History of
The Arts Society – Tring Park

The formation of the Tring Park Society in 1994 was the brainchild of David Goode and his wife Joan at that time living in Tring. The idea stemmed from the National Association, NADFAS. The first such Society formed was ‘Chiltern’ founded by Patricia Fay in 1965 in Chalfont St. Peter. Her idea was to bring specialist lecturers to meetings, these to be followed by visits to exhibitions, historic houses and gardens etc. It was immediately successful and has grown to over 360 societies both in this country and abroad.

In May 1994 the fledgling Tring Society was assisted in formation by Brenda Greenfield of NADFAS headquarters. In June 1994 David applied to Dacorum Council for a grant to start the Society. This was approved and he received a cheque for £150. He approached John Bly to be President and set about recruiting a steering Committee. We needed a suitable meeting venue so the Grass Roots organisation in Tring was approached for us to use the Pendley Theatre, to which they agreed. Since Pendley Theatre can seat 200 it was decided to limit membership to that number in the first year. Membership application forms were distributed to a variety of venues seeking members for an official start on 1 October 1994. Within a week we had over 200 applications and we immediately started a waiting list.

At 10.30 on the morning of Wednesday 23 November 1994 we had our first open meeting when we expounded on the NADFAS organisation and John Bly, the new President, gave a talk on ‘Our Local Heritage’. The inaugural meeting of the Society was held on 11 January 1995 and was chaired by the then NADFAS Chairman, Lady Johnson. At that meeting the Constitution and Rules were passed by the members and the steering committee was elected to be Officers and Committee until the first AGM which members decided should be held in September. The membership fee was set at £25 for the first year. Although we had no projection or audio equipment of our own we were lucky enough to have a Committee member with the necessary facilities and expertise.


1994-1996 David Goode – Founder Chairman

1997-1999 Elizabeth Foster

2000-2003 Phillip Lawrence

2004-2008 Keith Miller

2009-2012 John Howat

2013- 2015 Barbara Flint

2016-2020 Keith Todd


David Goode – Chairman

Jane Hill – Vice Chairman

Shirley Thomas – Treasurer

Ann Hawkes – Secretary

Margaret Hatcher – Programme Secretary

Linda Stacey – Membership Secretary

Virginia Bly

Joan Goode

Eileen Lever

Mary Marwood

Julie Thomas