Taking mystery out of history
We are a group interested in investigating local history by visiting less well known historical sites and museums mostly within the Midlands.
11th May 2020
Start saving up to come on our 2 night coach trip to Chester and Liverpool on 11th May 2020.
We are travelling on a luxury coach to Chester, where we will meet our Blue Badge Guides for a tour of the city. Then on to Liverpool, to the amazing and opulent Titanic Hotel, 30 James Street (The former offices of The White Star Line, owners of the Titanic.) We are staying in the historic Albert Dock Area of the City.
WHAT A FANTASTIC VISIT TO ASTON!
Who would have thought that there was so much history so near to our U3A!
We had a fantastic walking tour of Aston going under Spaghetti Junction and visiting the old HQ building of GEC. Then to Aston Church and The Aston Tavern for lunch, finishing with a guided tour of Aston Hall.
On 6th September 2018, we went to the Workhouse!
The question is, were we the deserving or the undeserving poor?
We travelled by luxury coach to Southwell to have a guided tour the Minster and Archbishop's Palace and then on to the atmospheric victorian workhouse at Southwell, which is a National Trust property.
Walking up the paupers' path towards The Workhouse it was easy to imagine how the Victorian poor might have felt as they sought refuge here. This austere building, the most complete workhouse in existence, was built in 1824 as a place of last resort for the destitute. Its architecture was influenced by prison design and its harsh regime became a blueprint for workhouses throughout the country.
This rural workhouse was designed to house around 160 inmates. They lived and worked in a strictly segregated environment with virtually no contact between the old and infirm, able-bodied men and women and children.
On 26th April 2018, Taking Mystery out of History Group organised a Luxury Coach Trip to visit Brunel's masterpiece the SS Great Britain at Bristol.
What a lovely visit! The Sun shone and showed off this iconic ship in all its glory. The new Being Brunel Museum gives an insight into the mind of the great engineer.
We then drove to Historic Gloucester Docks where we explored, ate and even shopped in the Outlet Mall. - something for everyone!!
Alistair arranged a fantastic visit to the Newman Brother's Coffin Works in The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter on April 28th. A look into Victorian Manufacturing methods, and at a factory that has produced brass fittings for Royalty as well as for Winston Churchill's coffin. The surprise was in the attic where seamstresses made beautiful shrouds! We finished the morning with an included lunch at the pub around the corner!!
On May 24th 2017, we visited The Electric Cinema. It first opened its doors in Station Street, Birmingham in 1909, showing its first silent film on 27 December of that year and is now the oldest working cinema in the country. We had a guided tour and a very interesting talk on the chequered history of the cinema. We then had a private film showing. (See Theatre Group)
On 5th July, we started with a very nice meal at the Racehorse Pub, then we visited Hill Close Gardens, Warwick. A unique set of beautiful and varied Victorian Gardens for people who did not have gardens at their residence. The £8.40 cost included entrance, an introductory talk as well as a drink and delicious cake. Everyone had a superb day.
On the 13th September, we had a superb guided tour of St. Chads Cathedral, Birmingham, which is only one of three churches in England to have been granted 'Minor Basilica' status. It was designed by Pugin and contains a large collection of medieval furnishings and carvings collected by Pugin. He was the pioneer of the Gothic revival in England. Pugin died in 1852 aged only 40.
We then had a really nice pub lunch in the Old Contemptibles, Lionel Street. All in all, a thoroughly good day!
We are also investigating a guided visit to the Kidderminster Carpet Museum. If we can get enough support we can hire a coach. We would probably have a lunch in Bewdley but that would be optional.
1940 Christmas at Upton House
On 3rd December we had a group visit to Upton House, Warwickshire. The house was decorated for Christmas as it would have been in 1940 when Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted, moved Samuels Bank from London to Upton House. He was also Chairman of Shell Oil. The bonus was the craft fair in the grounds, the sunshine and the company!
In July 2016, we arranged a visit to Chedham's Yard (see events)
Contact Penny Hoskins
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