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'Are you interested in the story of time? The AHS is for you. We’re a lively, welcoming society open to all. We run a diverse programme of talks, meetings and visits ... We publish a quarterly learned journal as well as a wide range of books, and we support education, conservation and research through bursaries, prizes and awards ... The AHS houses three highly active specialist groups for members with a particular interest in wristwatches, turret (tower) clocks or electrical timekeeping. It also holds meetings in many regions of the UK and overseas with wide-ranging programmes of local or national interest, including lectures and visits.'

'Founded in 1955 with the aim of helping bring together the community of craft Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Rather than set up another organisation for individual craft people we chose the path of becoming an Association of Guilds - an umbrella body to which regional or local Guilds are affiliated. The aim is to support those regional Guilds by operating at a larger scale with National Conferences, National Exhibitions, Competitions, publications and recognised qualifications certifying individuals' high level of achievement and competence in their chosen craft. We now have over 100 member Guilds representing over 5000 crafts-people.'

'John Bowes and his French wife Joséphine created a magnificent chateau in rural Teesdale to house their collections of European fine and decorative art, ceramics and textiles ... The Bowes Museum is very conscious of its history, and the remarkable survival of the collections and associated bills under one roof. It is also conscious of its position in the North of England as providing an aspect of European art history and collecting for the people of the North East, and a starting point for the more detailed researches into related history for local people and beyond. To that end, it has instigated a variety of research and cataloging projects that aim to make its collections better known, and provide access to the library and archive via a newly built reference library and reading room in the Museum’s dome. '

'Established in 1893, the Bradford Textile Society is the oldest textile society in Britain, if not in the world. Despite all the changes which have taken place in the textile industry since its formation, the Society continues to thrive. Its monthly programme of meetings from October to April provides an opportunity for everyone with an interest in textiles to meet and discuss a range of textile-related topics with an invited speaker.'

'The leading trade association for the fine art, design and antiques community ... The BADA Friends was formed in 1991 to provide a platform for interested members of the public to support the work of BADA’s Cultural and Educational Trust, and to promote learning and expertise in the fine art and antiques trade. All our activities are designed to increase Friends’ knowledge and appreciation of fine art and antiques, through an annual programme of private tours, guided walks and inspirational events.'

'The national organisation which represents numismatic societies throughout the United Kingdom. It exists to promote the study of numismatics by bringing these societies and their members together to share and increase their interest and expertise in coins, tokens and currency ... BANS holds an annual weekend congress, organised by the local numismatic society, in a different attractive place each year ... BANS sponsors one of the talks at the annual weekend congress, the Marion Archibald Memorial Lecture ... BANS runs an annual autumn lecture course, with a more specifically educational programme. As at the congresses, the lectures are given by the leading museum, trade and amateur experts.'

'The Society, founded in 1972, promotes the study and recording of all aspects of the archaeology and history of bricks, brickmaking and brickwork ... Members of the Society are drawn from many backgrounds, including geologists, archaeologists, teachers, artists, historians, brickmakers, bricklayers, architects and engineers. Some have a professional interest in a particular aspect of the subject, while for others membership is an extension of a general interest or hobby. All share a fascination for the history of the manufacture and use of bricks.'

'Our membership includes people with wide-ranging interests and button collectors in many fields. These include military, livery, hunt, sporting, police, yacht clubs, golf clubs, shipping and transport buttons ... Our dress button enthusiasts includes members who collect satsumas, mother of pearl, vegetable ivory, enamels, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, silver, glass, cut steel, horn, Dorset, paste, Bimini, Celluloid, Bakelite and flora, fauna and other picture buttons ... There is a wealth of history around buttons and their manufacture. As a member you can attend meetings both local and national, take the opportunity to talk to fellow collectors and exchange ideas and information and receive our magazine.'

'Horology courses for clock and watch making are our passion. Since 1858, the British Horological Institute has been training horologists in clock and watch repair and creation, and supporting the horological industry. Whether you’re a complete beginner looking for an initial taster day or a professional seeking accreditation and further development, we have the clock or watch making course for you ... BHI Branches are entirely autonomous. They are set up "by the members for the members", invariably rely for their existence on the energy and commitment of a few committed volunteers. If you are lucky enough to live within travelling distance of a vibrant BHI branch you should try sampling one of their events. You will always find a warm welcome.'

'Exists to promote the study and understanding of British Numismatics. The Society was founded in 1903 with only three members but today has over 500, with interests which embrace all forms of coinage, tokens, banknotes and medals relating to the British Isles and former parts of the British Empire. Members of the society include academics, students, collectors and enthusiasts. The society prides itself on being open and welcoming to all. The society promotes the understanding of numismatics through holding regular lectures and meetings as well as producing a number of publications.'

