Cultural and Heritage Outings
Group Coordinators: Sue and Nigel Abdullah
New Zoom Virtual Tours
See Links (to the right) to get details of the latest virtual tours available.
The group organises monthly coach outings, ie 12 per year, to a variety of destinations, that hopefully will appeal to a range of interests. For example: some involve very little walking and on others you are free to roam; many include a guided tour and some a meal. On every one of our outings you will learn something new!
Singles, couples and friends are all welcome on our friendly trips.
We keep our prices as low as possible and compare favourably with other trip providers in the area. We set off from Furzefield Leisure Centre in Potters Bar.
We run a mailing list for our CHG members and those who have registered their names have first priority for booking. If any trips have spaces left, then we open them up to all u3a members.
The charge to be on the mailing list is £5 per year to cover stationary, postage etc. Booking forms and information about the trips are sent out by first class post. This ensures that interested members all receive booking forms and information about the trips, on the same day, and no one is disadvantaged, if they do not have a computer.The outings are usually very popular and booked quickly, so prompt return of forms is recommended. Places are allocated in strict order of receipt of forms.
To go on our mailing list, please use the attached form, or pick one up at the Cultural Heritage Group table at any u3a monthly meeting. For more information please contact Sue and Nigel Abdullah.
The mailing list application forms that were due for renewal by September 2020 will be extended to September 2022. Any one who joins now will be due for renewal by September 2023. This should ensure that everyone receives at least three mailings for trips that actually take place.
Due to the need for social distancing, it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to organise any coach trips at the moment. Therefore the CHG have decided not to run any more trips this year, but will start again in January. As the trips we had to cancel were all full, we will attempt to reschedule them next year.
The mailing list application forms that were due for renewal by September 2020 will be extended for another year to September 2021. This should ensure that everyone receives at least three mailings, for trips that actually take place.
If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me.
The CHG group are looking for volunteers to help organise outings - couples, friends or individuals - all would be welcome. We are hoping to restart our coach trips January 2022, so planning will commence at the end of September/ beginning of October 2021.
Lots of help and guidance will be given to any volunteers. If you are interested or would just like to know more, please contact:
U3A Cultural Heritage Group Royal Albert Hall backstage tour
On January 31st around fifty of us joined our coach at Furzefield for a comfortable journey to South Kensington, where we alighted at the Royal Albert Hall. First stop was the Verdi Italian Kitchen where we had pastries and hot drinks and we were then joined by our three guides, who split us into separate groups for the backstage tour.
This was a most informative and entertaining tour; we learned that the Hall was opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria, to fulfil the vision of Prince Albert and to be used to promote understanding and appreciation of the arts and sciences.
We were taken around the confusing maze of backstage corridors and stairs and shown the artists’ bar (doubling as a gym for the Cirque du Soleil, who have taken over the building for two months), dressing room and artists’ refreshment area, then went right down to see the loading bay.
In the past, loading of instruments, props, etc, was done from street level, but a large area has been excavated to three storeys down, underneath the terrace of steps leading to Prince Consort Road. There is even an exhibition of specially commissioned street artwork in this area.
In the corridors of the main building we saw pictures illustrating the wide range of events which have taken place at the RAH, including promenade concerts, famous artists who have appeared on stage, and also of Ford Motor Shows, balls, Miss World, boxing matches, CND and other public meetings. We were told that the floor could be raised if necessary to create more space for dances and tennis matches! The royal seating area is actually named ‘The Queen’s Box’ as it is owned by the Queen.
At our visit the building was dominated by the presence of the Cirque du Soleil group, who use the building as their ‘big top’ and hang twenty tons of equipment from the roof to support their acts. We were assured that the roof would actually support a load of one hundred tons!
We split up after our tours to explore the museums and other sights around South Kensington and then rejoined our coach at 4pm for the journey home. Thank you to Jenny and Peter Ruddle for their efficient organisation of this really enjoyable day out, to be recommended.