Cheshunt

EXPLORING LONDON 3

Our group holds a planning meeting on the first Wednesday of each month.
Please note next meeting 6th March this will be held at the new venue of Cheshunt Free Church (United Reform), 27 High Street, Cheshunt EN8 0BS at the usual time of 11.15am. There is limited parking available and access is by the side door.

Steven Gollop 01992 629209

Next few trips are:

20 March Royal Albert Hall organised by Bob Barton
17th April- Chiswick House grand tour, organiser Pam Fineberg
May - Supervised London Walk organisers Pam Brooks & Pam Slater (date to be confirmed)

Our group holds a planning meeting on the first Wednesday of each month (Wednesday 6th February at 11.15am) at Cheshunt Free Church (United Reform), 27 High Street, Cheshunt EN8 0BS. There is limited parking available and access is by the side door.

In early December we held our group Christmas meal at the Salisbury Hotel in Hertford. With thirty nine members attending we enjoyed taking over an area purely for ourselves. The meal and service was very good and everyone enjoyed a fun evening.

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FEBRUARY 2019
On the 18th February the group visited The Watermen and Lightermen's Hall. The Company of Watermen was founded by Act of Parliament in 1514, to regulate the watermen carrying passengers across the Thames. In 1700 the Lightermen, carriers of goods and cargo, joined the company. Under a further Act of Parliament the company introduced apprenticeships for those wishing to learn the skills of Watermen and Lightermen, which still continues to the present day. We had a very interesting and entertaining guided tour of the 18th Century Georgian Hall detailing the history of the hall, company and explaining the artefacts displayed.

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JANUARY 2019
On 16th January a small group visited Westminster Abbey using multi media guides for a self guided tour of the history of the abbey. The galleries at the east end of the abbey have recently been refurbished and are now an exhibition area called The Queens Diamond Jubilee Galleries. There is an additional charge of £5 to visit the galleries but it is well worth it for the exhibits, the close up view of the stone work and the high level view of the nave.

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NOVEMBER 2018
In November a number of us visited Hendon RAF Museum, travelling there by car share. With the help of a guide we were able to understand the rich heritage of the RAF from the first days of propeller planes up to modern day jets. It is a large museum that needs more than one day to fully visit all the exhibits. .

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OCTOBER 2018
At the end of September, we organised a coach trip, combined with Explore London 2, to Hever Castle. On the day, someone was obviously watching over us as the weather was beautiful, the M25 was clear and the coach driver expertly navigated through some very narrow country lanes to get us there. All of this allowed us time to enjoy a full day at the castle, including an audio guided tour of the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and to stroll around the lovely gardens and lake. Some were even brave enough to attempt the Water Maze. Ice creams were in order come the end of the day.

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SEPTEMBER
In August our group visited the Whitewebbs Museum of Transport. This was originally a water pumping station and in the basement is 200 ft. deep well. Over the last 20 years, the keen and friendly volunteers have transformed this building into a hidden gem. They have created a fascinating collection of vehicles and memorabilia. This ranges from the oldest motor cycle, to a London bus and fire engines. This included a Crosse & Blackwell van that was donated by Len Lane a member of our group. The visit did exceed all our expectations. We finished with a meal in the library of the Toby Inn, a very successful day out.

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JULY 2018

Humphrey Lyttleton LP In July, 26 members were given a back stage tour of the Royal Festival Hall. We were told about the history and origins of the hall along with anecdotes of some of the famous names who had performed on stage. On visiting the Green Room there was a pleasant surprise for one of our group. She mentioned her father had been a drummer in Humphrey Littleton’s band a long time ago. On the wall was displayed the record sleeve of a recording made of the bands performance at the hall along with the names of the band, including her father, a real ‘who do you think you are’ moment. George Hopkinson

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JUNE 2018
Our last trip was a visit to the Postal Museum located close to the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre. All who attended enjoyed viewing the different exhibits recording the history of the post and communications throughout the years. The visit ended with a ride on the underground Mail Rail which passes along original tunnels and stops at station platforms under Mount Pleasant sorting office. Although the trains are rather small the ride was very atmospheric and rounded off an enjoyable day.

