Philosophy and Appreciation

February 22, 2012

in Friendship, Miscellaneous, Outside World

(apologies for poor pictures – taken in poor light in the Rose and Crown, Tintern)

For the past twenty years a group of people have gathered once a month in a local pub in Tintern to talk philosophy. The group was led and formed by Hatti Pegram and the philosopher Ray Billington.

Hatti Pegram and Ray Billington

It is a stimulating, warm-hearted and intelligent group, an assembly of some of the most interesting people in Monmouthshire. Ray and Hatti have just decided to retire and hand over the running of the group to John Clarke, and this evening we met to pay tribute to Ray and Hatti. They have not only brought philosophy, but fun, friendship and laughter, enriching the lives of all of us.

Some of us at the Tintern Philosophy Circle

I mention all this here because I am delighted that we spent an evening appreciating Ray and Hatti. Too often we wait until friends are dead before getting up in public and saying what they have meant to us, and to the best of my knowledge, they don’t get to hear that.

(and sorry everyone who couldn’t come -you missed Ray’s Bertrand Russell joke.)

Ray and John

Addition Ray died on the 1st September 2012 at home with Hatti, family and friends. He will be very badly missed. If anyone wants to know more of his work see his Amazon page.

The Tintern Philosophy Circle meets on the third Tuesday of the month in the Rose and Crown at Tintern, Monmouthshire. All welcome.

Ray and John, the presentation


Karlostheunhappy September 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

On Ray’s passing, I thought I’d post his voice from earlier time:

Fond memories. I am very pleased to have found the circle within the same year I started reading philosophy.

Although I have probably missed as many as I have attended due only to working away sometimes, I look forward to it each time I can.

See you all there soon I hope.

Barbara Girardet February 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Thank you Anne for showing pictures of the farewell to Hattie and Ray…indeed two of the most wonderful people in the Wye Valley. We were so sorry that we had to miss last night, due to a pressing prior engagement. We certainly intend to continue to support the Philo, and are so very grateful to Hattie and Ray for bringing culture, fun, humour and all manner of other good things to the people of Tintern.
Thank you Anne for the blog, very much appreciated.

David Hoyle February 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Philosophy can be a boring subject unless you have been motivated to study it in depth but if you are keen as I was to explore the many unanswerable questions that greet us whenever we listen to the news, current affairs or read the papers, what could be better than being in the presence of the master Ray Billington and his most capable partner Hatti Pegram. Presented with both passion and humour, Ray made all the sessions I have attended over the last 10yrs a real joy. I am not well read in philosophy; in fact I had not read any books on it until I read Ray’s remarkable treatise, “Living Philosophy” and then acquired other books and tapes which I play now and again.

If all professors could deliver their message in the way Ray has done over the years, we would indeed not fear academic subjects but embrace them. Never pompous, always inspiring, sometimes dogmatic (usually about religion) but most of all very approachable, its easy to see why Ray and Hatti make friends easily. The one thing I will remember about my association with Ray is that he would often invite me to say something, perhaps not expecting words of wisdom, but a view from the other side of the track, a view from someone who may just see a chink in an argument or point of view that might give food for thought. If I did, I am indeed proud of that but most of the time he gave me food for thought which has helped me become more philosophical about life. I am much the richer for knowing Ray and Hatti and long may they continue to inhabit the space we call the Tintern Philosophy Circle.

anne February 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Thanks, David, for saying so eloquently what we all think and feel about those two..and to Rebecca and Fiona for adding to our tribute. XXXXX

Rebecca Weissbort February 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

What a wonderful tribute to two lovely people. I wish I could of been there to support and experience the warmth. xx

John Clarke February 20, 2015 at 11:59 am

Dear Rebecca,

Re Tintern Philosophy Circle: I have tried several variations on your email address, but they are all sent back to me undelivered. Would you like to have another go?



Fiona Frank February 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Sorry to have missed last night.How lucky we are to have such a meeting of minds in
Tintern. Thanks Hatti and Ray for all your contributions.x

Hermoine Ford February 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

Thank you so much for sending me that e-mail. I was unable to stay last night as I felt very shivery, but sorry that I missed such an important meeting. The philosophy group is so wonderful and Ray and Hatti have given out a great deal.
So, thank you, Anne, for sending this on to me.
Best wishes

anne February 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Do hope you’re not ill – and thanks for this. Glad to be able to contribute a small appreciation here.

Previous post:

Next post: