Social Programme

The Athenaeum always has a busy calendar of social events for members and their guests. From Presidential dinners which include dining evenings with speakers, the more formal evenings of the annual Burns Night and Annual Dinner but also casual dining evenings, wine tasting evenings, musical events and many more. In addition to that there are a number of interest groups that meet regularly to engage in their own subjects.

The Presidential calendar usually includes one or two social evenings per month with dinner and with a speaker or musical event. The speakers chosen are those with the greatest interest for members with many varied subjects providing for the most enjoyable evenings. Musical evenings cover a wide range of interests but the highlight of the year is the Opera Prize where graduates of the Royal Northern College of Music compete for the Athenaeum’s Sir David Maddison trophy.

Members are advised of all events by email and in the regular Presidential Newsletter. All events can be booked on line via the members area of the Athenaeum’s website and payments including bar bills can be paid by direct debit. Members can also view their account and make payments at any time by logging into their account in members area of the website

The Athenaeum has a number of special interest groups. These groups are organised by members and all members and their guests can join any group for regular or just an occasional visit, perhaps when the speaker is of personal interest. Groups usually meet on a regular date in the month to allow members to plan their diary, but information about their respective future meeting, including dates, times and venue, are circulated to members by email


This group organises monthly talks on a wide range of historical subjects.

Some talks are given by Proprietors and some by guests. Membership of the group is open to all Proprietors with meetings taking place in the Library.


Meeting monthly in the Library this group organises readings and talks about all aspects of literature.


Taking an interest in all aspects of architecture this group holds monthly talks by Proprietors or other visiting speakers.

This group is not exclusively for people from the profession and provides talks on subjects of interest to all.


Through talks, visits, exhibitions this group celebrates the art of photography. The group meets monthly and all who are interested in the subject in its widest sense are welcome.

The group posts regular small exhibitions on the Photo Gallery which can be accessed by clicking on this link.


Meeting monthly this group regularly shows films at the Athenaeum usually with a short presentation by the sponsoring member about the film and any interesting facts.

Evening showings are usually accompanied by a light supper for a small charge and ice cream and popcorn is usually served in the interval.


This group also organises visits to local theatres on monthly basis to see whatever production may interest the members of the group. TheGroup also organises matinee visits with a preceding lunch at the Athenaeum.

Library and Archive

Organised around the study of the Athenaeum Library collection it includes studies into some of the treasures of the Library and some research into the archive. This busy and interesting group meets early evening and includes alight supper after the meeting

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