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MAY 2018

This Blue Badge guided walk was organised by Pam Brooks and Pam Slater. On 2rd3 May our group visited Southwark, a historic area of London associated with Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens and Dr Johnson. The area lay outside the jurisdiction of the City of London so it consequently became known for its brothels, theatres, bull and bear baiting, none of which were permitted within the City. We visited the graveyard of the 'Winchester Geese', the name given to the prostitutes who worked in the brothels licensed by the Bishop of Winchester. When they died they were interred with other 'Outcast Dead' in an unconsecrated burial ground called the Crossbones Graveyard, and although closed 1853, monthly vigils are held there to this day. We also visited the Anchor pub on the Thames, the site of the Inn where Samuel Pepys took refuge from the Great Fire in 1666 'and there watched the fire grow'.
We were spoilt for choice (if not overwhelmed) for eating places in and around Borough Market. Our guide was excellent and her knowledge and enthusiasm made this an extremely interesting day out.

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APRIL 2018

During April we had 21 members take a guided tour of the London Canal Museum near Kings Cross. The museum is housed in a former ice warehouse built for Carlo Gatti, the famous ice cream maker. As well as recording the history of our canals they also have displays explaining the ice trade and ice cream making during the 19th century. Not sure how, but some of the group recognised the ‘penny licks’ glasses on display. These were shallow glasses in which the street vendor sold ice cream. Once licked clean they were returned to the vendor for reuse. They were banned in 1899 over concerns about diseases they spread. Quite a varied museum trip was made even more pleasant by moving onto a pub lunch. It was noticeable nobody ordered ice cream.

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MARCH 2018
Our trip for March took us to the Thames River Police Museum located within the confines of Wapping Police Station. Being quite a small venue, we arranged two trips on consecutive days to meet demand. Rob Jeffries, a former police officer, entertained us with stories of criminal activity in Wapping during the 19th century and specifically the policing on the Thames during that time. Today the location is home to the Marine Police Unit. Although one or two members did not complete one of the visits we did check that they had not been detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

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February 2018
On the 21st February 17 members of the group visited St. Paul's Cathedral.
We were able to purchase the entry tickets at a discounted concession group rate. Once inside everyone was left to look around the Cathedral at their own pace. Excellent audio tour guides are included within the price. It guides you round the Cathedral and explains some of the history of this amazing building and the artefacts on display. You can of course climb the spiral stairs to the Whispering Gallery in the dome and beyond. One of our party made it all the way to the top! The tombs of The Duke of Wellington and Lord Nelson are in the crypt. There is a good cafe and the normal "Exit via the shop" all located in the crypt.
It was a good trip which concluded with a lunch at Weatherspoons for those members who wanted to partake.

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JANUARY 2018

The group visited the Museum of London Docklands on a very cold windy day but we received a very warm welcome when we arrived. This museum is located in the old No 1 Warehouse at West India Quay. Its various galleries show the global story of London Docks from the age of sail through to steam, the blitz and its transformation into the present-day Docklands. There was a very informative exhibition on London Docks involvement in the slave trade.

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DECEMBER 2017
Cheshunt U3A Exploring London Group 3 Christmas Dinner was held at the Atrium Restaurant at East Herts Regional College and 40 members attended. The meal was prepared by year one and year two students on the catering course alongside one chef. The students, in addition to cooking, served all meals and drinks efficiently, were a credit to themselves and the college. All members thoroughly enjoyed their evening and the food, apart from the fact that a few commented that the food (and plates) could have been hotter, which will be passed on to the college. Notwithstanding this, all agreed that the venue and the overall evening was a success and should most certainly be considered for the future.

