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WEA County & Regional Activities


History Of Farming: Ox-Plough To Poly-tunnel, at Weston Branch WEA - posted 14 December 2014

A look at the history of farming in England over  the  last millennium.  Topics include farming manorial estates, 16th and 17th century developments; eighteenth century improvements; specialisms such as orchards and hop growing, farm buildings, the lives of agricultural labourers.  It will consider the impact of two World wars and will conclude with a look at the current state of farming in the 21st century.

Tutor:   Sylvia Pinches.   Venue:   Weston Community Project,   High Street, Weston

Wednesdays    2 pm – 4 pm.  7 meetings from   14 January 2015.

Fee: £53.90 (discounted £48.50) or Free

Contact: Peggie Clarke (01295) 768133

East Midlands Region Annual Report 2013-14 - posted 06 December 2014

Headlines copied below:

• Total of 15,685 enrolments producing 25,527 course hours
• 4% increase in enrolments - 15,915 in 13-14 compared to
15,278 in 12-13
• 51.5% of courses were targeted at disadvantaged student groups
• High levels of student achievement and success in some
disadvantaged student groups
• High levels of student support funding used in the region
(39% of total spend in all regions)
• Male and female student participation percentage rates
changed to (69% female, 31% male in East Midlands)
(74% female, 26% male nationally)
• Over a third of our students have a declared disability (either physical or learning)
this is increasing year on year
• We increased our work with students with learning disabilities by 3% in 13/14
• We have increased our work with students in receipt of means tested benefit by 4.3%

If you would like to read the full report please contact Richard Farquharson

A Meeting Of Northamptonshire WEA Forum - posted 18 November 2014

                                       NORTHAMPTONSHIRE WEA FORUM         







10.00 am to 2.00 pm


Tea and coffee on arrival.  Meeting starts at 10.30 am.



Bridget Chapman – County Organiser.




The History of Garden; a quick dash from the

Garden of Eden to the present day!  

                                                   A talk by Rosemary Jury WEA tutor    






I we/would like to attend the meeting of the Northamptonshire WEA Forum


Name …………………………………………………………………Branch …....................


Address          ……………………………………………....Phone ………………………..


If you wish to receive further information about WEA Forum activities please add your email address below. ......................................................................................................................................


Please send cheques payable to ‘Northamptonshire WEA Forum’ to Sue Payne,

26 Woodnewton Road, Nassington, Peterborough. PE8 6QQ by 24th November 2014.

If you require a receipt please enclose sae.

Registered Charity No. 1112775.  Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No.2806910



Two Banbury Branch WEA Courses Which May Be Of Interest - posted 26 October 2014

To enrol on these course please contact Cynthia Briant asap TEL 01608 677913 or email cbraint@wea.org.uk

To avoid disappointment do not leave it to last minute to enrol.

Roll-up! Victorian Entertainment Course
Course description: 
Before the advent of the mass media, people amused themselves in their own homes, on the streets, but also in extravagant and ambitious public venues. Learn about the hurdy-gurdy man, pugilists, peep-shows, freak-shows, dioramas, hippo-dramas and much more!
Course content: what topics will the course cover? 
Home entertainments
Streets, fairs, circuses & menageries
Excursions: countryside, seaside, overseas 
Sports & pastimes
Music hall, theatre, moving pictures
Tutor(s): Rita Bevan
Fee: £40
Venue: The Mill, Banbury
Start date:  3/11/14
Day(s)/time(s):  Monday 1400-1600
Hours per session:   2
Number of sessions:  5
End date:   1/12/14

Human origins – and how Victorian England reacted to Darwin’s unsettling news - Day School
How the idea of the transmutation of species (and, by extension, the evolution of humanity) gained purchase in the early Victorian period, and how Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871) were sensationally received by the intellectual world, by the church, and by the British public.
Tutor: Paul Ranford
Venue: Age UK Oxfordshire, 5 White Lion Walk,
Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 5UD
Days: Saturday 10.30am to 3.30pm
Meetings: 1 meeting on 15/11/2014
Fee: £20.00

Course Brochures From Roundabout - posted 13 September 2014

Following is link to Course Brochure for Banbury WEA plus other branches in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.


It appears that these brochures cover two terms 

Richard Farquharson

Weston WEA September Course - posted 09 September 2014

The autumn course is Garden History.  It is a journey from the foothills of Mesopotamia in 3000BC, Egypt and Persia, through China and Japan to Europe, arriving at the English landscape Movement.  The tutor is Rosemary Jury and the fee is £52 (discounted £46.80) or free.  The venue is the Weston Community Project, High Street, Weston and the course begins on Wednesday 2 pm – 3.30pm, 9 meetings from 24 September.  

