Tenby and District Arts Club – Fun on Friday

The Arts Club Committee in its wisdom have suggested that the best view of the club is from a satellite circling 2000 miles above the surface of our planet but probably have not taken account of the fact that very few readers will have had that experience. Most people have flown in the big jumbos however trafficking us to and from exotic climes and at night as the jumbos bank you see below a myriad of lights twinkling and sparkling in the dark.

However from a satellite Space Station way out amongst the flying debris there are fewer sparkles to be seen, just the more important ones. The Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Louvre, Lords Cricket Ground and the White House. Just the more important places on Earth. Yet as we speed over South Pembrokeshire there appears a great light, a bright sun shining through a multi carat diamond beckoning us. Our GPS tells us we are travelling northwards along the Parade turning left into Warren Street. We stop our satellite and we are at the side entrance to St. Johns Church Hall where the Arts Club meets and obviously a meeting is in progress judging by the luminescence.

The Committee believes this short overview for that’s what it is, will tell readers of the preeminence of our club in the general scheme of things. A neighbour asks if all we do is look at pictures and drink cups of tea. He had to be admonished, such impertinence. But it must be said a very important part of the club is the painting section who meet regularly throughout the year. They paint, take steps to improve until they are all officially classed as Masters then for two weeks in the summer there is an exhibition and the dealers and big collectors rush in with their cheque books. Our painting members order their new Rolls and Maseratis and seem fulfilled. Such a happy group of artists I would be pleased to have each of them as daughters and sons-in-law.

During the winter months, October to the end of March, the non-specialists meet each Friday. Gathering at 7.30 in the evening for a lecture, a concert, travelogues, storytelling, architecture, history, geography, gardening, woodcraft and a jazz evening with performers from the Deep South. I could go on but should mention a Murder Mystery evening planned early in the season…still auditioning for this and have filled most of the roles simply looking for a Jack the Ripper-type probably released recently on parole, who would join us and add authenticity to the mystery.

A genuinely friendly club with members kind and full of gentility, many friendships are struck at meetings and after our sessions we sit back with tea, coffee and biscuits and socialise, steering clear of Brexit and politics. Though I must say, if the committee serve up their famous Brexit shortbreads, I will be a happy bunny.

Members come from all walks of life and the founders of the club deserve all the plaudits for getting this club going early in the last century. Members have developed their minds at all meetings and have gone on to become pillars of society both in the Arts and other vocations. It would be remiss, however, to forget to mention one of our undoubted stars… Dylan Thomas himself and I know that if he had survived his mishap in America he would have been our best member for years. Always first at the door awaiting the unbolting of the locks. Could there be any finer example anywhere?

Membership costs £10 and for members £2 is taken at the door ahead of the meetings, non-members pay £4. Sometimes when we have a superstar the prices go up to £5 and £7 respectively. That would be for our traditional jazz band from Tennessee or a particularly exalted choir.

It is very easy to join, just turn up on a Friday evening ready for the curtain to rise at 7.30 p.m. and pay. Try at first with the £4 non-member entry fee. Taste the water first. Life will be enhanced by membership.

Meetings bring warmth, interest and friendship on Friday evenings through the long bleak winter. Better than TV, All in Wrestling, bingo and skittles. The only problem, now, is I have such a large set of sons and daughters-in-law my Christmas has become expensive.

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