MENU THE ARTS SOCIETY ENFIELD


What do the names Patricia Fay and Sir Trenchard Cox mean to you? Well, they should mean a great deal, for without them, NADFAS and hence our Society would not exist. In 1965 Patricia Fay had the inspiration to form the Chiltern Antiques Group, later to become Chiltern DAFS, to bring together people interested in the decorative and fine arts, who wished to hear expert lecturers, to visit museums, houses and galleries, and to broaden their knowledge. Sir Trenchard Cox, then the Director of the V & A gave Patricia Fay much encouragement and help, and subsequently became the NADFAS President. Such was the success of this group, which held its first meeting at Chenies Manor, that other societies followed.

In 1968 the first eleven societies formed the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of DECORATIVE & FINE ARTS societies, holding the inaugural meeting at the V & A in the presence of the Duchess of Kent, who became its first patron. For many years afterwards the V & A was the venue of the A.G.M and other general meetings. NADFAS became a registered charity in 1972. NADFAS expanded throughout the United Kingdom, and in 1984 the first overseas society was formed in Rheindahlen, Germany, followed by the first Australian society in Sydney in 1985. There are now NADFAS societies throughout mainland Europe and Australia. You can read about all the ramifications and developments in your Arts Society News News.

So what of The Arts Socety Enfield -as EDFAS is now known as? We are Society No. 13 born in 1968. Without the energy and inspiration of a truly remarkable Enfield lady - Mrs. Corinthia Arbuthnot-Lane, and the enthusiasm of a small group of her friends, this society would not have been formed. Indeed, many a "lesser breed" would have given up in the face of the difficulties which they had to overcome. They had no finances, except what they provided, no equipment except that provided on loan from members. They had to find their own lecturers and try to remain solvent. They lived a "hand to mouth" existence, frequently unable to meet their just dues and demands to NADFAS - even having to subsidise funds to pay the rent and lecturer's fees. However, the committee persevered, meeting in the afternoon in a room above The George in the town. NADFAS itself was not highly organised and relied almost entirely on volunteers to run it. By 1976 EDFAS moved into the Parish Centre and met, as now, on the last Thursday morning in the month, with a membership of fewer than 60. Undaunted, they advertised for members, and even held a free lecture to encourage people to join. They held raffles and Bring & Buy sales to swell the funds, but growth in membership was slow and complaints about the hall and equipment, much of which was second-hand and inadequate, were frequent. In January 1987 with a membership of under 100, we moved to our present hall; our numbers, and consequently our funds, have grown and up-to-date equipment has been purchased, We now have a membership of about 180 but there is room for more so please do come along and join us.

They do say that from "little acorns giant oaks do grow" but without the perseverance and determination of those "Enfield Ladies" way back in 1968 we would not be able to enjoy our society to-day. So let us remember our National & Local Founders, Mrs. Patricia Fay and Mrs Corinthia Arbuthnot-Lane. Miss H. Gould