Society Events

We organise a varied calendar of meetings, talks, walks and get togethers

Events organised by the Society have a blue banner. We include local events, which have a green banner.

The Mill First Night: Agatha Christie's The Unexpected Guest June 7 8.15pm

Another top class mystery from Agatha Christie. Directed by Brian Blessed.

At The Mill June 7 - July 28. For booking information phone the Box Office (0118) 969 8000 or visit:

Sonning RNLI - Garden Party June 16  

The annual garden party of the Sonning Branch of the RNLI.

For more information please contact David Bates on 0118 969 7753

Berkshire Garden's Trust Visit to Rooksnest Estate June 26 1.45pm

A guided tour of Rooksnest Estate, Lambourn Woodlands, including afternoon tea.

For more information please visit:

Sonning Festival - The Elegant Picnic July 14th 7pm

This year’s Elegant Picnic will be hosted by Paula and Max McNeill and will take place on Saturday July 14th, from 7pm onwards, in the grounds of Bishops Close.


The Mill First Night: Ten Times Table August 2 8.15pm

The committee from Hell organises a fete worse than death in Alan Ayckbourn's funniest yet.

At The Mill August 2 - Sept 22. For booking information phone the Box Office (0118) 969 8000 or visit:

Berkshire Garden's Trust Visit to Buscot Park August 15 2pm

A visit to Buscot park including a garden tour.

For more information please visit:

The Mill First Night: A Night in Provence September 27 8.15pm

Three pairs of optimistic holidaymakers head to Provence in Robin Hawdon's latest comedy.

At The Mill Sept 27 - Nov 17. For booking information phone the Box Office (0118) 969 8000 or visit:

Sonning Architectural & Historical Walk September 29 TBA

A walk led by Diana Coulter

Details to follow.

Sonning & Sonning Eye Society AGM and SupperNovember 17 7.15pm

Our AGM and Supper will be held in the Pearson Hall on Saturday 18th November.

Details to follow.

Enjoy a welcome drink before the AGM starts at 7.15pm

John Piper, artist April 20 7.30pm

A talk by The Rev Ian Browne

Former Senior Chaplin of Oundle School

We have decided to take a fresh look at the artist and designer - John Piper. For over fifty years he lived in Fawley Bottom near Henley, where he died in 1992. His work has recently been on display at Dorchester Abbey or the River and Rowing Museum, but in the past his paintings were exhibited in The Gallery in Sonning Eye, so several of you may remember seeing his work on display nearby.

The presentation will focus mainly on his wonderful stained-glass windows, examples of which can be found locally in Nettlebed and Pishill, as well as a variety of churches throughout Oxfordshire and the Chilterns. He also worked on many important commissions across the country, including windows for Coventry and Liverpool Cathedral, but one of the earliest examples of his distinctive style can be seen in the chapel at Oundle School, near Peterborough

We are delighted to announce that The Rev Ian Browne, a former Senior Chaplin of the School, has kindly agreed to give us a talk on the subject. He is an expert on Piper’s work and will explore his interest in glass and the effect it had on his art.

Enjoy a welcome drink before the talk starts at 7.30pm

Tickets: £4 for members and £5 for guests

Sonning Heroes March 7 7pm

A talk on War Heroes
by pupils of Sonning Primary School

Last year the Society provided support to the pupils of Sonning Primary School in a project to research the history of the Sonning Heroes who gave their lives in the wars.

The pupils presented their findings to some of us in December and it was so interesting that they have agreed to repeat it but to a wider audience, including their parents.

Please note that although this is a "by invitation only" event members of the Society are welcome to attend but should contact Annabella Marks at so that the school can cater for numbers. Refreshments will be provided.

Enjoy a welcome drink at 6.30pm before the talk starts at 7pm

Tickets: no charge

Swan Upping February 23 7.30pm

A talk by David Barber

The Queen's Swan Marker

David Barber, the Queen’s Swan Marker will give us an insight into this ancient ceremony – dating back over 800 years. The event takes place on the Thames during the third week in July when the Swan Uppers, dressed in a scarlet and white uniform, man a flotilla of traditional skiffs, row up the river and round up the swans

Over a five-day period they stop at various locks and riverbanks in search of cygnets. They weigh and measure the young birds in each area, check their health and collect data. Fishing hooks, dogs and the changing wildlife along the Thames affect their numbers but this annual event helps to preserve the population, conserve their environment and provide valuable information.

