News and Events

Open to everyone

Anyone may join in. The "Club" is an open group and all are welcome. To keep things simple, there is no membership fee, and no other formalities, other than a small entrance fee to cover costs. However, you may be included on our email distribution list if you care to provide an email address.
Please come along and enjoy one of our talks. 
The group meets once a month on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 2:00 pm. Meetings are conducted in English, and are held at the Downley Community Centre, School Close, High Wycombe, HP13 5TR.  

For more information, and how to find us, see the Maps page.







Review some of our previous presentations



16th May 2019 - Summer Palaces of the Tsars



The Summer Palaces of the Tsars
: opulence and extravagance in the House of Romanov.

   an illustrated talk by Sandra Hurst.

2:00 pm, Thursday 16th May 2019
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (Map, and how to find us)

20th June - The Lykovs: lost to the modern world 


A family of "Old Believers"  was secluded in the taiga from 1938 to 1978.

Old Believers are members of a conservative and rebellious group within the Russian Orthodox church. They trace their origins back to a revolt over religious reforms made by Patriarch Nikon in the mid 1600s.


A talk by Matthew Cawthorne, a member of the Watford-Novgorod Friendship Society

2:00 pm, Thursday 20th June 2019
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (Map, and how to find us)


July and August - No meetings


19th September - Imperial Images: Photography in Victorian London and Pre-Revolutionary Russia


‘Photography is a young art, but from its present aspect we can judge what power it will have in its maturity’ (Household Words 9 March, 1853). 
In this illustrated talk Past President of The International Dickens Fellowship, Dr Tony Williams will explore the way this new nineteenth-century art form enables us to make contact with a now vanished world from our vantage point onward in time.

2:00 pm, Thursday 19th September 2019
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (Map, and how to find us)

17th October - Mahler's Influence



The Austro-Bohemian composer Gustav Mahler - his time in Russia and his influence on Russian composers.

an illustrated talk by Cath Alderson

2:00 pm, Thursday 19th September 2019
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre. (Map, and how to find us)


21st November -  Three Remarkable Women


The account continues -

     Three more remarkable Russian women

An illustrated talk by Dr Ruth Sobel

2:00 pm, Thursday. 21st November 2019
Oak Room, Downley Community Centre.
 (Map, and how to find us)


December 2019 - No meeting


  ... enjoy the holidays.


16th January 2020 - My Cossack Family and other Remarkable People


Caroline Walton talks about her new book, which describes her personal experiences, the people she has met and the Ukrainian-Russian family she married into. She has discovered in them a spiritual strength that has enabled survival of famine, war and nuclear disaster. The talk will include discussion.

Caroline Walton is the author of several books on Russia and the former USSR, including The Besieged (about the siege of Leningrad). A Russian to English literary translator and editor, she helps Russian-language authors achieve publication in English (see Sirinbooks.com). Her new book My Cossack Family - And Other Remarkable People in Russia and Ukraine has recently been published and will be available to look at in the meeting.


Future meetings:  We would like to hear your thoughts and ideas for future activities. Tell us what you like, and don't like, and perhaps offer your experiences or expertise. Your input is an important part of our work to draw up a programme for the year ahead.