EXPLORING LONDON 5
Our next planning meeting will be on Wednesday AWAITS 2020 @ 10.00am at the Community ‘Space’ which is inside the Tesco store at the Brookfield Centre."
Future Trips ALL SUSPENDED
Wednesday 22nd April - Eltham Palace (date to be confirmed)
Thursday 14th May - Royal Opera House Backstage Tour (date to be confirmed)
Royal Albert Hall Behind the Scenes Tour - we now have sufficient numbers interested and will enquire about the availability of tour dates and advise in due course.
On Monday 24th February 25 members enjoyed a very interesting tour of Freemasons Hall. The tour started with a film, showing what it is like to become a freemason with all the dress and pomp, followed by a visit to the museum which included Winston Churchill’s apron and a throne made for the future King George IV. Next we were shown the Memorial Shrine and Roll of Honour and lastly the wonderful Grand Temple with its mighty bronze doors weighing 1¼ tons each, gilt thrones and a superb pipe organ.
It is generally considered that the freemason movement was formed by stonemasons who had the freedom to travel. In 1717 four London Lodges declared themselves a Grand Lodge in the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St. Paul’s Churchyard. The Book of Constitutions of Masonry first published by 1723 and in its updated form regulates all Lodges and freemasons in the UK. The organisation is one of the largest charitable givers in the country.
Hertford Castle, the Plague, Parliament Square and McMullens.
On Tuesday 21st January 28 members enjoyed an extremely interesting tour of Hertford Town. Settled by the Anglo-Saxons at the confluence of 4 rivers, namely the Beane, Rib, Mimram and Lea, Hertford grew to include a Norman motte-and bailey-castle. The main surviving structure is the 15th century gatehouse in the riverside gardens. The mound beside the river Lea is the original motte. Later Henry II rebuilt the castle in stone, which served both as a prison and a home: a regular visitor was Elizabeth I. During her reign Parliament met at Hertford Castle when driven from London by the plague, giving the name to its ParliamentSquare. Other buildings of interest include the Shire Hall (James Adams 1771) and the15th century Vergers House.
The font of St Andrew’s Church was rolled out by a parishioner over an unpaid debt, but was subsequently returned.
"On 14th November 20 members enjoyed a group visit to the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich. Delays on the Circle Line meant we had to walk the last part of the Journey to Tower Pier from where we travelled to Greenwich by River Bus, seeing how much the waterfront has changed since many of us were last on the Thames.
At the Cutty Sark we had a very informative guided tour explaining the history of the vessel from its launch to the modern day including the almost catastrophic fire in 2007 that engulfed the vessel whilst it was being restored.
It is testament to the work carried out thereafter that only a few scorch marks that remain and without those and a commemorative plaque it would be hard to know that such a blaze took place.
Most of the group lunched at the National Maritime Museum before taking in its exhibitions, whilst some opted for traditional Pie and Mash in the Market. We made our way back via DLR and then train to Cheshunt making it an enjoyable day including Trains, Boats and Planes although the latter where only flying overhead!"
On a dull and very damp Monday, 14th October we visited the Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, which traces conflicts from WW1 until the present day. Naturally, we fortified ourselves with coffee before embarking into the First World War galleries. This told the story of the Great War through the eyes of the British people and the Empire, both on the home front and on the fighting front. The Second World War Gallery included key moments of the WW2 through people’s lives and the objects on display. The role of strategic bombing and the fighting fronts in Russia and Africa, through to the D-Day landings were explained and illustrated. The Holocaust Gallery and Extraordinary Heroes which houses the world’s largest collection of Victoria Crosses, alongside a significant collection of George Crosses were visited my some group members. The latter described over 250 extraordinary stories of men, women and children who performed extraordinary acts of bravery to help other people in desperate need and who acted with courage and bravery. It was a very informative, humbling and memorable visit.
“On 12th September, 22 of us had a sunny day out visiting Buckingham Palace State Rooms, entering via the iconic 'Grand Entrance' leading to the 'Grand Hall & Staircase', where the Queen and Royal Family have welcomed many Heads of State, dignitaries, famous people and members of the general public who have received investitures. Our tour took us through magnificent, palatially decorated rooms, designed by architect John Nash who was commissioned by King George lV until his death in 1830, when the government sacked Nash for financial mismanagement and replaced him with Edward Blore to complete unfinished work.
The various rooms were adorned with many interesting furnishings including art works, treasured rare antiques and huge chandeliers which were once lite with candles, until Queen Victoria introduced electricity into the palace and later, telephones so members of the Royal Family and palace staff could keep in touch. She also extended the building to accommodate the parties she frequently held.
We were also fortunate to see a special exhibition called 'Queen Victoria's Palace' which depicted her reign from her Coronation and her wedding to the sad death of Prince Albert and were able to view her throne on display in the Queen's throne room
The multi-media guide, via head sets, was very informative with the tour lasting approximately 2 hours and finishing at The Garden Cafe, overlooking the green and pond where many garden parties have been held. Some of the group went on to enjoy lunch at the 'Willow Walk' Pub before returning home via Victoria Station.