Garden Group 'Members Garden' Visit
Monday 12th August saw 14 members arrive in Cowbit for a members garden visit. We were welcomed by our host and with the weather staying fine we enjoyed a leisurely stroll around her well laid out garden. Lots of discussion on the various plantings and trying to identify different plants. Some of us picking up ideas to take back to our own gardens.
After returning to the house, we were treated to cakes, strawberries and cream, all washed down with a nice cup of tea or coffee . There followed discussion on all sorts of topics, including some gardening tips. Our host had several gardening books to sell with all monies raised going to a Sue Ryders Hospice.
On leaving we thanked our host for a relaxing enjoyable visit and were able to take a plant home, courtesy of another one of our members.
Aviation Group – 31st July
International Bomber Command Center Visit
“The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill strongly supported the bombing campaign for much of the war. By the time the war ended, however, he and other politicians were distancing themselves from the widespread destruction that bombing had caused”.
This quotation is taken from a panel entitled “The Politics of Bombing” in The Chadwick Center at the International Bomber Command Centre, near Lincoln, where ten of us experienced an absorbing tour with our excellent guide, Liz. It helps explain why, despite having the highest recorded losses of any branch of the Allied Armed Services during WWII, post-war no medal was struck to honour the courage and sacrifice of Bomber Command personnel, and no monument was raised in memory of those who died.
Many years, and much effort by a dedicated team of volunteers, inspired and led by the late Tony Worth, have rectified this situation. Though sadly, the construction in 2015 of the elegant, impressive Memorial Spire and first phase of walls recording the names of those lost from Lincolnshire stations came too late for many who served in Bomber Command.
On a positive note however, this attractive and moving site was finally fully opened in April 2018 with a number of remaining veterans, some from overseas, cutting “a very long ribbon”. By then the message was one not only of “Remembrance and Recognition” but also of “Reconciliation”.
Therefore, while working with the University of Lincoln, to create an archive that represents all aspects and all perspectives of the WWII Bombing Campaign in Europe, an important additional part of the Centre’s role is educational. With knowledgeable guides and visual, cinematic and interactive exhibits recording the experiences of wartime personnel serving in a range of capacities, plus civilians at home and abroad affected by the bombing campaign and all it entailed, it admirably fulfills this aim.
On Thursday 25th July, the hottest day on record, 41 members of the Out and About group had a successful trip to Old Leake, to visit the Hedgehog Rescue Center, one group in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Here is one group, sitting in the sun whilst we had a talk about the hedgehogs that were there and what ----- they had come in for. Amongst the residents we were introduced to one who had lost a back leg, another that had ringworm and several babies.
All were being given treatment with the object of releasing them back to the wild as soon as possible.
We then had time to explore the beautifully laid out gardens before taking our seats for a cream tea, rounding off a very interesting visit.
----- Happy Wanderers July Walk
We managed to hit upon a hot sunny day for our walk in and around Woodhall Spa. Sixteen of us meeting at The Mall pub and getting our food orders in before setting off. The first section was along Station Road then cutting through a residential area towards the Cemetery. A walk along a quiet country road being mindful of the traffic brought us to a woodland path. Back along the main road to the golf course and joining a section of the Viking Way. This lead us back to the town center and an outdoor lunch at the pub. A walk of about 4.5 miles.
We are a friendly group and always welcome new members.
Dining Group members met up for the July meeting at the Curry Inn at
Quadring. A lovely evening, weather wise, led to an excellent meal from their Tuesday Special menu with a varied conversation including experiences, badinage and future individual events. This group of similar minded and culinary experimenters meet once a month at a venue chosen by an existing member. We are still looking for new people to join us so for more information or to join in please Contact Sheila Field via the Contact page.
Members Garden Visit 8th July2019
Our first Members Garden visit of 2019 was at Gosberton Risegate, where 17 members arrived, on a sunny afternoon, to be greeted by our hosts Maureen & Richard.
We explored their cleverly designed front garden, following meandering paths around flower beds, shrubberies and a gazebo, discussing the various plants and taking the odd picture or two.
Then it was time for refreshments, going into the house we found a cream tea and cakes waiting for us. This we took out to the rear garden with a cup of tea or coffee enjoying the sun and having a chat.
A relaxing afternoon had by all.
Happy Wanderers June walk at Rutland Water
We like to do a slightly longer walk and a picnic in the summer. This summer we chose a six and a half mile walk starting at Wing Hall and walking down to the southern shore of Rutland Water. The weather was kind though the long grass was wet from rain the night before – the vegetation had grown considerably since the recce walk a month earlier.
