‘What’s On’ in December

Art Exhibition by Barry Wearing

Barry Wearing makes a welcome return to the Arts Centre this month.  His imagination is always stirred by Fantasy Art and he is inspired by artists such as

Frank Frazetta, whose work is dynamic, energetic and dreamlike and Dali whose work is surreal.  As you view Barry’s artwork  don’t be surprised if you see a fox riding a penny farthing or a dragon standing on the battlements of some mythical castle.

The exhibition closes on Thursday 12th December.

Sheila Tearle Tel 01995 603816

Open Art Exhibition / Competition

There is still time to enter our Open Art Competition in January 2020.

Details and entry forms may be found here: Open Art Exhibition

Exhibition Organiser: Sheila Tearle. Tel 01995 603816

Bridge Group

The bridge group will meet in December on Mondays the 2nd and 16th at 7 pm and on Tuesdays the 3rd, 10th and 17th at 1.30pm.

This is a friendly group and if you have any interest in learning or continuing to play this absorbing game come along and give it a try. You will be very welcome.

Best wishes to everybody for a Happy Christmas.

Contact: Bob Burns 01995 603524 or visit our page here: Bridge Group

Needlework Group

We meet in the Arts Centre on Wednesday mornings from 10am to 12 noon.  If you enjoy knitting, crochet, embroidery, patchwork, applique or would like to learn, do come and join this friendly, helpful group.

Contact: Ann Kelsall on (01995) 606408 or just turn up! visit our page here: Needlework Group

Ukelele Group  –  Christmas Shopping

Ukuleles in Parliament

Since the Fixed-term Parliament Act 2011 we seem to have moved to having a general election every 2 years, which made me wonder about the role of ukuleles in our parliament.

My search of Hansard revealed that the word ‘ukulele’ has only been uttered 4 times in the Houses of Parliament within the last 220 years. There was no mention in the 19th century, but twice in the 20th century, both time in relation to ships. In a 1933 debate on Shipbuilding, Mr J Jones asked Sir Robert Horne if he’d played the ukulele while visiting Honolulu, to which Sir Richard replied that he did not, but he had heard it. In 1971 during a debate on the Wilberforce Report, Lord Davies of Leek mentioned the wreck of the Nancy Lee in which Captain Brown played his ukulele as the ship went down.

In 1991 ukulele is mentioned again, but this time it is the nickname of the pension scheme for employees of the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Aldermaston.

The only mention so far in the 21st century was earlier this year on the 17th July in a debate on Music Education in England. Labour MP Tracy Brabin said that children who might be unable to concentrate in class can ‘play the ukulele for hours. No one loses in music, so we all benefit; there are no winners or losers’.

This made me wonder if MPs wouldn’t benefit from having their own ukulele group, the Memberleles perhaps. This would give them something else to think about other than endlessly voting against each other. So at the hustings it will be important to ask the candidates how much ukulele practice they manage each day. Before you vote, find out if they might prefer to spend some of their time in Parliament enjoying harmony rather than winning and losing.

Merry Christmas

Bob Sapey



If you are interested in woolcrafts (knitting, crochet, maybe felting) or would like to know what we do, please come along to the Arts Centre in Garstang at 7.00pm on Tuesday evenings (except the first of the month) or Friday afternoons at 2.00pm, where we will make you very welcome.

We work on individual and group projects, often raising money for charities.

Everyone is welcome, experienced or beginner. We will support you! There will also be tea and biscuits!  Contact Kate Crook  07759 659004 or visit our page here: woolcraft

Poetry Appreciation

Friday December 13th  2pm – 4pm.

This month is our Christmas Special. Choose your favourite Christmas Poems. The meeting ends with a Christmas Tea. Visitors are always very welcome. Come and sit and listen or join in if you wish.

