Meetings are currently being held in the hall of St Paul’s Church, Long Lane (junction with Dukes Avenue) Finchley, N3 2PU. It is a short distance from Finchley Central tube station. Free car parking is available nearby. View Map
They take place usually on the second Monday of the month.  They start with an informal gathering over tea and coffee, served from 10.00 am. The main meeting, a talk by a distinguished expert in their area, starts at 10:45 and finishes around midday.
Please note that at all future members’ meetings you might find yourself locked out of the meeting if you do not arrive by 10.40, out of courtesy to the speaker and to abide by the fire regulations.

Angela Cox

Angela Cox

Margaret Brearley1

Margaret Brearley

Chris Derrett

Chris Derrett

Some recent speakers are shown here.

Meetings are organised by John Hajdu



Future and Recent Meetings:

Mon 12th June 2017
Picasso’s Guernica

PicassoGuernicaGuernica was a Republican-held  town which the German Condor Legion blitzed for several hours on 26 April 1937, a market day, in support of Franco. There was great destruction and civilian loss of life. Picasso heard about the atrocity as he working on a mural for the Republican Spanish pavilion at  the 1937 Paris Exhibition. He abruptly abandoned the original design, and began the great anti-war painting instead.  Its overall drift cannot be doubted but Picasso could be elusive about the meaning of its individual details, and there have been widely varying interpretations. The talk will be about the relationship of these particular elements with each other and the whole.  Initially the mural was not well received, either by the Right or (more puzzlingly) the Left, but it gradually established itself as the pre-eminent political painting of the 1930s.   Guernica did not reach its permanent home in Madrid until 1981 as Picasso stipulated that democracy must return before it could go to Spain.
Our speaker, Robin Blake,  is the author of a number of books on art, including lives of Anthony Van Dyck and George Stubbs as well as six novels, four of which are in the ongoing “Cragg and Fidelis” historical crime series.

Mon 8th May 2017
The architecture of the London Underground – there’s more to it than meets the eye

The architecture of London Underground Stations is, in many cases quite iconic. However we often take them for granted and don’t realise the reasoning behind many of their features.
Subjects covered will include:

  • Who were the major architects?
  • The Underground has sponsored major works of art, where are they?
  • The prospects for the future in station design and features.

Speaker: Michael Burman
Michael graduated in geography and qualified as a teacher from London University. He has been a specialist teacher in Camden, Islington and Harrow for over 30 years, the last 16 being as the Senior Deputy Head Teacher of one of London’s largest comprehensive schools. He was also an accredited member of OFSTED School Inspectorate.
Michael is currently one of the longest serving elected Fellows of The Royal Geographical Society.
Following educational positions he has been the Chief Executive/Senior Officer in a number of charitable organisations including being the First Director of Diabetes UK London region.

Mon 13th March 2017
Safeguarding Your Identity – How to protect yourself against scams and fraud.

Scams and fraud are on the increase and criminals are continually devising new ways to steal your money. Scams are schemes to con you out of your money. They can arrive by post, phone call, text message, email or someone visiting your home. This presentation is about increasing your awareness of scams and fraud and includes

    • Safe guarding your identity by looking after your personal details.
    • Crime prevention action in respect of criminals contacting you by email. telephone, text, post and calling door to door.
    • Highlights some of the prevalent scams

Our speaker is Steve Roberts is a former Metropolitan Detective Inspector who during his 30 year career he served on some of the specialist investigation units based at New Scotland Yard including the Flying Squad, Murder Squad, Kidnap and Specialist Investigation Unit and the Anti Corruption Command. Since retiring from the police Steve has worked as a civilian trainer at the Metropolitan Police Leadership Academy and as a private investigator investigating fraudulent vehicle insurance claims.

Monday 13th February 2017
Hidden Highgate
highgatecemetryToday’s speaker, Marc Haynes is an award-winning TV and radio writer. Primarily working in comedy, Marc’s recent work includes two programmes for BBC Radio 4, a documentary Anne Frank’s Trees (with poet Michael Rosen) and Don’t Make Me Laugh (with comedian David Baddiel) . In addition, as a volunteer archivist at the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, Marc’s occasional lectures on Highgate’s history have drawn sell-out audiences. His talk on Highgate features some of the area’s most fascinating and little known stories – encompassing Russian espionage, the theft of a Vermeer, midnight exhumations in Highgate Cemetery, the poet Coleridge’s drug-fuelled retirement, Margaret Rutherford’s chimpanzee, and much more!

Mon 9th January 2017
An introduction to Gemstones.
gemstone-colorsJason Middleton has had a highly rewarding career in the jewellery industry working as an International gem stone buyer for a respected jewellery company and recently starting his own company supplying the jewellery market with loose and finished gemstones. His talk will focus is on gemstone families and their basic properties, where and how gem stones are mined, cut and fashioned, Birth stones, famous gem stones and what to look for in jewellery and much more.

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