Welcome to The Arts Society Uckfield, Lewes & Newick


This, my second year as your Chair, has certainly taken me by surprise. I had no idea back in June last year, (did any of us?), what a turn things were going to take. 

However, I am happy to report that the first half went really well with some excellent lectures and of course the extremely successful visit to the Isle of Wight with Linda Drabble and again, many thanks to her for her wonderful organisational skills and patience. I know that everyone who went enjoyed the trip immensely and thought the itinerary could not have been bettered. Sadly the tour to Cardiff and the Rhondda valley was cancelled due to the pandemic but we hope that an Arts Society tour will again take place next year. 

I am sure everyone will agree that we have had some marvellous lectures this year. Bertie Pearce with his Magic in Art was spellbinding (sorry!) and Graham Griffiths with his musically accompanied talk on Schubert was quite exceptional. And, if by any chance, you go on the Underground ever again I am sure you will, like me, be looking at it from an entirely different point of view - Ian Swankie certainly made this subject most entertaining. The Christmas Lunch was also a great success and very well attended but under current circumstances it looks very unlikely to happen this year.   

And then everything came to a full stop. We cancelled the lectures for April, May, and June. The lecturers were very accommodating and agreed to be re-engaged for February, May, and June 2021.

The future. So, what does it hold for our Society? At the moment the Civic Centre in Uckfield is closed and will not be reopening its doors until September. We do have lecturers booked for the oncoming season and as long as we respect social distancing, I think we will be able to go forward. 

A taste of next season’s programme has been prepared by Peggy Hooton, our Programmes Secretary, and I have put it at the bottom of my report. I hope this will whet your appetite and encourage you to continue your membership. We also now plan to hold the postponed AGM before our second lecture and members will be circulated at the appropriate time.

Last, but definitely not least, I would like to thank my committee for all their invaluable help and the way they have coped with today's very difficult times.

Annette Shelford 
The Arts Society Uckfield, Lewes & Newick


Life beyond lockdown - a taste of lectures to come! 


Discovering Women Artists 1600-1900 

Bernard Allen’s lecture brings surprise and delight in the achievements of women artists who are often little-known. Artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun, Angelica Kauffman, Rosa Bonheur, Lady Butler and L’Impressioniste par excellence Berthe Morisot, worked hard to earn recognition. 


Fine Art Fairs and their History 

Tom Flynn’s lecture illustrates the evolution of these ‘art market leviathans’ to understand their significance today. It is a journey through the splendours of the Great Universal Exhibitions of the 19th century, Hyde Park in 1851, Manchester in 1857, the first Venice Biennale, the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the current international scene. 


Inn Signia; Pub Signs - the Artwork and Stories behind their Names. 

John Ericson will lead us through this corner of mystery & history in his lecture illustrating just how fundamental pubs are to our history and culture. His colourful, intriguing and entertaining stories are punctuated by peculiar and distinctive names such as ’ The Bucket of Blood’, ‘Cow and Snuffers’, Eager Poet’ and ‘Blind Jack’. 


The Field of the Cloth of Gold; 6,000 Englishmen in France for 18 Days!! 

Joanna Mabbutt’s lecture celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Anglo-French alliance between the young princes Henry VIII and Francis I, feted with jaw-dropping opulence and logistical triumph. Entertainments, events, dressing to impress, a huge temporary palace, tents, tapestries, etc indicate a sophisticated supply chain, often organised through the City of London Guilds, that would still be a challenge today. 

In 2021 we celebrate Pantomime, Fakes and Fortunes in Avant-Garde Russian Art, Foreigners in London and Reading Mediaeval Art - plus two surprises.




The Arts Society Uckfield, Lewes and Newick was formed in September 2018 through the merger of the Newick and District Decorative and Fine Arts Society and the Arts Society Uckfield and Lewes.


For all Membership and General Enquiries, please email uckfieldlewesnewick@theartssociety.org



Weald Hall
Uckfield Civic Centre
United Kingdom

TN22 1AE


2.30pm - 2nd - Wednesday