A Day at the Seaside!

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Tuesday 10th October – 34 meeting of 2017

A great day today for all nine of us ladies. A day at Brighton and a flight on the British Airways i360, the world’s tallest moving observation tower, 138 metres high. Meeting at London Bridge we purchased our tickets for Brighton and boarded the 10.22 and arrived in Brighton at 11.39. A very nice clean bright train which was busy but did empty out quite a lot at Gatwick Airport.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a lovely bright day although a bit windy. We walked down towards the sea and stopped on the way for a coffee after which we carried on to the seafront and the i360. Booked for one o’clock we were told to arrive half an hour before which we did but then after our bags were checked and photographs taken we waited to board. Although as I say it was a bright sunny day it was a very strong cold wind so we were pleased when we boarded.

The structure of i360 is amazing. Designed and build by Marks Barfield creators of London Eye it was opened August 2016. A column ascending up into the sky and a viewing pod wrapped around it. It was warm inside and with seats in the middle of the pod we settled and waited to go. As the pod went up we walked all around admiring the view. One side looked out over sea and the wind farm could be clearly seen. The other half looked out over Brighton and beyond. I loved it as we ascended and people and cars became smaller. From the top you could see the complete lay out of Brighton with so many long straight streets and roads. Lots of the roofs had art work on them and I thought it made it look so nice. Lots of colour with many different designs. Looking out over the roof tops reminded me of the Mary Poppins film and the chimney sweeps song and dance routine ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’! You can purchase refreshments on board and given a map of Brighton you could pick out all the landmarks. We did notice a crack in one of the curved windows but we were assured by one of the staff that it was quite safe and that the glass will replaced but the curved panel has to come from Italy! The whole flight was half an hour long and a great experience.

Once out of the pod we had a wander around the shop and sat and watched a very interesting video showing how the i360 was constructed. There was also a glass panel in the floor which looked down onto the working structure. After this we then crossed the road and went into a very nice restaurant/cafe for a fish and chip lunch. You really can’t go to the seaside and not have fish and chips!!

We had a leisurely stroll back to the station. Brighton is a really busy town and with a university there are lots of young people. We caught the train back to London Bridge and then our local trains home after a lovely day. It was great to venture out of London for a day by the sea with thanks to the lady that suggested it and I feel we will do more of this type of outing in the future.

 

 

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Morden Hall Park

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Tuesday 3rd October – 33rd meeting of 2017

Today we went to enjoy the colours of Autumn at Morden Hall Park after a couple of our ladies saw it on Breakfast television. This belongs to The National Trust and was very easy to access by going to London Bridge and then taking the Northern Line to Morden and a short walk to the park.

The weather was perfect for this activity sunny bright and not windy or cold. Once we arrived we made our way to the Courtyard only to find the cafe was closed but all was saved when a gardener directed was to the Potting Shed Cafe cafe next to the Garden Centre. This was a very nice cafe and after a coffee and eats we set about a walk around the park.

The area cover 50 acres and was left to The National Trust by a kind-hearted philanthropist. The Hall itself is a fine building but is a residential dwelling not open to the public.

In the stable yard we went into the Snuff House and heard how snuff was made and how rich it made the owners that they managed to build the Hall. The River Wandle which was a very fast flowing river meant that the water-mill could be built to grind all the ingredients needed to make snuff. In the 1800’s along all of the banks of Wandle River there was industry making it one of the busy areas of London.

From here we walked through the beautiful Rose Garden and then wound our way around the whole of the park. They were lots of people enjoying the peace and tranquillity. Quite amazing to think that we were in London really because it had a lovely country feel to whole area. Lots of children with Mums and Dads, joggers, serious runners, many parties of school children as it has a very good educational centre, dog walkers and general public enjoying the colours and wildlife.

 

The walks along the river were very nice and some fish were spotted with two or three lovely bridges to cross. The wetland boardwalk was very good. We did spot some moorhens and a crayfly or two.

A very interesting and enjoyable morning made special by the wonderful colours of the leaves turning on the trees. We made our way back to Morden station knowing that Autumn is well and truly here and Winter on it’s way!