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NOVEMBER 2017

During November we visited the Army Museum located in Chelsea. On arrival were given a quick guided tour of the museum to explain what could be found in the five different galleries. After this we were left on our own to wander at will. Along with the five galleries there was a temporary art exhibition exploring why artists and soldiers have painted scenes of conflict.

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OCTOBER 2017
On a lovely sunny day in October our group visited the Ragged School Museum in the Mile End district of East London. It is housed in an old warehouse beside the Regents Canal, the same building in which Dr Barnardo provided tens of thousands of East End children with free education (and a hot meal once a week) for over 30 years until it closed in 1908. Our very interesting talk, which was in the Victorian Classroom, provided us with a moving insight into the lives of very poor children in the Victorian era. We then retired to the local Weatherspoons for lunch, for which we were all possibly a little more grateful than usual!

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SEPTEMBER 2017
In September our group went on a fascinating tour of the old Jewish Quarter of London’s East End. A full 2½ hours was spent walking the pavements of the Spitalfields area. Our guide, Stephen Burstin, gave a very informative talk, revealing the hardships and success of the area. A visit to the Bevis Marks synagogue gave us the opportunity to marvel at this splendid building. Travelling down Petticoat Lane, we were told of the hilarious characters that frequented the area in Victorian times and the notorious ones as well. Stephen made the whole tour enjoyable and interesting. A good day was had by all.

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AUGUST 2017

Our group enjoyed a visit to the Oshwal Centre, with its Jain Dharma temple, set in a lovely 80 acre site, near Northaw.

Our guide Manu Shah, was knowledgeable and pleasant, explaining the religion’s beliefs and history and showing us around the temple. We were all enlightened. We also witnessed a wedding party's arrival, taking place in their function rooms, such a colourful event. We then had a meal together at the Toby Inn, to round off a good day out.

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JULY 2017

This month twenty members of our group enjoyed a guided tour of the London Palladium. Mark Cox from the Really Useful Theatre Group accompanied by two ex-Tiller Girls, gave us an entertaining and enlightening insight into the work required to stage a production at this venue.
Included in the tour was access to the royal box. Mark explained that although the view of the stage is not very good the intention when building the theatre was that royalty could be easily seen by the audience. We also went onto the famous revolving stage used when Sunday Night at the London Palladium was televised.
The tour ended with Mark highlighting the different stars to grace the stage including why Micky Rooney flopped and how Danny Kaye became a star.

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Visit 24th May to National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House
Our trip to the National Maritime Museum and the 'Queen's House' was most enjoyable despite a nervous start due to train delay. The museum itself is notable for several beautiful large scale models of ships of importance in our naval history and specific displays of the Battle of Jutland and Nelson's several engagements (in battle that is not the matrimonial sort !). Several of the group made it to the Queen's House to view the magnificent 'Tulip' staircase, other architectural features and the wonderful art collection. The trip ended with a visit to the local pie and mash shop where all enjoyed authentic fare including liquor and eels for some.

Visit 15th June to Charterhouse Square
The Group visited Charterhouse on 15th June and there is little I can add to Eileen Funnell’s potted history and tour description of Group 1’s recent visit in last month’s magazine. We had a long leisurely lunch prior to our tour, an excellent guide, and we were blessed with a fine sunny day. I think that this historic site, which has until recently been hidden from public gaze behind high walls for hundreds of years, is well worth a visit.

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MAY 2017 - Photos from Greenwich Maritime Museum visit

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APRIL2017

A Trip Down Memory Lane
"I remember we had one of those at home" "I got married in a pair of platform soled shoes like those" "We used to play that game at home". These were some of the many comments members of the group could be heard saying as we visited the Museum of Brands, Ladbroke Grove, on 26th April. The museums main exhibit takes the form of a time tunnel of products and brands which starts in Victorian times and travels forward in time to the present day. The walk through the tunnel certainly seemed to bring back many memories of the past, particularly childhood years and everyone had their own experiences to recall. Certainly the group enjoyed the trip and a visit is recommended. The museum has a small cafe which served hot and cold drinks and also light lunches. National Trust members can get half price entry tickets. This was the first outing organised as part of the new collaborative structure adopted by the group where the various roles are shared among the group members, including organising the trips. This visit was organised by Judith & Brian Peel. The next trip, organised by Bob Barton, is to Greenwich Maritime Museum and the Queen's House.

