Coming Events

The Society would welcome suggestions from members for future events.
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A weekend of rambling in Dovedale, visit Haddon Hall and ‘The OS Map Fan Club'

4th-6th October 2019

Following on from our very successful event with HF Holidays earlier this year, this weekend is at The Peveril of the Peak, at Thorpe, near Ashbourne, their Derbyshire property. Again we have activities to appeal to members who are keen walkers and also for the not so active. This proved extremely popular last time and we were fully subscribed very quickly. We also know that many members are keen to see Helen Woods’ show ‘The OS Map Fan Club’, so we have extended the booking date, but do suggest you book as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

HF’s Derbyshire Country House, The Peveril of the Peak, named after Sir Walter Scott’s novel, is set in extensive, beautiful grounds in the village of Thorpe. Amongst its many attractions there are lounge rooms and bar, free Wi-Fi, a boot and drying room, ample car parking and all the rooms are en-suite. The basic cost of the weekend is £210 per person. This includes two nights’ accommodation in a classic room, Friday afternoon tea, two breakfasts and two evening meals, Saturday packed lunch, the optional guided walk and The OS Map Fan Club show.

Accommodation. There are 18 single rooms where no single supplement applies; however once these have been allocated in the order of bookings received, an additional charge of £20 per person per night will apply for single occupancy of a twin or double room. If applicable, you will be advised of this when booking. If you are a single booking, you can of course choose this option anyway. Similarly, if you request an upgraded premium room at £10 per person per night, these will be allocated by date order in which the bookings are received.

Friday evening. After dinner entertainment will be a ‘mini’ Murder Mystery play performed by member of the Society.

Choice of activities for Saturday daytime:

Haddon Hall and gardens. Haddon Hall is described as the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages. Set in the heart of the beautiful Peak District National Park, parts of the house date from the 12th Century, and the Elizabethan terraced gardens overlook the River Wye. More details can be found at There is a separate cost to this part of the weekend Self guided: Adult £15.75 Concessionary £14.00 Guided tour of the Hall or garden: £18.50; Guided tour of both: £21.00

Guided walk. The exact route has not yet been finalised, but we will be rambling in Dovedale on a circular route of approximately 8 miles beginning and ending at The Peveril of the Peak. The walk will be at a leisurely pace and is likely to take us 5 hours, including a stop for lunch. Although described as easy dale walking there are some ascents, descents, and steps, including the stepping stones over the River Dove, so please ensure you are fit enough to undertake a hill/country walk.

Do your own thing. Of course you do not have to join us on either the walk or the Haddon Hall visit. If you would like to be emailed HF’s self-guided information booklet for Dovedale and the surrounding area please contact Kim Spencer.

‘The OS Map Fan Club’

Helen Wood will be joining us on Saturday evening. She’ll take us on a virtual ramble, along ancient byways to meet colourful characters, hear amusing anecdotes and pause frequently to admire the view. This fascinating, laughter-filled show celebrates the simple beauty of Britain’s inspiring national treasure. Helen joined our Society for a short period because she was researching Malcolm Saville for this comedy show about maps. She says she enjoyed his books as a child, particularly the ones set in Shropshire, an area she visited often as a family, and particularly liked the sketch maps in the books. In her show, she tells the audience how the books and those sketch maps had a big influence on her early enthusiasm for maps. She always looks for people in the audience who have heard of him and read his books.

Please click here for the booking form or send a s.a.e to Kim Spencer.


2020 Annual Gathering

17th-19th April 2020

As voted for at the 2018 AGM, the location for the 2020 Annual Gathering will be in the South East between 17th – 19th April 2020

The venue we have chosen is The Royal Victoria Hotel Marina, St Leonards on Sea, Hastings TN38 0BD, and the weekend co-ordinator is Clive Gee

Activities are still to be planned but Hastings was Malcolm Saville’s birthplace and so the town will feature along with some ‘old favourites’ further along the coast. We will be dining at the hotel on Friday and Saturday evenings and this will be included as part of the weekend activities (registration forms for the weekend will go out with the next edition of Acksherley! in September)

For those who would like to stay at the hotel and book their accommodation early, they are now able to take reservations. The Royal Victoria Hotel has 50 rooms and they have agreed to hold these for us until 31/12/19 whereupon any not booked will go on general release. A special group rate of £80 per night for a double/twin room has been agreed meaning the cost of B&B for two sharing for the two nights is £160 (normally £250). The rate for single occupancy in a double is £70 per night. Please note that, because all the rooms are being ‘held available’ for us, it will not be possible to book online. Should you wish to stay then please contact the hotel direct on 01424 445 544 and mention MSS to get the group rate (50% is payable on booking). In the event of any problems, please speak to Caroline who is the events manager and let Clive Gee know the details

If you are attending the Literary Conference on the Friday (for which further details will be announced shortly, but it will run from 10 - 4 at the Royal Victoria Hotel) or would just like to bolt on nights either side of the Gathering weekend, the hotel have kindly agreed that the group rate will still apply for such extra nights

Please note that, even if you book your accommodation now, the registration form (still to be issued) will still require to be submitted in order that we know you wish to attend!