Online Events


·        Are your group not keeping in touch at moment?

·        Are you an independent member who would like to have contact with other members?

·        Is no-one in your group willing to try Zoom?

Then join us!

Some of our experienced members have volunteered to run some group Zoom meetings for members who do not have this option elsewhere. These meetings are open to members anywhere in the country, members who are affiliated to a local group as well as independent members. If you are missing out on group discussions then we would love to see you!

Numbers will be limited to 10 for each meeting (including the host) to allow for discussion.  The latest programme runs from Wed 25th November to Friday 26th Feb 2021.  For more info log in.

Each week will have 2 sessions on the same theme - Wednesdays 7.30 - 9pm and Friday afternoons 2.30 - 4pm.


TO BOOK A TICKET FOR ANY OF THE TALKS PLEASE LOGIN TO THE MEMBERS DASHBOARD or go to 'Information for Members' tab in the members area and select 'Quizzes and Talks' from the drop down menu.


For booking links, please log in and click on the INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS tab and then select QUIZZES AND TALKS from the drop-down menu.

*Note for members* - booking information will be emailed to all members who have an email registered with us and are subscribed to our mailing list.  


Thursday 22nd April at 6pm 

Food, Poverty and Children with Marion Molteno and Anna Taylor

Anna Taylor, director of the Food Foundation, talks with our patron, Marion Molteno, and shares her story of campaigning to ensure children are not hungry.


Thursday 6th May at 7pm

Food of the Gods - When chocolate was worth more than Silver with Sandy Leong

This is the third in our series of talks about everyday commodities and their amazing histories with Sandy Leong.

The Aztecs believed that cocoa seeds were a gift from the god of wisdom. The Spanish took the bean back to Spain in 1528 and kept its’ source a secret. By 1520 chocolate had arrived in England and the first Chocolate House opened in 1657. The Quakers were instrumental in making it popular, the Swiss refined it; and now we can’t seem to do without it! The God of wisdom gave us chocolate – not sure if that was a wise move or not......


Thursday 13th May at 7pm

Artists and the Theatre with Jo Mabbutt

For painters and sculptors the theatre exerts an irresistible pull. Scenery flourished from the Renaissance - artists Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael produced designs and devices for plays, fêtes and masques, the sculptor Bramante brought perspective to the stage. For the early Stuart court Inigo Jones devised evocative designs for court ballets.

Serge Diaghilev commissioned over 20 avant garde painters such as Picasso, Matisse and Braque to provide scenery and costumes for the Ballet Russes and British ballet companies worked with home grown talent - Cecil Beaton, Oliver Messel and John Piper in the 1940s and 50s then later from the 1970s David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin and Gerald Scarfe amongst others who created designs for ballet and opera.

Modern, abstract designs have evolved with Ballet Rambert working with Bridget Riley and sculptors have also contributed to choreography – Usamu Noguchi with Martha Graham and Anthony Gormley with Buddhist Shaolin monks.

Jo Mabutt is a decorative artist specialising in experimental surface decoration, combining gilding with print and hand painting. I work on a variety of surfaces, from paper to textiles to glass, and am currently developing ranges of gilded jewellery, fashion and interior accessories. She gives a variety of lectures to the Arts Society and other interest groups.


Thursday 20th May 7pm

LGBT Campaigner, Booker nominated author, Vogue model, accomplished actress and holder of a philosophy PhD - A talk with Dr Sophie Ward

Dr Sophie Ward is an actor and writer who has worked in film and television since her feature film debut in Steven Spielberg’s Young Sherlock Holmes, and in theatre, most notably with the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. Her list of both television and theatre credits is extensive and impressive ranging from Heartbeat to The Moonstone, and Jane Eyre to Hamlet.
Sophie has been an active campaigner for LGBT rights and her non-fiction book, A Marriage Proposal, was published by the Guardian in 2014. She is probably most famous for being the first high-profile British actress to come out as a lesbian and walking the red carpet 24 years ago with her then girlfriend.
She has appeared as a Vogue cover girl, written for the Guardian, The Times, and The Spectator and campaigned for equal marriage rights.
She gained her PhD in 2019 from the English & Comparative Literature department of Goldsmiths University. Her research specialised in thought experiments in philosophy of mind and the use of narrative in philosophy, looking at issues of consciousness and AI, and the meeting between literature and philosophy.
Her first novel, Love and Other Thought Experiments, was longlisted for the Booker prize in 2020.


