Cam, Dursley & District


The Branch

The Cam, Dursley and District branch hold regular, general interest monthly meetings at Dursley Methodist Church on the third Thursday starting at 10.30 a.m. We usually host an invited speaker , preceded by a little bit of business, and followed by tea and biscuits and socialising.

The groups

Then of course there are the special interest group meetings. You can find more details about where, what, when and how much by clicking the relevant group on the "Groups" page.

Plus we occasionally organise one-off activities or outings which all members are welcome to join.

Brief details of all forthcoming general branch meetings and group activities are listed below.

Dates for your Diary
April 2020
Thu Apr 2ndScience & Engineering

TALK by Robin Stafford Allen about "Renewable Energy - without the hot air...." [Robin gave the talk on Fusion energy last year].

Please note that this talk has been POSTPONED, and will not take place on this date.

Can we realistically live on renewable energy? Can we do without the coal, oil and natural gas that we so heavily rely on at the moment? This talk takes a logical look at the options and poo-poos some of the myths concerning sustainable renewable energy, but does also give guidance as to what we should do as individuals to give future generations a good world to inherit.

Renewables are providing only a few percent of the energy for the world and almost all renewable with the exception of hydroelectric dams, are “in addition” to power stations and not “instead of” power stations and so cannot be relied upon for “base-load” energy supply continuously.

The meeting will be held in the main body of the Dursley Methodist Church starting at 10.30am. The talk will last for about 1 hour including a Q & A session, and then refreshments. Please bring £2 to cover room hire and presenter travelling expenses. Please use the blue bird if you need to contact the organiser: Dave Waugh.

Fri Apr 17thChurch ExplorersCheltenham Synagogue. Cancelled
Sun Apr 19thConcert Group

The first outing will be on Sunday April 19th for an afternoon concert at-

The Royal Albert Hall for a concert of Great Choral Classics with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

This event is CANCELLED. See Albert Hall message for details.

The programme will include-

  • Handel: Zadok the Priest Verdi: Requiem, Sanctus
  • Handel: Messiah, Hallelujah Chorus
  • Wagner: Tannhauser, Pilgrim’s Chorus
  • Orff: Carmina Burana, O Fortuna
  • Mozart: Requiem, Lacrymosa
  • Parry: I was glad
  • Parry: Jerusalem
  • Arne: Rule Britannia and more…

The price per ticket is only £44,43 which includes coach travel.

If you would like to book tickets for this concert or for more information please contact Rosemary Canning via the blue bird.

Mon Apr 20thScience & EngineeringVolunteering at the Dursley Sculpture Trail
Vale Vision are organising volunteers to assist refurbish / repair / install new items at the Sculpture trail at Twinberrow Wood, just off the Golf Course Road in the afternoon of the 3rd Monday every month.

People helping could sign up to any of the sessions. No need to be there each session as we would complete the mini-projects within the time available at each session. We need people who are able to assist with the construction of methods to fix / repair the sculptures so general DIY skills I would say. We can supply tools and materials or people can bring their own.

Easy parking is available on both sides of the road at the entrance to the Trail. If you are willing to help, please contact the working party leader - Mike Doughty of Vale Vision via the blue bird for each session.
Tue Apr 21stGardening GroupBristol Botanical Gardens ( this is by coach)

This visit is CANCELLED.
Wed Apr 22ndScience & EngineeringVisit to the John Taylor Bell Foundry, Freehold Street, Loughborough, LE11 1AR.

Please note that this visit has been POSTPONED, and will not take place on this date.

This visit is to see the history in the development of the art of bell founding over the last 600yrs. It also houses the only museum dedicated to this. The complex as seen today was purpose built in 1850 where in the museum you can read about the Taylor family history and examine the workings of the unique Carter Ringing machine. You may also see casting being performed while in the works (although this is not guaranteed on the day we visit). This is rather special as it is only one of two working bell foundries left in this Country.

The Tour numbers are 10 minimum, 35 maximum. A HSE / insurance requirement is that all visitors must wear fully enclosed shoes, otherwise entry is refused. Tour starts at 1.30pm and lasts for 1.5 to 2hrs, of the works and museum. This is mostly on the flat except for the upper museum gallery. Wheel chairs can be accommodated. Admission is £10 per person.

