Mini A.G.M!

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Tuesday 4th April – 13 meeting of 2017

Today we met for the first of our Mini A.G.M.s of 2017. As this was the last of our meetings before Easter we decided to make it a planning meeting.

We met at our usual haunt The Greyhound in Bromley but a little confusion over the time as two ladies, myself included, arrived for a breakfast meeting only to discover that it was a lunchtime met but no problems as there are many shops in Bromley to pass away an hour or so or as one lady did go home and come back again! Either way ‘no problem’!

After ordering lunch and consuming it we got down to business. We never seem to run out of ideas for our Tuesday meetings and indeed always seem to have some things to keep for next time.

We planned up until June. Museums seem to play a big part but a walk and some exhibitions are there. Also in this time we will be going off on our annual holiday break.

Although we only plan for term time we make a flexible meeting for the Tuesday during the holidays just in case we are free from visiting and childminding duties!

 

 

The Design Museum

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Tuesday 28th March – 12 meeting of 2017

We met up and walked along Kensington High Street towards Holland Park to get to the Design Museum at the entrance to Holland Park amidst an avenue of trees.

We had visited the old Design Museum at Shad Thames which was created by Sir Terence  Conran from an old banana warehouse in 1989. He donated part of the money in order to move the museum to the new larger home in a transformed 1962 Commonwealth Institute building. Total cost of the new Design Museum was £83million.

The original Commonwealth building had a copper hyperbolic paraboloid roof which has been incorporated into the new building and Dinesen Douglas Fir white marble used to line the building giving it a very cool and smooth finish.

 

 

 

 

As we went in one of our ladies spotted C.J. de Mooi standing outside. For those who do not recognise his name he is a British professional quizzer and was a panellist on the quiz show Eggheads. This for me is special as I once appeared on the show with a group of work colleagues making a team and I can proudly say that I beat C J de Mooi on the subject of Science! But sadly our team lost to the Eggheads team. Another name to add to our celeb spotting list!

Inside we spent some time admiring the architecture of the building and stood in the entrance and on the Antrim stairs to view the vast expanse of walls and roof.

We then went up to the top floor to walk through the Designer, Maker, User galleries which is the permanent free exhibition. This gives examples of design ranging from the London 2012 Olympic torch, Sony Walkman from the 1980 and the new London underground train. Also is included various everyday objects which have endured overtime, plus maps, bikes etc and a good selection of chairs which could be tried.

We also saw the Designer in Residence studio where work is done in situ by a designer for viewing by the public.

We spent about 2 hours in the museum but there were also 2 paid for exhibitions which we didn’t see but we also managed to look around the shop there.

It is worth going to see the building and exhibits and must be a great asset to the designer students of the future.

Fire! Fire!

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Tuesday 21st March – 11th meeting of 2017

A visit to Museum of London to view the Fire! Fire! exhibition about The Great Fire of London of 1666 which happened 350 years ago and was one of the most infamous disasters of London.

A meeting at Cannon Street a little later than usual as the exhibition was for timed tickets and ours was booked for 2 o’clock. Although it is free entry into the museum this is a special exhibition and cost for seniors £8.00. At Cannon Street we had a drink and a bite to eat before the walk through the city in nice sunny weather to the Museum. We arrived a little early and had a coffee before going into the exhibition.

 

 

 

The entrance into the exhibition is laid out as if a street in London at the time of the fire. As you walk around it shows how and why the fire raged for so long due to wind, wooden structures and closeness of buildings. There were lots of interactive things and it is and ideal exhibition for children. As well as showing the events of the fire using scripts of the day and writings by Samuel Pepys and others it gave a good insight of how people coped with the difficult situation. On display was an old fire engine machine and clothing and items of the times.   There was a very good exhibit which showed where the fire started and marked the days as it spread across the city.

 

 

 

 

The last section showed many plans and ideas that were submitted to the City for the rebuilding that was needed.  One plan showed new streets in a grid fashion but it was not adopted as it was felt it would be too costly. Eventually it was decided to use existing roads and streets but there were rules imposed to make it a safer city.

A very good interesting exhibition enjoyed by us all. This would be a good exhibition to take children especially if they are learning about London.

The Big 7-0!!

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Tuesday 14th March – 10th meeting of 2017

Today was a big celebration as one of our ladies turned 70! When this happens we always have a lunch to celebrate. This birthday makes that the 70+ are now a majority in the group so it was an extra special day!

We had a table booked for 12.30 at Cypriani’s a lovely Mediterranean restaurant in Locksbottom and one we have used many times. The staff is great here and really don’t mind how much noise we make! Good news as we are very noisy ladies!

 

 

 

 

Once we had all arrived we ordered drinks and toasted our birthday girl. We ordered food and started to present her with her gifts. Our tradition is to buy silly, tacky, funny gifts spending around £5.00. The theme was holidays as our birthday lady loves holidays!! The presents were amazing. It is astonishing what you can get for £5.00. They included pretty pink sunhat, very colourful bikini!, snorkel, neck rest for flying, passport cover, strap for case, camping chair, inflatable fish, the tiniest gold bikini ever seen! and many many more items. There were what seemed like hundreds of gifts and they were given before during and after the meal! She seemed very pleased with them all and we all throughly enjoyed her opening them all and many caused much laughter.

The meal was very nice. We all enjoyed it and the wine certainly went down well! So another of our group have reached the big 70 and the rest will slowly join us but we oldies are now the majority! Up the Seniors!!!

 

Back to the V & A!

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Tuesday 7th March – 9th meeting of 2017

Today as there were only six of us we opted to go back to the Victoria and Albert Museum to look at the Beatrix Potter exhibition. We had spoken of this many times but decided to visit it today, so we met at Charing Cross and took the District line to South Kensington and then the walk through the tunnel to the Museum. This train and walkway is always very busy with many groups of school children visiting the wonderful free museums here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first stop as usual the William Morris tea rooms for a cuppa and a chat! Then we made our way up to Gallery 106. The exhibits were set in glass cabinets set around the walls. On show were illustrations of Beatrice Potter’s works and her wonderful sketches of Peter rabbit, mice, flowers and all things of nature. Her work was very intricate and detailed. There were also some documents and information on here life in London. When she was living in London she often visited the Victoria and Albert and Natural History Museums to research for her work. Although a small collection it was fascinating and a pleasure to look at.

 

 

 

 

 

As it didn’t take that long to look at the exhibits we went into the jewellery section which was in the next gallery. This is a marvelous collection of jewellery pieces of all shapes sizes and dating from ancient times to the modern-day. The pieces on display are wonderful and could be visited many times. It is a very large collection covering two floors.

From here after a stop in the Museum shop and making few purchases we made our way to the station and trains home after a very pleasant morning.