NWR Steyning – Conference report

Two of our members attended the NWR Annual Conference in Birmingham in September 2021 then wrote this up for NWR Steyning members to read about. In their words the 2021 Conference was the best ever…

Until Newcastle upon Tyne in 2022 we hope!


NWR Conference – 60th anniversary

Precious Gems


10-12 September 2021


Being an almost exclusively female audience (bar a few male speakers and NWR HQ staff) it’s a supportive and fun environment where travelling alone is no bar to sitting down and talking to women you didn’t know at the time – and who quickly become friends. Out of c200 attendees we guessed that a good 20% travelled on their own.

Conference Costs

The costs were:

  • Return rail from Shoreham – £60
  • Burlington Hotel (where the conference was held) – £112 pp for 2 nights shared room B&B
  • Core conference re Sat and Sun inc lunches on Sat & Sun – £105
  • Saturday evening conference dinner and speaker £38
  • Sunday afternoon canal boat trip £9

Total £324 pp.


The Programme

The programme options and workshops attended included

  • Friday night quiz (60s based – who was born, died, married, and did things etc)

Talks by/re

  • Valerie Singleton
  • The discovery of Richard III’s remains in a Leicester car park – by Peter Liddle MBE
  • Sex and the Tudors (by Lesley Smith – M. Phil in Tudor Medicine)
  • Who Do You Think You Are’s Nick Barratt
  • The Jewel in the Crown

Workshops – several choices available for 2 sessions.

  • A drama improvisation session
  • About Mary Quant (with wardrobe examples)
  • The sometimes lost heritage of English folk music
  • The history of canals around Birmingham


An important facet of the programme was the informal opportunity to discuss how other NWR groups operate and to collect many great tips.

Finally, NWR has a new patron – Jasvinder Sanghera CBE. She campaigns about forced marriages, honour killings and more recently grandparents’ rights to access their grandchildren often due to family break ups. She spoke movingly and knowledgeably about these subjects and is encouraging NWR to attract a more diverse membership – many of whom may be lonely.

Roll on Newcastle in 2022.

as at 19 September 2021