Not everybody knows Cheltenham as ‘Citta Italiana’ but that was the title of Aylwin Sampson’s talk. The town is famous for its Regency architecture, inspired by the buildings of the Roman Empire, so ‘Italian City’ is an apt description.

The talk was illustrated by the speaker’s delightful sketches, not only of buildings and general town scenes, but the embellishments which many people never see. All were drawn on site as Aylwin does not possess a camera. In a wide-ranging tour of the town the link with original buildings in Italy was shown.

Whenever we visit Cheltenham in future we shall keep our eyes peeled for the many details which this talk revealed. Not content with an architectural survey, Aylwin went on to demonstrate his scholarship by outlining the many other aspects of everyday life which have Roman origins such as the derivation of many English words, driving on the left etc. I’m sure he could have kept us enthralled for hours without exhausting his knowledge.

On October 4 we shall be visiting the Black Country Museum at Dudley. We meet at 10am every Thursday at The Boathouse, Evesham Rowing Club.

Full details can be found on our website,