Peggie Clarke

(01295) 768133

Two June Day Courses - posted 26 May 2014

The Banbury WEA have two day schools; anyone interested can email me asap and I will pass on to the acting branch secretary. My email is wwma63@hotmail.com.

Andrew Willis 


A Hedgerow walk  with Remedy and infusion making. 

Led by a local practicing medical herbalist. 

A gentle walk to discover, identify learn about local healing plants, herb teas and infusions. Make a herbal remedy. Share stories, memories and experiences.

Please enrol early for this course as this course will book up quickly. 

Course Tutor:

Rhiannon Evans.

Rhiannon has been practising as a Medical Herbalist for over 20 years. She qualified as a Member of The National Institute of Medical Herbalists in 1989.

Rhiannon was awarded a Fellowship from NIMH in 2007. This was in recognition of her contribution to the Ethnomedica/Remembered Remedies Kew based archiving project


Saturday 14th June 2014,
10 am to 2pm


Church House, Church Street, Bodicote 

Fee: £16         £4.50 material charge per student


Tale of two Castles 

The day school compares the histories and fates of two castles – Warwick and Kenilworth. Warwick, founded by William the Conqueror in 1068 and lived in until the 1960s, is now a major tourist attraction, complete with waxworks and re-enactments. Kenilworth, its younger neighbour, was founded in the 1120s by Geoffrey de Clinton. In its heyday it was a splendid royal palace as well as a stronghold. It was slighted after the Civil War and its crumbling ruins inspired Sir Walter Scott and other promoters of the Gothic. Its ruins are now in the care of English Heritage, which has recently recreated the splendid Elizabethan gardens. 

After examining the contrasting histories and fates of these two castles in the morning, students will visit Kenilworth in the afternoon…
This does not include entrance fee to the attraction. Admission  to be paid directly to the Kenilworth Castle. This is an independent visit and not a block booking by the branch, so students will have to pay as individuals at the Castle.

Kenilworth Castle entrance prices as of Spring 2013 

Member (Join now)   Free - English Heritage Members
Adult £9.00
Concession £8.10 

Course Tutor: Dr Sylvia Pinches 

Timetable:      Saturday 21st June 2014;    10am to 4pm 

Location:  Age UK Oxfordshire, 5 White Lion Walk, Banbury, OX16 5UD - TBC 

Fee: £ 25.50


WEA Memorial Lecture - posted 22 April 2014

                                                 click for poster

Two Banbury Day Courses - posted 04 April 2014

Places are still available on our Midsummer Meadows and Hedgerow Walk on Saturday 14th June 14. The fee is £16 plus additional costs for materials (approx £4.50).


Art History Day School - The Secrets of the Great Masters Revealed; Sat 17th May 14 10am to 4pm. Cost £25.50


Full course details on the website Banburywea.moonfruit.com


Anyone interested should ring Jenny Gough asap TEL 01295 690326 - leave a message if not in.


Northamptonshire Federation's Summer Activities - posted 17 March 2014

                                                  click for poster

24 March - Sorry All tickets sold out.

Date Of WEA Northamptonshire Forum AGM - posted 27 February 2014

Please note that the WEA Northamptonshire Forum AGM will be held on the morning of Saturday 28th November at Great Houghton Village Hall. 
More details will follow nearer to the time. 

Weston Branch Spring Course - posted 11 January 2014

Strong Boots & Strong Skirts – Adventurous Women,   is the subject of Weston WEA’s spring course. What makes an adventurous woman? An examination of the life  and work of a selection of exceptional women to discover their motives and identify influences on contemporaries and modern-day society.  

Wednesdays  2 pm – 3.30 pm,  10 meetings from 15 January.  The Tutor is Liz Carter and the fee is £52.50 (discounted £47.25) or free.

 If interested,   please contact  Peggie Clarke on  (01295) 768133.

Farthinghoe Autumn Course: Cancan & Courtesans - posted 16 September 2013

Please note that due to illness, Len Jenkins is unable to do the 'America in the Jazz Age' course at Farthinghoe.

In his place tutor David Price will  giving his 'Cancan & Courtesans' course commencing 20 Sept. at Farthinghoe Village Hall 7.30pm. Fee £52.50 as usual.

Course details: A look at French society & culture from 1815 - 1914. Will cover revolutions & rebellions (including the Paris commune), linguistic diversity, Haussmann's reconstruction of Paris, the Dreyfus affair, the Second Empire courtesans, the cancan, artistic movements, fashion and more. Illustrated with paintings, cartoons from satirical magazines and film clips.