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At Mansion House We recently visited the Banqueting House in London where we were introduced to its history and told of its escape from the ravages of the Great Fire of London and the Blitz. It is the only surviving component of the old Whitehall Palace (the York Place of Tudor times) and is mostly remembered as the site of Charles I’s execution in 1649. A large portrait of Charles I now marks the spot where he walked out onto the scaffold to be beheaded. The Banqueting House was begun in 1619 and designed by Inigo Jones. The wonderful ceiling was painted by Rubens and is the only in-situ surviving ceiling painted by him.

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As always the Pantomime, ‘Schlepping Beauty’ at the Brick Lane Music Hall, was hilarious. It is always a good tonic, as we laugh from start to finish. I think it is enhanced by the adlib sections they put in, which are quite frequent. Apparently they have been performing for 25 years and during the afternoon the leader of another group of people, from the audience, who have been going to see the show for 11 years, handed Vincent an award as appreciation for the entertainment they provide. The cast also do a lot of work for charity, visiting care homes etc. As a result we all came home with smiles on our faces.

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DECEMBER 2016
Our trip in December was to Dennis Severs House. It was an interesting house to visit, as it was portrayed as being in the eighteenth century and the family were still living there. It seemed as if we had travelled back in time and just missed the family after they had left the house for the day. The only disappointment was that there wasn’t enough information about the house’s history. There were a few leaflets in the rooms, but there could have been a lot more.

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JANUARY 2017
Our January trip was to the Science Museum. We were entertained while on the Underground by some very good and lively Busking Musicians. We had forgotten how large the Museum is. We only scratched the surface in the time that we were there. Quite a few of our group chose to go the Imax Cinema to watch a film that had been taken by a previous space shuttle, looking into space and at our World. This was spectacular, but I don’t think any of us want to experience it personally!!! We had been dreading the weather, as the forecast was for snow. Luckily, we only encountered this on the way home.

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NOVEMBER 2016

Our November trip took us to the Magic Circle, where we were all mystified by the illusions created by members of this organisation. Even when sitting next to the magicians, we couldn't see how they performed their tricks. We also took a look around the museum, where there are posters referring to all the illusionists through the ages, as well as some of the props used. There is a Theatre within the building, where we were entertained by an illusionist who is 97 years old! If learning their trade keeps you going for that long, perhaps we all ought to learn the art of magic!!

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SUPREME COURT VISIT - OCTOBER 2016

----- We arrived at the Supreme Court with plenty of time to spare, even though we had to go through the expected security checks. Our guide, who was a trainee Barrister, made the tour most interesting, telling us that originally the building was the home of the Guildhall for Middlesex, and didn’t become the Supreme Court until 2009. The carpets and curtains are very opulent, depicting the national emblems of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. We were allowed to visit the Library, as well as the 3 Courtrooms, where we were also told that we could attend as individuals between Monday and Thursday at no cost. There is also a small exhibition about the history. We were all very impressed.

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AUGUST 2016

----- Our visit to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was very interesting, but also very tiring! Our Blue Badge guide relayed a huge amount of information about the area. We didn’t go in to any of the venues, but were very impressed as to how it had been developed. The previous time I visited was approximately 2 years before 2012 Olympics. There is plenty of parkland and also plenty of seating for picnics etc. It is a vast area and we were all worn out by the end of the tour. It was well worth the visit. One thing I was very disappointed in was that none of our party took advantage of the slide which has recently been opened!!

