Cultural and Heritage Outings
Group Leaders Sue and Nigel Abdullah (Contact details in Newsletter)
This group organises a monthly coach outing, 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.
On every one of our outings you will learn something new! 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 where all day parking is free.
We run a mailing list for our members and those who have registered their names have first priority for booking. If any trips have spaces left, then we open it up to all U3A members.
The charge to be on the mailing list is £5 per year to cover stationary, postage etc.
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.
As our outings are usually very popular and are booked quickly, we ask our members to pay £5.00 per annum to go on our Mailing List to receive Booking Forms and trip information, 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 at a disadvantage if they do not have a computer.
Singles, couples and groups are all welcome on our friendly trips.
To go on our mailing list please pick up a form at the CULTURAL HERITAGE GROUP table at any U3A monthly meeting.
Or for more information please contact :- Sue and Nigel Abdullah
Phone 01707 645490 e-mail email@example.com
|Dates for your Diary|
|Thu Apr 2nd||Cancelled|
|Fri May 22nd||Cancelled|
Bayeux Tapestry and River Cruise
|Tue Jun 16th||Cambridge Cultural Icons - new Eco-Mosque, Fitzwilliam Museum and a cream tea in Grantchester|
|Tue Jul 14th||Kentwell|
|Mon Aug 3rd||Clarence House|