Wales and the West Girtonian Association

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.

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 2 MayParliament, Family, and Academe: a talk by Baroness Perry of Southwark, with lunch at The Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster.

We meet at the Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster, Somerset on Thursday, 2 May for lunch, with the distinguished Girtonian, Baroness Perry (Welch, 1949) as speaker. In her talk, entitled Parliament, Family, Academe, she intends to speak briefly about each of her different career experiences (post-graduate teaching in North American universities, HM Chief Inspector of Schools, head of the South Bank University and of Lucy Cavendish College, and a life peer) and then talk about her work in the House of Lords and her exciting time in various government jobs.

The charge for the day, including lunch, is £29.00. If you would like to attend, please email Barbara Hird at by Tuesday, 23 April, so that she can send you the lunch menu before the closing date of Thursday, 25 April.

Time: 12 noon.

Wednesday 5 JuneNewark Park and James Wyatt: a talk by Helen Roberts and a visit to Newark Park.

Newark Park, a house on the Cotswold escarpment, is a Tudor building remodelled in the eighteenth century by the architect James Wyatt; our day will begin with a talk on his career by Helen Roberts, a historian and guide at Newark Park, followed by lunch, and guided tours of the house and gardens.

We meet for coffee, the talk, and lunch at the Hunter’s Hall Inn, Kingscote, Tetbury GL8 8XZ, and drive the short distance to Newark Park after lunch. The charge for the day is £10.00, plus the cost of your lunch, which is to be ordered in advance. If you would like to attend, please email Barbara Hird at by Friday, 17 May, so that she can send you the lunch menu.

Time: 11.00

Thursday 17 OctoberFrom the heights to the depths: Himalayan mountaineering and Australian ice age archaeology; a talk by Dr Josephine Flood

We meet in Berkeley, Glos, for lunch, followed by a talk by our member Dr Josephine Flood (Scarr, 1955). Classicist, Night Climber, Himalayan mountaineer and Aboriginal archaeologist, Dr Flood has a story to tell; we hope that you can come to Berkeley to hear it.

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.

Time: 12.00 noon (TBC)

Date to be decidedA Lace day with Heather Toomer

Heather Toomer, our expert on antique lace and whitework, has invited members to her home on the Mendips to see some of her extensive collection of lace and white embroideries dating from about 1600 to 1900. As this is a very special opportunity, we want to ensure that those with a keen interest are able to attend. We have not therefore set a date yet and would ask you to contact Barbara Hird at if you are interested.

Contact Information

Development Office
t: +44 (0) 1223 338901

Girton College,
Huntingdon Road,
Charity Number 1137541