For more information please contact Marie Whalley 01995 603605 or visit our page here: Poetry Appreciation

Recorded Music Group

At our November meeting, presenter Gordon Bell’s “Desert Island Decade” was a programme of memorable works that he had heard in many concert venues during ten years living in the South-East.  Most of his chosen composers were British or Irish, and almost all the recordings were by the players he had heard at the concerts.  It was an unusual theme for a programme and a very successful one; members and visitors alike made their approval and enjoyment very clear.

Our final meeting of 2019, on Monday 2nd December starting at 7:30 pm, will be an evening of members’ choices.  Some seasonal content is of course appropriate, but other offerings are welcome.  Following the success of the November programme, members might consider pieces that have associations with happy memories?

Finally, attendees should be aware that the group has no programme in place for 2020, and present indications are that this is unlikely to change.

Gordon Semple on 01995 602337 or David Greenwood on 01995 602875

Garstang Book Club

The new group will meet at 10.30am – 12noon at Garstang Arts Centre on Tuesday 26th November to decide the first book to be read and organize further monthly meetings to be held on the second Tuesday of the month.

For more information please contact The Arts Centre 01995 606648 or visit our page here

Scrabble Group

The Scrabble Group meet on Tuesday afternoons at the Arts Centre 2.00pm till 3.30pm.  Everyone welcome.

Garstang Wine Circle –

As one of its ‘extracurricular activities’, the wine circle held a Port and Cheese tasting at the Arts Centre on the 9th November. The Port was supplied by Stuart Rothwell from the Vineyard Wine Shop at Ramsbottom, and the cheeses  were sourced by circle member Anne Whithead. We tasted six Ports, all from the Niepoort Lodge, the selection consisting of a White Port, a Rosé, both sampled with and without tonic. Then a Tawny, a Ruby, a Late Bottled Vintage Port, a Crusted Port and a Vintage Port. These wines were followed by a Portuguese Muscat. Certainly a chance to compare Ports of various age, and of various prices. The selection of cheese, most of which came from local cheesemakers Dewlay, included Garstang White, Garstang Blue, and Manchego (not local of course)

A most convivial evening, and thanks must go to Stuart for coming across from ‘Rammy’ with the Port and leading the tasting and for Anne’s hard work in sourcing the cheeses.

The regular programme of tastings continued on Monday 18th November. The proceedings were started with Debbie Hewitt presenting a Welsh Sparkling Wine to the group. Pefriog is produced  at the Gwinllan Vineyard near Conwy, and it demonstrates the quality of sparkling wines now  being produced in the British Isles. It was clearly a hit with the circle members.

Jennifer McNamee presented a selection of wines from the Lebanon including some from the iconic Chateau Musar.

The Chateau Musar wine is produced in Lebanon, in the Bekaa Valley. The winery was established in 1930 and has remained in the Hochar Family to the current day. Over recent years, with the exception of 1976 and 1984 it has continued production in spite being close to what has been a war zone. Since peace was established, the number of wine producers has increased in that area of the Lebanon, and Jennifer also presented wines from Chateau Kefraya and the Ixsir Winery, competitors to Musar. Musar tends to be controversial, and opinions were split about its wines presented at the tasting. The wines from Kefraya and Ixsir were well received and provide good alternatives to Musar. It was certainly an enjoyable tasting that provoked much discussion of the merits of the wines amongst the members of the circle.

The food for the evening was provided by Carol and Bruce Allan and Mike and Brenda Ashton, and the vote of thanks by Jolanta Basnyet.

The next meeting of the circle will be on Saturday 14th December at 7.30pm in the Arts Centre. This will be the Wine Circle Christmas Social. Members of the Circle will be given priority in purchasing tickets, and any queries about the event should be addressed to Alan Jefferson on  01995601842.

For more information about Garstang Wine Circle please visit our page here: Garstang Wine Circle

Mervyn Stokes

Christmas Craft Fair

This years Christmas Craft Fair will close at 4pm, 7th December, 2019. Please see poster below for further details.

Judy Osborne  (01995 600996)