Those who braved the heavy rain to attend our October meeting were treated to a most illuminating talk by Terry Taber on "My life in ladies underwear", anecdotes from his life spent in the "rag trade".
Galleries, Museums and Exhibitions
The group was launched on 18th October with 15 of us making a visit to the Museum of Brands. This impressive mainly private collection of Robert Opie’s took us on a nostalgic trip viewing packaging, appliances, toys and much more from our childhood and beyond. We surprised ourselves with how many jingles and memories were triggered!
At our monthly meeting, David Padwick entertained us with "Songs of the 50s", interspersed with anecdotes and some of the news and sport headlines of the decade. A delightful walk down memory lane for some and a very enjoyable history lesson for others!
The group visited the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace to see an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings. It was a real treat to see the breath of his genius represented in these works. In addition to his study of human anatomy he showed a real love for the natural world, plants and clouds. Also included in the exhibition were maps and technical drawings of some of his inventions. Very inspirational for our own drawing practice!
Garden Visit to Kew
Thankfully the August weather decided to take a turn for the better the day of our visit to Kew. By pure luck our visit coincided with an exhibition of unique large glass artworks by Dale Chihuly. The huge colourful artworks situated in the Palm House and amongst the planting were fabulous, adding great punches of colour amongst the greenery which at this time of year is lacking blossom or flowers and before the autumn colours develop. Kew was at its best, the gardens were immaculate, the lake was clean and clear and despite the huge numbers of people descending on Kew it never seemed crowded and we even managed to get seated at tables in the cafe and for lunch.
This was a very relaxed visit; the journeys were good, we were able to get reduced entry by using 2 for 1 offers and the sun shone right into early evening which is when we eventually left Kew after a late stop for tea and excellent cake just outside Kew station. It wouldn't be a Warley U3A garden visit without delicious cake, I am told that we will not be disappointed when we visit The Garden Museum at Lambeth in September.
Monthly meeting - on what may well turn out to be the hottest day on record in Brentwood, Ian Currie gave a most topical and interesting talk on weather colours, accompanied by some beautiful photographs. His web site is Frosted Earth.
We had a very successful Group Leaders' Tea Party. Many thanks to Rona for the loan of her house and garden. The weather was really kind and sun shone on us after a rainy morning.
Garden Visit to Anglesey Abbey
What an enjoyable trip this was on what was the hottest day of the year so far. We convened in the restaurant and then split into smaller groups to either do our own thing, or meet up with a National Trust volunteer for a garden tour (around the enormous grounds with interesting statuary) or go on a house tour.
Our group of 5 were shown the highlights of the garden by a very informative guide, learning how the plants are looked after and kept in pristine condition for the visitors – the white birches are scrubbed by a team of toothbrush wielding volunteers each year before being lit up with winter lighting.
Who knew what a Medlar tree looked like or that there are two varieties of Mulberry (even Henry VIII was clueless about Mulberries as he imported the wrong type for his failed silk worm feeding venture).
Volunteers started up The Lode Mill, a working water mill, for us to admire and nearby we were treated to a sighting of a grey wagtail.
The Abbey itself is very interesting as the family who presented it to the National Trust were great collectors. There is a superb Library containing the oldest Atlas in England.
One of our group would highly recommend the original lemonade, made and bottled on the premises.
By the way it is not an Abbey any longer and it is not in Anglesey. Sey is an old English word for Fen as the Abbey was originally on the edge of fenlands.
A great time was had by all of us.
We were thoroughly entertained by Martin Lloyd who gave a dramatic talk entitled “Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies”. Members who would like to know more about Martin, and browse the books that he has written, should visit his web page.