The directory of community and business organisations in Broadstone Dorset

Residents Association Magazine arrow Summer 2004 - 20


Six years ago we moved away from the ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford and its obvious cultural riches to settle here in Broadstone. Unsure about what was available; I nevertheless decided to pursue a long-held interest in the visual arts. To this end, the first move was to join an art class, of which there are many in the area. The trail led from here to Walford Mill in Wimborne, where there are wonderful examples of contemporary craftsmanship in wood, ceramics, glass, fabrics and precious metals on display. It was through a contact here that I first learnt of the existence of NADFAS, which fosters art appreciation in the broadest sense and educates in a very enjoyable way.

The Wimborne and Blandford Decorative and Fine Arts Society, to give the local group its specific, rather daunting title, is a member society of the National Association, which has its administrative headquarters in London. The organisation was founded some 35 years ago by the late Patricia Fay and has grown considerably in that time from the original small nucleus of societies, which she established to educate people in the arts and preserve the national heritage through voluntary work in conservation. There are now 335 societies in the UK with 90,000 members.

The current membership of our group is just under three hundred and is drawn from a wide area. It includes a strong contingent from Broadstone and some coming from as far away as Salisbury and Ringwood. The new membership year has just started and we do not currently have awaiting list, so now is an especially good time for people to join. Meetings take place monthly on Mondays in the Allendale Centre, apart from a summer break in August and September. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and although lectures start promptly at 2.15 pm, there is an opportunity to socialise with other members beforehand over lunch in the Quarterjack Suite. The lecturers are recommended by NADFAS, not only for their knowledge of their specialist subjects, but also for their ability as public speakers. They hold the attention of the audience with their enthusiasm and add humorous touches where appropriate.

The Programme Secretary selects a wide variety of subjects, within the broad category of the arts. Topics have ranged during the last year from the intellectually challenging ‘Marauders and Missionaries, Monsters and Marvels’; the x-rated ‘World of Salvador Dali’ (which came with a health warning!) to the more lightweight, but very interesting ‘Picture Postcards: A Century of Art and Social History in Miniature’. Here are some samples from the 2004-5 Programme - in July ‘Placido Domingo: The Man and his Music’; in October ‘El Greco to Goya: Three Centuries of Spanish Painting’; and in December ‘Oh Yes It Is! A History of Pantomime from Ancient to Modern Times’. All lectures are illustrated by excellent colour slides projected on a large screen. There is also a notice-board and display table with up-to-date information about current exhibitions and events in the arts at a local and national level.

Two or three visits are organised during the course of the year to places of interest, ideally linking in with the lectures. Last year we had a guided tour of Exeter Cathedral and a visit to the Queen’s Gallery and Clarence House. More recently, Osborne House provided a decorative and historical feast of Victoriana. Mottisfont Abbey Gardens and Broadlands are to be the destinations in the near future.

For details of membership of W&BDFAS contact Roland Fields on 01202 887065 or Anne Wilkins on 01202 600470 if you wish to attend as a visitor.

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Last Updated: 1st September 2004