'Since 1921 we have offered a forum for all lovers of stained glass. We promote the highest standards of design, craft and creativity in stained glass. Our mission is to be the foremost authority on contemporary and historic stained glass in Britain ... The Society has been running lectures and events to encourage high standards in the art and craft of glass painting since its inception a hundred years ago. They form a key aspect of our education brief as well as offering networking opportunities for practitioners, historians, collectors and enthusiasts. We offer three lectures a year, a touring conference, regional walk and talks and occasional themed conferences and exhibitions.'

'Dedicated to the promotion of cake decorating and sugarcraft. Members include hobby cake makers, home bakers, specialist retailers, manufacturers, and renowned sugarcraft professionals.'

'Exists to promote the study, practice and teaching of western calligraphy in all its forms, and to generate awareness and appreciation among the wider public ... We offer both individual and group memberships.'

'An  independent charity seeking to promote the unique costume and textile collection of the Norfolk Museums Service.  ​The "Fine City" of Norwich has a long and rich heritage which owes much to the textile industry that brought wealth to the city between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries ... The Costume & Textile Association organises a programme of talks, workshops and visits. It provides opportunities for members to visit exhibitions and collections locally and in other parts of the country.'

'The Society exists to promote and encourage the study, preservation and documentation of costume and textiles in the region of Wales and the Marches, and to further research into these subjects, by means of meetings, lectures, exhibitions, visits to collections, publication of articles, exchange of information, and to organise activities to encourage the aims of the Society.'

'The heart of pottery, clay & ceramics in Hertfordshire and the surrounding counties ... Well respected local and international potters discuss and demonstrate their work & skills at our regular monthly meetings, from October to May ... Whether you are an enthusiastic amateur, a professional potter, an art student, tutor or technician, a collector, a beginner, or just interested in studio pottery, you will find a warm welcome amongst others with similar interests.'

'The Dorset Clock Society exists to further the study on clocks and watches, either by Dorset makers, or by like-minded people residing in Dorset or neighbouring counties.'

'Edinburgh Printmakers is a centre for printmaking and the visual arts in Fountainbridge. It has a large light-filled printmaking studio, digital studio, darkroom, classes, two galleries, a shop selling original prints and handmade products, hire spaces for meetings, events or learning activities, a cafe, a courtyard and community garden.'

'The Embroiderers' Guild exists to build awareness of stitch and textile art. We educate, encourage, inspire and promote the achievement of excellence ... We have a number of independent stitch groups who are affiliated to the Embroiderers' Guild.'

'The Embroiderers' Guild exists to build awareness of stitch and textile art. We educate, encourage, inspire and promote the achievement of excellence ... We have a number of independent stitch groups who are affiliated to the Embroiderers' Guild.' (NOTE At the time of Review, the Guild no longer provided Links to the Websites of their affiliated Groups.)

'The oldest society dedicated to the study of British ceramics and enamels. Members interested in ceramics at all levels of knowledge are always made welcome. Founded in 1927, we aim to advance knowledge by presenting new research on these subjects at our meetings and by publishing this research. The Circle`s worldwide membership embraces collectors, curators, archaeologists, potters, auctioneers, dealers, social historians and all those with an interest in the history of ceramics made in the British Isles.'  ECC benefits include 'regular convivial meetings with talks on new research by ceramic experts'.

'Celebrating the history of fans and the art of fan making ... Nestled in the heart of historic Greenwich, The Fan Museum is home to a diverse collection of fans from around the world, dating from the 12th century to the present day. Our collections are displayed in changing exhibitions exploring the different themes which have inspired fan makers throughout history: politics, fashion, fine art and architecture to name but a few.'

'The Fashion Museum Bath holds a world-class collection of contemporary and historic dress. The Museum of Costume was opened in the Assembly Rooms on 23 May 1963. It was founded by Doris Langley Moore, a designer, collector, writer and scholar, who gave her famous private collection of costume to the city of Bath. The Museum of Costume changed its name to the Fashion Museum in summer 2007. The Fashion Museum is owned by Bath and North East Somerset Council and is managed by the Heritage Services section. It is housed in the Assembly Rooms building, which is owned by the National Trust.  We welcome about 100,000 visitors to the museum each year. Our visitors are a mix of tourists, fashion specialists, students and locals.'

'The Society holds an annual Geoffrey de Bellaigue Lecture, named after our distinguished former president, and a biennial symposium. These are open to all ... From newcomers to experts, everyone is welcome on study days, handling sessions, visits to museums and collectors, and on foreign trips, where we have fun exploring French porcelain in a sociable atmosphere among like-minded friends.'

'Heritage Crafts is the advocacy body for traditional heritage crafts. Working in partnership with Government and key agencies, it provides a focus for craftspeople, groups, societies and guilds, as well as individuals who care about the loss of traditional crafts skills, and works towards a healthy and sustainable framework for the future.'

