A year ago we opted to resume
the monthly talks but virtually as we
were still in lockdown. Audiences trebled
overnight from what they had been when
we gave them live. Instead of fifteen there
were fifty at at the first talk in November
twenty twenty. This was down to ease
and novelty. You didn't have to travel
anywhere or sit on wooden pews
and zoom was new and thrilling. On the other
hand, the cake and wine were missing while
the ticket price remained the same - five pounds.
The first talk happened on a Tuesday, third
one in November, an arrangement which
we kept. The starting time of seven p.m.
was a half-hour later than the live
event as nobody was going home.
The architectural historian
from UCL and current editor
of that authoritative work The London
Survey Peter Guillery revealed
the history of Dock Street down the road
which had a seaman's hostel and a German
clientele. The area was Little Germany.
December brought Anette Jaeger with
her PhD research on Pastor Rieger
the incumbent in the nineteen thirties.
Members of the Rieger family
zoomed in from Germany and have remained.
The pastor's daughter Eva Rieger is
a musicologist and will present
a talk on Richard Wagner, May next year.
In January our former organist
and choir trainer Philip Norman answered
the much-quoted German critic who
said England was 'Das Land ohne Musik'.
His most amusing talk proved that it isn't.
In Feb the traveller and lecturer
Frank Pattison spoke on the Hanseatic
League and took us on a virtual trip
along the Baltic coast. His talk attracted
eighty-four attendees. That's the record
by the way. In March we had the Chief
Executive Barts Heritage Will Palin who
described the project to prepare the city's
oldest hospital for its nine hundredth
anniversary in two years time.
In April and in August City guide
and lawyer Julian Romain gave us
the history of the Lord Mayor's office in
two parts. In May Pepe Martinez Blue
Badge Guide spoke on the street art and street artists
of the East End. Walls in Whitechapel
are canvases and Banksy's banked a pile.
In June our organist, a new appointment,
Richard Brasier introduced us to
St George's Walcker organ and revealed
why it is such a special instrument.
July we opened up the church again
and zoomed the talk from there so people had
the choice of virtual or live. The author
Phillip Davies gave a talk on London's
Hidd'n Interiors before an on-line
audience of fifty-two and an on-pew
one of sixteen - or in total sixty-eight.
It was very good to have returned.
August saw part two of Julian
Romain's Lord Mayor lecture which was also
live and virtual though numbers were
quite low as normally we do not hold
a talk in the tradish'nal holiday
month. InSeptember techno forced
us to abandon live and Mary Sewell
gave her talk on the Olympic Park
in neighb'ring borough Stratford on-line only,
but we aim to give all future lectures
in both formats. These include the art
historian Sue Grayson Ford on nineteenth
of October with the subject of
Whitechapel Gallery. November - lawyer
Rowan Freeland: heraldry including
information on the coat of arms
above the pulpit in St George's; in
December Royal Saxony - Frank
Pattison again; in January
guide Keith Hamnett on the Stolpersteine
project to place plaques outside the houses
of those murdered by the Nazis. Feb
(with some relief) we have Good Germans by
the writer Catrine Clay. In March I hope
the author Alec Forshaw will address
us on the London of the nineteen eighties.
April is a special one: Anette
on the Wom'n who Helped and Healed, the story
of the parish deaconesses at
St George's. This event will end with the
unveiling of framed photos of the women
on the east wall of the Matzold Zimmer.
These St George's Talks are aimed at raising
money for the chapel's maintenance.
Th' eleven talks so far have yielded
two thousand five hundred'n'fifty pounds
of which Eventbrite takes a fifth. Each speaker
gets a token fifty pounds which leaves a total
of one thousand six hundred and thirty pounds
and twenty-six pence for our bank account.
The other regular event now in
the diary is the Orgelvesper (Organ
Vespers) on the second Saturday
of every month at six pm. The first
was in September. Richard Brasier
played Reger, Liszt and Mendelssohn as well as
Heinrich Bach, the uncle of Sebastian,
and Pastor Rapp led prayers and readings in
between the organ pieces. Next is in
two weeks, the ninth October. Peter King,
Bath Abbey's organist emeritus,
plays Stanford, Mendelssohn, Guilmant and Grison.
Pastor Rapp again will lead the prayers.
Wednesday eighth December is our Carol
Concert given by the London Gall'ry Choir
which is always festive. Otherwise, there is
a book launch which was cancelled due to Covid
though I've yet to hear from Henningham
the publisher if they're still going to go
ahead. I'll keep you all informed. It just
remains for me to thank so many of
you for supporting us this year and making
the St George's Talks a great success.