MALVERN Civic Society met for its first talk of 2024 at the Eden Centre, Malvern, on Friday, January 12.

There was a record attendance of more than 140 members and friends with the meeting in two parts.

Peter Buchanan, chairman of Malvern Hills FoodBank, gave a short presentation of the aims and objectives of the organisation and thanked the society for contributions brought to the meeting.

Mr Buchanan said that the clientele of the project in 2023 numbered more than 5,000 – more than twice the number pre-Covid pandemic.

The guest speaker of the evening was Faith Renger, trustee of Malvern Museum, who gave a lecture on an unusual aspect of life in Malvern in the 19th century.

The talk was titled as 'Four Malvern Ladies with the common touch'.

Apphia, Lady Lyttelton, Lady Edith Foley, Lady Lucy Howard de Walden and Florence, Lady Harberton lived in the town for much of their lives.

They are long remembered for their charitable work in the community such as building schools during the times when the lives of the less fortunate were difficult.

For example, Lady Lyttleton opened a foodbank at her house in Poolbrook in the first quarter of the 19th century.

Many local roads and buildings are named after them.

As in the case of Lady Foley, their families owned swathes of the land that was developed and laid down rules and regulations that are still regarded as models of town planning.

Lady Harberton was a summer resident in Malvern and a prominent social reformer, keen to promote more sensible clothes for ladies as they started to take part in various sports like archery and the riding of bicycles.

Even though she died in 1911, Lady Harberton was a keen suffragette and was prominent in many of the early demonstrations, refusing to take part in the 1911 census until women’s rights were granted.

Society member Susan Druce proposed a vote of thanks to Faith for such an illuminating Talk.

The next society meeting is on Friday, February 9 with a talk to be given by James Kelly entitled 'Sir Barry Jackson and the Malvern Festival 1929–1937: The Ideal Combination of Event and Environment'.

Doors open at 6.30pm at Eden Centre, Grovewood Road, WR14 1GD, opposite Aldi.