have occasionally bumped into people who say 'I'd love to come and play – but I don't think I'm good enough'. There is no 'not good enough' in our Scrabble Club, it's just a fun evening with some very friendly nice people! But why not come and see for yourself? We meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 5pm – or email me if you would like further information.
Can you believe it, the wheel seems to have gone full circle. Seven years ago we met at the King's Head pub under the guidance of Jane Jones to discuss whether it would be a good idea to have a Marylebone Association Book Club. And here we are again. After various changes of venue we are just about to start having our regular monthly meetings at the King's Head once more.
Given that we read approximately twelve books a year, amazing as it may seem, we must have read up to 84 books as a group and discussed them all. From this has grown a delightful core group of enthusiastic members who all have something different to offer, thus provoking lively discussions, and not always about the book! One thing leads to another and it is fascinating to see how themes in the book under discussion that month, stimulate memories in peoples' lives which frequently add a vital ingredient to the book itself.
It is always a pleasure to welcome new people who come along to see what we get up to. Dare I say it – the Marylebone Association Book Club is becoming something of an institution in its own right?