February 6, Thursday

Jane Burrell
“The Lost Chapels & Churches of Newbury”

This illustrated talk will look at the predominantly nonconformist places of worship in and around Newbury which have disappeared, or been converted to other uses. They were to be found lining the main thoroughfares, as well as tucked away in forgotten corners. The story of these buildings largely mirrors the story of nonconformist life in Newbury.

Jane Burrell is a retired museum curator with an interest in local history. She Is Joint Custodian of Documents of Mid-Thames Area Quakers, as well as caring for the official records of St Mary the Virgin, Speen. Jane is Hon Secretary of Newbury District Field Club – founded in 1870 for the study of local history, archaeology and natural history. 2020 marks its 150th anniversary, and Jane is curating a small exhibition in West Berkshire Museum in June/July.

March 12, Thursday

Sir Christopher Gent
“Newbury: The Home of Vodafone”

With themes including why Vodafone chose Newbury as its base, and covering the first 20 years of the company, this is a talk by Sir Christopher Gent, who was appointed as Vodafone’s managing director in 1985 and became its chief executive in 1997.

Before joining Vodafone, Sir Christopher was Director of Network Services at ICL. In this role he was Managing Director of Baric, a computer services company owned jointly by Barclays and ICL. He is a former chairman of ConvaTec Plc and was the Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline until his retirement in March 2015. He was previously Chairman of the supervisory board of Mannesmann AG, a non-executive director of China Mobile (Hong Kong) Ltd and Lehman Brothers, a member of the boards of Verizon Wireless and Ferrari, a senior adviser at Bain & Co and a member of the international advisory board of Hakluyt.

April 9th, Thursday

Dr. Elizabeth Matthew
“From Newbury to Caversham: Berkshire in the career of William Marshal , regent of England, d. 1219”

Dr Elizabeth Matthew will talk about the life of William Marshal, a figure with many local connections, who became nationally prominent in the second half of the 12th century, rising to become regent of England.

Dr Elizabeth Matthew is a lecturer in medieval history at Reading University, teaching undergraduates and supervising postgraduate studies. She has a particular interest in political and social history in England and Ireland in the high and later middle ages; and has written a number of entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. She is a member of the Council of the Historical Association.

Location and other information

Our events are held at St Johns Church, (RG14 7PY) in the Church Room.

The Church Room at St John’s Church faces Newtown Road and is on the north (town centre) side of the Church building. There is limited parking in the Church car park and on-street parking (free in the evenings) is available on Newtown Road. (Please see below for a map)

The events start at 7.30pm. There is a small charge to cover the cost, which includes coffee and biscuits. Members £FREE / Non-Members £2.50.

All are welcome at our events, listed below.