7th September - Linda Watts - Where the music takes me...the melodies and the memories...

WE ARE UNABLE TO USE THE COMMUNITY CENTRE THIS MONTH AND THIS MEETING WILL BE HELD IN RYARSH VILLAGE HALL. THERE IS PLENTY OF PARKING SO PLEASE COME ALONG.

APOLOGIES FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE

Like so many famous names in music, Linda studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London. She went on to make her name in the field of popular classics, starring in BBC Radio 2's Friday Night Is Music Night, Songs from the Shows and Melodies For You, as well as singing in Gala Shows and Concerts with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Touring extensively with the Magic of the Musicals, Opera and Operetta her singing has taken her around the world on many occasions.

Concert and theatre performances take her from the West End to all parts of the British Isles, appearing in many of the country's leading Theatres and Concert Halls with choirs and orchestras and on nationwide tours with many top British stars.

Her career encompassing both classical and light music has taken her worldwide, from luxury liners cruising the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South Pacific to Concert performances at the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Wigmore Hall, as well as appearing in many Royal Gala Shows. She has broadcast live on Classic FM singing with the Royal Military Bands of The Scots Guards, The Blues and Royals and The Royal Marines including a memorable last night of the proms VE night commemoration.

5th OCTOBER - INTEREST GROUPS SIGNING ON

There is no speaker this month. This is your opportunity to meet the Interest Group Conveners and sign up for new groups that appeal to you.

2nd NOVEMBER - JOHN HARE - TRAVELLING WITH CAMELS

John Hare worked in Kenya for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). During this time, he undertook a number of expeditions into remote parts of northern Kenya, travelling all the time with camels and frequently alone. This re-kindled a life-long passion for camels. In 1993, he took advantage of a chance offer from a Russian scientific team to research the status of the wild Bactrian camel in Mongolia – the 8th most endangered large mammal in the world. The wild camel is a critically endangered species numbering no more than 1000, and only survives in four habitats in the Gobi desert in China and Mongolia. In 1995 and 1996 John Hare became the first foreigner to cross the Gashun Gobi Desert in China from north to south and to reach the ancient city of Lou Lan from the east. In 1997, John Hare founded the Wild Camel Protection Foundation (WCPF), a UK registered charity of which Dr. Jane Goodall DBE is the Life Patron. In 2002, the Chinese government agreed to the establishment of the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve in Xinjiang Province in the former nuclear test site. Measuring 155,000 square kilometres and almost the size of Bulgaria or Texas, the WCPF became responsible for helping the Chinese to establish one of the largest nature reserves in the world, protecting not only the wild Bactrian camel but many other IUCN Red Book listed endangered fauna and flora. John Hare is the sole international consultant for the Reserve.

7TH DECEMBER - STEVE PRICE - A MAGIC SHOW

Steve Price is one of the UK's busiest and most established magicians. He is a Gold Star Member of the Inner Magic Circle, a past Secretary of The Magic Circle and he has also won The Magic Circle’s Originality Prize. Steve is a full-time professional, using his astonishing magical skills to amaze and amuse audiences all around the world. He has over 15 years of performing experience and has worked at thousands of events in thousands of venues. In 2017 he is booked to perform in the Caribbean, Cuba, Venice, Norway, France and Spain. His unique blend of laughs, mystery and stunning sleight of hand has thrilled tens of thousands of people in all kinds of private and corporate settings.

JANUARY 4TH 2018 - MARY SMITH – A SCHOOLGIRLS WAR

This evocative record of school life in wartime brings together an exquisite and unparalleled set of paintings of girls at school during WW2, and the first-hand recollections of pupils who experienced the disrupted schooling, the air-raids, the doodlebugs and the lessons in underground shelters. MGGS art teacher Helen Keen set out to record the life of the school as the war unfolded.

Author, Mary Smith gives and illustrated talk on A Schoolgirl's War, the Story of a Kent School in WW2. Features an exquisite, probably unique, and previously unpublished set of paintings of school life during the Battle of Britain and the doodlebug attacks. The paintings were completed as the war unfolded by art teacher, Helen Keen of Maidstone Grammar School for Girls. The talk also includes fascinating and often surprising recollections of past pupils, now in their 80s and 90s. Although it focuses on one school, the experiences were common to schools across Kent. The reason this story is unique is the quality of the records, particularly these beautiful paintings, that have been preserved at the school. Copies of her book will be on sale.

FEBRUARY 1ST 2018 - PAUL LEDGER – HEARING DOGS FOR DEAF PEOPLE

How an abandoned puppy became one man’s lifeline. They look like man and beast in perfect harmony but this is not just any partnership. Meet hearing dog Yorick and his owner Paul Ledger, 64. Two years ago, as a five-week old puppy, Yorick was left for dead in a dustbin in Ireland. Now after being trained by the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity, he alerts his deaf owner to everyday sounds.

MARCH 1ST 2018 - DAVID TADD - THE FORENSIC RESPONSE TO THE SOUTH EAST ASIAN TSUNAMI

The boxing day tsunami of 26 December 2004 caused devastation and loss of life around the Indian ocean. David Tadd who, at the time, was the head of forensic investigation for Scotland Yard and was one of the forensic odontologists from more than 20 countries contributing to the identification process conducted in Thailand in response to the tsunami devastation.

5TH APRIL 2018 - ALAN WISE - MAKE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE THE BEST OF YOUR LIFE

Alan is a clinical psychologist who treats the strains and stresses of life. Alan will tell us how we can make sure that we use most effective and efficient methods and tools, to maintain mental harmony in our lives.

3rd MAY 2018 - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

There is no speaker in May. We will be holding our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING followed by a sumptuous cream tea

7TH JUNE 2018 - HUSH HEATH VINEYARD THE STORY OF ENGLISH WINE

Hush Heath feel that the best flavours and characters for sparkling wine production come from the three classic Champagne grape varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. At Hush Heath they have 37 acres of land planted with this classic trio and will tell us how of cultivation of the land over three generations has resulted in English sparkling wine becoming recognised as one the best wines of its type in the world

5TH JULY 2018 DEAN BLACKSTOCK - CHIROPRACTIC AND POSTURAL TIPS

Dean is the Director and Chiropractor at Paddock Wood Chiropractic Clinic and for the past 12 years has been serving communities, businesses and sports clubs across Essex and Kent. With a long history and special interest in Sports and Fitness he has added a raft of techniques to my clinical expertise which enables him to tailor plans for the individual. Getting people out of pain is important, but the question posed is “once you’re out of pain, what are the things that you want to be doing?” Getting out of pain is the ‘easy’ part, staying that way with our hobbies, work, exercise, diet etc. is the real challenge.