Members of the Rother Valley branch of The Arts Society met at the Jerwood Gallery on September 10 to celebrate 50 years since the society was founded in 1968.
Some members travelled from Bexhill to Hastings in a classic vintage Bedford J2 Plaxtol Embassy coach, appropriately first registered in 1968 and supplied by Empress Coaches of Hastings. Florian Schweizer, The Arts Society’s chief executive, arrived on foot, having run to the Jerwood from the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill, via Hastings Pier. Just 24 hours earlier, he had taken part in the Great North Run.
This year, to highlight the society’s activities, Florian will complete 50 ten-kilometre runs, aiming to raise £50,000 towards its charitable projects that support artists and improve access to the arts for all.
Florian was greeted by members and guests, including councillor and mayor of Bexhill Abul Azad; councillor and mayor of Battle, and chairman of Battle Festival, David Furness; David Bignall, the Sussex Area chairman of The Arts Society, and Mrs Bignall; Kevin Boorman and Michael Hambridge from Hastings Borough Council; and other guests who have contributed time and effort to the society.
As well as a private viewing of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham exhibition at the Jerwood, guests enjoyed a celebratory tea, with a 1960’s theme to the occasion. On behalf of the Rother Valley branch of the society, Florian was presented with a donation towards his goal by Celia and Martin Burge, joint treasurers of Rother Valley, who were prominent in organising the event.
The Rother Valley branch of the Arts Society is friendly and has lively and interesting monthly lectures on the arts from nationally recognised experts; study days; and other activities. New members are welcome. Visit www.theartssocietyrothervalley.org.uk for more information.