Meetings and workshops

Programme of autumn-winter-spring indoor meetings

Our autumn-winter-spring meetings offers lectures and discussions on vernacular building recording topics. All are designed to be both entertaining and educational.

When booking opens for the meetings, click the RSVP button to obtain details and reserve places at the meetings.

If you are not already a WBSG member, you will be welcome as a guest. The fee for guests is £5 which includes refreshments on arrival and at lunchtime, but you will need to bring your own packed lunch. 

Unless stated otherwise, meetings are at our new venue at Wivelsfield Church Hall, Church Lane, RH17 7RD. Church Lane is on the left off the A2112, north of the Baldocks Renault garage roundabout. The car park is on the left next to the church, and the hall is further up on the right.


Sunday 15th October, 11.00am-3pm
Wivelsfield Church Hall

Dr Caroline Adams - “Elizabeth in Chichester” Caroline was the senior archivist at West Sussex Record Office. Queen Elizabeth was able to travel around the county with relative ease and this talk looks at the route that the royal party took and her relationship with the people of Sussex. She spent a week at Cowdray, when some of the best entertainment that the county could offer took place during a hot week in August. Was it true that she ate her hosts out of house and home and bankrupted the neighbourhood? The talk explores the way in which the royal progress operated and who it was she stayed with.

Vincent Reed - “Restoration of Historic Wooden Panelling” 

Sunday 26th November, 11.00am-3pm
Wivelsfield VILLAGE Hall (Eastern Rd, Wivelsfield Green, Haywards Heath RH17 7QH)

David Rudling - “Roman period settlements and land use in the Sussex Ouse Valley” David is the Academic Director of the Sussex School of Archaeology. During the last decade much new archaeological fieldwork has taken place on Roman-period settlements in the Sussex Ouse Valley. This talk will review the results of this fieldwork alongside earlier discoveries. We will consider such aspects of the Romano-British landscape as villas (including new fieldwork at Plumpton), farmsteads, fields, roads, roadside settlements (such as that recently discovered at Bridge Farm, Wellingham) and industrial sites including the many ironworks at the northern end of our study area. When and why did these various types of site go out of use?

John Manley - “The Archaeology of the South Downs National Park” John is a professional archaeologist and Trustee of the Sussex Archaeological Society and has edited a number of books on theSouth DownsNationalPark. John will provide a thematic introduction to the accessible monuments of past communities within the area now designated as the South Downs National Park. Highlighted will be sites where people lived, farmed and sometimes met together in large numbers. Also featured will be sites where they worshipped, defended themselves and were buried. John will show how a walk in the Park is actually a walk back in time - and how the past and present are inextricably linked.

Sunday 21st January, 11.00am-3pm   
Wivelsfield Church Hall

Dr Geoffrey Mead - “Origins of the South Downs National Park” Geoffrey was educated at Brighton & Hove Grammar, then a long career in retailing, attended University of Sussex as a 'Mature Unqualified' student for a Geography BA. Took an MA in Local & Regional History and a Geography PhD in Suburban Housing at Patcham. Worked for adult education at Sussex from 1984-2012 and currently work in Global Studies at Sussex as a part-time associate tutor and for WEA and U3A. The South Downs National Park has been a long time coming! proposed in the post WWII period for inclusion amongst the initial 10 National Parks, it eventually achieved that status in 2011. This talk looks at the factors involved in UK National Park evolution from the mid 19th century to the creation of SDNP.

Jeremy Clarke - “Brambletye House"

Sunday 18th February, 11.00am-3pm  
Wivelsfield Church Hall

Judie English - “History of The Garden” 

Joe Thompson - "Wealden Timber framed buildings and the trees used to build them"
Joe Thompson of Sussex Oak and Iron is carpenter in residence at the Weald and Downland Open Museum. He has been conserving and reconstructing historic timber frames since 1990 as well as researching the materials, tools and techniques used to build them. This talk will discuss the trees used to build the timber frames, in terms of their species, size, methods and types of conversion and the changes in these factors over time, based on contemporary documents the evidence surviving on the buildings themselves and his experiences as a carpenter.

Sunday 18th March, 1.30pm-3pm

Wivelsfield Church Hall

Bill Sargent - “Lime Plastering, Pargetting, Fresco and Scraffito” Bill has been working in plaster conservation since 1972 working in quick limes restoring and creating decorative plaster designs freehand. The talk will be the application and correct mixing of lime plasters how we create free hand decorative work in situ. Including the history of the style of our work, craftsmen from the past and the history of scraffitto and fresco how its done.

This talk follows the WBSG AGM which starts at 11am and can only be attended by the Members of WBSG. The AGM is followed by this talk in the afternoon, which the Public are welcome to attend.

The Winter Talks are free for members, the optional refreshments are £2.

The Winter Talks are also open to the Public, at a cost of £5 which includes coffee, tea and biscuits. Please bring a packed lunch.