The walk took us down through rough pasture and then above the railway track to the village of Manton where we admired the sandstone houses and well-kept gardens. The houses stop and once through a farm gate the ‘Water’ reveals itself below – a lovely surprise.
We followed the path through the nature reserve and out through the Visitor Centre. Having walked downhill we then had to climb back up to our picnic area. We enjoyed fine views across the water to the north side as we ate.
After lunch we wended our way uphill to the village of Lyndon and followed field tracks back to Wing Hall. We arrived in good time to order tea and cake at the café there – the blueberry and lemon cake was delicious.
My thanks to Lynn and Felicity who helped with the recce walk and to Felicity who back marked on the day.
RAF HOLBEACH VISIT 26TH JUNE 2019
It was a grey cloudy morning when 12 members of the Aviation Group arrived at the 10,000 acre site that is Air Weapons Range (AWR) RAF Holbeach and a natural Wildlife Area. One of four in the UK. We were warmly welcomed, by our guides Craig and Khalid, with a cup of tea or coffee.
After a safety briefing, they began with a presentation explaining their operation. The station has been operating since 1926 providing air to ground facilities for bombing, strafing, night flying and ground force practice and training. They have nine static targets, including ships, vehicles, tanks, bulls eye and laser types. All battered by Hawk, Typhoon, Lightning, F15 and the Stealth B2 fighter planes, as well as various Helicopters.
We were, in convoy, taken two miles to the Control Tower, where we were split into two groups. One group went into the Control Tower where we were met by the RAF Controller, everyone else is employed by a private company under contract to the RAF. He explained that his job was to ensure the accurate scoring of the practice runs, monitor the weather, the safety of the target area, whilst in contact with the aircraft. There are four manned look-out towers across the site who report on the flocks of birds, people entering the target area and the bombing hits. Unfortunately no flying today due to the cloud base.
The other group was taken around the target area to see how the practice rounds wreak havoc on the targets, explanations of their usage, lots of photographs and collecting, with permission, a souvenir or two. Then we reversed the roles. We thanked our guides for a very interesting and informative visit which also showed the overriding passion that everyone has for protecting the wildlife on site.
----- The June meeting of the Dining Group was held at the Katana Japanese Restaurant on Double Street in Spalding. Ten members met up and enjoyed an excellent meal with great company and pleasant repartee.
We are looking for a few more members who are willing to try different cuisines and take their turn to organise future meetings.
VISIT TO EAST RUSTON VICARAGE GARDENS - 19 JUNE
Despite dire warnings of gale, torrential rain and the like, 43 members much enjoyed a trip to East Ruston Vicarage Gardens near the Norfolk coast – and readers, not so much as a breeze disturbed the tranquility of the 32 acres, the various garden ‘rooms’, miles of hedging and interesting garden features.
Maureen and Richard seen enjoying a well -deserved cuppa in the tea room where two of the walls are lined with old garden tools beautifully cleaned and lined up for display.
Outside, the immediate gardens are laid out in courtyards so we could marvel at the huge planters crammed with plants in coordinating colours. I was amazed at the size of the Hostas, also grown in pots. In fact there must have been pots in their hundreds.
Further from the house it was easy to get lost in a maze of hedging, vistas to the Happisburgh lighthouse and the church. There were water features galore
including a spectacular fountain. There’s a walk between hedges lined with beds not of the traditional lavender but Nepeta/Catmint – a lovely blue vista with a gap in the hedge to view the church.
Yes, the flowers were not at their best given the recent weather but it’s a place to visit again, perhaps in spring when the pot bedding is replaced by bulbs.
The coach driver was happy to accommodate the plants bought at the onsite nursery. I’ve now to find homes for the three plants I bought.
My thanks to Heather for her help in organising this visit.
----- HAPPY WANDERERS
Thirteen Happy Wanderers began our May walk at the Wagon and Horses pub in Langtoft. From there we made our way to Baston and some of the group made a short stop to look inside the pretty St Johns church.
The majority of the little over five mile walk was along well marked field paths, with some shortish stretches along quiet country lanes. As the picture shows we went through almost waist high wheat which when bathed in sunlight and swayed by the gentle breeze gave the appearance of looking across water.
This enjoyable walk organised by Mel and Joan (thanks) ended with a drink, lunch and gossip back at the pub.
Our group always welcomes new members and it is an ideal way to meet new friends and get out into the countryside.