Many of us associate the year 1812 with the Overture which was commissioned to commemorate Russia’s deference against Napoleon’s armies in 1812.However the year has another significance – The War of 1812. This was the subject presented by Steve Lewis of the local branch the U3A to Sutton Coldfield Circle at its meeting on Monday 13th November. Steve gave a very detailed and informative presentation of how the war was fought by the United States and its indigenous allies against the United Kingdom and its own indigenous allies in British North America with limited participation by Spain in Florida . The basis of the war between 1812 and 1815 was over national honour, neutral maritime rights , British seizure of neutral ships and their cargoes on the high seas. Various battles took places some large and some small. A very interesting and informative evening on a subject that is little known about. The circle was pleased to welcome visiting gentlemen Tom Williams . Prior to the circle meeting the annual Mass for the deceased brothers and wives of the circle was held at Holy Trinity , Sutton Coldfield and the circle was also delighted to welcome the two celebrants – Fathers Ryan Service and David Lacy.
Advance Notice of Sutton Coldfield’s November Meeting to be held on Monday November 13 th 7-00pm at Moor Hall Hotel , Sutton Coldfield . After Dinner we have the pleasure of welcoming Ian Randell Director of the PGA Ian will be talking about his view on the state of golf , on the Ryder Cup and what goes on behind the scenes. There will be audience participation so circle golfers come along with your questions . Whether you are a golfer or just enjoy the game don’t miss this rare opportunity to be present at this unique event. Ladies also invited. Bookings to Brother Steve Broom – 0789002551 or e-mail email@example.com by Thursday 9th November.
On Monday 9 October 2023, Brothers, Ladies of North Warwickshire celebrated one of their own in the presence of the Provincial President Joe Martin of Leamington Spa circle Lawrence Conway 40 Years in the Association
Brother Lawrence was born in 1937, and grew up in Gateshead on Tyneside, attended St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School in Newcastle. He studied Fuel Science at Leeds University where he also met his beloved wife, Margaret. He moved to the Gas Research Centre in Solihull where he was involved in large scale experiments to seek new methods of making gas from coal and oil. This led to cooperation with a Japanese gas company and Lawrence spent much time in Japan. Later he was chairman of an international working group preparing technical contributions to the triennial World Gas Conferences. This involved…globetrotting but this time Margaret joined him on many occasions and enjoyed visiting new countries and making new friends.
When British Gas decided to concentrate all its research on one site at Loughborough, Lawrence became General Manager responsible for completing construction, fitting out the laboratories and offices and moving staff from London, Solihull and Newcastle. He was then appointed Head of Research Services until he retired early in 1996.
On the 10 October 1983, was introduce to North Warwickshire Circle this was in Brother Richard Bird Presidency, his sponsor was Bill Carthy who he and Margaret was great friends with Bill wife Nuala.
In the year 2000 – 2001 Lawrence was President they organised Circle visits to The Black Country Museum, to Sudeley Castle and to Buckingham Palace.
They also hosted a Millennium celebration in their house and what became for many years an annual visit to the theatre in Solihull followed by refreshments in their house. Lawrence was a member of the St Augustine’s Musical Theatre Company and played many of the leading parts in their productions.
He also organised, with Brother Kit Morton’s guidance, the Circle “At Home to Province” event at the Allesley Hotel in Coventry celebrating our 65th year and that of one of our founder members, John Bowen.
With recruitment and retention of younger members in mind, Lawrence arranged a range of events including a Circle meeting and Ladies’ informal on a Saturday lunchtime, a “lads and lasses” Circle meeting and an evening meal at a local Chinese Restaurant the former Shirley Temple.
Margaret and Lawrence had four sons. They had great fun as they grew up, enjoyed family camping holidays across Britain and Europe and frequent trips zigzagging across the country to keep in touch with families up North and in London. They were immensely proud of all their sons and their five grandchildren.
Retirement has been almost as busy: camping and travelling including a 10 week holiday visiting family in Australia and friends in New Zealand, some 20 long distance walks with friends, Catenian activities and Margaret gaining a second degree via the Open University. The last venture was a holiday home in France shared with one of their sons.
Lawrence has said that he has seem manage changes in the association, province and circle including the involvement of Ladies, very grate to Bill & Nuale Carthy for introducing Lawrence to the association.
It was a night to celebrate after Sutton Coldfield Circle’s October Meeting with the staging of its Annual Race Night even if you were a winner or loser as over £900 was raised for charity . The event was organised by Brother Steve Broom in which a number of video races each sponsored by a brother, were shown with betting on horses in each race. Indeed betting was well supported even though some were lucky and others not so lucky. The proceeds will go to an orphanage in Columbia assisting disadvantaged children. A video during the course of the evening was shown of the work of the orphanage at which Elvie daughter of Brother Steve Broom had spent undertaking voluntary work. A most enjoyable evening was had by brothers, wives and guests.
Pictured are Malvern Circle members enjoying a guided tour of “Hellens” – a popular Herefordshire Manor House. Situated in Much Markle the House is open to the public a couple of times in the week during the summer months. Guided tours are available for a small sum and Malvern took the opportunity of a fine afternoon in October to hire a guide and to enjoy a cream tea afterwards.
The Manor house is in family ownership and has origins going back for a thousand years and contains many items of historical origin including lots of very beautiful artwork. The House is allegedly haunted by 3 ghosts of people who have lived and died there in the past. In the extensive gardens as well as a herbarium there is situated a maze, sculptures, parterres and a (modern day) stone circle with poetic and literary inscriptions.