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Local History: Hambledon at Play
 In December we introduced our new focus of `Hambledon at Play` and the Hambledon Arts Society is a good example of this. Since 1965 it has provided opportunities for residents to 'play' in many ways. Established by Eadred Lutyens, Arthur Hitchins and Peter May, with a Music  Group, Art Group and Drama Group, the  membership was 38. By 1975 there were 154 members and since then the society has expanded to six groups with the addition of Poetry, Local History and Film.
 Over 50 years later HAS thrives and provides great opportunities  for villagers to come together. We aim for monthly events ( see the 2019 program below ) with talks in addition to group events. Members dont have to be active in the groups and may just wish to support the Society. If this article has piqued your interest come to our AGM and talk  in February and hear more.
 My original involvement was with a pantomime the other Cinderella in 1972 and, apart from a few years abroad, I have been involved  with the Drama Group ever since. Whatever role it has been I have enjoyed the whole process leading up to a production as much as performing on stage. How many plays have the Drama Group presented over the years? Based on two a year since 1965, I make it over 100! Our records name all from 1971 onwards but none for 1965-1970. Perhaps those with good memories can complete the record. ( photos coming soon )
 Each group works in different ways as you will see below, but all are most happy to welcome new members to participate or support them - always in a relaxed atmosphere designed to bring out our best talents.
 The Music Group singers meet every Monday, October to March, in preparation for the Christmas  evening  and the annual March Music evening when the music talent of the village is showcased.
 The Painting Group meets twice monthly on a Friday morning for two hours -currently in the Village Hall, but whenever possible in a garden or another inspiring location with their first-class teacher/advisor.
 The Drama Group stages two productions each year in the Village Hall and performs at the Christmas evening. They generally meet in the evenings to rehearse or read plays in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.
 The Poetry Group meets twice a month to read a pre-set topic over a glass of wine. There is an open-air poetry evening in June and they are part of the Christmas evening. There is an annual poetry competition at the village school every summer, open to years 2 and 5/6.
 The Local History Group is fluid with no set meetings and operates more like a network of interested villagers. A core team decides a focus and works with other villagers to bring together relevant material. The main goal at present is collating a digital archive of the wonderful array of material and photos known to exist but not easily accessible. To do this the team has organised a series of events collecting a fine collection of photo and village memories. The team is now focused on `Hambledon at play` and looking forward to villagers contributions.
 The Film Group screens films in the Village Hall on the first Sunday evenings of  months September to April. A small selection committee chose from Moviola's up-to-date list of films  each season.
 So there you have it, 3 men over 50 years ago seemed to have got it right when they saw the opportunity to add arts focussed activities to those already existing for sport and horticulture.
Martyn, Chairman Hambledon Arts Society
Programme for 2019
February
Sunday 3rd    Film: The Children Act
Friday 15th     AGM plus talk on Leydene by Jill Edmunds
March
Sunday 3rd    Film: First Man
Friday 15th     Music in March
April
5th,6th,7th Drama Group Production: Chase me , Comrade
Sunday 14th Film: Stan and Ollie
May
Friday 17th TBA
June
Friday 28th Poetry evening: picnics and poetry in Hambledon House Garden
July
Saturday 6th Outdoor Theatre: Rude Mechanicals
September
Sunday 1st Film