Harpenden Evening Web Page

Programme of Lectures 2020-2021

Until further notice all lectures will be  held on line via Zoom on the internet, details of how to gain access can be accessed by clicking here. The Next Lecture will start at 8:00pm (not 7:30pm as before)


21st July 2021
Lecturer: Tim Stimson
Mr Punch's reign as premier puncturer of pomposity spanned five monarchs. His blend of cartoons, jokes and satire holding up a mirror to society, with a wry grin, pointing out questionable politicians, unimaginative bureaucrats, rude shop assistants, striking workers, rich foreigners, rising prices and ... the British railways ... recognises that to laugh rather than cry is a good tonic.

Punch Magazine described itself as:  "a guffawgraph" "a refuge for destitute wit" "an asylum for the thousands of drawings, orphan jokes and perishing puns which otherwise wander about without so much as a shelf to rest on" ​

Many of us have fond memories of Punch, and this lecture commemorates the husband of a Sandwich Arts Society member, who donated 36 bound volumes towards its creation.

A Punch cover


18th August 2021
Lecturer: Jackie Marsh-Hobbs

A Passion for Piers: a delightful look at the history of Pleasure Piers
A delightfully entertaining look at the history of pleasure piers covering just over 200 years, from the first pier in the Regency period up to the present day. Almost 100 pleasure piers were built around our coastline, diverse in designs and some crowned with exotic palaces or pavilions. These elegant structures bear witness to the remarkable skills of the Victorian engineers and are an important part of our social history symbolizing the nation’s love of days out and summer holidays at seaside resorts. This talk is a celebration of the heyday of piers; of how generations have enjoyed the fresh air and sea views; and how people at leisure have been captivated by the amusements and entertained by a variety of artists. You will hear incredible stories of our surviving piers, whether they are successfully flourishing or sadly in trouble, and of their future and the ongoing struggle to keep them.

A pier picture 

15th September 2021
Lecturer: Janet Gough

Cathedrals, safe places to do risky things 
This talk provides an overview of the Church of England's magnificent 42 cathedrals, jewels in the crown of England's built heritage, some recognised as World Heritage Sites. The talk is beautifully illustrated by Country Life photographer, Paul Barker. In addition to looking at their history and stories, evolving architecture and treasures, the talk considers the role of cathedrals over the centuries and specifically their role today.   

21st October 2021
Lecturer: Barry Venning

…With a little help from their friends: The Beatles and their Artists
This is a journey through the 60s in music and images, following the Beatles from the Hamburg Reeperbahn in 1960 to Abbey Road in 1969. The band was always fascinated by the visual arts - the ‘fifth Beatle’, Stuart Sutcliffe, was a prodigiously talented painter - and they also learned very early on that artists and designers could help promote their image and their music. Their rise to global fame was aided and recorded by an impressive roster of photographers, including Astrid Kirchherr, Bob Freeman, Robert Whitaker, Angus McBean and Linda McCartney. The innovative covers for releases such as Rubber Soul (Bob Freeman) Revolver (Klaus Voormann), the White Album (Richard Hamilton) and Sgt. Pepper (Peter Blake & Jann Haworth) turned album design into an art form in its own right.

For the complete years programme click here