Cranleigh Decorative

& Fine Arts Society


Your Chairman writes


I trust you all had an enjoyable time over the Christmas holiday period and that 2009 will bring you good health, hopefully more encouraging news on the wealth front and certainly a generous helping of happiness.


As you will read in my Report for the AGM, I am anticipating that the coming season will be even more successful than the last especially if your response to my questionnaire generates some welcome new ideas and a fresh influx of energy.  Please do try and find time to complete and return the questionnaire and have your say.  Do set modesty aside as you fill it in if you have a particular skill to offer which could benefit our Society.


The 2009/2010 lecture programme has an excellent range of topics which should satisfy a wide spectrum of interests.  I daresay there will be some subjects with which you are already familiar and which it will be a joy to revisit.  Whilst this is always a pleasure, I have found that topics, which frankly on paper did not at first appeal, have sometimes sparked a new interest through the infectious enthusiasm and expertise of the presenter.  Maybe you have felt the same.


I believe you will agree with me that our outings programme next season looks really exciting.  I very much hope that demand for places on our outings will remain as high as they were last year.  We will do all we can to keep ticket costs to a minimum and provide the best value possible for the visit.  This may well prove quite a challenge in the present financial climate but we will do our best.


I am very grateful to Trisha King for taking over the production of the newsletter from Sue Harman who has so ably compiled it over recent years.  Trisha has given the newsletter a fresh new look and I am sure you will like it.  We intend to produce the newsletter three times a year – in January, April and September.  So, look out for the next issue after Easter.


With best wishes




Your Treasurer writes....


I have inspected the audited accounts of the Society and I am pleased to report that having more than held its own financially in 2008 and despite the prevailing and continuing economic situation, I am confident that the present annual subscription rate of £38 per person can be maintained for the year 2009/10.  In order to maintain the subscription level it may be necessary to use part of our reserves but in the present climate I believe this to be the right thing to do.  The extent to which the reserves will be needed will depend to a large extent on how many of the present membership renew for the coming year.


Our reserves have been maintained thanks to an increase in membership following the recruitment drive in October and to additional members signing the Gift Aid Declaration form. Visitors have also contributed in no small way to the reserves and it would be pleasing if some, or all, became full members.


Perhaps a reminder here might be appropriate, especially to new members, that Cranleigh DFAS is an affiliated member of NADFAS, the national organisation.  As such we pay an affiliation fee to them of £10.75 out of our annual subscription of £38; this leaves your Society with £27.25 per member to finance the annual programme.  The payment to NADFAS covers their costs incurred in running the Central AGM, the Annual Directory Meeting, through which we obtain our lecturers, the production of the NADFAS magazine and the maintenance of the organisation in London, all of which are necessary and of benefit to your Society.



Brian Wright, Treasurer




Alan Lazarus – An Appreciation


With the passing of Alan Lazarus, Cranleigh DFAS has lost a dear friend and a stalwart supporter.  Alan was a founder member and Treasurer of the Society for many years and was always there to give help and encouragement when needed.  He was the sort of person who always said, ‘Yes, I’ll do that.’  He attended every meeting, outing and social occasion and added that vital quality of gentlemanly charm and keen wit to every occasion.


We are all grateful that he was part of our lives and appreciative of all that he has done for the Society.  He will be sorely missed.


Susan Handley




Forthcoming Attractions


25 February: LS Lowry: a Visionary Artist - an exploration of his life and explanation of his wonderful idiosyncratic and entirely individual style of painting. Michael Howard is a practicing artist and has exhibited at the RA. He represented UK at the festival of the Arts in Varna, Bulgaria.  His work is found in the Manchester Art Gallery and many private collections here and abroad. 


25 March: From Egg to Bacon: English Painting 1850-1950 Linda Smith is an Art Historian with a special interest in British art and the art of the 20th Century.  Linda is an experienced galley guide and lecturer working at Tate Britain and Tate Modern.


22 April: Are you sitting comfortably? The History of the Chair The construction and style of the chair from ancient times to the 19th century and its use as a symbol of power and authority.  Janus Karczewski-Slowikowski .





Christmas Party


This is our best opportunity for letting our hair down and socialising.  What a relief it was to us as organisers to find Bramley Golf Club.  An ideal venue – just the right size, easy parking and the most delightful staff.  All this set the scene for a most enjoyable evening.  We started with a welcome drink to put us in the party mood.  The entertainment provided by Peter Medhurst was a number of songs through the ages with the theme of Christmas, linked with a narrative about their history.


This was followed by a full Christmas meal, complete with crackers, served from the club’s carvery.  In hindsight perhaps a carvery was rather ambitious for the numbers concerned, despite the chef’s skill with a knife that would have rivalled Sweeny Todd!


This was followed by the ever-popular quiz – who would have thought that we knew so much about football teams!  Congratulations to the winning table.


May I take this opportunity of thanking my fellow committee members for all their help in preparing the party and also thank you all for making it such a special occasion.


Julie Rashbrooke





Two Exciting Outings for 2009


Monday 2 March 2009 – bookings from January

A private guided backstage tour of the Royal Albert Hall (on a rest day during the production of Carmen)

We plan to leave mid morning, have lunch at The Albert Hall then be shown around in small groups at 2pm 2.15pm and 2.30pm.


Tuesday 28 April 2009 – bookings from March

A visit to the Churchill Museum and cabinet war rooms in the morning and a guided tour of Whitehall with Peter Lawrence in the afternoon.





Candlelight Opera Company


Last summer, a group of us from our society attended a performance by the Candlelight Opera Company at Charterhouse.  It proved to be such an enjoyable musical evening that we made a block booking for their next performance in our area.  This was at “Ramster” on December 7th.  Through our enthusiasm, the seats were booked up, mostly by members in Ewhurst, before we could open it to our wider society.


“Ramster”, is in an historic family home near Guildford and Chiddingfold and was an ideal venue.  We sat in the great drawing room on three sides of a square round the stage area and enjoyed a spirited and intimate performance of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”.  It was superb, and we are now on their mailing list for future performances in our area.


Next time it will be announced as an official NADFAS outing. 

See for further information.


Janet Price





Special Interest Day - English Landscape Gardening and the Classical Picturesque


West Surrey Area DFAS are holding a Special Interest Day run by Tom Duncan. All our members are eligible to join but this promises to be a very popular day and early booking is essential. Details are as follows:


Date:       13 February 2009                                           Time:     10.15am – 3.00pm

Venue:    The Abercorn Room, Painshill Park, Cobham    Tutor:     Tom Duncan     

Price:      £17.00 (including coffee, biscuits and entrance to the Park)

Contact:  Liz Coult, Cherry Trees, Mark Way, Godalming, GU7 2BN  Tel: 01483 417269  E-mail:


18th Century England has many surviving landscape gardens.  Designers, such as Humphrey Repton, reshaped aristocratic parks, replacing the formal baroque style with ever-changing approaches to nature.  Behind much of this lies the influence of paintings collected on the Grand Tour. 








The AGM will be held at 1.30pm on Wednesday 25 February 2009 in the Arts Centre prior to the lecture on Lowry at 1.45pm.  Please arrive early to ensure a prompt start – and an equally prompt finish.  You will find the relevant papers in your “January envelope” although it is always touch-and-go whether the final Accounts will be back from the auditor in time.