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John Bly


Phillip Lawrence




Keith Todd (01442 822525)




Chris Gregory (01442 822407)


Elizabeth Moores (01442 826241)


Rosemary Southworth (01442 824868)


Marion Ford (01442 385714)


Wendy Calder (01442 767289)
Peter Grainger (01442 843349)
Janice Neil (01442 827371)


Michael Smith (01442 823209)


Lynda de Koning (01442 826381)
Sandra Roach (01442 382194)


enquiries to Keith Todd (01442 822525)

Please note that Tring Park DFAS cannot be held responsible for any personal accident, loss, damage or theft of members' personal property. Members are covered against proven liability to third parties.


History of
Tring Park DFAS

The formation of the Tring Park Decorative and Fine Arts Society in 1994 was the brainchild of David Goode and his wife Joan at that time living in Tring. The idea stemmed from the National Association, NADFAS, whose aim was to increase the enjoyment, knowledge and care of the arts and to stimulate interest in the preservation of our cultural heritage. The first such Society formed was ‘Chiltern’ founded by Patricia Fay in 1965 in Chalfont St. Peter. Her idea was to bring specialist lecturers to meetings, these to be followed by visits to exhibitions, historic houses and gardens etc. It was immediately successful and has grown to over 360 societies both in this country and abroad.

In May 1994 the fledgling Tring Society was assisted in formation by Brenda Greenfield of NADFAS headquarters. In June 1994 David applied to Dacorum Council for a grant to start the Society. This was approved and he received a cheque for 150. He approached John Bly to be President and set about recruiting a steering Committee. We needed a suitable meeting venue so the Grass Roots organisation in Tring was approached for us to use the Pendley Theatre, to which they agreed. Since Pendley Theatre can seat 200 it was decided to limit membership to that number in the first year. Membership application forms were distributed to a variety of venues seeking members for an official start on 1 October 1994. Within a week we had over 200 applications and we immediately started a waiting list.

At 10.30 on the morning of Wednesday 23 November 1994 we had our first open meeting when we expounded on the NADFAS organisation and John Bly, the new President, gave a talk on ‘Our Local Heritage’. The inaugural meeting of the Society was held on 11 January 1995 and was chaired by the then NADFAS Chairman, Lady Johnson. At that meeting the Constitution and Rules were passed by the members and the steering committee was elected to be Officers and Committee until the first AGM which members decided should be held in September. The membership fee was set at 25 for the first year. Although we had no projection or audio equipment of our own we were lucky enough to have a Committee member with the necessary facilities and expertise.


1994-1996 David Goode – Founder Chairman

1997-1999 Elizabeth Foster

2000-2003 Phillip Lawrence

2004-2008 Keith Miller

2009-2012 John Howat

2013- 2015 Barbara Flint

2016- Keith Todd


David Goode – Chairman

Jane Hill - Vice Chairman

Shirley Thomas – Treasurer

Ann Hawkes – Secretary

Margaret Hatcher – Programme Secretary

Linda Stacey – Membership Secretary

Phillip Lawrence – Audio Visual

Virginia Bly

Joan Goode

Eileen Lever

Mary Marwood

Julie Thomas

NADFAS Beds and Herts area


Tring Park Decorative and Fine Art Society is a member of the National Association of Decorative and Fine art Societies whose website can be seen at in a new window.

Please check this website and the notice board for details of Special Interest Days, Study Days or other visits which may be arranged during the year

Lectures are held at the Civic Centre, High Street, Berkhamsted starting promptly at The AGM in September will start promptly at

Guests are always welcome at any of our lectures by prior arrangement with the membership secretary at a charge of 5

NEWS UPDATE, including NADFAS REBRANDING- click here

YOUNG ARTS LATEST - click here

Link to home page



January 11 2017

Philip Venning

Old buildings, fakes and fallacies

Historic buildings are often not what they seem.

Were old houses ever built with reused ships’ timbers? Are black and white ‘Tudor’ buildings mainly a 19th century fashion? Is the appearance of many familiar historic castles as much the product of the restorers? How many of the claimed ‘secret tunnels’ from the basement to the docks or church actually exist? As well as examining some of the popular myths about old buildings the lecture will discuss the tricky philosophical issues of authenticity, and the point at which a genuine historic building is so renewed that it effectively becomes a replica.

