King's Lynn Decorative & Fine Arts Society
King's Lynn Decorative & Fine Arts Society

22 December 2016Chairman's Letter
01 September 2016Chairman's Letter
27 July 2016King's Lynn DFAS at The Sandringham Flower Show
12 May 2016Chairman's AGM Report
24 October 2015Chairman's Letter
29 August 2015Message from The Chairman
13 August 2015King’s Lynn DFAS Feedback on 2014/15 Lectures
29 July 2015Chairman's Letter
15 July 2015King's Lynn Festival: Andrew Graham-Dixon’s Festival Lecture
21 January 2015Chairman's Letter
15 October 2014Chairman's Letter
11 September 2014Welcome to the new Season.....
02 September 2014Church Recorders East Winch Church records complete
29 June 2014Chairman’s Letter
22 May 2014King’s Lynn DFAS 25th Anniversary Celebration at Congham Hall Country House Hotel, Grimston
17 March 2014NADFAS East Anglia Area Special Presentation. Photograph of Dan Stevens who plays Gilbert Evans and David Evans, Gilbert's son
12 January 2014Chairman's Letter
07 January 2014Local Information to be found on Useful Links Page
01 January 2014KLDFAS Newsletter

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Chairman's Letter
Thursday 22 December 2016


Greetings to you all.

My first 6 months as Chairman has gone and it's Christmas time already!

I am pleased to say that our Society continues in good heart and we now have 201 members and have had an encouraging number of visitors to our lectures.  Special thanks to all members who have brought guests, as they increase awareness of who we are and may become members themselves.

I am sorry that this will be rather longer than you would prefer to receive at this time of year but as well as the regular "newsey(?)" stuff there are some other matters I would like to share with you.

As well as our core lecture programme our other activities continue and members wishing to join these groups can be sure of a welcome.

Our Church Recording group has been particularly busy.  The record of Old Hunstanton is currently being bound prior to being presented.  The work at Stanhoe has been concluded and finishing touches are being put to the various reports.  After visits to 4 more churches the group has decided that the church at Narborough will be the next to be recorded and work will start in Spring 2017 when the weather has warmed up.  Old unheated churches in the depths of winter are not very amenable to the detailed work to be carried out!

Heritage Volunteers have been rather frustrated by obstacles being put in the way of the valuable work they are capable of carrying out, but after an interruption caused by a window  inconveniently falling out at Oxburgh Hall, they have been able to return there to continue the ongoing task of maintaining the books.

On the Young Arts front, in common with our neighbouring DFAS, North West Norfolk at Sedgeford, we have helped to sponsor a local involvement in the Young Photographer of the Year competition.  More news on this front in due course.  As a Young Arts footnote I was pleased to be invited to a very inspiring Christmas concert by West Norfolk Music Centre at Springwood School a couple of weeks ago, where I was able to see in use the music stands we funded for them a couple of years or so ago.

Our Art Group continues to meet regularly and enjoy its work, but could really do with some new members, who would be welcomed whatever their level of ability or interest.

Visits and Tour. Our committee works hard at arranging visits and in September there were enjoyable visits to Gainsborough's House and Lavenham, and also to a performance of Macbeth at the Globe Theatre in London.  Then in December there was a visit to a Christmas Marble Hall concert at Holkham, the day after our Advent Lunch which this year was held for the first time at King's Lynn Golf Club.

The Tour this year was in October and entitled Winchester and the Isle of Wight, and took in a number of places including some not seen even by seasoned visitors to those parts.  One of the highlights was a visit to the Mary Rose Museum, described on page 38 of our latest Review magazine.  A full report of the tour is on our website.  The 2017 tour will be to Northern Ireland, from 4th to 8th October, and will include the Titanic Experience, just voted the world's best tourist attraction.  Look out for the details we shall be circulating in January when we shall start to sell it. Early booking is recommended!

Other things to look out for, for those who have missed the announcements at the lectures, are the visit to the gardens at Anglesey Abbey where the snowdrops and winter walks are well worth seeing,(date to be announced) then a visit to Burghley House on the 5th April, followed by another musical afternoon at Martyn and Phyllis Clarke's at Oxborough on 27th April,, and, by popular demand, another Tony Tucker City of London Walk on 7th June (Old Alleyways of the City ).

Back then to the monthly lectures, which perhaps deserve a couple of observations.

We have had 4 very different lectures, very varied in content and style.  All have nevertheless been hugely appreciated by the majority of our members and guests.  Of course with an average attendance of 100 plus members it would be surprising if every one of them shared the same view, and the November lecture, "To please the palate, charm the eye" was a good example of a lecture which sharply polarised opinions, some thinking it was hugely engaging and enjoyable whilst others thought it not up Nadfas standard and inappropriate.