Thursday 27th May 7pm

Rembrant's Vision with Dr Sophie Ooesterwijk

Dr Sophie Ooesterwijk, who has been extremely well received in her previous talks with us, brings us this talk about Rembrandt.

Rembrandt’s vision: Dutch history painting in the 17th century

‘History painting’ was a special genre for a distinct clientele in the Dutch Republic. It depicted stories from especially the Bible and Antiquity, often with a dramatic impact aimed at stirring the viewer’s emotions.

However, history painting could also provide a glib excuse for depicting the female nude as in the stories of Bathsheba, the virtuous Susanna and Lucretia.

Trained in this genre by Pieter Lastman, Rembrandt gradually developed his own interpretations of such stories. With greater emphasis on inner conflict and personal drama, his visions are very different from those of his contemporaries and can still touch us today. 


Thursday 3rd June 7pm

All for the love of sugar

This is the fourth in our series of talks about everyday commodities and their fascinating histories with Sandy Leong.Sugar influenced the slave trade and was used as a medicine; it was a luxury for the rich and now has the reputation as a comfort food and many people crave it. Elizabeth I was so fond of it her teeth turned black. Few foodstuffs have had such an impact on human beings as sugar. 


Thursday 10 June 7pm

Reducing Inequalities with Dr Wanda Wyporsk 

Dr Wanda Wyporska is Executive Director of The Equality Trust, the national charity that campaigns to reduce social and economic inequality. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of York, a trustee of ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), Redthread Youth, and Equally Ours and Governor of a primary school. She is a regular keynote speaker and was appointed as an Equalities Advisor to the London Recovery Taskforce, and sits on the Inclusive Data Taskforce, the Fight Inequality Alliance Steering Group and was a member of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation Social Power review, the NUS Poverty Commission and the Sex Education Forum Advisory Group.Wanda has over a decade of experience working in the trade union movement, leading on equalities, social mobility and education policy. She is a TEDx speaker, has spoken at the United Nations, York Festival of Ideas, and chaired a panel at the Women of the World Festival. She regularly comments in the media, having appeared on Newsnight, BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze, Sky News, and BBC 1's The Big Questions, and written for The Guardian, HuffPost, and The Independent among other outlets.


Thursday 17 June 7pm

Questioning Marion

Marion Molteno has very kindly done several interviews for us now as part of her role as patron of NWR.

Her new book, Journeys Without a Map is being published in June and so she has agreed to a session which will solely consist of her answering the questions submitted by NWR members. There is a space on the booking form for you to submit any questions you would like to ask Marion about any of her work.


Thursday 24 June 7pm

The Archers in Lockdown - A talk with Sunny Ormonde

Sunny has been playing the “outrageous and raunchy Lilian Bellamy” in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers since 2000 becoming one of the listeners’ favourite characters. Her antics have kept the nation entertained, whether it be riding round Ambridge on a Harley Davidson, drinking The Bull and the cider shed dry with Eddie Grundy, absconding to Costa Rica with her beloved, wicked Tiger, being oh so very naughty with Tiger’s brother Paul, or having furlong frolics with her handsome and very loaded knight Justin Elliot…Sunny will fill you in on all the behind the scenes stories about the world’s longest running soap opera – an evening of anecdotes, banter, and favourite pieces from Sunny’s long and distinguished acting career – humorous and touching in turn.


Thursday 1 July 7pm

Spicing up our lives

This is the fifth in our series of talks about everyday commodities and their fascinating histories with Sandy Leong.

Spices have been important to mankind for a long time, they have been used for culinary purposes, as preservatives and as medicine. At times they served as a currency - you could pay your rent in peppercorns; the quest for them caused wars and made men fortunes.