It will take about 2.5 hours to drive to Loughborough, depending on traffic. Whether we arrange a coach will depend on numbers (Cost in the order of £15). We propose to start early enough (9.30am?) to allow for lunch at The Three Nuns pub in Loughborough, which is close by and can be pre booked for lunch. It has a varied menu. Return about 6pm.

To book a place on this visit, please contact Donald Gibson via the bluebird
Mon Apr 27thFamily HistoryIn the light of the current virus situation, I have decided that this meeting is CANCELLED.
May 2020
Fri May 15thChurch ExplorersKempley, Gloucestershire Cancelled
Sat May 23rdScience & EngineeringVisit to The Met Office, Exeter, EX1 3PB.

This visit is CANCELLED

A visit to the Met Office Open day has been arranged for Saturday May 23rd 2020.
The group size is limited to 35 so it’s first come first served. The tour itself will start at 15:00 hours. The Met office only hold Open days on Saturdays and we have to attend an afternoon session due to our group size.

There is no charge for the tour itself. A coach will be provided with pickups in Cam and Dursley. Arrangements will be made to have lunch either on route or at the Met Office restaurant. Expected Pickup and drop off times are 11:30am and 7:30 pm respectively. More details will follow once we have final numbers.

Summary of tour.
The open day starts with a presentation about the Met Office that includes some of the history and an overview of what they do, this is followed by a tour of the facilities, including the library and a chance to look at some of the equipment (old & new) that have been used to measure the weather. The tour will finish with a presentation from one of the operational meteorologists about the work they do, finishing with the forecast for the next few days. All the way through there is an opportunity to ask all the tour guides and presenters questions.

This visit is now FULL, but if you want to go on the reserve list, please contact Dave Waugh via the Blue bird.
June 2020
Thu Jun 4thScience & EngineeringTALK by Martin Cuffe, Crime Scene Coordinator, Crime Command – Forensic Services, Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Details to follow, although this talk is likely to be postponed.

The meeting will be held in the main body of the Dursley Methodist Church starting at 10.30am. The talk will last for about 1 hour including a Q & A session, and then refreshments. Please bring £2 to cover room hire, etc. Please use the blue bird if you need to contact the organiser: Graham Ellis.
Thu Jun 18thMeetingAGM and Monthly branch meeting Dursley Methodist Church. Doors open 10.00 a.m. meeting starts 10.30 a.m.

Presenter: Rose Hewlett - The Glamorgan Coast
Fri Jun 19thChurch ExplorersElmley Castle Church and Pershore Abbey Subject to Cancellation.
Travel to Elmsley Castle Church for coffee and talk on the history of the church. The church of St Mary (Simon Jenkins two star) has Norman origins and is home to superb C17 monuments. Then on to Pershore where there are plenty of places for lunch and at 2.30 we have a guided tour of the Abbey. Pershore Abbey rates four stars, so a feast for the eyes. Expected time of departure 16.30pm. Approx cost £25pp to include coach and two guided tours.
Thu Jun 25thScience & EngineeringVisit to Hinkley Point B (HPB) nuclear power station.

A visit has been arranged to HPB on Thursday 25th June 2020. This EDF nuclear station is an Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) and has been in operation for over 40 years producing 1000 MW power into the grid.

The 3.5 hour tour starts in the EDF Energy Visitor Centre based in Bridgwater, where there is a 30 minute talk about Hinkley Point B power station. This encompasses the background of EDF Energy as a company and the varied sources of electricity as well as a breakdown of the working sites at Hinkley Point, including the new nuclear build at HPC.

We will then spend approximately 20 minutes in the interactive exhibition area where there is a lot to see and do, before we make our way to HPB itself. Here we will visit the control room viewing gallery, the turbine hall and the pilecap viewing gallery which is situated 160ft above sea level and looks down onto the top of the two reactors.

There is no fee for the tour itself, although a contribution to their current charity (Prostate cancer) would be appreciated. It is thought that a £5 donation per head would be appropriate.

A coach will be arranged with pickups in Wooton, Dursley and Cam. Coach cost will depend on final numbers but it is expected to be in the range of £10-£15. The number of visitors is limited to 30 so it will be first come first served.

Appropriate footwear is essential and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided. There is a substantial amount of walking during the tour, and we need to use a lift to access one of the Viewing Galleries, so if anyone suffers from claustrophobia, they may prefer to use the stairway - which is 10 floors up!

The tour starts at 9:15am so there will be an early start of 7:45am with an expected return time about 14:30pm.