'We are dedicated to the study of British and International Ceramics, both porcelain and earthenware, from the earliest Roman time up to the present day. We offer illustrated lectures by leading ceramic experts at London, visits to places of ceramic interest, and a Seminar in October each year. New members are always made very welcome and we all enjoy sharing knowledge and discussing the pots they collect.'

'London Potters is a voluntary organisation formed in 1986 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences of all those involved with an interest in ceramics. We are a London based society (but not restricted to London) offering memberships to both professional and non-professional potters and ceramicists and on a non-selected basis.'  Objectives include: 'To develop members knowledge and ceramic education and promote the exchange of ideas and techniques through workshops, talks and demonstrations'.

'Formed in 1977 The Magic Lantern Society today enjoys a world-wide membership whose interests cover all forms of visual media and optical diversions right up into the 21st century and these interests are reflected in the Society's activities. Our members are collectors, enthusiasts, students of film, visual media and popular culture, magicians, artists, performers, scientists and archival organisations from over 30 different countries ... The Magic Lantern Society meets every three months, organises international meetings and visits, and hosts an International Convention every four years.'

'MAKE Southwest (formerly Devon Guild of Craftsmen) is an acclaimed exhibition space for contemporary craft and design as well as a leading charity for craft education. Located in Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor, our large gallery and shop offer a great venue with inspiring exhibitions and events, encouraging people to support, make and learn about contemporary craft.'

'This friendly Society has been in existence for over 50 years and presents nine illustrated lectures from October to June by expert speakers on an interesting variety of Antiques and allied subjects.'

'We meet in Swanley Kent on the second Tuesday of every month from October to March, we have guest speakers and forum nights and promote all aspects of fly tying and fishing.'

'Since the NCS was founded in 1972, we have become the society for people who love pots.  Our main focus is on British pottery and porcelain from 1600 to the present day. The NCS is open to everyone and our membership is worldwide. We share the latest ceramic news and research though our meetings, seminars, publications, exhibitions and website. Collectors, dealers, museum staff, auctioneers, ceramic historians, and archaeologists are all current members and you, whatever your ceramic interests, are most welcome to join us.'

'We are a well established Society with an enthusiastic interest in all things costume and textile, with a bias towards the historical. We organise a programme of quarterly meetings in the North of England with lectures by guest speakers on a wide range of subjects and visits to private and public collections. Members come from all walks of life, some with considerable knowledge of the subject, but many who are just enthusiasts keen to find out more. We are a friendly society welcoming new members and guests to join us.'

Founded 1921: 'A small group of like-minded, passionate collectors and experts gathered together to discuss, exchange ideas and write about Asian art. The OCS is now the oldest and foremost society in the world focused on Asian art ... Each year, the Oriental Ceramic Society (OCS) curates a series of lectures that are given by distinguished scholars. These talks are scheduled once a month in the evening and are usually held in the Society of Antiquaries at The Royal Academy in Piccadilly'.

'Established in 1977 to encourage enthusiasm and interest in carpets and textiles of Asia and the Middle East. The Society is now concerned with carpets and textiles of the whole world. We aim to advance understanding of the processes of making carpets and textiles, and promote knowledge of the traditional centres of weaving through specialist talks and in the pages of our journal. The Society organises visits to museums, auction houses and private collections. Curators have always been exceptionally generous with their time and expertise, showing us treasures not normally seen by the public.'

'In 1995 Dr Ruth Barnes founded the Oxford Asian Textile Group with the aim of making the Oxford textile collections better known to specialists and the interested public.  Oxford has unusual and important collections of textiles from Asia and the Islamic world ... OATG offers an annual programme of events including lectures, study visits and seminars, covering a wide range of subjects.'

'Membership includes some of Britain’s leading Fine Press printers, a wide range of design, printing and publishing professionals – from students to the retired – and a growing number of Fine Press collectors and dealers ... Nine of the eleven monthly meetings (there is a summer break) feature a speaker of some distinction on a printing- or book-related topic or take the form of a visit to a noted library, Press or museum. There is generally time for a stimulating interchange of news and ideas between members before the talk - and afterwards an opportunity to meet the speaker.'

Founded 1964: 'The Society fosters interest in the history of printing and encourages both the study and the preservation of printing machinery, records, and equipment of historical value. Representing all aspects of the printing arts and industry, members include printers, graphic designers, typographers, publishers, librarians, collectors, booksellers, and historians of all relevant fields. In pursuit of its aims, the Society holds meetings and arranges occasional lectures'.

'Founded in 1979 by a group of quilting enthusiasts and has grown from a founding membership of 300 to over 6,500 individual members today ... Each of our regions provide a programme of talks and events and every year at least two or three regions organise exhibitions and retreats. The five special interest groups cater for special interests with challenges, meetings, retreats and summer schools.'

