Newsletter – December 2016

1 Sullivan’s Travels (Dec 15) & seasonal celebration

2 AGM outcomes (new officers, new volunteers)

3 2017 – HWC and our future

4 Timbuktu – this week’s film – why not bring a friend?

1 Sullivan’s Travels & seasonal celebration

Our last film before the Christmas break, on December 15th, is Sullivan’s Travels, made in 1941. It’s a very witty comedy about a very successful film director – successful on the strength of some terrible but very profitable films. He now wants to make a socially valuable film, but his studio does not share his enthusiasm. Veronica Lake co-stars with Joel McCrea.

As usual, we invite members and guests to arrive a little earlier than usual and to enjoy some bread and cheese, a mince pie or two and to have a celebatory drink or two. We will provide the food and soft drinks, but as we don’t have a licence to supply alcoholic drinks, we invite you to bring your own – no need to bring wine glasses, by the way. By all means bring food items for others to share, but please tell us by Dec 12th if you plan to do so, so that we can adjust our shopping list. As usual, we will ask you on the night to make a contribution – whatever you think appropriate – to help us cover cost of the food we provide.

These are the timings:

7.00 pm doors open

7.15 pm milling around, eating and drinking begin

8.00 pm (approx, but not before) screening of SULLIVAN TRAVELS

9.35 pm (approx) screening ends; hot drinks available; washing up & tidying up commence (help
would be greatly appreciated)

2 AGM outcomes (new committee members, new volunteers)

The AGM passed off quite swiftly. More importantly, we gained and now welcome a new committee member, Tim Haywood; and that after many years of active participation of the committee’s work, Geoff Bailey stood down. We thank him, too, for all his work. Our call for volunteers to help out without necessarily joining the committee, was also answered: Jo Adams is going to assist our publicity efforts, while Steve Fisher has taken on the management of our website and is currently working on its development.

This leaves us with a tally of committee members smaller than the maximum our constitution allows, so do step forward if you would like to join us.

3 2017 – HWC and our future

We’ve been using the Health & Wellbeing Centre for a few years now and have found the Centre’s manager and staff consistently friendly and welcoming. You may have seen a report in the Abingdon Herald of November 23rd suggesting that the HWC is to be closed. The Herald then published a clarification on Nov 30th: no decision will be made until early in 2017. Well, we all knew and know that the County Council are making severe budget cuts and that situation has not changed. We think it likely that, if the HWC is to be closed, the decision would not take effect until 2018. But clearly we have to keep our eyes and our ears open and to be ready to deal with any new challenges! Please let us know if you hear anything.

4 Timbuktu – this week’s film – why not bring a friend?

Given that this week’s film treats Islamist terrorism, an urgent topic that prompts many loud newspaper headlines and the expression of much prejudice, you may be surprised by how delicately it is handled. Sight & Sound sum it up thus: “Islamism’s martinets come to town in Abderrahmane Sissako’s acute, slow-burn modern tragedy” ( We’ve noticed that it’s a film that many people mention, of whom quite a few have probably not seen it. It’s probably therefore a good one to invite guests to and to use to make us more widely known.


We hope to publish our next newsletter in very early January. Last year our attendances and sales of guest tickets were strong in the second half, making all the difference to our financial health. We hope we can achieve that again this year.

Compliments of the season!