The Limpsfield Decorative and Fine Arts Society was founded in 1975. We celebrate our 40th anniversary in May 2015. We are affiliated to NADFAS, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, and one of about 330 similar local Societies in the United Kingdom. We are an active Society with nearly 500 members which makes us one of the largest in the country.
Our purpose is the appreciation, promotion and preservation of decorative and fine arts. We interpret that very broadly and offer our members a balanced programme of lectures, visits, extras and study days, as well as a cultural tour each year.
The lectures are the core of our programme. We develop a different, balanced programme of topics each year and research prospective lecturers carefully, commissioning only the most experienced and qualified lecturers with an interesting topic and a good reputation for speaking and presenting. We cover a wide range each year and we are always open to suggestions. Our lectures are usually held at St Peter’s Hall, Limpsfield at 2:30 pm and 8pm on the last Wednesday of the month. Tea and coffee are served for 30 minutes from 4.00pm and 7:15pm.
A visit is a half or full-day trip, planned well in advance and published in the programme for the following year. It normally includes coach transport (except to Central London).
An extra is a visit that we have arranged at shorter notice to take advantage of an opportunity that may not have been available when the visit programme was originally developed. The subjects can sometimes be more experimental. Arrangements may be different at each event, but are advertised.
A study day is a half or full-day workshop where we study a topic to a depth not possible in a lecture or talk.
Typically our programme comprises 10 lectures (monthly except for July and August), 12 visits, a Study Day and a cultural tour each year.
We meet in St Peter’s Hall, High Street, Limpsfield, Surrey, RH8 0DR where free parking is normally available. Tea and coffee are provided after the afternoon lecture or before the evening one so members can meet and talk.
From the A25 on the Westerham side of Oxted, take the B239 north on Limpsfield High Street. After about 700 metres, St Peter’s Church Hall is on the left, across the road from the Church.
We publish a monthly newsletter that we distribute to members by email.
Click on the archive link here to see the newsletters
Limpsfield Decorative and Fine Arts Society was formed in 1975 and its first meeting was on 28 May. A number of the founders including our first Secretary are still in membership and we took the opportunity of the anniversary to thank them for their perspicacity and energy. In addition to a normal full programme of lectures and visits we organised in 2015 four special events to celebrate the anniversary. We also produced a commemorative history booklet written by our President Pauline Hopkins and our Chairman Brian McEvoy with recollections from a founding committee member Daphne Mackay. You can read the booklet online by clicking here.
Anniversary Spring Lunch with Sir Richard Stilgoe
Sir Richard Stilgoe gave a talk that was both light-hearted and profound and then, with Angus Morton singing, wowed us at the piano at the Anniversary Lunch. It was a joyous occasion, more like a party than a lunch, that raised a lot of money for the worthy charity founded by Sir Richard, which uses the performing arts as its motivating force – the Orpheus Centre.
Dinner at The Reform Club, 102 Pall Mall, London
Dinner at the Reform was as delightful as we anticipated with wonderful food and wine in the spectacular gold and red surroundings of the Library. It is a beautiful building with a rich cultural history. Founders and early committee members were well represented at the tables and were thanked. Mrs June Robinson, the newly elected National Chairman of NADFAS on her first official event, was our guest of honour. Jonathan Blanchard-Smith, former Chairman of the Reform Club, gave an amusing and informative speech.
Have You Had It Long Madam?
It was just as well we booked the Barn Theatre, Oxted, to show “Have You Had It Long Madam?” with Paul Atterbury and Hilary Kay, otherwise we would not have been able to cope with the numbers of members and guests. The two performers talked about what it was like to be on the Road Show and how it developed over the years. They described some of the weird, wonderful and bizarre events they had experienced, illustrated by film clips, stories and delicious gossip. It was enormous fun and very popular with members and non-members alike.
Titsey Place. Guided Tour and Afternoon Tea
Guy Innes kindly offered us exclusive access to Titsey Place for the day as a way of saying thank you to LDFAS volunteer guides. They organised a well constructed programme of tours of the house and gardens for 120 members. Click on an image below to see a slide show of a selection of photos from the 40th Anniversary Events
Members and Organisers
Mrs Belinda Martin
Mrs Hank Arnott
Mrs Irene White
Ms Allyson Jenkins
Mr Stuart Paterson
We use a grasshopper as our emblem.
The grasshopper is featured on the coat of arms of Sir John Gresham who owned Titsey Place in Limpsfield from 1534. It appears on a number of institutions associated with the Gresham family including Gresham School, Gresham College and the golden weather vane at The Royal Exchange.
Sir Thomas Gresham, the nephew of Sir John Gresham, was a Tudor financier who founded the Royal Exchange. His business office was 68 Lombard Street where even today a metre long golden grasshopper hangs. That site subsequently became Martin’s Bank and they used the grasshopper as their sign until the bank was taken over by Barclays in 1969. Sir Thomas is buried in St Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate.
The Grasshopper has also been adopted by other bodies in the Limpsfield area including the local golf club and an inn.
Legend has it that the founder of the family Roger de Gresham was found in long grass in Norfolk by a woman who heard the noise of a grasshopper. The more likely explanation though is that it is a heraldic representation of the Gresham name as gres is the middle english form of grass.
Membership of Limpsfield Decorative and Fine Arts Society (Limpsfield DFAS) automatically confers membership of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS).
NADFAS is a leading UK based arts charity and works to advance decorative and fine arts education and appreciation, and promotes the conservation of our artistic heritage. Based in London, it supports 360 independent Societies in Britain, and Societies in mainland Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
About 90,000 people in Britain belong to one of these Societies and meet monthly to share with others the enjoyment of art.
NADFAS offers an extensive programme of training courses, technical support, contacts and acts as a focus for the exchange of ideas and best practice amongst the Societies.
Members receive a beautifully produced illustrated Quarterly Arts Review from NADFAS without further charge, as well as information on what is happening in other Societies and the Arts and Heritage world generally.
The East Surrey Area consists of 15 Societies and, although it is one of the smallest areas geographically, it has a great concentration of very active societies. Area supports local societies with advice and training and the sharing of ideas through group meetings. It is a forum for raising concerns and reflecting Local Society views to the National Society. It also organises lectures and Special Interest days that are open to both members and non-members.