Drawing on examples from throughout the country the lecture will challenge some received wisdom, and offer some surprises.

February 8

Sian Walters

The Guggenheim museum, Bilbao, and the architecture of Frank Gehry

The Guggenheim, designed by the Canadian architect Frank Gehry and opened to the public in 1997, is one of the most exciting buildings of the 20th century. The lecture begins with an introduction to the Guggenheim foundation and how it came about, and then moves on to describe the very particular circumstances that led to the commission in Bilbao. It examines the architecture of Frank Gehry using illustrations from his work in Europe and America, and describes, with some beautifully detailed slides, how the vast asymmetrical, apparently chaotic and fragmented structure was created. The lecture ends with an introduction to the collection of paintings, sculptures and installations contained within the museum.

March 8

Brian Stater

Women behind the lens

Outstanding female photographers and their contribution to the art of photography.

April 12

Charles Harris

Posters of the Belle Epoque, the great age of the poster

This is the keystone lecture of the Poster Series relating the technical innovation combined with creative genius and remarkable craftsmanship that enabled the Poster to become the world’s first effective method of mass communication. From ‘Les Chats’ by Edouard Manet to ‘Saxoleine’ by Jules Cheret and ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘Divan Japonais’ by Toulouse-Lautrec, you’ll see inspirational work by generations of superb artists who made the poster great. Learn how an effective poster is designed and how it plays on the mind; and why most posters today go unnoticed.

May 10

Anthea Streeter

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Nowadays many people are familiar with Mackintosh's striking and innovative designs: his high-backed chairs and white-painted furniture.

This lecture traces Mackintosh's career, looking at his major architectural commissions and interiors, such as those for the Glasgow School of Art and The Hill House at Helensburgh.We will also look at Mackintosh’s less well-known but exquisite watercolour paintings, painted throughout his career but especially when he and his wife Margaret were resident in France towards the end of Mackintosh’s life.

Finally we will consider the consequences of the tragic fire at the Glasgow School of Art in 2014 and how the restoration of its world-renowned library is being addressed.

June 14

Julian Richards

Ceramics - a potted history of Britain

The first pots appeared in Britain about 6000 years ago and this lecture will chart the ways in which ceramic production has evolved from this time to the present day. From the hand-formed and bonfire-fired pots of our prehistoric ancestors to the products of both modern industry and individual craft potters, this lecture will examine the major changes that have shaped the ways pots are produced and distributed. Roman industrialisation, the introduction of the potters wheel and kiln, the effects of the industrial revolution on rural potteries and the rise of the art potteries of the 19th century are all part of this evolving story.

July 12

Susie Harries

The art of the joke

Artists have always used jokes to make serious statements – about themselves, about the world, about the nature of art. This lecture looks at artists’ jokes through the ages, from medieval monks doodling graffiti in the margins of manuscripts to Banksy turning supermarket walls into social satire. Caravaggio put his own face on Goliath’s severed head as an apology for a racy lifestyle, Michelangelo hid a self-portrait on the hide of St Bartholomew on the Sistine ceiling to express the agony of creation. When Van Gogh attacked formal art education and Salvador Dali got at Picasso, they did it in paint. Trompe l'oeil, parody, visual puns - all in fun, all deadly serious: artists' jokes tell you a lot once you know.

September 13


10.30am Mary Acton

Learning to look at sculpture

Sculpture, together with architecture, is one of the plastic arts which means it is primarily concerned with the manipulation of form and space. In this lecture we will look at sculpture from the Renaissance to the Present Day, and see how it has changed, and how the Classical Tradition has provided consistency and continuity.

October 11

Denise Heywood

Sacred art of Burma

The temples, iconography, sculptures, textiles, dance performances, literature, landscapes and people of Burma are infused with the spirit of Buddhism. This gentle philosophy, preaching peace and serenity, has inspired some of the greatest art and architecture in the world, nowhere more so than in Burma, now known as Myanmar. This lecture shows the artistic glories of temples throughout the country, their spires, statues, carvings, murals and rituals. It illustrates the religious symbolism of exquisite textiles and compelling dance ceremonies, showing how Buddhism inspired heroes such as Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the most significant advocates of peace.