To book a place please contact Dave Waugh via the Blue Bird.
July 2020
Fri Jul 3rdHistoric PlacesWe have organised a trip to Chepstow Castle and then on to Raglan Castle I have education tickets for both so the cost will just be £10 for the coach.
Thu Jul 16thMeetingMonthly branch meeting Dursley Methodist Church. Doors open 10.00 a.m. meeting starts 10.30 a.m.

Presenter: Robin Burton
Story Telling Through Song (Tales from English folk song)
Fri Jul 17thChurch ExplorersNorthleach and Stowell
Subject to cancellation.
Northleach Church is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, and rates 4 stars, a masterpiece built on the profits of the wool trade. Its interior boasts the best collection of monumental brasses in the county. After a break for lunch, on to Stowell Park for 2.30pm for a guided tour of St Leonards and its fine C12 wall paintings.
Coach to Northleach for coffee at 10.30am, 11am Guided Tour £2 a head, lunch break in Northleach, afternoon at Stowell.
Please contact Alison Beer and Sue Devine if you would like to join this visit.
August 2020
Thu Aug 6thHistoric PlacesOur August trip will be a historic walk in Ledbury with a historian for £5 and then on to Eastnor Castle and gardens group rate of £11.50. The castle never opens on a Friday and this is the only Thurs they open so we have accepted the Thurs. The coach will be £10
Fri Aug 21stChurch ExplorersBeverston, Gloucestershire
Subject to cancellation.
Simon Jenkins gives St Mary at Beverston a modest one star, and although small in size, it has an extensive history. The Berkeley Chapel boasts an unusual walk through squint. The rood screen was salvaged from the rectory garden when the church was restored from its ruinous state by the Victorians. The church has recently undergone more sympathetic alteration to fit it for C21.
11.00 am Meet at Beverston for guided tour of the church £5.00pp.
September 2020
Thu Sep 17thMeetingMonthly branch meeting Dursley Methodist Church. Doors open 10.00 a.m. meeting starts 10.30 a.m.

Presenter: Jan Ryder - Longfield House
Fri Sep 18thChurch ExplorersHereford Cathedral
Subject to cancellation.
Travel to Hereford in time for a morning guided tour of the cathedral. Members are free to spend the rest of the day in the town, take the self-guided tour of the library and the Mappa Mundi and/or join a guided tour of the cathedral gardens at 2.30. We would aim to depart from Hereford at about 16.30.
Approx cost Coach £15.50 plus Morning guided tour £5, Morning guided tour and afternoon garden tour £8, Morning guided tour and self-guided library tour £9, Morning guided tour, self-guided library tour and garden tour £14.
October 2020
Thu Oct 15thMeetingMonthly branch meeting Dursley Methodist Church. Doors open 10.00 a.m. meeting starts 10.30 a.m.

Presenter: Peter Cheeseman, Civil Protection Advisor – Are You Ready?
Emergency Services Awareness.
November 2020
Thu Nov 5thScience & EngineeringThe Science and Engineering group hold an annual members meeting in November. This is for all Science and Engineering group members. This year's meeting is at 10.30am on 5th November in Dursley Methodist Church. There will be NO CHARGE for the meeting.

To start, there will be a talk - details to be advised nearer the time.

Following the talk there will be the usual (free) refreshments. Then we may do a review of potential events for 2021, but due to the poor attendance last year, we may omit this - we would welcome your views on this.
Fri Nov 6thHistoric PlacesNational Memorial Arboretum.
Entrance is free but we will give a donation.Wheelchairs or scooters can be hired if required if prebooked. We can also prebook arrival tea or coffees with biscuits @£3.
Also available to be booked is a walking tour at £3 per head and a land train aprox 50 minutes with a running commentary.
Price of coach £10
Thu Nov 19thMeetingMonthly branch meeting Dursley Methodist Church. Doors open 10.00 a.m. meeting starts 10.30 a.m.

Presenter: Patrick Marks - Indian Hill Railways
December 2020
Thu Dec 17thMeetingProvisional date for Christmas Mental Challenge - Please don’t be put off by the title as it will take the form of our usual Christmas Quiz with Mulled Wine and Mince Pies. As usual, it will be held in the Dursley Methodist Church for a prompt start at 10.30am.

Teams of 4 if possible as the prizes will only cover four people and we won’t be able to split them so you may need to work out how to share them!