2020 AGM

CDWS AGM 22nd July 2020

This year we had a distinctly odd AGM.

Held in the afternoon, in July, with no food, with very little time to chat, with no entertainment, with no wine, without leaving the house!

Even so, about 30 of us signed into our Zoom session and we got the business done while looking at 20 screens of other members looking back at us.

Chairman, David Powell opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and giving the sad news that Peter Day, Kay’s husband, had died earlier in the week from an asbestos related disease. Peter has been a good friend to the Society, a regular attendee and an organiser of our trips to wetlands bird sanctuaries in his role as chairman of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and he will be sorely missed.

David gave his Chairman’s report, commenting that although we had had to cancel or postpone 3 events, over the past year we had been able to successfully hold over 10 events.  The Society hopes to hold its Golf Day in September, a country walk in the Autumn, but it is still uncertain whether conditions will permit us to hold our ever-popular Christmas Drinks event.

Membership has remained steady at 120, with new members replacing those who have left.

Peter Chapman gave his Treasurer’s report from Brecon and said that the Society’s finances are in good order.

It then came to the election of the officials. All members of the Committee agreed to stand again for the following year, with the proviso that Peter Chapman will need to relinquish his post as Treasurer within the next few months when he and Pat complete their move to Wales.

David thanked the committee for their time and efforts in running the society and running its events. He also called for members to volunteer for Committee membership as without them, the Society cannot function.

This must have been the fastest AGM on record. We finished after about 30 minutes, with very little chance to chat and a final farewell as the Zoom meeting concluded.

2019 AGM

CDWS AGM Coleshill Village Hall May 17th

A good turnout of over fifty members set the scene for an informative, interesting and illusionary evening.

Our Chairman, David Powell got off to a good start (this being his first year as Chairman and hence his first chairing of the AGM) by welcoming us all. In particular Thelma and John Lusher who had traveled all the way from the New Forest. The reports for the year were encouraging; membership strong at one hundred and sixteen; finances in good shape; two new members of the committee have volunteered their services – Merle Davies and Peter Chapman; and there has been strong support for all the events over the year. Particular thanks were directed towards Graham Beavan on his retirement after a long tenure as Treasurer.

Jonathan Pegler had briefly taken on the role of Treasurer to fill the gap and so he presented the Accounts for the year. Under his watch the magnificent sum of £20 had been dealt with. Peter Chapman has now stepped into Graham’s shoes.

The formal part of the evening was, as ever, well presented and short and was followed by a meal. The caterer was Anne Tennant who clearly knows exactly what the members of the CDWS enjoy, and on this occasion was like a human dynamo. The rest of her team were at an event catering for the mayor of Beaconsfield so Anne was chief cook and bottle washer and everything in between. Well done Anne! The choice of desserts was particularly appreciated. Bread and Butter pudding and custard, Chocolate mousse, cheese and biscuits, Fruit Pavlova and I spotted a fruit salad for someone dairy intolerant. The gentlemen on our table made a bee-line for the Bread and Butter pudding, and then when Anne explained that she really didn’t want to take anything home, they were happily also tucking into Pavlova. No doubt belts were loosened.

After the meal came the entertainment. This year it was the place of Bertie Pearce whose web site says that he “…brings wonder and laughter to your event”. We were not disappointed on either count. The theme was “Now you See it-Now you Don’t, The Art of Visual Deception”. This was a whistle-stop tour through Surrealism, Trompe L’eoil, Ambiguous Imagery, Optical Art and Camouflage. Fascinating, thought provoking, puzzling, entertaining, amusing and all delivered at a pace that kept you on your toes, engaged and surprised. A particular ripple of amusement occurred when Bertie said that in America artists had used illusionary methods to paint potholes on the road which appeared to be 3D in order to reduce speeding. Here in Buckinghamshire we have no need for artists’ illusions. We have the real thing.

Interspersed with the artistic journey were a number of magical moments. Ably assisted by our very own Ann Lawrence, Kay Day and Gwen Hill, Bertie performed mysterious and inexplicable tricks. Ann, Kay and Gwen have clearly been sworn into secrecy as they were reluctant to share any explanations afterwards. Perhaps they could be prevailed upon at a future event to offer magical entertainment?


The evening closed at 10 pm everyone having been well entertained and well fed. Thank you to all.

Janet John

Mike Stythe – Honorary Member

In appreciation of his active and enthusiastic membership of the Society over the years Mike Stythe has been made an Honorary Member.

A former Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and for many years an Outward Bound instructor in North Wales, one of Mike’s specialities has been organising walks for us in his beloved Snowdonia. Most recently his idea of climbing Snowdon by train and walking down resulted in the Society’s trip to North Wales in May 2012.

Mike Stythe


That inspired idea was typical of Mike. He had already made 106 previous ascents, but he was determined to climb Snowdon one more time despite health issues. He found a solution, and it was one that suited many others in the Society too!