November 8

Ian Swankie

Pots and frocks - the world of Grayson Perry

Widely known for his appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, Grayson Perry RA is now a core part of the art establishment. Ten years after winning the Turner Prize he gave the brilliant BBC Reith Lecture in 2013.

His works of ceramics, textiles, tapestries and prints are highly sought after. Often controversial, he is able to tackle difficult subjects in a poignant yet witty way. This talk will examine Grayson Perry’s works, his exciting and thought provoking exhibitions, and we’ll look at the character inside the flamboyant frocks.



Bookings are normally taken two meetings prior to the visit date.
Payment by cheque only please.


2016 / 2017 VISITS

Thursday February 23 2017

Tate Britain, London

David Hockney 80th birthday exhibition.


This extensive exhibition of Hockney’s most famous works celebrates his achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades - some of which have never be seen before in public. Includes lunch and a private lecture given by Frank Woodgate.

Thursday April 27

Barber Institute of Fine Art (highlights tour) and Winterbourne House, Birmingham.


This trip will go ahead as planned

The institute, on the campus of Birmingham University, is renowned for its collection of art by artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, Rodin, Picasso and Rembrandt.

Winterbourne House has been restored to its Edwardian Arts and Crafts splendour and is set within seven acres of beautiful botanic gardens - a hidden gem!

Thursday May 4th

Highgrove House, two hour garden tour and lunch.

The draw for this visit has taken place and all participants have been contacted

Over 35 years in the making, the organic gardens at Highgrove are some of the most creatively inspiring and innovative in the U.K. Home to HRH The Prince of Wales.

Thursday July 20

Kelmscott Manor and Buscot Park, Cotswolds - introductory talks and then free flow.

In 1871, Kelmscott became a place of relaxation and inspiration for Father of the Arts and Crafts Movement, William Morris, his family and friends.

Buscot Park is the family home of Lord Faringdon who looks after it on behalf of the National Trust, as well as the Faringdon Collection of pictures, furniture, ceramics and objects d’art.

Thursday September 21

Cambridge and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

A morning walking tour around Cambridge including King's College. Afternoon private tour of the Fitzwilliam Museum, noted as 'one of the greatest art collections of the nation and a monument of the first importance’.

Thursday October 19

Syon House and Park, Greater London (private tour of the house).

Syon is one of the last great houses of London. Owned by the Duke of Northumberland, its’ grand classical interiors hold a wealth of art and the park and gardens are a Site of Specific Scientific Interest.





A great trip to Oxford for our penultimate outing of the year, making the most of yet another gloriously sunny day. The last rays of summer? Our guides for this visit, for both the Ashmolean and the walking tour of the city were outstanding in every way. 





The result of the recent rebranding investigation has now come to fruition and can be seen in a short video by clicking this link



George in his studio

Committee members reviewing his sketches

Barbara Flint , George and one of his paintings


As part of an on-going initiative for various Young Arts projects, Tring Park Decorative and Fine Arts Society in Hertfordshire, is sponsoring a talented young artist currently studying Art, the History of Art and Graphics at the prestigious Stowe School, Buckinghamshire.

George Morgan, 16 years old and a former pupil of John F. Kennedy school, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, won an Art scholarship to Stowe school in 2011. His work and talent so impressed the Tring Park Committee they agreed a sponsorship deal for his first year at Stowe. George starts his second year at Stowe in September and the Tring Committee were so impressed by his development and the art samples he produced of his first years’ work that they have agreed a further sponsorship of his second year.

The BBC have been filming a television documentary at Stowe school about the landscape and its glorious gardens and the effect they have on the individuals who use them and make them their venue for a tranquil visit. George was filmed by the BBC sketching the Temple of Concord and Victory in the magnificent gardens. The National Trust took over the management and running of this fine neo-classical garden in 1989.

