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ANNUAL MEETING


The first Just William Day was held in Leeds in 1983 by a group of like-minded William book collectors who decided to meet up to discuss their collections, show others what books and other “goodies” they had, swop, buy and generally have a good time discussing William antics.
It has been held around the country ever since.


As the meetings and the William fan base got bigger, it was decided in 1990 that the proceedings should be put on to a more organised footing and the Just William Society was born. The annual subscription provided the resources to produce a regular magazine - the Just William Society Magazine - which records many of the talks from the meeting and keeps members updated with William news.

All William fans, whether members of the Society or not, are welcome to come along and enjoy a day of talks, books, friendship – not to mention the acting of one of those radio plays that we so enjoyed just after the war.


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Please scroll down for details of the next Just William Day.

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The Just William Day 2017 held in April was a great success and we all look forward to next year.

Details for the 2018 meeting are as laid out below:-

JUST WILLIAM SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING
BIRMINGHAM SATURDAY 28th APRIL 2018


Hillscourt Rose Hill, Rednal, B45 8RS


VENUE

Hillscourt is an outstanding venue (an original Victorian Classic building from1897) set in its own grounds of 25 acres next to the Lickey Hills Country Park on the south side of the city. Nearby tourist attractions include Cadbury World and Selly Manor in Bournville and at Birmingham University (Selly Oak/Edgbaston) the Bramall Music Centre, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the Lapworth Museum of Geology. To the west are the Avoncroft Museum of Buildings at Bromsgrove and, a little further on, the historic towns of Droitwich Spa and Worcester.


AFTERNOON PROGRAMME

The meeting begins formally at 2 pm but the alluring bar is open for individual food and drink purchases from mid-day, providing a good place to rendezvous for a pre-meeting get together. This is our 35th Annual Meeting and starts with Alan Whitehead looking back to the first one in Leeds in 1983. Then Kate Massey presents her Annual Report followed by Miranda Pender resuming her popular and fascinating analysis of how Thomas Henry’s illustrations reflected contemporary fashion. Finally, before tea at 3.30pm, Ken Ellis regales us with the story of “Violet Elizabeth Bott - Punk Rocker”. The session after tea, from 4 - 5.30 pm, has the theme “Just William’s Luck”. It includes the 1947 film put under the microscope by Michael Massey, the 1948 novel dissected by David Schutte and the 2017 Shedload Theatre dramatic version presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to very favourable reviews. Jonathan Massey was prominently involved in this production and will present unless he is on tour with it. In that case Kate will act on his behalf. Having started with a look back to our pioneer meeting of 1983, we conclude with a look forward to the next in 2019 in Bromley. It will mark the 100th anniversary of the first William story and our organiser Nicholas Bennett reports on the preparations and welcomes your input, ideas and suggestions.


EVENING DINNER

The bar is open from 6pm to midnight to provide for us in the evening. Dinner is at 7pm. (There are vegetarian options; any other dietary requirements inform me.) The dinner is a celebration of the JWS itself, of those who have played an active role in it and, most important, of the remarkable efforts of Terry Taylor on behalf of the JWS over the past fifteen years and more. He attended his first Annual Meeting in 1985 (Hemel Hempstead) and has been at most of them since - organising some of them either by himself or in collaboration with others. Terry has given talks, written articles and has edited the Magazine since 2005. He has been the main recipient of many enquiries which he has answered himself or directed to other people to respond. In short, he has been a lynchpin of the Society and his invaluable contribution will be recognised in complimentary after- dinner speeches by those who have worked with him. So please be at Hillscourt on 28th April 2018 and show your personal appreciation of Terry’s achievement!


PAYMENT DETAILS

Hillscourt has given me an excellent value for money deal that means the cost for the use of the bar, the afternoon programme and the evening dinner is a mere £30.86. (No reductions for part attendance -what we have is for an integrated package, so if you attend only the afternoon programme or just the dinner the cost is still £30.86. As always, the meeting is also open to non-members.
There is accommodation available for both the Friday and Saturday nights. Single B&B is £55 per night. A double room is also £55 with an additional payment of £12.50 for the extra breakfast. (So one night in a single room including the meeting will total £85.86, two nights £140.86 etc. (A small number of family rooms are available; please check with me.) A cheque for the meeting plus, if applicable, any additional charges for accommodation, should be made out to “Hillscourt” but must be sent to me. I will be responsible for collating all payments and passing them to the venue. Please send your cheque to me as soon as possible, preferably by the end of February, and include your telephone number so that I may acknowledge receipt. Post does go astray, so if you have not heard from me within ten days please ring me. Organising an Annual Meeting may be rather fraught and both Hillscourt and myself would appreciate it if you get your bookings to me promptly. This will make for efficient arranging of the meeting and keep down costs. Late bookings are not feasible.

TRAVEL

See Below- also there is a good Google map on the Hillscourt website By Car: A few minutes from Junction 1 off the M42 and Junction 4 off the M5. Ample parking. By Train and Bus: The Rubery destination 98 of National Express - West Midlands goes to Rednal from Birmingham City Centre. If you arrive at New Street Station ( part of the Grand Central complex) leave by the main entrance on to Smallbrook Queensway and you will find the 98 on the opposite side of the road. (BEWARE: New Street Station is labyrinthine and has a number of exits from a confusing concourse.) If you use the train from London Marylebone alight at Moor Street (not Snow Hill) and turn left as you leave the station. The 98 is four hundred yards along the road in Smallbrook Queensway opposite Grand Central. The 98 goes along Bristol Road through Selly Oak (past Oaktree Lane) then at Longbridge in to the Lickey Road. Reaching Rednal from the City Centre takes approximately fifty minutes. You get off at the Old Hare and Hounds. In Rednal the bus traverses a roundabout with four roads diverging from it (including Rose Hill). It goes down one side of the Lickey Road and up the other. The roundabout is your cue to get off at the public house. Go left when you alight from the bus then right up Rose Hill to Hillscourt - a walk of ten minutes approximately. After the Old Hare and Hounds the 98 turns left down Leach Green Lane to the Rubery destination. Going back into Selly Oak and the City Centre it travels up Leach Green Lane and left in to Lickey Road to be caught at the junction of lane and road. The 98 has a daytime frequency of twenty minutes (ten minutes at peak times) and half an hour in the evening. Fares: over 60s use their pass while others have to tender the EXACT fare to the driver. Please ring me nearer the date in April for this. Information is also available from the Network West Midlands Traveline 0871 200 2233 or website networkwestmidlands.com


FRIDAY EVENING

A fine dining opportunity is available at the Bohemia restaurant in Oaktree Lane, Selly Oak (a few yards from the 98). It is exceptional value for money with, at present, two courses for £17 and three courses for £23. Anybody wishing to make up a party please let me know immediately as I will need to make the reservations in advance since this small, select restaurant gets booked up very quickly. I will book for 6.30 pm to give time to get the 98 bus back to Rednal if you have a room at Hillscourt - perhaps visiting the Old Hare and Hounds for a nightcap before walking up Rose Hill. After that you might like another in the Hillscourt bar!

 

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