Membership update 2019


Your committee decided to mount a campaign beginning in May to encourage members to renew their subscription in advance of 31st August 2019.  This had not been undertaken before. The lecture programme for 2019/20 was already available.


This is important since membership guarantees income to support the lecture programme at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. Our lecture venue is much admired and envied by neighbouring societies. It is unique in the UK.


In addition, we mounted a campaign to encourage new members to join us.

We printed 3,000 “Come and Join Us” leaflets which were widely distributed.


We have also done letterbox drops in Bournville, Selly Oak, Moseley, Barnt Green and Warley Woods.  We have a limited number of members from these areas and ought to do better.


Telling people about TASBE is important to encourage new members.


Many of you are members of the Birmingham Day Society. Their Chairman, Chrissie Twigg and I agreed that our respective Chairs are always invited to each other’s lectures. During the year our committee has met with the committee of the Day Society to discuss one another’s plans and we try not to replicate one another in particular subject matter and dates.  It is not easy.

Both of our societies should be an important presence in highlighting the arts in Birmingham.


The Lecture Programme


The foundation of the society lies with our 8 lectures during a season. The speakers and their subject are chosen as result of attending an annual Directory Day in London.


This involves hearing two-minute presentations by newly accredited speakers followed by over 100 one-minute presentations by established speakers in front of an audience exceeding 500 people.


We try to choose a wide variety of topics, some which may be considered contentious. We do receive some audience feedback on each lecture and we welcome suggestions as to future topics.  The best attended lecture of the season was Frida Kahlo given by Chloe Sayer.


The Blue Plaque Project


During May, June and July a long-term project led by Meriel Hutton to identify Blue Plaque Heritage Walks in Edgbaston and Harborne was completed.  This was a significant team effort with input from Calthorpe Resident Association.



Four separate walks were established and 4,000 of each were printed. A whole day was spent by about 20 volunteers assembling each pack of 4 walks. The printing was funded by the City of Birmingham Innovation Fund.


A launch day was held in July at Edgbaston Golf Club, with members of our Society, the Birmingham Day Society, Calthorpe Residents Association, The Heritage Society and City of Birmingham Councilors and officials.

The event highlighted the existence of TASBE and what it is we do.


Bite Size Brum and Events.


We have had a number of successful Bite Size Brum visits and ‘Out and About’ trips. I would pick out Owlpen Manor, Symphony Hall (with organist) and 21 Yateley Road. The latter was so popular that we have been twice already.


Bite Size Brum has grown enormously largely due to Ian Wagstaff’s involvement. Taking the organisation to 10 different places is challenging. We are very grateful for the assistance of Hilary Taylor and Alison Hamilton.




In January our event at Elmhurst Ballet School was enjoyed by members and visitors alike, many of whom travelled some distance to be there. The staff and pupils were so welcoming.  It was a pleasure to support an establishment which Birmingham should be proud of.


We received numerous requests to return to Elmhurst so have arranged a second date on 30th January 2020.


The Committee


Once again, your committee has worked tirelessly on your behalf to make TASBE an enjoyable experience for you all. In particular, Lisa Gillespie who has done the job of Secretary and Membership Secretary.


I must also thank many members and non-members who assist us with what we are doing.  Every little helps.


Thank you for supporting TASBE.


Do tell your friends and colleagues about us. We do need to boost our membership and acquire skills for the continuation of our society.



John H. Smith



Arts Society Birmingham Evening (TASBE)


September 2019



Committee Members

John Smith


Lisa Gillespie

Membership Secretary

Meriel Hutton

Heritage Volunteers


Chris Marshall

Programme Secretary

Ian Wagstaff

Tony Timberlake


Declan Westwood




TASBE constitution

TASBE constitution
TASBE constitution.pdf
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