However, Nadfas is nothing if not a broad church and some would say that the last thing we want is 9 lectures per year which are aimed at subjects we all know and are comfortable with and which will not frighten the horses.  We continue to aim for a varied programme, which will be engaging, entertaining and educational.  We do however welcome feedback and suggestions.  We would prefer to provide what you want to hear.

Two more things to mention on lectures.  Firstly we have had a couple of sound problems.  We have those brought about by lecturers who ignore John's requests as to the use of the collar microphone and talk away from it, or those who opt to use their own and enjoy going walkabout with it.  We persist and hope they will behave!  Then we had a very isolated case of a battery failing on the lecturer's remote device.  The battery has been replaced and we have a backup.  We do have a very dedicated technical team who know these things affect your enjoyment and we strive to give the best.  Our apologies in the meantime.

Secondly there is the matter of lighting.  Because digital reproduction of images is so much better than the old slide projection we do not need so much darkness to appreciate them, and some people would prefer to have light to be able to see the lecturer rather than have a disembodied voice in the dark which has been known to cause people to nod off.  This was highlighted by my visit to an illustrated lecture at King's Lynn Music Society, at which I had been asked by Nadfas to assess a lecturer for possible Nadfas accreditation (Sandy Burnett, a leading radio broadcaster, bassist and conductor), which turned out to be an excellent evening, taking place in full lighting, with no loss of image quality, and excellent engagement with the lecturer.  It does appear however that this has not met universal approval at our meetings and we would appreciate feedback.  For the time being however, until we get a clear view, and as a courtesy to the lecturer we are inclined to follow his/ her preference, which we expect will please some of the people, at least some of the time!


I am sure most of you will have become aware of the plan for re-branding of Nadfas and will be concerned and anxious about it.  I do not want to overburden you with detail at this juncture as to why this has been considered as you may well have been following this in Review, and I refer you in particular to the article on pages 8 and 9 of the current Review. The fact is that it is going to happen.  To misquote a certain Mrs May "Re-Branding is Re-Branding".   A few basics :

     -The name Nadfas will remain in place.  This will be the association's legal title, whereas the new name will effectively be the everyday name by which it is known, as with a high street business's trading name.  This will enable continuity of certain administrative matters easier, such as bank accounts.

      -There will be a new logo, currently the Acanthus leaves, with "House Colours"

      -It will not be obligatory for individual societies to "sign up" for the new name, or the new logo.  It has to be said however that sticking with the existing "Branding", may well cause more confusion than changing.  However, there will be no deadline for the date for such changes, and societies will be free to choose how they bring them about, often depending on such matters as how much old stocks of branded material they have, and how they wish to display the new branding, including for instance whether they wish to retain display of the Acanthus leaves alongside the new logo, or even to stagger such changes, although I suspect that many will wish to grasp the nettle and  make a clean break, rather than have a series of more confusing changes.

     -Society chairmen have been invited to attend a "re-branding hub" to be held in London on the 23rd January, which we are told is to give us an "introduction to the new branding before it is revealed to members in the Spring issue of Review (due to hit doorsteps on 27th February)" and to give an idea of the next processes and what it might mean for our society.  This rather sounded to me as if members were to be deprived of such disclosure until late February but I have secured confirmation that I will be able to tell members as soon as I know, and I will pass this on to you as soon as possible.  I am also told that it is hoped we shall receive a short film about the process to show at our February meeting.  Quite what the logistics of this are I cannot say.  Frankly I cannot think it will be possible to fit this into the timing of a regular meeting without impinging on the scheduled and contracted lecture, so we will have to see when a viewing will be made available when the length of it is known.

I am sure all of this raises more questions than it answers, but I will try to keep you all informed and deal with queries as they arise.

Finally, and as shortly as possible in view of the length this newsletter has already reached, let me tell you where we are on the matter of the planned Nadfas Golden Jubilee celebrations.  After initial discussions we have decided to wait to see the way in which this will move at Area level, and I have to say that at this stage we are not getting much back.  We need to consider the extent to which our own members will benefit from such celebrations and how much of our funds if any it is reasonable to spend for such purposes.  We do not wish to duplicate Area plans, but Area itself does not seem to have any firm plans at least as far as Norfolk is concerned.  Against that background and particularly given that we do not even know the name of what we are intended to be celebrating we are not at the moment driven to commit any resources to such a project.

I am hoping that with this newsletter it will be possible to send you a copy of a piece by our Area Chairman Angela Payne about re-branding and the Golden Jubilee, sent to East Suffolk DFAS, to give you even more to read.

Sorry again that this is so long.  It does cover some matters I thought you would wish to know about.

If I manage to get this out to you, and you manage to read this far before the festive season comes to an end, have a good one and I hope to see you early next year.

Best wishes.

Chris Cawthorne. Chairman