Our five day holiday to the Suncliffe Hotel in Bournemouth in April was very enjoyable and we took along 31 members who were picked up at their door by Plimbley Travel. When we joined the main coach it was nice to see Hilary and Margaret as they were on the holiday to Tenby last year, and we were able to catch up with them. We had a good journey there arriving mid-afternoon just in time to settle into our very comfortable rooms, get our bearings and then enjoy a really lovely three course meal. The evening was made more enjoyable when a singer entertained us and got the more energetic amongst us on the dance floor. First day - very good.
After a lovely breakfast the next morning we boarded the coach for a trip to Salisbury. What a beautiful sunny day it was really nice to take a leisurely walk around this lovely market town, and it was actually market day where very cheap fresh fruit and vegetables could be seen, plus anything else you could think of. The cathedral was a short walk away through the shopping centre and some of us actually saw the Magna Carta and supporting exhibition. There were some 'interesting' works of art displayed in the cathdral and grounds by local scuplutor Sophie Ryder, depicting hares heads on human bodies in various poses, and numerous other animal and human pieces. Some of us thought they were a bit odd, even spooky, especially the blue ones. Time for picnic lunches to be eaten and and some of us then had afternoon cocktails in Bills' Bar. Lovely. Then back on the coach to the hotel when a few of our party went swimming in the lovely warm pool followed by a sauna. Some of us just sat in the sun though, far more relaxing!! Another super dinner then a quieter evening in the lounge although some of our group took advantage of this and did a spot of card playing where I am assured no 'real' money changed hands!
Our third day brought more sunshine and after another hearty buffet breakfast we were off to Swanage via the little ferry, then a walk along the prom followed by coffees or ice creams sitting in the gorgeous sunshine. Someone said it was raining in West Bromwich [hooray!!!]. I do believe our lovely Chairperson did a spot of pebble skimming on the beach too and thoroughly enjoyed herself [back to her childhood I think]. One of our members met the lady who used to run the horse-drawn barge in Llangollen that we visited a few years ago and Norman and Pat Hares met someone whose uncle lives two doors away from them in Wednesbury. Coincidences are very strange. We then travelled onto Poole for a look around the lovely harbour and we saw signs asking people not to feed the birds.....if we didn't want our packed lunches that is! Poole Pottery was a very interesting place to look around, plus the little pedestrianised shopping centre. We enjoyed our visit and got back to the hotel in time for more swimming, drinking or sleeping, and then get ready for another very good evening meal. Another good singer entertained us tonight with more dancing too.
Thursday was a free day so everyone could do as they wished. Bus rides into Christchurch and Bournemouth; walks along the seafront or land train trips were the order of the day. Christchuch has a lovely little harbour where one of us got 'attacked' by a swan, and there is a lovely church well worth having a look around. An old watermill building housed an art gallery whose owner came from Edgbaston and he was actually a baggies supporter too. Bournemouth has lots of shops, a pier, lovely promenade and also St Peter's Church which a couple of our group visited and said how lovely it was. Another lovely warm, sunny day it was too, although it clouded over after 4pm when another visit to the swimming pool and sauna was undertaken by some of us.
The last night of our holiday and time for the answers to our holiday quiz to be given out. There were 33 possible correct answers and our winner got 25. Well done to you all. There were however some very funny answers - such as: how many children did Queen Victoria have? The answer is 9, but someone just said 'a lot' and Kylie definitely wasn't one of them! What was the name of the ranch in Bonanza? Of course it was the Ponderosa, not the OK Coral as someone thought [they shall remain nameless and I am not sure what programme they watched]. Also, what meditteranean island reminds you of a chocolate bar? Malta of course, not maltesers!. Also, just for the record Turkey is not an island. Our worthy winner was Janet Bailey, runners-up Janet and John Welch, Ann Lewis and Joyce Dubberley, Pat Brown and Mavis Catchpowle, Norman and Pat Hares, Norman and Val Jolley. However there were enough little prizes left for everone who entered so thank you to Ann and Alan Hobson, Mike Matthews, Eve Crathorne, Marie Jones, Andrew Lowe, Ron Badham and Olwen Barker for taking part.
The whole holiday was really enjoyable. The weather could not have been better. Hotel, food, facilities and staff were very good and everyone said they much they were looking forward to another holiday next year.
Thank you to everyone who came along and Ann and Mike send a big 'THANK YOU' to you all for your gifts.
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