'The UK’s foremost society for numismatics – the study of coins, medals and related currency items. Founded in 1836 as The Numismatic Society of London, today’s Society is international in subject and membership ... Its lectures and publications deal with Classical, Asian, Medieval and Modern coins, paper money, tokens and medals. Fellows include scholars and enthusiasts from around the world.'

'The International Centre of Excellence for the Art of Hand Embroidery since 1872 ... We offer a thriving education programme for everyone from beginner to degree level. We teach Online and onsite at venues across the UK in Hampton Court Palace (London), Portsmouth, Bristol, Rugby, Durham and Glasgow as well as internationally in America and Japan. We also host an annual Summer School ... The RSN also hosts Online Talks featuring some of our 4,000 Textile Collection pieces which gives attendees the opportunity to see some of the stunning, and often rare, pieces in close detail. Our exclusive Talks focus on life at the RSN both past and present, our acclaimed methods of teaching and the embroidery techniques we’re most famous for.'

'In 1901 Merton Russell-Cotes gave his wife Annie a dream house on a cliff-top, overlooking the sea. It was an extraordinary, extravagant birthday present – lavish, splendid, and with a touch of fantasy.  They filled this exotic seaside villa with beautiful objects from their travels across the world, and lined the walls with a remarkable collection of British art, creating a unique atmosphere in a most dramatic setting. A home, an art gallery, and a museum. Then they sealed it in time, and gave it to the future.'

'The leading gallery for applied art in Wales. With three galleries, artists' studios, a retail gallery, education, residency and project workshops, tourist information gateway and a cafe with courtyard terrace ... We provide a host of talks, events & workshops to accompany our exhibitions.'

'A UK-based educational charity dedicated to traditional and contemporary bookbinding and to the preservation and conservation of the printed and written word. The Society is organised into eight UK regions plus an overseas group. The UK regions hold regular meetings at which masterclasses, lectures and demonstrations are given on various bookbinding or binding-related subjects and techniques. The regions also hold social events, organise visits and exhibitions and represent the SoB at local book and craft fairs.'

'Formed in 1977 with the aim of stimulating the growing international interest in jewellery of all ages and cultures by publishing new research and by bringing together those seriously interested in the subject, whether in a professional or private capacity. The membership includes archaeologists, museum specialists, collectors, art historians, dealers, gemmologists, practising jewellers and designers, scientists and restorers, all united by their enthusiasm for the subject ... The Society runs a Programme of lectures from September to June, inviting speakers from many different disciplines and many parts of the world. The lectures are usually held in London.'

'Formed in 1948 with the object to encourage, develop and promote the study and practice of the art and science of Ornamental Turning. There are now around three hundred members world-wide. Quarterly meetings are held in London where members display examples of their work, share their experiences and attend lectures or demonstrations. Seminars and visits to places of interest are also arranged.'

'The Club was formed by a group of local enthusiasts in 1985. It has the aim of encouraging all aspects of horology and its members include novice, amateur and professional horologists with a wide range of experience and skill ... Membership of the Club is open to anyone interested in antique or modern clocks or watches ... Those interested in visiting the Club on a one-off basis to listen to a particular speaker are also welcome subject to payment of a small fee.'

'In 1966 a group of enthusiasts; medal collectors, weapon collectors and miltary history enthusiasts met regularly in the Navigation Inn on Lancashire Hill in Stockport and The Stockport and District Arms Collectors’ Society was formed. The club has flourished from then on and we still have members from these early beginnings. In 1996 the club’s title was changed to Stockport Militaria Collectors’ Society.

'A leading arts education charity with a global network of over 380 local Societies, which bring people together through a shared curiosity for the arts. Our events provide welcoming places – locally, nationally and globally – to hear expert lecturers share their specialist knowledge about the arts.'


Click HERE for an A-Z Listing of all the TAS Local Societies currently indexed in 'Open Lectures and Talks'.

'The national society promoting the study and conservation of tiles and architectural ceramics ... Tiles are all around us for everyone to enjoy. Ceramic tiles cover walls and floors, roofs and pavements, furniture and stoves, and can be seen in churches and mosques, pubs and shops, hospitals and homes. They are often combined with other forms of ceramics such as terracotta, faience and mosaic ... An international membership of individuals and institutions is drawn from the fields of tile museums, conservation, manufacturing (both industrial and craft), architecture, design, tile collecting and antiques.'

'The York Art Workers' Association is an eclectic group of craftsmen, artists, conservators, academics and others who share a serious interest in the design of buildings, interiors and landscapes. Members represent architectural craftsmanship, other applied arts, fine arts, architecture and conservation. We welcome not only practitioners in these fields but anyone with a keen interest or appreciation of art & design. We exist to extend and share our knowledge and experience through a programme of monthly talks ... We also organise occasional courses, workshops, outings & social events. Our talks are open anyone with an interest in the arts.'

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