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All Study Days are currently suspended. The remaining lectures of The New Elizabethans at Berkhamstead will be run from September 2021, final dates to be announced.

Please check back for future updates to STUDY DAYSand STUDY SERIES in 2021/2

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Autumn 2021

Held at the Civic Centre, Berkhamsted.

Morning sessions begin at 10.30 and end at 1.00
with a break for coffee.
Afternoon sessions are from 2.00 to 3.15.



Final dates to be announced


When the reign of Elizabeth II began in 1953 Britain had rebuilt her shattered economy and was enjoying a new ‘Golden Age’. She may have begun to dismantle an Empire she could no longer afford and the Suez Crisis proved she was no longer a superpower but in 1957 Harold Macmillan would state ‘Most of our people have never had it so good, go to the industrial towns, go to the farms and you will see prosperity such as we have never seen in my lifetime, nor indeed in the history of this country’. Britain was changing at speed, immigration increased, cities were rebuilt, the arts were flourishing, industry was booming and wages rising. The spending power of the working class began to influence culture and taste to the dismay of the ‘old guard’. ‘The New Elizabethans’ is about this extraordinary decade and what happened next.

September: Arts and Entertainments. Popular culture was burgeoning, attendance at movies was higher than it would ever be again, from 1955 there were two television channels to chose from and the sale of records soared. At the same time Britain’s artists were gaining international recognition, in the middle of the decade the London Independent Group brought popular culture and ‘fine art’ together when Pop Art was launched in the ‘This is Tomorrow’ show at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

October: Buying the Dream. As wages rose and hire purchase controls were relaxed new consumer goods, fashions and leisure activities were available to a wider band of the public. American advertising methods were adopted to sell and keep selling but who was buying what? And what was the long term effect?

November: Moral Panic or the Rise of the Teenager. The growth of industry provided decently paid jobs for young, working class people giving them disposable income to spend on clothes, cosmetics, drink, cigarettes and entertainment. By the late 50s they controlled about 10% of all personal income in Britain and manufacturers were catering to teenage tastes and styles. In the face of this overturning of precedent, politicians and the media liked to portray them as prone to violence, rebelling against authority and likely to bring about the moral decay of society.

December: What Happened Next? Some aspects of British life and some parts of the country changed beyond recognition in the 15 years since the end of WWII. The standard of living had risen, we were better fed and better educated, there were in theory more opportunities to climb the class ladder. At the same time the downside of 50s prosperity was being revealed even as the 1960s started to swing.

Lectures from 10.30 to 15.00 at The Civic Centre, 161 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.

Fees £20 for single days or £110 for the complete course.

For more information and to book please contact

Gwenda Constant,
14 Gleneagle Manor,
Townsend Lane,
Harpenden AL5 2FE

For telephone enquiries call
Gwenda Constant 0158 2762001


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Study Days at the Royal Society of Antiquaries
Autumn 2018 and Spring and Summer 2019

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. W1J 0BT

Morning sessions begin at 10.45 and end at 1.00
with a break between 11.45 and 12.00.
Afternoon sessions are from 2.00 to 3.15.


Future series will be announced here when they are available to book.

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Individual ARTS SOCIETY - GREATER LONDON AREA Study Days at the Royal Society of Antiquaries

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