Autumn Term 2024

Class in progress Class in progress

Design Challenges of Iconic Buildings and Bridges (Code IB) New!

Mondays 2.00pm to 4.00pm

10 meetings each of 2 hours from Monday 9 September 2024

Tutor: Tim Parrott

Cost: £80 - a face-to-face course

Location: Function room, Plough & Harrow

This fascinating course explores the design and construction challenges associated with some of the world's most beautiful buildings. Examples include The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, The Pantheon in Rome and, the modern challenge of The Pompidou Centre, Paris. Before their beauty and grandeur could be admired, they had first to stand firmly on the ground. We will go on to look at some of the most awe-inspiring bridges, including masterpieces by Telford, Brunel and Stephenson. Dramatic stories of human endeavour are woven into the constructional challenges faced by these engineers.
Understanding the basic principles of engineering and construction will give us a fresh and exciting perspective on familiar ancient, medieval and modern structures.

Please note: There will be an extended half-term break including Mondays 14th and 21st October 2024.


Music Appreciation: Britain - Land of Song (Code MA6)

Tuesdays 10.00am to 12.00pm

10 meetings each of 2 hours from Tuesday 10 September 2024

Tutor: John Winter

Cost: £80 - a face-to-face course

Location: Function room, Plough & Harrow

Wales is often called “the land of song”, but this course will show how vocal and choral music is part of the heritage of the whole of the United Kingdom. Singing (whether sacred or secular) was an important part of the Tudor courts of England but the Scottish culture - obviously different also produced much fine music. It will show how solo song and larger choral works - from Medieval times to the present day - became part of the British tradition of anthems, cantatas and oratorios; and will also include the music of such composers as Handel, Mendelssohn and others who settled here, making a contribution to our culture.

Please note: There will be a half-term break on Tuesday 29th October 2024.


British Poetry of the 20th Century (Code BP1) New!

Tuesdays 2.00pm to 4.00pm

10 meetings each of 2 hours from Tuesday 17 September 2024

Tutor: Michael King

Cost: £80 - a face-to-face course

Location: Function room, Plough & Harrow

The aim of this course is to explore and consider a wide range of important poets and poetry in the 20th century. We will look at a variety of both traditional and modernist verse which often reflects and is reflective of social and historical changes, as well as changes in poetic practice, across the last century. Poets will include Thomas Hardy, Edward Thomas, Wilfred Owen, T.S Eliot, W.H.Auden, Dylan Thomas, Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Jennings, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Seamus Heaney. Although Sylvia Plath was American, her mature work was mainly written while resident in the UK.

Please note: There will be a half-term break on Tuesday 29th October 2024.


20th Century British Art - The Great Bardfield Artists (Short Course) (Code BA1)

Wednesdays 10.30am to 12.30pm

5 meetings each of 2 hours from Wednesday 11 September 2024

Tutor: Rosanna Eckersley

Cost: £40 - a face-to-face course

Location: Randall Room, Harpenden Trust Centre

The Great Bardfield Artists included, among others, Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden and Marianne Staub. These 20th century British artists ignored divisions between art and craft They painted, made prints, designed wallpaper and fabrics, decorated furniture and ceramics. Their art was bold, modern, never straightforwardly naturalistic, and rarely abstract. They sometimes worked together, even competed, choosing this rural spot in Essex for congeniality and affordability. This wasn't a tight community or artistic School (some did their best work away from Bardfield) and our course's structure reflects differences between style, medium and content.

Please note: There will be no half-term break on this course.


Great British Comic Artists, 1697 to 1903 (Short Course) (Code BC1)

Wednesdays 10.00am to 12.00pm

5 meetings each of 2 hours from Wednesday 23 October 2024

Tutor: Martin Attridge

Cost: £40 - a face-to-face course

Location: Randall Room, Harpenden Trust Centre

Martin will focus on four celebrated, but stylistically different, British comic artists, all of whom resided in London and depicted the times and moral code in which they lived. William Hogarth (1697-1764) - over two sessions, we will explore how Hogarth created a genre of popular, innovative commercial art followed by other successful satirists. James Gillray (1756-1814) - a scathing caricaturist without peer in his day. George Cruikshank (1792-1878) - a prolific illustrator with a long career, from cutting satire to superb magazine and book illustrations, such as those used for Grimm's Fairy Tales. Phil May (1864-1903) from tough beginnings, May became a major contributor to Punch, depicting everyday life as he saw it.

Please note: There will be no half-term break on this course.


The English Country House: From Tudor Times to 1900 (Code EH1)

Wednesdays 2.00pm to 4.00pm

10 meetings each of 2 hours from Wednesday 11 September 2024

Tutor: Adam Smith

Cost: £80 - a face-to-face course

Location: Randall room, Harpenden Trust Centre

Country houses are visited by many millions of people each year but how were these buildings created and what are the stories behind those who lived and worked in them? This course looks at both the architectural development of the English country house and its social and economic history.

Please note: There will be an extended half-term break including Wednesdays 30th October and 6th November 2024.


Current Affairs / Talking Politics (Code CA5)

Wednesdays 2.00pm - 3.30pm

10 meetings each of 1½ hours from Wednesday 11 September 2024

Tutor: Virginia Brisco

Cost: £60 - a face-to-face course

Location: Renwick room, Harpenden Trust Centre

This class, led by an experienced and popular tutor, is a lively discussion about contemporary issues. The participants hold varying views and are encouraged to put them forward in a friendly, non-confrontational environment, although some prefer just to listen. There is a great deal to talk about right now. It is good to learn from others, and have the chance to express your own views.

Please note: There will be a half-term break on Wednesday 30th October 2024.


Victorian Social History: Mending Bodies, Saving Souls (Code VH1)

Thursdays 10.00am to 12.00pm

10 meetings each of 2 hours from Thursday 12 September 2024

Tutor: Ian Waller

Cost: £80 - a face-to-face course

Location: Function room, Plough & Harrow

Birth and death have always been certainties in life, but one's health and well being was far less so in Victorian times than it is today. People would have suffered from a variety of ailments, illness and disease. Injuries acquired through military service, agricultural or industrial work would have posed serious risk to life. Childhood diseases were commonplace and epidemics often devastated whole communities.
The course will examine the history and effects of evolving medical practices and advances, hospital systems and military medical care. We will see how these developments influenced the outcomes of common diseases, epidemics, hereditary conditions, workplace accidents and mental illness.

Please note: There will be a half-term break on Thursday 31st October 2024.


English Literature : The Celtic Contribution (Part 1)(Code CC1)

Thursdays 2.00pm - 4.00pm

10 meetings each of 2 hours from Thursday 19 September 2024

Tutor: Michael King

Cost: £80 - a face-to-face course.

Location: Harpenden Trust @ 130 Southdown Road

Some of the finest writing in English over the past century, or so, has come from writers of Celtic birth or origin. This course will examine a variety of texts, in fiction, poetry and drama from Wales, Scotland and Ireland, exploring ideas of the Celtic experience, for their own intrinsic value and also for what they articulate about identity and nationhood, within the context of the United Kingdom.
Writers to be considered will range from early 20 th century figures such as W. B. Yeats, James Joyce and Lewis Grassic Gibbon, through R.S and Dylan Thomas, Edna O'Brien and Seamus Heaney, to contemporary writers such as Ali Smith and Clare Keegan.

Please note: There will be a half-term break on Thursday 31st October 2024.