A message from the chairman
Tuesday, 24th March 2020
A lovely spring day today (22nd March) as I went for a short bike ride – sun; country smells of growing greenery, vague woodsmoke and manure. It’s hard to square this with the troubles the world is currently going through as the Corona virus spreads.
You will know (via this website or through having a booking cancelled) that our events for 2020 will not take place.
This was a difficult decision, one the committee thought long and hard about. One committee member thought – as early as February – that we should start cancelling events. As it turned out, he was right but at that time most of thought we should wait to see how the virus situation developed. Above all, we decided to follow – promptly - whatever advice the government offered.
As we moved into mid-March the advice grew more specific and it became obvious that making any arrangement to gather people together unnecessarily would be irresponsible, especially given the vulnerability of some of our members (not least in terms of age).
We did have choice over how many events to cancel; some organisations of which I’m a member have decided to do this piecemeal. But we decided to take the more radical option of cancelling for the whole year. This has advantages of clarity for all concerned – including those people kindly hosting events for us, in some cases opening-up their homes. It was also easier administratively, taking a load from the shoulders of those organizing visits and managing bookings. We plan to reschedule all our 2020 events for the following year.
Some of you may have paused at the word ‘unnecessarily’ above and said isn’t it necessary for humans to gather together and enjoy one another’s company? Isn’t it necessary to continue to learn about art, architecture and history? Don’t we ‘need’ to go to beautiful places?
The answer of course is ‘yes’ but these things must be set against other priorities, especially staying healthy and helping others to stay healthy. And, after all, this is a pause – not an ending – of activity.
We hope you understand the reasons for our decision. We also intend to keep in touch with you over these difficult months, via this website. We can continue to enjoy the Georgian period on an individual basis through reading, listening to the radio, watching the television and DVDs and exploring topics via the internet. We hope to give leads to stimulate you to do this from your homes. Above all, keep well and we look forward to seeing you when the situation eases.
With all good wishes