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Wales and the West Girtonian Association

About us

What we do and how to join

We are an informal, friendly group; spouses and friends are most welcome to come to meetings, and many do. We have neither formal membership nor annual fees, but circulate information to all on our mailing list, and raise funds for Girton by including a contribution in the charge for each meeting. Meetings cover a wide area, bounded to date by Hereford, Usk, Cheltenham and Beaminster.

We visit places of interest, many of which are not generally open to the public, or meet in members’ homes for lunch followed by a talk. Dr Dorothy Thompson and

Dr Eileen Rubery have come from Girton to talk about their research into papyrology and early Christian art; Dr Mary Tiffen has spoken to us on the life of the women of her family in nineteenth-century China; we have heard about the life of a British entrepreneur in eighteenth-century India, and had an insider’s view of the system for the appointment of senior clergy in the Anglican Church; a descendant of the Marquesses of Bute has spoken to us about their role in the development of modern Cardiff, and the medievalism of Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch; and we have had talks on sustainable farming, on mathematics, on Persian gardens, and on historical textiles.

For further information, to book for an event, or to be added to the mailing list for future events, please email the group organizer, Barbara Hird at

Forthcoming Events

The events organised for 2019 are listed below. For further information, to book for an event, or to be added to the mailing list for future events, please email the group organizer, Barbara Hird at If you need transport to a meeting it is often possible to arrange it.

Thursday 17 October 2019

Time: 12.00 noon

‘Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know’; Lord Byron and Post-Napoleonic Europe; a talk by Professor Malcolm Kelsall

We meet in Berkeley, Glos, for lunch, followed by a talk by Professor Macolm Kelsall. Byron was inspirational for movements of national liberation from Poland to Italy and is still a hero in Greece where he died in support of the insurrection which eventually separated Greece from the Ottoman Empire. At home, his support for Napoleon and the libertarian principles of the French Revolution made him a thorn in the side of the Tory administration committed to restoring the Bourbon monarchy in France. The defeat of Napoleon in 1815 ushered in what Byron’s friend Shelley called ‘an age of despair’ and was the occasion for Byron’s best political verse written in ‘exile’ from 1816. Professor Kelsall’s talk will set Byron’s life and work in the context of this revolutionary and reactionary epoch and ask how relevant Byron’s life and work may be to our own times.

The meeting is at Dr Jenner’s House Museum, Church Lane, Berkeley, GL13 9BN. The charge for the day, including a sandwich lunch and tea, is £17.00. If you would like to attend and for details on the venue, please email Barbara Hird at by Friday, 4 October.

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