Eastbourne Ashridge Circle
Founded 1947

About Us

Origin and Foundation

The Circle was formed in 1947 by Mrs Helen Newman, an Eastbourne resident with close connections to Ashridge College in Berkhamsted, Herts, an educational centre set up before WWII to provide courses to adult Britons on 'democratic citizenship', covering economics and political and social science.

It has developed over seven decades into a prestigious lecture society whose members have met in various Eastbourne venues from the Towner Gallery to the Congress Theatre as membership has risen to around 1700, making it one of the largest lecture groups in the country.

Aim and Management

The Circle’s objective is to promote good citizenship through the holding of lectures on a diverse range of subjects aimed at enhancing knowledge of the world, both past and present. It is entirely independent and managed by a committee elected annually by members. It has no political affiliations and no bias towards any sectional interests.

Mutual friendliness and sociability are the society’s watchwords and formality is kept to a minimum.


Lectures given by persons highly qualified in their particular spheres are given during the winter months. The subjects can range from history to aspects of entertainment, through cultural and art themes, science, travel, media and the monarchy.


Please see our meetings page for details of our programme for the forthcoming season 2018-2019.

Membership and Subscription

Application for membership should be addressed to the Secretary.

The annual subscription is currently £23 per head usually payable in July.