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JULY 2016

Our tour of Greenwich with a Blue Badge Guide was very interesting. The Painted Hall was originally intended as a dining hall for the naval pensioners who lived here at the Royal Hospital for Seamen. There isn’t a single panel in this hall which hasn’t been painted with various subjects including the Kings, Queens and religion, to name just a few of its subjects. It certainly is spectacular. We then visited the chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul, which again has its own charm. A lot of the decoration is a reminder of the Wedgewood design in blue and white. The Queen’s house looks spectacular, although we couldn’t enter, as it is being refurbished. This house was built for King James 1’s wife, Anne of Denmark, as she had accidentally killed one of his favourite dogs while hunting and the Queens house was built so that she could watch the hunt without taking part. We, once again were very lucky with the weather, as it didn’t rain heavily until we were having our lunch, so although we didn’t start off getting wet, we ended up very soggy!!!

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JUNE 2016

All aboard at Westminster pier Unlike our trip on the Thames last year, when we boarded the boat the sun was shining!! We were rather concerned knowing what the forecast has been over the past week or so, so were all armed with sunglasses and umbrellas. The trip was very interesting and initially most of our group braved it by sitting on the open deck. This didn’t last too long, as when the clouds came over and we headed towards the wider part of the Thames, it became very windy and chilly, so most of us gave in and found seats inside. The Commentary was very interesting and we found we could hear it better inside anyway. Just before we reached Richmond, where we were to visit the Poppy Factory, it started to rain. Everyone had their rainwear and umbrellas at the ready when we disembarked, but luckily the rain stopped for us. It was a short walk to the ----- Poppy Factory, where we had arranged to have lunch, after which we had a presentation about what they actually try to do at the Poppy Factory. Not only do they make a lot of the Poppies there, but try to encourage and help the people leaving the forces to fit into civilian life, by helping them to find jobs etc. They are a Charity and do a lot of very good work. They did not charge for our visit, so our group made a donation to their good work. After the presentation we had a walk around the workroom where some of the disabled ex-service personnel were make the Poppy wreaths. We were given the opportunity to make a poppy for ourselves which I think most of us did. The only stipulation was that we could only use one hand to do this, as most of the workers there were disabled. On our journey home we were reminded of what it is like to travel on the Underground in the Rush Hour!! Some of us played the game of Sardines, while others opted to catch the bus to Liverpool Street. All in all we had a very full enjoyable day.
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APRIL 2016

At the Cinema Museum On Tuesday 19th April Exploring London 3 visited the Cinema Museum at 2 Dugard Way, off Renfrew Road, SE11 4TH. We were given a guided tour by Martin Humphries one of the founder members of the museum, part of which can be seen in the following clip. https://youtu.be/MnnS_B0rqGk
Cinema Museum was the trip that our group visited this month. The Museum is housed in the Masters House which was formerly part of the Lambeth Workhouse. It was very interesting to hear how Charlie Chaplin and his mother were taken into this when Charlie was a child. There is plenty of film memorabilia on show and Martin, our guide, gave us a lot of information about films that were shown between 1930 and 1950. Martin told us the history of the museum at the beginning of the visit, before showing us the old Film Projectors and equipment used. After having a welcome cup of tea, in what was the Chapel of the old Workhouse, we were then shown some very interesting and amusing old films. Seeing as most of us remembered some of these things, we all thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the past.

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FEBRUARY 2016

EXPLORING LONDON 3 HEAD FOR THE GUILDHALL

On Thursday 11th February Exploring London 3 under command of Shirley Newton met up with our guide for the day Paula Cooze at St. Pauls underground for a tour of The Guildhall and surrounding area. A total of 36 took part which meant on arrival we needed to split into two groups. One headed off to the picture gallery and the remains of a Roman gladiatorial arena whilst the other accompanied Paula Cooze for the guided tour of the Guild Hall.

