1st June 2020, 3:00pm

I hope that you and your families are well and coping in the best way possible at this time.  It is wonderful news for those who have been shielding that you can venture outdoors from 1 June.  It must have been extremely frustrating to stay in your home for so many weeks, especially with such good weather. Let us hope that the easing of the lockdown continues smoothly and sensibly.

It was wonderful to see the Lit & Phil’s very first live online event on 20 May with Dr Kirstie Whitaker being interviewed by Tea Milanovic, a very competent student from Withington Girls’ School, and introduced by Melissa Lord.  There was a lot of preparation in the background for this event and experience gained by all, which will serve the Society well as the season progresses – do look out for news about these as and when we can plan them.  Also, you will very shortly be able to view the recording of Dr Whitaker’s event via the Lit & Phil website.

We very much hope to be able to resume live events when safe to do so, and this will be our overwhelming strategy for the future.  We must be realistic in the meantime, and plan for alternative ways of pursuing the mission of the Lit & Phil while we all adapting to such unprecedented times.  Personally, I really miss the social interaction of face-to-face meetings. Seeing friends and family on a small screen is wonderful, but in no way a substitute for the real thing.  However, all our Council, Section and other meetings are taking place very regularly (online of course!), and we have formed a short-term planning group to specifically deal with the current situation.  We are also contacting all speakers planned for the Michaelmas term programme, to discuss alternative ways of enjoying their presentations, should we be unable to use our usual venues.

If you are accessing interesting online sites, please do recommend them.  Also, please send any suggestions and comments you may have regarding future programming to our office – our staff Rachel and Aude are working from home and do have full access to email and phone messages.  I thank them again for their hard work, technical skills, and their innovative ideas.


Best wishes,

Dr Susan Hilton, President