PS. We hope to arrange a visit to watch this event as it passes through Sonning at a later date.

Enjoy a welcome drink before the talk starts at 7.30pm

Tickets: £4 for members and £5 for guests

Birds of Berkshire January 19 7.30pm

A talk by Renton Righelato, one of the authors of 'The Birds of Berkshire' will be treating us to some ornithological tidbits. Details to be published in due course.

Enjoy a welcome drink before the talk starts at 7.30pm

Tickets: £4 for members and £5 for guests

Sonning & Sonning Eye Society AGM and SupperNovember 18 7.15pm

Our AGM and Supper will be held in the Pearson Hall on Saturday 18th November. Tickets cost £16. There will be a welcoming drink and the AGM starts at 7.15 pm sharp. The guest speaker will be Jesse Elzinga, the Headmaster at the Blue Coat School, and he'll be talking about 'Current Themes in Education at Reading Blue Coat School and Beyond'.

Enjoy a welcome drink before the AGM starts at 7.15pm

Tickets: £16

Explore the Colombian Amazon with Professor Alastair DriverOctober 13 7.30pm

In May, under the guidance of the veteran explorer Col John Blashford-Snell, Alastair joined an international multi-disciplinary team on a trip to the Colombian Amazon near the borders of Brazil and Peru. Alastair's brief was to explore this relatively unknown region and record the wildlife for educational and scientific purposes. The team also included doctors, dentists and engineers.

Photographing and filming the wildlife was an important part of Alastair’s role and he has kindly offered to give a talk, with images and film clips from the expedition, in the Pearson Hall on Friday 13th October.

The evening starts with a welcome drink at 7.30pm

Tickets: £4 for members and £5 for guests

Architectural and Historical Walk September 7-10 2017

HERITAGE OPEN DAYS were established in 1994 and for many years now our Society has organised a ‘Village Walk’ to support this important Heritage Festival. Events are held up and down the country giving everyone a chance to explore buildings normally closed to the public, join a guided tour, or just learn more about their local community.

If you are new to the area or interested in history do join our experienced guides on an “Architectural and Historical Walk” around Sonning in September. The walks start at 2 pm in the Churchyard near The Bull and last about 2 hours on the following dates:-

Thursday 7th September
Friday 8th September
Saturday 10th September

Walk On the Wild Side July 9 2017

Alastair Driver was appointed as the first conservationist for the River Thames in 1984 and led on the conservation of this world famous river and its tributaries for 18 years before becoming national Head of Conservation for the Environment Agency. He recommended the creation of the Thames Valley Park wetlands in the late 1980s and has advised on the management of the site ever since. He has also led many guided nature walks here for local organisations.

During this walk Alastair will point out wildlife as we go, catch insects to show in the hand, and explain the history of TVP.

An account of this walk was published in Issue 52 of Bridge

The meetings are now held in the Committee Room of Pearson Hall, on Pearsons Road.
(We used to support the St. Sarik Room but unfortunately the Parish decided to raise its rates by such a degree that we have had no option but to relocate.)

All members are welcome.

The dates for 2018 are:

Wednesday 21 February Wednesday 18 April Wednesday 13 June
Wednesday 8 August Wednesday 17 October Wednesday 5 December
S&SES Executive Committee Meeting February 21 7.45pm


  1. Chairman’s Welcome
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. Minutes of the 14th Annual General Meeting held on 18 November 2017
  4. Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held on 6 December 2017
  5. Matters Arising
  6. Planning & Traffic Panel – report
  7. Education & Social Panel – report
  8. Treasurer’s Report
  9. Society Membership – report
  10. Bridge – Issues 54 (Spring) & 55 (Summer)
  11. Other Organisations and Societies
  12. Venue for Future Executive Committee Meetings
  13. Any Other Business
S&SES Executive Committee Meeting April 18 7.45pm