Update – Mike has since moved to a care home in Suffolk. Please ask Ann Lawrence if you’d like to contact him – 01494 727207 or membership@chilternwelsh.co.uk

Chairman’s Report Winter 2014

P1040863Well, we’ve had a very successful six months.  We’ve welcomed yet more new members: we’ve held a diverse range of events, all of which have been well attended and enjoyed.

If that sounds familiar it is because:

(1)  the Society continues to thrive; and

(2)  it becomes difficult to find new words to describe a thriving Society!

A pleasant and informative walk around the South Bank; yet another successful golf day;  five days based in Swansea during which we saw barely a drop of rain (!);  the wonderful sound of the massed choirs at the Albert Hall:  and that was just in a few months!

I don’t have the gift of words possessed by our latest speaker, the poet Professor Tony Curtis, so I’m going to let the reports themselves do the talking.

We have a lot to look forward to, and I hope our 2015 events prove as successful and popular as those of 2014 – not forgetting that we have one of our favourite events of the year – the Christmas Drinks party  – still to come!

Nadolig LLawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda


My Life with Dylan

On the evening of 7th November at Coleshill Village Hall some 60 of members of the Society enjoyed a somewhat different event from our normal style.

The first noticeable difference was that the delicious light supper was provided not by outside caterers, but by a team of ladies from the Welsh class – expertly marshalled by Jean Owen and Ann Lawrence.

Well fed, and having enjoyed an hour or so of lively conversation, we settled down to a most erudite talk from Professor Tony Curtis: “My Life with Dylan Thomas” based around his book of the same title that was recommended as a Summer read by The Observer.

Tony himself did not meet Dylan – but he had been taught by Vernon Watkins, Dylan’s best friend, and has known many of the people (especially Welsh people) who encountered Dylan or were influenced by him.  Not only is Tony Wales’s first professor of poetry and a fine poet in his own right, but he is also an art connoisseur and avid collector.  He was therefore uniquely qualified to talk to us about the Welsh poets (such as Vernon Watkins, Dannie Abse, and Glyn Jones) and Welsh artists (among them Augustus John, Ceri Richards, and Jonah Jones) whose lives were touched by Dylan Thomas, as well as presenting amusing anecdotes about Dylan’s life.

This was a comprehensive presentation and there was something in it for everyone and much for all to enjoy and appreciate – as evidenced by the lively and lengthy question and answer session, which Tony handled with panache.

I certainly learned a lot!

Jonathan Pegler

London Welsh Festival of Male Choirs, Royal Albert Hall
– 18th October 2014
25 members and friends were part of the audience to pack the Royal Albert Hall for the 24th Biennial concert of massed male voice choirs organised by the London Welsh Male Voice Choir. The group were picked up at Amersham, Gerrards Cross and Denham and transported to the venue by coach.

This year the committee decided, after advising the members early in the year, to
only order sufficient tickets for those wishing to go, and to lay on the necessary coach. An early commitment was rewarded by a comfortable hassle free ride to and from London, and a very enjoyable concert.

One of the soloists was Rhiannon Llewellyn who entertained us so well at our Society’s 2013 St David’s Day dinner. Well compered by Frank Lincoln, with three overseas choirs from South Africa, Sweden and Norway, the two soloists, soprano Rhiannon Llewellyn and tenor Trystan Llyr Griffiths, Robert Nicholls on the organ and Annabel Thwaite on the piano, the concert flowed from beginning to end.

It finished with the audience joining the choirs to sing Calon Lan, before the National Anthem. A fitting end to a varied programme that included recitations from Dylan Thomas by Trefor Ellis.

Maldwyn Pugh.

St David’s Day Dinner Notice 2014

Our St David’s Day Dinner on Saturday 1st March will be held at Gerrards Cross Golf Club.

The entertainment will be provided by Rhiannon Llewellyn, a prize-winning young Soprano with local connections.84201_orig
Though born in Swansea, she was brought up and went to school in Chalfont St Peter, where members of her family still live. After obtaining a degree at The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and an MA at the Royal Academy of Music, she is currently on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy. She will be guest soloist at the London Welsh Festival of Male Voice Choirs in October. A Welcome drink will be served from 18.30pm with Dinner from 19.15pm.

As for last year tickets are £40 per person. A three course meal will be served, with tea/coffee & mints to finish. Wine with the meal is not included in the ticket price but can be purchased on the night from an excellent selection available.

Song-sheets and a piano will be ready for our usual rousing finale, so all we need is for plenty of members and guests to turn up in good voice!
Cheques should be made out to the Chiltern District Welsh Society, and sent to: Mr Graham Beavan, The Wicket, Keepers Lane, Hyde Heath, AMERSHAM HP6 5RJ.

To book or for any queries call Gwyndaf on 01753 884490.

AGM – Join the Committee!

The next meeting of the Chiltern & District Welsh Society will be on Friday 17th May at 7:00 for 7:30pm at the Coleshill Village Hall.

This meeting will propose to update the Society’s Constitution (the first amendment in over 10 years) to reflect the way the the society is currently run.