Anyone seen the HAZ Cafe? It was such a coincidence that ‘The Two Johns’ showed us a video of the Amphitheatre found under the Art Gallery at the Guildhall at our AGM U3A Meeting, when we were going to make a visit this month. He certainly gave us an insight of what it was like, when we came to look around the remains.
Guildhall courtyard The Guildhall itself is a very interesting place and our Blue Badge guide gave us a great deal of information, including the fact that at one time everyone had to pay their taxes there, whereas nowadays it is used for Banquets in honour of visiting Heads of State and other dignitaries, royal occasions, and receptions for major historical anniversaries.
----- The original date of our visit had to be changed, because of one of these functions. Unfortunately we couldn’t get an invite. But perhaps next time!!!
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NOVEMBER 2015

In November members from Explore London 2 & 3 Groups visited the Hindu Temple in Neasden. After an early start and torturous coach journey through rush hour traffic we arrived to a warm welcome from members of the temple. After a short video about the building of the temple and an explanation of the meaning of their gods, we were taken to the shrine to view the sacred images dressed in their finery. The temple is built from Italian marble that was carved in India before being assembled by volunteers on site. Some of the group attended the Arti service whilst others visited the exhibition of Hinduism. Following this we all enjoyed a pleasant lunch and an easier journey home.

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VISIT TO THE THAMES BARRIER

Introductory video

It seems appropriate that we should visit the Barrier on the day it was guaranteed to rain for most of it. ----- Our guide being aware of that had us out early for the talk and walk to the Barrier. There followed a short film and further talk in the Museum.
During this time the heavens opened and so followed our lunch break slightly early. The rain continued to the point where the boat could have come to us!! However the call came and we all ventured out in our all weather gear. ----- That is except one who left his coat on the coach. Clever boy.
The boat up the Thames was fun although through Greenwich we could see little such was the visibility. But as we know with our climate the sun can come out at any time and from Tower Bridge to Westminster it was fine.
We’re a hardy bunch so we were not put off, so all our thanks to Shirley Newton for arrange the day ----- .

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LORDS TOUR
Wednesday 22nd July saw the team head out to Lords Cricket Ground in St. Johns Wood. All respect to the ladies who must have thought this was not their cup of tea but the attitude within the group seems to be ‘Well let’s give it a go, we might just like it'. ----- -----
Our tour guide was Roger Hill who instantly saw the lack of cricketing prowess and adjusted his talk accordingly. A visit to the Long Room and a host of tales followed of highs and lows of the being a Cricketer or Member of the MCC. Up to the dressing rooms and the opportunity of taking some fine photographs of the Ground. A brief talk followed in the Museum as we sat and looked at the ashes urn. Some couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about on seeing this little object. Shame on you.
Further tales were told from the North stand and another photo opportunity followed ----- ----- -----
Then to the magnificent Media Centre, a final chat, more photos and video taken from the Media Centre and our 90 minute tour was over.
It has to be said that we all enjoyed it so well down Roger Hill.
So to the pub!!

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Docklands Walk
On the warmest day of the year so far, our Blue Badge Guide took us through St Katherines Dock, the waterfront, St Peters Church and Tobacco Dock. A long but rewarding walk finishing with a well deserved pint.

Our last visit was to Marlborough House and was very interesting. Despite it now being the Commonwealth Secretariat, it has a lot of history.
The Guide we had was most informative and the opulent decoration is certainly fit for the Royalty who have lived there. Queen Mary was the last royal resident, until her death in 1953. Even the offices where the admin people work have silk decorated walls and a chandelier. It is definitely worth a visit.

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MARCH 2015
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For our March trip we didn't have far to travel as we had booked a tour of the WARBURTONS Bakery in Enfield. As can be seen we were booted and suited for the occassion of a tour of the Bakery floor. A very enjoyable day was had by all and a 'Goody' bag to take away afterwards. What more could you ask for. Another spendid trip organised by our leader Shirley Newton.

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

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