A busy start to the year for the members of the London Ladies Club. In January we were delighted to welcome the Rt Hon Lord Ashdown of Norton- sub-Hamdon GCMG KBE PC who spoke about his latest book “Game of Spies”. The Talk was followed by a buffet dinner at the Rag. In February, we visited the house Benjamin Franklin lived in for nearly sixteen years. We experienced a sense of the complexity of the man and the times in which he lived: food, health, botany, and daily living, social and personal relationships, musical inventions and political tension, scientific work, political triumphs and woes, and a hurried return to America in the face of the looming War of Independence. March, saw the London Ladies visit the British Library, the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest library in the world by number of items catalogued. We also visited the Guildhall Art Gallery, established in 1886 as a Collection of Art Treasures worthy of the Capital City, the Guildhall Art Gallery houses works dating from 1670 to the present, including 17th-century portraits, Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces and a range of paintings documenting London's dramatic history. This visit was followed by lunch in Gresham Street. Our programme of Tuesday Talks at the Army & Navy Club continued throughout the programme and we were pleased to welcome, Dr Simon Anderson from The Lister Hospital Chelsea, who spoke on common gastroenterology problems, The Country Gentlemen's AssociationStanley Martin CVO, spoke about the links between the German and the British Royal families, Dr Ling Zhu, from Lyon & Turnbull came to speak about Classical, modern and Contemporary Chinese painting and finally in April , we welcomed Sir Francis Richards, KCMG who was Britain's first High Commissioner to Namibia 1990-2. Appointed Deputy Under Secretary of State for defence and intelligence in the FCO 1998, and Director of GCHQ later that year. On retirement from GCHQ he was appointed Governor and Commander in Chief of Gibraltar 2003-6. Sir Francis was Chairman of the Bletchley Park Trust from 2007-12, and of the Imperial War Museum 2012-16.