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Monthly Meetings

Our monthly meetings are based around a talk given by a guest speaker, followed by questions and answers. These meetings are also an opportunity for committee members and group coordinators to pass on notices and announcements.

They are held in the Castle Street Centre, on 3rd Wednesday in the Month starting at 10.30 am, with coffee available from 9.45 am, and last about one and a half hours.


Future Meetings

20 March - Norman Harris

Macchu Picchu – the Hard Way! Trekking the High Andes

17 April - Rev. Professor Ian James

Weather, chaos and Isaac Newton

15 May AGM - Bob Wells

Working for the British Antarctic Survey

Previous Meetings

20 February - Marianne Birkby

Nuclear development and the Moorside proposal

16 January 2019 - ‘Diplomacy with Dictators – from Milosevic to Mugabe’ - Sir Brian Donnelly

We are lucky to have Sir Brian Donnelly to speak to us as he describes this talk as his ‘swan song’ having decided to retire from the talks business. He retired in 2005 having served as Ambassador when he dealt with Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia over Kosovo and Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

The transcript of Sir Brian’s fascinating oral biography can be found at

There was no Meeting in December

21 November - 'Barrow to Baghdad and back' - Philip Caine

Philip Caine is the author of the Jack Castle series of adventure novels.

He was born in Barrow and began his working life in the hotel business. His career developed in the oil business and the next 30 years were spent in such places as the North Sea, Algeria, Nigeria, Kazakstan and Russia. From 2003 he spent 7 years in post war Baghdad working with the American coalition, and a further 3 years running oil service companies in Dubai and Iraq before retiring in 2015.


17 October - ‘Childhood under Occupation’ - Liesbeth Langford

Liesbeth was born just before WW11. She has exciting and moving stories. Her father was in the Resistance Movement and her parents hid a Jewish girl. Liesbeth would love questions.

19 September - ‘It Should have been Stopped’ - Maurice Steele

Maurice is a retired sheep farmer with a passion for photography going back over 60 years. His audio-visual show has a little humour and a lot of ‘tongue in cheek’. The question asked is ‘What kind of Lake District would we have today if ever since the cavemen, there had always been pressure groups saying NO to every development? Thought provoking.

There were no Meetings in June, July and August

16 May - Uzbekistan’ - Jane Willis

Jane Willis travelled to Uzbekistan in April last year to stay with some friends from Iran who had been posted to Tashkent. It was her first visit to an ex Soviet Union country and she is going to share some of her first impressions with us.

18 April - 'China - Avcient and Modern' - John Watson

After a Degree in Industrial Economics at Nottingham University and a Short Service Commission in the Army,  John worked for the National Coal Board for 5 years.  His main careeer was with the Ford Motor Company, where he worked for the next 30 years and retired at 60.

He sat in Court as a member of Employment Tribunals in London for 25 years and after retiring from Ford became an Ofsted School Inspector for eight years and also spent over 11 years in prison as a member of the Independant Monitoring Board.

Since moving to Levens in 1996, he has been Chairman of Kentside Probus Club, President of South Lakes Walking Club, Chairman of Kendal Ramblers, Vice Chairman of Levens Parish Council and Chairman of the Governing Body Of Dallham School.

He is currently a member of the team bringing Hyperfast broadband into Levens.


21 March - Housing in NW England 1850 – 1940’. - Jean Turnbull

21 February - Bibby’s in a Nutshell’ - Chris Bibby

17 January - Presentation by RAF

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