Westbury’s Café Society

The Café Society, which started in 2018, aims to hold at least four events a year. All events are held in the Westbury Village Hall at 7.30 for 8pm. The village shop is open and there are snacks and drinks for sale during the evening.

The next evening event will be Thursday April 25th when Laura Malpas from the National Trust Tudor house at Canons Ashby will be speaking about the history of the house and the people who have lived in it. Canons Ashby, a fascinating house with beautiful gardens, is just 25 minutes drive away from Westbury in Northamptonshire.

Please either email cafesoc.westbury@gmail.com or call Sue Lucas on 01280 706190 to book a place.

The Society is open to all:

• There is a membership fee of £20 per year, to go towards paying speakers and other expenses. All events are free to members. Non-members and guests are welcome to come for £10 per event. To join, email as below or pay for membership at the Westbury Community Shop and Cafe.

• Meetings are held in the Village Hall and numbers are restricted to around 45 so we need to know in advance if you would like to come : cafesoc.westbury@gmail.com

• If there are funds left over after paying speakers and expenses, these will go to the Westbury Shop and Café Ltd. Community Benefit Society.

• Tea and coffee, cakes, snacks and wine etc. will be available from the café at normal prices at meetings. We serve free interval refreshments prepared by the cafe.

Contact: Sue Lucas 01280 706190 or email: cafesoc.westbury@gmail.com

Meetings held to date:

Westbury's Cafe Society banner

December 2023 ‘A Christmas celebration of stories and music’ with Storyteller Richard York.

September 2023 ‘Iconicon: a journey round the iconic buildings of modern Britain’ with author John Grindrod.

May 2023 ‘The Creation of a Novel’: novelist Imogen Robertson and editor Flora Rees in conversation.

February 2023 ‘Two Bards for the Price of One’ with Vanessa Horton and Dean Jones; an evening of performance poetry.

November 2022 ‘Do you know your Baron Bigod from your Brefu Bach?’ The History, Folklore and Flavours of Cheese’, with Ned Palmer, Cheesemonger, founder of the Cheese Tasting Company, and author of ‘A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles, and ‘A Cheesemonger’s Compendium of British and Irish Cheese’.

September 2022 ‘Saving Lives and Solving the Mysteries of Death’. What does a real pathologist do? Sebastian Lucas, Emeritus Professor of Pathology, St Thomas’ and Guy’s Hospitals, King’s College London Medical School will be sharing his experience.

July 2022 ‘Are you descended from Royalty or the Vikings?’, with Russell James from ancestry.com

May 2022 ‘An Ambassador’s Encounters with the Royal Family’, with Lord Jay of Ewelme (Michael Jay), former Ambassador to France and Head of the Foreign Office. 

February 2022 ‘Going for Gold: the road to Tokyo 2020’, with Paralympian Gold Medallists Lora and Neil Fachie. (This was a free event sponsored by the National Paralympic Heritage Trust).

October 2021 ‘A family in Russian History – The Literature and Art of the Pasternaks: Boris Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago and the paintings of Leonid Pasternak’, with Nicolas and Maya Pasternak Slater, followed by a visit to the Pasternak Trust Art Collection in Oxford.

February 2020: ‘A Story for February’ Traditional tales and music on unusual instruments with Storyteller Richard York from Feast of Fools.

November 2019: ‘Rude Language: the origins of Bad Words’; author Philip Gooden in conversation with Jonathan Keates.

September 2019: ‘A quirky history, from Buckingham to Brackley via Westbury: the Fall of the House of Ussher’, with Ed Grimsdale.

May 2019: ‘The Sound of Violins: How are they made and what has changed over the years? Why do some sound better? Can you tell the difference? Come and find out!’ with Luthiers 23 Violins.

February 2019: A Comedy Evening with Richard and Jeremy.

November 2018: ‘Is Venice sinking and does it really matter?’ with Jonathan Keates, chair of Venice in Peril.

What is a Café Society?

“Especially from the late-19th century through the mid-20th century in Europe and America, a culture characterised by continual socializing in bistros, coffee shops, and nightclubs, sometimes extravagantly frivolous and sometimes intensely intellectual in nature but always high-spirited.”

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