The Agenda for the evening is:
1. Apologies for absence.
2. Approval of Minutes of AGM 2012.
3. Chairman’s Report.
4. Membership Secretary’s Report.
5. Treasurer’s Report.
6. Revised Constitution – proposal and adoption
7. Election of Officers and Committee.
8. Any other business.

AGM Details 2013
AGM Minutes 2012

After the formal meeting there will a Buffet Supper prepared by Ann Tennant and her team, followed by a interesting and amusing talk by Maldwyn Pugh on “Growing up in Soho”.

Please note – Bob Ford, Hugh Griffith, Eileen Mitchell and Maldwyn Pugh are standing down at the AGM after many years of valuable service to the Society. If any members would be interested in joining the committee please put yourselves forward or nominate a suitable willing volunteer, as fresh faces with new ideas are always welcome. Contact Gwyndaf John on telephone 01753 884490 or email gwyndafjohn@btconnect.com.

Next events:

Highgrove House 12th June
Ann Thomas has one or two tickets left for a visit to the Prince of Wales’ garden at Highgrove on Wednesday 12th June. Cost approximately £40

Summer Lunch, Sunday 14th July
12:30 until 4pm
Hosted by Diane & Colin Thomas, Windsor Road, Gerrards Cross

Trip to Cardiff 9th to 12th September
Organised by Jonathan Pegler
Among the attractions: Magnificent Caerphilly Castle, the Brecon Mountain Railway, and the National Trust’s Dyffyn House & Gardens visit to the Penderyn Distillery and a lunch at the Glyndwr Vineyard

The Society’s Annual Golf Day – Friday 30th August 2013
at Oaklands Park Golf Club
Four ball followed by lunch

St David’s Day Dinner & the Quiz Night

St David’s Day Dinner

Our St David’s Day Dinner this year will be held on Friday 1st March at Gerrards Cross Golf Club.

The entertainment this year will be provided by the renowned harpist Claire Jones.

A Welcome drink will be served from 18.30pm with Dinner from 19.15pm

Tickets are £40 per person.

Wine with the meal is not included in the ticket price but can be purchased on the night from an excellent selection available.

The three course meal will be served, with coffee & mints to finish. The menu will be:


Marinated Prawn Skewers (Lemon & herb) with mixed leaves

Alternative option: Leek & Potato Soup


Roast Saddle of Lamb with Roasted Winter Vegetables, New Potatoes, Apricot Stuffing, Red Current Jus

Alternative Vegetarian option: Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable and Pesto Tagliatelle


Bread & Butter Pudding & Custard

Alternative option: Fruit Salad (with cream)


Tea/Coffee & Mints

Song-sheets will be ready for our usual rousing finale with John Breese at the piano, so all we need is for plenty of members and guests to turn up!


Please return the booking form, with your cheque(s) made payable to Chiltern District Welsh Society. So that we have an early indication of numbers please would you email Gwyndaf with numbers. If you wish to form a table with certain other members & guests let Maldwyn or Gwyn know.


Quiz Night Friday 25th January

Twenty four brave members of the Welsh Society braved the winter weather to venture to the Coleshill Village Hall on a dark night in January.

We arranged ourselves into 5 teams of between four and six people.

Mr Jonathan Pegler set the fiendish questions in 7 rounds with subjects such as General Knowledge, 2012, Quotations, Chilterns & London and a Welsh round.

Fish and chips arrived to great acclaim about 8:30pm and gave a brief break from the questions. Jonathan reassured us that the questions were really very easy, it was only finding the answers that was difficult!

Competition was fierce, with each team trying hard not to be last. After a challenge to the electronic scoring system and a re-count a team called ‘the Odd Group’ declared themselves the winners and rushed to claim the glory and prizes.

Quiz Winners - The Odd Group

Quiz Winners – The Odd Group

We finished about 10pm and it was amazing how quickly the hall was cleared of tables and chairs with so many volunteers.

Thanks to Jonathan for all your hard work in preparing and running the quiz.


January Update

The first event in the Society’s 2013 Calendar will be the Quiz Evening with Fish & Chip Supper at Coleshill Village Hall on Friday the 25th January at 7 for 7.30pm.

Post Code: HP7 0LN

The cost will be £12 each (including the Fish’n’Chips). Please bring your own drinks, glasses and cutlery.

The quiz on this occasion will be ‘home grown’ – I hope it won’t be not too difficult!

Please let Maldwyn know if you wish to attend (01494 763461).

We are finalising the rest of the 2013 programme and the programme cards will be distributed shortly, but the next event will be :

St David’s Day Dinner at Gerrards Cross Golf Club on 1st March 2013 with Harpist Claire Jones – 7 for 7:30pm.



The London Glamorgan Society are having an event on Tuesday 29th January.
Chris Bryant MP will be talking about his personal experiences surrounding the News of the World phone hacking scandal. The scandal led to the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry.
Venue- Medical Society of London, 11 Chandos Street, Cavendish Sq, W1G 9EB
Drinks and light refreshments at 6.30pm and the main event of the evening will commence at 7.15pm. The cost of the evening will be £27 (if you’d like to go email  Geoffwalters52@googlemail.com).