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Welcome back, Phileas

Last night, at a quarter before nine in the evening, Phileas Fogg arrived back at the Reform Club. Having followed in his footsteps, our Virtual Travellers have not only journeyed around the world taking in the arts and culture of Europe, Asia and America, they also caught glimpses of what our wonderful Directory of Accredited Lecturers has to offer. It seems appropriate at this point to thank our Lecturers for their incredible contribution over the past 18 months: not just the 26 Lecturers who took part in our 80 Days journey, but to all Lecturers who delivered their talks to our local Societies’ online and now in the gradually resuming in-person lecture programmes. The diversity and breadth of our Lecturers’ shared repertoire was at the heart of the 80 Days project, and we hope you’ve enjoyed their unique take on Phileas’ journey.

You still have time to watch all lecture films and the recordings of live events here. We will leave the 80 Days site available for you to revisit our 25 destinations; and please do recommend the 80 Days programme to your friends and family.

We would like to thank all Virtual Travellers for their comments, messages of support, for attending our live events and for taking part in the book club and Travellers Group. Thanks to you, we were able to connect with each other and enjoy the virtual company of members – old and new – from all over the world.

As we come to the end of our adventure, we have one more reading with Accredited Lecturer Simon Whitehouse. Join us this evening at 7:00pm to hear him perform the final chapters of the book as Phileas, Passepartout and Aouda return to London. Register here for the reading and receive the link to the final live event of our programme and our wrap up party.

We will write to you in the near future to ask for your feedback and thoughts on the project. We are now working on a new online initiative which will go live by the end of the year and will share details with you in the coming weeks. If you want to be the first to learn about our new initiatives and are happy to join a group of early adopters please email us at

It is at this stage that we would like to thank the wonderful team of Arts Society volunteers who made this project possible. Muriel Lowe from Brussels, John McEvoy and David Taylor from Cornwall, Maggie Watts from Wessex and Diana Nutting from West Mercia. Also on the team were Arts Society colleagues Katherine Sutton, Shivani Mahida, Rik and Jane Gadsby and Isabel Cooper. Together, they worked tirelessly on new ideas, created events, led discussions and improved the travellers’ experience.

Thank you for all your hard work and virtual companionship.

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