Contact: Lin Deely 01295 711938

Weston  WEA Autumn Course: In Tune With The Times: Social History & Satire In Musicals - posted 05 September 2013

An entertaining look at history through operettas and musicals. including Second Empire France (Orpheus in the Underworld); Weimar Germany (Cabaret); Belle Epoque Paris and Vienna (The Merry Widow); the 1930s through Hollywood film musicals affected by the notorious “production code”; the “Sexual Revolution” of the 1960s; and what today’s blockbusters tell us about our own time. With film clips and musical extracts.

Tutor: David Price

Weds 2.30-4pm, 10-week course starts 18th September 2013.

At Weston Community Project, High St , Weston NN12 8PU

Fee: £52.50, or FREE (if on income related benefit)

For further information: call Peggie Clarke on 01295 768133

Enrol at 1st session or online enrolment available: go to https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online

Day School: Autumn Remedies From the Hedgerow And Kitchen Garden - posted 27 August 2013

Banbury WEA has arranged a gentle walk to identify  local healing hedgerow plants. Prepare poultices, vinegars and syrups. Share stories, memories and experiences of hedgerow remedies. Led by a local practicing medical herbalist.    Please bring a clean small jam jar with lid.

Course Tutor: Rhiannon Evans

Timetable: Saturday 14th September 2013, 10am to 2pm

Location: Church House, Church Street,  Bodicote

Fee: £16 plus £ 4 material charge.

Contact: To enrol please ring Jenny Gough

01295 690326, jennyanngough@yahoo.co.uk

Big Lottery Launch Party - posted 14 August 2013

The Banbury WEA would like to invite you, friends and family to:

Big Lottery Launch Party

The Banbury WEA has recently been awarded a Big Lottery Grant, which will make a big difference to people's lives in the area.

We are an award winning branch of the WEA charity.


Come and enjoy the party!

The Banbury Town Mayor will attend part of the event. 

Find out about WEA Adult education courses and enjoy tea, cake and

Cream Teas. 

Enrolment on courses via cash or cheque on day.

Some courses may be free see posters on day. 

Donations welcome to help the charity.

Please tell your friends, colleagues and members of your organisation about his event please. Many thanks


Saturday 31st August 2013 

10am to 2pm 


Age UK Oxfordshire, 5 White Lion Walk, Banbury, OX16 5UD  

Spring Herb Walk - posted 06 June 2013


A talk by local practicing medical herbalist will discuss hedgerow herbs, flowers and ‘weeds’ and their medicinal properties. There will be an opportunity to make simple remedies and a walk to discover and identify healing plants.


Rhiannon has been a practising medical herbalist in the area for over 20 years and worked in agriculture science for several years. A founder member of the Ethnomedica (Remembered Remedies) domestic medicine archiving project based at RBG Kew, she is a Fellow of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.

Course Tutor:


Rhiannon Evans


Sat 15th June 2013
10am to 1pm      ( Approx. end time)                   




Church House, Church Street, Bodicote


Fee: £14


£4 material charge per student


To enrol email Jenny Gough, Branch Secretary on jennyanngough@yahoo.co.uk or tel 01295 690326 (Leave a message with your contact details)

Summer Discovery Walks - posted 15 April 2013

These begin Thursday 18 April

                                              click for poster

Place Names Around Banbury: Charity Event - posted 13 March 2013

A charity event has been organised on Thursday 18th April 2013, 7.30pm to 9pm at Hanwell Fields Community Centre, Rotary Way, Banbury.


The event is a talk by Deborah Hayter on Place names around Banbury. It is free admission but we are asking for donations to help the running of the branch.

Refreshments will be provided. There will also be opportunity to meet some tutors and find out about new courses. Places are filling up fast.

We are asking anyone coming to ring Jenny Gough on 01295 690326 or email jennyanngough@yahoo.co.uk

It should be an enjoyable evening.

Andrew Willis
Vice Chairman
Website Administrator / Publicity Officer/ Fund Raising Officer
Banbury WEA

Warwick Artisan Gardens - posted 04 March 2013

The Banbury WEA is running a day school on the garden. Hill close gardens are restored Victorian gardens. The day school looks at the history of "detached" gardens in England. Students will have an opportunity to visit the gardens in the afternoon.

Tutor: Dr Sylvia Pinches
Date: Saturday 20th July 2013
Time: 10am to 4pm
Course Fee: £24
This does not include entrance fee to the attraction. Admission £3.50 to be paid directly to the gardens on day of visit. This is an independent visit and not a block booking by the branch, so students will have to pay as individuals coming to the gardens. Parking in Warwick is at a Pay and Display Car park near the gardens.

Venue: Age UK Oxfordshire, 5 White Lion Walk, Banbury, OX16 5UD

To enrol on the course please ring Jenny Gough on 01295 690326 or email jennyanngough@yahoo.co.uk . Do not leave it to last minute to enrol as the course will fill up fast. Final student numbers needed 2 weeks before start date.

Banbury WEA Knotwork & History Course - posted 12 January 2013

                                                 click for poster

Couses For Adults Spring & Summer 2013 - posted 02 January 2013

Here is link to new WEA Northamptonshire course brochure...


WEA Courses Planned For Weston In The New Year - posted 16 December 2012


More science in the detection of crime

Over a period of six weeks some interesting cases will be examined, with particular reference to the scientific evidence involved. In order to gain maximum benefit from this short course learners will have attended the earlier programme of study; however this is not essential.


Tutor Alan Chantler Fee £31.50 (discounted £28.35) or Free Starts Wednesday 09 January 2013, 2.30pm - 4.00pm

Please note the later time this course starts (coffee and tea will be available, as usual, before 2.30)


Churches and parishes: buildings and people

Medieval parish churches are usually the biggest buildings in a village, and in previous centuries they had a significance and importance to their communities commensurate with their size. We will look not only at the architecture and furnishings of the church, but also at their significance and meaning

for those using them, and at the development of the concept of the parish, from its earliest beginnings to the Reformation. Also lasts 6 weeks.

Tutor Deborah Hayter Fee £31.50 (discounted £28.35) or Free Starts Wednesday 20 February 2013, 2.00pm - 3.30pm,


Online enrolment for both of these courses is available at https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/online


Glyn Jones

(01327) 261265


The WEA East Midlands Annual Review - posted 30 November 2012

The WEA East Midlands Annual Review 2012 is now available on following webpage.......

Richard Farquharson
Secretary, WEA Helmdon Branch

The Northamptonshire Forum AGM - posted 26 October 2012







10.00 am to 2.00 pm

Tea and coffee on arrival. Meeting starts at 10.30 am.


Bridget Chapman – County Organiser.


“The Victorian Child”

A talk by Liz Carter




I we/would like to attend the meeting of the Northamptonshire WEA Forum

Name …………………………………………………………………Branch …...............................

Address ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………….....Phone ………………………..

Please send cheques payable to ‘Northamptonshire WEA Forum’ to Sue Payne,

26 Woodnewton Road, Nassington, Peterborough. PE8 6QQ by 20th November 2012.

If you require a receipt please enclose sae.

Registered Charity No. 1112775. Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No.2806910


Film 'The Great White Silence' - posted 27 September 2012

film poster



In case you have not already heard about it, tomorrow evening (Friday 28 September) at Weston Community Project the WEA is showing Herbert Ponting's celebrated film, made in 1922 but very recently 'cleaned up' and digitalized by the British Film Institute with added sound track.

The film was made on location concerning Scott's expedition to the South Pole. Imagine filming in those days and in those conditions ... Nikki Cleaver is coming down from Derbyshire to introduce the film. Please note that the start time is early: 7pm. We'll have tea and coffee ready when you arrive and then go in to see the film.

Entry price: £4 at the door.

Glyn Jones (Secretary of Weston Branch of WEA)

Autumn Course At Weston branch WEA  – posted 11 September 2012

The autumn course at Weston branch WEA is War & Rebellion in Northamptonshire.  The tutor is Mike Ingram, and the classes take place at the community project, High Street, Weston,  as usual  on Wednesdays  2 pm  – 3.30 pm, 10 meetings from 19 September.   Fee: £52.50 (Discounted £47.25) or Free.

From the Romans to the Renaissance, Northamptonshire was one of the most important counties in England and many battles were fought within its borders.  This course examines the wars and major political events that took place in the count ad helped to shape England. 

Film 'The Great White Silence'  – posted 17 August 2012

You may be interested to know that the 1924 film "The Great White Silence", which is concerned with Scott's journey to the South Pole (whose Centenary we celebrate this year), will be shown by the Weston Branch of the WEA on 28 September at the Weston Community Project. I have been told that this early film has been reworked.

The showing will commence at 7pm and entrance will cost £4.

Many years ago I saw a short film, of similar age, about Shackleton's attempts on the S Pole, and it made a lasting impression.

Apparently Weston is the only place in Northants. where this film may be seen, though there are multiple showings in Warwick-, Leicester-, Notts.- and Derby-shires.

