This group enables members to visit places of historical and/or cultural interest by public transport and on a monthly basis. The chosen method of transport is by public transport but depending on circumstances alternative arrangements may apply. The intention of the group is to be informal and friendly with all members willing to participate and share responsibility in the planning and organisation of visits. The group has a nominated leader, primarily to act as a point of contact. Planning meetings are held once a month at The Angel Inn Portsmouth Road, Thames Ditton.
The Leader says:
"The Explorer group was founded at a New Members Meeting in mid 2011. I chatted to some other new members and asked if anyone was interested in forming a new group that went out visiting places of interest on public transport. A few of us agreed to meet at a pub for a meeting and lunch where we organised a trip to Bletchley the following month. The trip went very well and was enjoyed by all. We found it very easy to access information on the internet about Bletchley, opening hours, admission costs and location. We were also able to check for trains, where to travel from and times and costs on the internet.
I was keen to ensure that all the members of the group participated in the planning and organising of the trips. Some members were unaware of how much information they could gather from searching on the internet and found it very enjoyable and rewarding.
We now meet on the first Monday of each month at the same pub, (they reserve a table for us.) We have our meeting where we discuss where we will be going in the coming months and who would like to organise the trip. We go on one trip a month. The group is small and made up of 10 members, this makes it easier to manage dates for the outings and getting around.
I send an e mail to all members of the group to remind them of the meeting and then following the meeting I send an e mail to everyone to let them know what trips had been arranged and discussed.
The members will inform the person who is leading the trip whether they will be going so we know who to expect. The person leading the trip will also give the group their mobile phone number for use on the day of the trip in case of emergency. All other communication is done by e mail.
We use public transport at all times, using our bus passes and Senior Rail card. We plan the trip so that we travel off peak after 09.30. We arrange a point to meet everyone, usually Waterloo Station, but it depends on where we are going. In the winter months we tend to visit places in and around London. When the days are longer we go further afield.
We have a very social day out making sure we have coffee, lunch and tea stops and we spend the time on the longer journeys to chat and plan. We have travelled as far as Ely, Winchester, Oxford and Chichester. A few of us went to Bath and decided to stay over night as there was too much to see in one day. We are hoping that this coming summer we can plan another trip and stay overnight to make the most of the visit."