Chard, Ilminster & District



Janet Brown is our holiday organiser. Tel: 01460 66462 or email



The Art and Craft of Birmingham and the West Midlands

As you will see I am not organising our holiday for 2020 but Jane is organising it for Somerton U3A and for us and I am helping to publicise it. There will be pick ups in Chard and Ilminster. There is a possibility of evening entertainment see below.
Please complete your booking form and send it with your deposit by October 7th to Jane NOT me see below

Somerton U3A Travel Group
The Art and Craft of Birmingham and the West Midlands

Additional information.

Please return completed Booking Form (Select link'Birmingham 3' below) and £75 deposit + Insurance Premium if selected, to
Jane Redgrove, 62 Pearmain Road, Somerton TA11 6AY
7th October2019

The following entertainments will be available during our stay in Birmingham. Please let me know if you would be interested in any of them when you send your deposit. We might be able to obtain group rates if I book them together.

Birmingham Hippodrome: “Mama Mia”. Stalls tickets range from £33.50 to £135.00
Alexandra Theatre: “Some mothers do ‘ave ‘em” with Joe Pasquale, Sarah Earnshaw and Susie Blake.
Tickets £13.00 to £45.00
Symphony Hall Saturday 28th May 7 p.m. CBSO
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Suite, Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major, Brahms: Symphony No. 1.
Pianist, Behzod Abduraimor
Tickets £37.50, £44, £52.

Please select these links to view the brochure:

Birmingham 1 . . . Birmingham 2 . . . Birmingham 3 . . . Birmingham 4 . . . Birmingham 5


1 Our Holiday in North Wales Before the streets were properly aired and with Sandman's dust still in our eyes, our luxury coach with driver, Mark, a sound and loyal Welshman to his finger-tips, headed north.

Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire was our first “watering hole”. On a warm May Day afternoon the Hall was busy, the crowds admiring the painted ceilings and the spontaneous drama on the back lawn. One item perhaps missed by many was a seventeenth century poster and broadsheet, condemning the drinking of coffee by men, “the Devil's brew...” How times have changed!

Bodnant Gardens on our first full morning were outstanding. Eighty acres of the most cared-for borders, terraces and lawns – Azaleas in early bloom, Rhododendrons likewise contrasting with carefully arranged ferns, each supporting the other. The famous Laburnum Arch was just coming into bloom – an amazing spectacle!

Then to Conway for its castle – a massive fortress built on the orders of Edward I, finished in 1287, to keep the Welsh calmly subdued and in their place!

One of many Welshmen not subdued was David Lloyd George. We visited the small but so evocative museum dedicated to one of the most outstanding politicians and statesmen of the twentieth century. The “Old Age Pension”, the “People's Budget” and many other enabling and liberal measures stemmed from DLG, building the foundation for the Welfare State to follow in the 1940s.

2 Our Holiday in North Wales The Ffestiniog Narrow Gauge Railway took us from Porthmadog up to “slate town”, Blaenau Ffestiniog – an hour's journey on the world's oldest narrow gauge railway. There it was a choice – underground into the slate caverns where the slate was mined, or in a military truck up and through the mountains of slate residue, over 1,000 feet high. Both options exhilarating where slate was once king.

In contrast, we explored the peace and tranquility of Caernarfon, a very Welsh-speaking town with its massive castle (Edward I again) the site of the induction of Prince Charles into the title of Prince of Wales.

Then on to Gwydir Castle set in the valley of the River Conway, small, intimate and lovingly restored to its Tudor magnificence with dozens of peacocks in the grounds, and its superb panelled Dining Room dating from the 17th century.

Our final day was on Anglesey. Beaumaris Castle (Edward I yet again), a splendid tour around the island, even passing the Waitrose supermarket where the Duchess of Cambridge did her shopping when the Duke (William) was doing his helicopter training at RAF Valley. And of course there had to be a 2 minute photo stop at the longest railway station name -
Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.
(And if you want to pronounce it, try You Tube!)
3  Our Holiday in North Wales
We said goodbye to our excellent guide, Amanda Whitehead and broke our journey home with a stop at Powis Castle (not Edward I !) and Gardens. In total, a splendid tour, friendly and very companionable.

John Saunders 2019




You are invited to join us for a short break to the Blackpool (Illuminations) from 6th October to the 9th October 20, 2019.
We will be staying at The Queens Hotel, ideally situated on the South Promenade between the Central and South Piers. The hotel overlooks the Irish Sea and is only 10 minutes walk from the famous Pleasure Beach. Its 117 bedrooms have central heating, bath or shower and WC., tea/coffee making facilities, hair dryer and TV with radio channels. Single rooms benefit from an internal telephone. Generously sized public areas include an intimate bar, a splendid recently refurbished Theatre Bar with superb entertainment and attractive lounges.

The outward and return journeys will include visits to Chester or Trentham Gardens.

Since Blackpool has so much to offer to visitors and it is a good distance to travel, I am optimising the amount of time to enjoy the town and to visit the many attractions. The Tower, The Zoo, The Waxworks, The Art Gallery etc., or walk the miles of promenade and visit the piers.

Our two days in Blackpool will include:

1.An optional afternoon visit to Fleetwood, a coastal town with an historic museum and varied individual shops.

2.An evening tour of the lights

There is also the option to have afternoon tea at the Tower Ballroom (home of ballroom dancing and Strictly Come Dancing) at an additional cost of £17 per person.
NB these tickets must be booked and paid for when paying your deposit for the holiday.

Prices for the holiday are:
£289 per person for those sharing a room
plus £20 single supplement for the first 12 people booking a single room (allocated on a first come, first served basis)
(£30 single supplement for three more single rooms)
(there are a few single rooms with sea view available for a £59 supplement)
The price of the holiday may decrease if we have sufficient numbers of participants.

Please make all cheques payable to Bakers Dolphin
Deposit cheques for £20 dated now, and to be with me before the end of May.
A separate cheque of £17 for tea at The Tower Ballroom, (if required) dated now, also to be with me by the end of May
A separate cheque for the balance should be paid before 28th August 2019.

We always have great fun on these holidays and single people are never left on their own. Please encourage your mature family and friends to join us. It may be advisable to consider travel insurance as this activity is not covered by the U3A. For more information on any aspect of the holiday, or to book, please contact me.

Kind Regards
Jan Simpson, 01935 421161, 15 Victoria Road, Yeovil, BA21 5AY



2018 Holiday in Peak District

2017 Holiday in Cambridge

2016 Holiday in Madrid

2015 Holiday in Holland

2013 Lisbon Holiday

2012 Ireland Holiday


These holdays are not organised by our U3A. They are holidays designed for groups of eight people.
For futher information please see Special Interest Hols in Spain or U3Aspanishhols
Contact Tina Bellenie on Tele No 0034 96 285 1877 (after 6pm)