Glyn Jones

(01327) 261265


The Washingtons & Anglo-American Heritage Day School  – posted 22 June 2012

Banbury Branch WEA


Sulgrave Manor, The Washingtons & Anglo-American Heritage Day School


Course Tutor

Martin Sirot-Smith, M.A, B.Sc(Econ), Dip ED (oxon)


Sunday 15th July 2012

10.30am to 4.30pm


Age UK Centre, The Place, 5 White Lion walk, Banbury, OX16 5UD

Fee: £36

This includes tuition fee, entrance to the Manor and Guided tour, as well as tea and cake at Sulgrave Manor.


To enrol please ring Jenny Gough TEL: 01295 690326 or 07711855890 or email WEA Banbury Branch on wwma63@hotmail.com


The aim of the course is to place Sulgrave Manor and the Washington family in their historical context and to see the importance of Northamptonshire in relation to other founding fathers of the United States of America.

It will explain the link with the First President of the United States of America and the history of the British Washingtons. The course will also include a guided tour of the Manor house and will conclude with refreshments at Sulgrave Manor


The WEA is committed to equality, diversity and inclusive learning. For help with choosing a course, support for a physical or learning difficulty or information about fee remission or financial support, contact 0800 328 1060 or email southern@wea.org.uk

Six Oxfordshire Town Walks With Banbury Branch   – posted 15 March 2012

The towns of Oxfordshire encircling the city of Oxford all have their own particular charm and character.

This series of guided walks will start in Banbury, the second largest settlement in Oxfordshire and we will explore in turn the architecture and history of Chipping Norton, Burford, Witney, Woodstock, and finishing with Oxford itself, the city of dreaming spires and towers.

Course Information

Course Tutor

Richard Wilson


Saturday for 6 weeks beginning 26th May 2012

2pm -4pm



Fee: £47.40


Jenny Gough, Branch Secretary Tel: 01295 690326 OR email Branch on wwma63@hotmail.com

Please call to book a place

Northamptonshire WEA Spring Programme   – posted 11 March 2012

Northamptonshire WEA provides a wide variety of interesting courses throughout the County. In particular, it provides courses in the villages and towns of Northamptonshire organised by local branch representatives after consulting with participants.

The Spring programme of visits is varied and will appeal to a wide variety of members and their friends. The first visit is on Tuesday, 22 May to see the Blisworth Tapestry which include a walk around the village followed by refreshments. On Tuesday, 19 June, there will be an evening farm tour of Rushton Hall Farm to see the lakes, dovecote, bath house and Triangular Lodge - all on the back of a farm trailer! In July there are two events. The first is on the afternoon of Thursday, 5 July with an historical tour of Wansford followed by tea, and the second event is a visit to Glendon Hall Gardens on Thursday, 19 July to see the lovely specimen trees, topiary - this also includes refreshments. The last event of the summer is to Piddington Roman Villa and Museum on Wednesday, 15 August. Further details and an application form can be found here.

The next Forum AGM will be held on Saturday 24 November 2012 at Great Houghton and after the business meeting, there will be a talk by a guest speaker.

More details and appplication form is by link on that page, or diectly using

Workers’ Educational Association, registered charity number 1112775.
Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales number 2806910.
Registered office: 4 Luke Street, London, EC2A 4XW
Website: www.wea.org.uk

Part-time Tutors Wanted  – posted 7 March 2012

                                click to poster


Weston WEA: Details Of 2 March Talk On  Brunel And  21 March Visit To Ely Cathedral  – posted 27 February 2012

Paul Tischener will give an illustrated lecture on 'Isambard Kingdom Brunel -- Engineer' at Weston Communiy Project on Friday 2nd March at 7.30pm. Entrance £5.

A coach excursion has been arranged to visit Ely on Wednesday 21stMarch.

The coach will leave Helmdon (Jeff’s Coach Station) at 10am and pick-up at Weston pub soon after. It is planned to return by 6pm

Tickets are available, priced £13, from Glyn Jones at the Weston Community Project, or from other members of the current WEA class by arrangement.

Ely is notable for its fine cathedral which stands proudly above the surrounding flat and fertile fenland. The entrance charge for the main part of the cathedral, but not the towers, is £7 (£6 concessions); this charge includes a guided tour. The cathedral houses the National Stained Glass Museum – a further charge of £4 (£3) applies. Ely also has the home of Oliver Cromwell and a museum.


Please note that this excursion is organised by the Weston Branch of the WEA as part of its current class' study of the architecture of English cathedrals. We regret that we cannot accommodate other persons on our class visit round the cathedral without the prior permission of the class Tutor. However, the cathedral’s own guides will take you round very expertly, if you wish to make a guided tour of this historical building.


Glyn Gill Jones

(01327) 261265


                                          click to pre-2012 archive


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