Walk Around Clerkenwell

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Tuesday 26th September – 32nd meeting of 2017

On a bright cheerful morning all  our ladies met on the ultra modern refurbished London Bridge station and made our way to Northern Underground to take a train to Angel. Quite some time since we had all been together so lots of chatting and catching up to do.

A very busy train. When we arrived at Angel we went into The Angel pub for a tea/coffee and toast refreshment to set us up for our walk!

The walk planned was from The London Walk Book that one of our ladies has and we have completely it before but a while ago so to repeat it was good as this is an interesting part of London. It is a two and half mile walk although I feel sure we covered three miles or more with a few diversions.

This is a delightful walk in an interesting and historic part of London. The architecture is beautiful with all old buildings very well maintained and all new builds fitting in very well and it was quite difficult to distinguish one from another.

We passed The Sadler’s Wells Ballet Theatre.

In Clerkenwell Green, The Old Sessions House had an exhibition by Burberry which celebrated London Fashion Week. We went in to have a look. The building itself is amazing with a beautiful staircase. Alongside the many clothes on display were lots of photographs, items and a short film showing Britain over the last 100 years. A very interesting mix of the British way of life.

 

 

 

 

 

We walked through Smithfield meat market which was well and truly closed. Just a few traders still milling around. So different to the night and early hours of the morning when all meat products are sold.

From here we walked through St John’s Gateway which is the area where St John’s Ambulance Brigade started and there is a Museum and office here.

The weather was still bright and sunny so a walk back to Angel underground station and our trains home after a very pleasant morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Main A.G.M!

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Tuesday 12th September – 31st meeting of 2017

With all the children back at school it meant that our little group could get back-to-business! So our annual breakfast meeting for the main A.G.M. of the year got underway today.

Our usual haunt The Greyhound in Bromley, breakfast orders in and eaten, then down to business we went. Not all our ladies could make it today but even so lots of ideas for our Tuesday were given.

 

 

 

 

 

As usual walks were planned. As we were originally a walking group we must still do as many walks as we can. Museums, exhibitions etc were put into the schedule. All weeks filled in with a couple of things for some of our ladies to pre-book.

Christmas lunch was organised so all reminded about a Secret Santa present!

A pleasant morning with lots of good ideas of things to do in the weeks before Christmas. Although we have been organising ourselves for many years now we never seem to be short of things to do! Which is brilliant!

 

Summer Catch-up No 2

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Tuesday 15th August – 30th meeting of 2017

Today was our second planned meeting during the Summer break. A Mystery Tour with Lunch which was being run by our local coach company Jay and Kay was our choice for today.

All bright and early seven of us meet for the 9.15 pick up. Coach arrived on time and was almost full. Two pick ups and then we were on our way, to where no-one knew but it was a lovely sunny day so all was good.

 

 

 

 

 

The driver gave us a rough plan for the day but no mention of area. We headed to M25 and Dartford crossing. Traffic was very heavy so slowed us down but once over the Thames we made our way into Essex. We were guessing our destination, Southend, Clacton were the favourites but we were all wrong. We arrived just after one o’clock at the charming little Essex village of Finchingfield. Straight into The Fox Inn where a delicious lunch was waiting for us. This lovely old pub gave us a lovely welcome and food. A nice relaxed atmosphere. After lunch we had an enjoyable short walk around this pretty well kept village looking at the river, beautiful flowers, cottages and church.

 

 

 

 

 

Once back in the coach we enjoyed a lovely drive to another unknown destination which was Lavenham. This charming old village is Suffolk and is regarded as one of the finest surviving examples of a medieval town with a splendid church and fine timber-framed houses. The weather was still lovely and sunny so we all enjoyed a walk around the town popping into some of the antique and gift shops. We stopped for a drink in a very nice pub and were glad for a sit in the sunshine.

On the walk back to the coach we enjoyed a very tasty ice cream! That made me really feel that I was on holiday!

The journey back home was much quicker than the outward one with traffic being much easier. We went through some lovely countryside and we all enjoyed the views but I must say a few of us had 40 winks myself included!

A fabulous day which we all enjoyed, the good weather making it even better. This was the first time we had ventured on a day like this but we all really enjoyed it so I feel we will repeat it at some stage!