Talks, Trips & Events

We have talks in Autumn & Winter and trips in Spring & Summer each year. For further details see the current Contact magazine (via the Bookshop page).

Following the recent Government announcements about being careful with the new covid variant spreading fast and the guidelines for attending large gatherings the Frome Society are anxious to avoid large gatherings at the Assembly Rooms, over 120 people attended the lecture on Saturday 4th December 2021 and we feel this was a dangerously high number.

2022 Talks

The lectures on Saturdays 22nd January and 5th February 2022 will be on Zoom only.  At the moment it is difficult to predict lecture arrangements for Saturday 19th February and for the two lectures in March but it is likely that we will continue to ask those on Zoom to watch from the safety of their homes to leave the Assembly Rooms safer for those who want to attend.

Lectures are advertised in Contact and below.  All lectures start at 2.30pm, except the lecture on 19th March 2022 which will be preceded by the AGM at 2pm.  Lectures are free for members.

22nd January 2022 Lee Young – Dore and Rees: the Frome Auction House – This lecture will be on Zoom only

Lee may be a familiar face to some of us from the BBC Antiques Roadshow, where he specialises in Asian art. He is based in Somerset and has a career of over 30 years working for National and International auctioneers. He recently bought the Frome auction house of Dore and Rees earlier this year.

His talk will introduce us to his work in such well-known auction houses as Sotheby’s, Phillips and most recently Duke’s of Dorchester as well as his many appearances on the Roadshow. Particularly of interest will be his plans for the future of Dore and Rees. He says there is a need to create new reasons for people to visit and to open doors to a wider audience while maintaining the magic of a bygone age and preserving the place of the saleroom as a cherished part of the Frome community.

5th February 2022 Gill Harry and John Payne – Working Memories – This lecture will be on Zoom only
Home in Frome’s ‘Working Memories project’ began in 2009. Its purpose was to record, share and celebrate Frome people’s memories of their working lives from 1940s and 50s onwards, in a way that captured the original voices. From this, the book Working Memories: Frome workers tell their stories, was published in 2012. To help make the material as widely available as possible a small team then spent 5 years constructing a ‘Working Memories’ website which was launched in October 2020 along with a second edition of the book.

The talk will give an introduction to ‘Home in Frome’, an outline of the journey over the last 13 years and discuss the future use of the material collected. .

19th February 2022 Colin Johns – The History of Bradford on Avon and the Hall Estate
Bradford on Avon, like Frome, owes its prosperity to the wool trade and like Frome, this is reflected in its architecture and buildings, but in 1848, Stephen Moulton brought from America a licence to process vulcanised rubber, on which the town thrived until the 1980s, supplying the world with rubber springs, seals, gaskets and hoses. Colin Johns, an architect and planner, long-time resident of Bradford on Avon and Architect to the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust, will tell us about the history and development of the town, the growth of Wiltshire’s ‘Rubber Industry’, the influence of the Moulton family on the town and their restoration of the magnificent Elizabethan house. This family house, rebuilt in 1610 as Kingston House, and now known as The Hall, is listed by Historic England as a Grade I building, and is where in 1962, Dr Alex Moulton invented the rubber suspension for the Mini and the famous small wheeled Moulton bicycle. This is the story of an industrial town, the way it has adapted to change and the family who shaped its destiny.

5th March 2022 Julian Orbach – Revised Pevsner for Wiltshire
The 48 volumes of The Buildings of England, originally written by Nikolaus Pevsner between 1951 and 1974, are in the process of being comprehensively revised and enlarged.

Julian Orbach, an architectural historian, talked to us in March 2014 about his work on revising the volume on South and West Somerset and in January 2016, he talked to us about his experiences and researches on re-writing the volume on Wiltshire, published in June 2021. Pevsner wrote the original Wiltshire volume, following an 8 week tour in 1962, but that was 60 years ago. Julian, who knew Pevsner, when they were both involved with the Victorian Society in the 1970s, will describe the highlights and experiences of more than five years travelling the highways and byways of Wiltshire in his exploration of its best buildings. Copies of the book will be available for sale.

19th March 2022 Roger Marsh – The Coaching Age in Somerset and Dorset
Roger Marsh’s interest in the ‘coaching age’, which was at its height in the late 18th and early 19th century, was sparked by his hobby of postal history. His curiosity was aroused by the thought of how the mail actually got to its destination. Some old local correspondence that came into his possession served as an intriguing start to his research.

Coaching inns were built to accommodate travellers on horseback and the travellers and coachmen in the horse drawn coaches known as ‘stage’ coaches. Many coaching inns are still thriving albeit in 21st century guise. The Archangel in the middle of Frome is a great example. Many Toll houses were originally set up to recoup money spent on creating new roads and improve existing ones. Some have been transformed but many still exist. A few others still serve their original purpose. He will tell us about the roads, Turnpike trusts and toll houses of Somerset and Dorset and the coaching routes that began to open up the country for travellers and communication. We also hear of the passengers as well as the movement of the mail. We will be given a fascinating insight into the early days of modern transport and transportation in this rural area.

2022 TRIPS
This year the Trips Committee have arranged a varied programme of outings which we hope you will enjoy.  Some venues have a lack of volunteers returning this year which means cutting down the number of our days out as well as making a limit on places when booking.  We are expected to follow the social distancing rules.
Monday 25th April – Lacock Abbey and Village (NT)
Wednesday 11th May – Bridport and Abbotsbury
Thursday 9th June – Highcliffe Castle and Christchurch
Friday 24th June – Avebury (NT)
Tuesday 19th July – Knightshayes Court, Tiverton
Thursday 11th August – St Fagans, Cardiff
Thursday 25th August – Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
Wednesday 14th September – Winchester: Cathedral and College
Full details will appear here very shortly.
Bookings: call Pat Eames on 464464 after 9am. If necessary, please leave a message and your phone number. In an emergency on the day call 07493 419398
Cancellations must be made not less than 48 hours before the outing. Failure to do so will incur the cost of the coach and possible further costs non-refundable to the Society.
Any communication must be made to the Society, not to the Coach Company.
The preferred method of payment is by cheque (payable to FSLS) collected when boarding the coach at the end of the trip. The price shown includes coach fare, entrance fees, guides and gratuities.
Guests will pay a supplementary charge of £3 and are responsible for their own travel insurance.
There is always a facility for buying lunch, if not included, or you may prefer to take a picnic.
Pick up points are:
FROME RUGBY CLUB (advertised departure time)
The Rugby Club offers a large parking area which will accommodate all members who wish to park their cars there before boarding the coach.  Please park behind the Clubhouse.


To join the FSLS please fill out a membership form from this page.