Here is some feedback from our members on activities offered by Cambourne & District U3A!
- Two comments on the Bury St Edmunds Trip, May 2019
1) My retirement last year has given me time and opportunity to learn more about history and beautiful places I never knew about before
Our visit to this wonderful theatre not only taught me about the history of the building itself but also how theatre fitted into social history and its meaning to different classes in the past.
Our guide, Rory, shared his knowledge and enthusiasm in such detail that I could feel the atmosphere of long ago performances and how the community of Bury St Edmunds benefits from having a busy, vibrant theatre. It offers a variety of entertainment, from local dancers to Noel Coward, Shakespeare and Julian Clary, amongst many others! We heard about outreach work with, for example, schools, and agencies helping those struggling to overcome addiction, which I found inspiring.
Lunch at the Greene King restaurant was delicious, followed by a visit to St Mary’s church, where I saw the tomb of Mary, Queen of France, which was moved there from the Abbey after the dissolution of the monasteries. Mary was Henry V111’s favourite sister. The stained-glass windows were stunning and the side chapel, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the raising of the Suffolk Regiment, was impressive and touching.
I met some members of our U3A for the first time, and I even fitted in some retail therapy!
A great day out (only slightly marred by the weather) and I shall return to visit the Cathedral and the Abbey, the Moyse’s Hall museum and maybe the smallest pub: The Nutshell. - Caroline A
2) This was an enthralling and fascinating visit to the Regency Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. The guide was a real enthusiast who first gave us a brief background to the theatre whilst we enjoyed our refreshments then brought the visit to life by involving all of our senses. The smell of the Georgian days cleverly bottled for us, everything from sweaty clothing and horse manure to lily of the valley. We sat in the posh seats, once reserved by servants, whilst their wealthy masters went to dinner and returned for more entertainment, We climbed up stairs to the gallery, down stairs to the pits enjoyed by the poor and lounged on the sofas in the green room. To be on the stage was an enlightening experience too. The actors so close to the audience they could chat to one another, possibly whilst dodging half eaten fruit, thrown by disgruntled members of the audience.
From the theatre we enjoyed time to explore Bury St Edmunds for ourselves. Beautiful churches and gardens for some, cafes and shops for others and I believe a beer garden might have appealed too! Thank you Fran for an excellent study visit.