Barbara Flint, Chairman of Tring Park, said, “We are proud and delighted to be sponsoring such a talented young artist who, we believe has a great future ahead of him. It is so important to encourage young people to learn and develop their talents alongside their peers to generate and create new and exciting ideas for the future. ” George hopes to attend The Prince’s Drawing School in London when he finishes at Stowe at the end of 2014. The aim of the Prince’s Drawing School is to raise the standard and profile of drawing through teaching and practise. It is one of only a few institutions in the world offering in-depth, quality tuition for those who wish to develop their observational drawing skills.

The Tring Park Society is currently reviewing a number of Young Arts initiatives with local schools.

Miss Sally Gomersall, art teacher, with Emma and her self portrait.

Emma and her self portrait.


A former art student from Tring School has won the opportunity to have one of her paintings exhibited at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London this year.

As part of a national project to encourage young artists Tring Park Decorative and Fine Art Society selected a self portrait painted by Emma Lansley as worthy of a wider audience. Their decision was supported by the Royal Society of British Artists who agreed that Emma’s work should be shown at their annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London, from  5-15 March 2014. Emma, a former student at Tring School, is currently studying at Leeds University where she is reading International Business and Marketing.

There are some 350 National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies around Great Britain and Tring Park is one of a number who work with educational establishments supporting students who show particular skills and have interests in a variety of art projects. Some 277 art works from 62 schools around the country were submitted to the Royal Society of British Artists for their consideration for exhibition.

Barbara Flint, Chairman of the Tring Park Society, said, “We are delighted that Emma has won the distinction of exhibiting her work to a bigger audience. One of the aims of our society is to support and promote Young Arts. It is important to nurture young people who show so much talent and creativity and help them to achieve their long term aims.”

The Tring Park Society is currently reviewing a number of Young Arts initiatives with local schools and the Dacorum Arts Partnership to give encouragement to youngsters who show a range of talents and artistic skills.

For further information call 01442 824789                                             



Local artist, Jane Mitchell Finch, who has worked in Tring Primary Schools for many years encouraging participation in Art, has just completed a project with Year 3 pupils at Grove Road Primary School. The children have worked with enthusiasm, skill and obvious enjoyment to produce some tiles depicting aspects of life in Tring in the 21st Century. The tiles are a modern representation of the medieval tiles which are now on display in the British Museum and reflect life at that time. Year 3 also visited Tring Museum to view copies of the original tiles as part of their Local History topic.

The project was funded by Tring Park Decorative and Fine Arts Society.

Teachers and Year 13 Art students involved in the Inset Day workshop for teachers working in Junior schools in the Tring area.


This year the town of Tring in Hertfordshire celebrates the 700th anniversary of the grant of the Tring market charter by King Edward II in 1315. The celebration will be marked by numerous events over a three week period in June and July. One such event to mark this auspicious occasion was an exhibition by young art students, entitled “Trade in Tring”.

The Young Arts sub-committee of Tring Park DFAS have been working with Sally Gomersall, Head of Art at Tring School, organising a way to encourage school pupils to participate in art projects. As a result of this work, Tring School staff and their final year art students ran an Inset Day for teachers at junior schools in the Tring area whose students ultimately progress to Tring School.

The junior school teachers who attended the workshop were provided with a folio of market related photographs taken by Tring School art students. Tring School staff and a number of Year 13 Art students also worked with the junior school teachers to develop ideas and techniques which could be applied in their classrooms. The end product will be the “Trade in Tring” exhibition which will be held in the Desborough Hall at Tring School on the 27/28th June.

Barbara Flint, Chairman of Tring Park DFAS, said, “ This project is one of a number of activities in which we are engaged to try and promote and encourage young people to become more interested in a variety of new ideas and techniques in art. We have received superb co-operation from all the teachers involved and I am delighted with the outcomes so far achieved. It is so important to nurture and encourage the undoubted artistic talents that so many youngsters are showing today. I am sure that by working through the teachers we can create a legacy which will inspire future students to express themselves using different art media”.

Preparing the exhibition


Following some joint collaborative work between Tring School and Tring Park DFAS a successful exhibition of young art students’ work was on show in the Desborough Hall at Tring School at the end of June. The exhibition was a part of the town’s celebration of the 700th anniversary of the grant of the Tring market charter by King Edward II in 1315.

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