Open Meetings Programme

For a record of past meetings, please refer to the Archive. This gives speakers and  topics.

Future Programme

The ICEA year ends on July 31st. The monthly programme of open meetings resumes in October. Dates for our forthcoming meetings are shown below. Speakers and topics are added when these are sufficiently confirmed to be announced. Formal notices giving further details are posted and despatched to members and those on the mailing list approximately one month before the event.

Going forward we expect to provide a mix of Zoom and hybrid (face to face with a Zoom feed in addition) meetings. These will normally be on the third Wednesday each month, excluding December. We have planned bookings at the AWG monthly through to next July, dates will be finalised as they are agreed with our speakers.

In addition to the confirmed meetings and future dates listed below, in normal times there are also Members’ Events including the Annual General Meeting and Christmas social.

For dates and details please refer to the Members Events page

Meetings, Time and Place

Venue: Art Workers’ Guild (AWG), Gradidge Room and Zoom

The Gradidge Room is a small venue and our meetings are more akin to seminars than to lectures.

In-person participants: the venue is at 6 Queen Square, WC1N 3AT

Charges for in-person participants (including drinks/refreshments):
Members – £5; Non-members – £10; Students – £2.50

Members can meet from 6.00 pm, the talk runs from 6.30-8.00 followed by more drinks.

Intended dates for presentations for the balance of the 2023-24 year are given below. Provisional bookings have been made at AWG for the third Wednesday of each month up to July as set out below. These dates may, exceptionally, be varied to accommodate a presenter’s other commitments. All meetings’ announcements should be regarded as provisional until the formal meeting notice is circulated approximately one month in advance of the meeting date. Information additional to what appears below may be added before that.


Wednesday 15th May 2024, 18h00 for 18h30 (and by Zoom)

An Amateur Economist let loose in British Rail


presented by


James Mackay


James Mackay read economics at Cambridge before attending the London Business School. He then spent a wide-ranging career in railways, including line management at Victoria station, leadership of two Inter-City sub-sectors, management of an international team preparing for arrival of Eurostar, management of the last two British Rail freight services up to 1997, and then a final decade of consultancy for the new operators of the privatised rail sector.

In his talk James will examine the railways from his personal economic perspective and consider why the industry, simultaneously capital-intensive and labour-intensive, is seen as inefficient. He will inter alia explain why, in his view, Beeching was, of all the BR Chairmen, the one who saw it best in business terms. And he may explore what has made it all so expensive.

  Venue: Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT

This talk will also be transmitted live via Zoom

Individuals will need to register with Zoom. To join us
please click on the following meeting link:  

Meeting ID: 869 4235 3985  Passcode: 951844
The site will open half an hour before the talk and it would

be greatly appreciated if members and guests use a recognisable user name when
taking part in our online meetings.

We expect to continue providing a mixture of Zoom and hybrid meetings. (Hybrid meetings combine face to face and Zoom). They will normally be on the third Wednesday each month, excluding December. We have planned bookings at the AWG monthly through to June 2025; dates will be finalised as they are agreed with our speakers. Provisional dates for the rest of 2024 are as follows:-

Calendar year 2024   
                                                                        ICEA year 2023-24   
                                                                   June  19th 
                                                                  July  17th
                                                                              ICEA year 2024-25  
                                                                         October 16th
                                                                            November 13th

Meeting Charges

A small charge is made to cover the costs of drinks and other refreshments, which are served before and after the meeting.  Charges (including drinks/refreshments): Members – £5; Non-members – £10; Students – £2.50.

Meeting Notifications

If you would like to receive meeting notifications, please fill in your details and submit the form below.