Category Archives: GROUPS

On Rioja wines

The month of October always sees the celebration of a much-loved style of wine, the wine from Rioja, arguably Spain’s most famous region. With a range of white, rose’, red and soon to be sparkling wines, Rioja is a fabulous region to discover. The Wine and … More group celebrated Rioja in all its glory at the recent Zoom tasting, with a record 22 people attending. Two guest speakers from within the Group, Angela and Luke, set the scene for the tasting, with a most interesting introduction. They did an amazing job. And then we were off! Whites, reds, spanning a price range for around £9 to £30, participants shared their wines with gusto. This was an upbeat, full-on tasting, with much enjoyment all around. Stay tuned for the November tasting everyone!

Upcoming outings

Friday 30 October
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

A visit to this independent gallery for four current exhibitions, particularly of neglected artist Barnett Freedman (1901-1958), who was, during the 1930s and 40s regarded as Britain’s most visible artist. His work was far-reaching and seen on London Underground and Lyons tea house posters, Shell adverts, book covers and even a stamp to mark George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935. This is the first exhibition of his art since his death, yet reviewers opine that he was a hugely talented artist who should be a household name. The exhibition ends on 1 November.

Find out more about the Outings Group …

Autumn leaves

The Outings Group enjoyed a recent visit the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. After a while the darkening skies produced a torrential downpour, which luckily soon stopped and allowed us time to thoroughly explore.
It holds a glorious 8,000+ collection of plants from all over the world, used to facilitate teaching and research, and is a beautiful location with a series of landscapes through which to discover the drama of plant diversity.
It was founded in 1762 in the city centre, to grow plants to be used in the teaching of medical students at the university. In 1831 John Henslow, Professor of Botany, began work to move the garden to its present location. Designed to house a magnificent tree collection, his ideas on variation and the nature of species caught the attention of his protégée Charles Darwin.
October was an ideal time to witness the delightful autumn colours and visits at other times of the year would offer very different displays. Highly recommended.



Singing for fun

The Singing for Fun Group met via Zoom this week and although it is still experimenting with the platform, it was a lot of fun.
Songs covered a wide range including the Skye Boat Song, These Boots Are Made For Walking, Strangers in the Night and Que Sera, Que Sera.

Happily there is always room to join this group when it meets via Zoom, so if you are looking for an occasional hour of singing along with others in the privacy of your own home, do contact Anne Heagney, the Convener, via the form on the Singing for Fun Group page.

Walking the New River

October 2020
Walking the New River

Participant Kay of the Outings Group writes: “A huge thank you to Roslyn Byfield for a fabulous walk, showing me parts of London, I never knew existed.  I had already walked a little of the New River, but I had no idea it was a waterway that stretched for some 25 miles!  Roslyn led the walk magnificently, showing us a very interesting route, starting at Wood Green all the way to the wetlands at Woodberry Down Reservoir, which looked magnificent!   We were very lucky to see many birds along the way  and also the mechanical water dredger in operation, which was rather novel! It was wonderful to get out into the fresh air and at the same time, enjoy some great company.  Just what the doctor ordered!  We also managed to support a local cafe at the start of our walk, another of Roslyn’s suggestions, so thanks to Cafe Corso in Ringslade Road for all the lovely coffees!

Back on the Lea

Finally, able to resume our Middle Way Walks, we once again ambled alongside the River Lea for the lovely section from Broxbourne to Hertford. On both days of the we had some sun, some clouds and some rain, but I think the joy of being together again rather diminished the annoyance of getting wet. Some of us hadn’t seen one another since lock down and enjoyed the chat as much as the views. We walked along Rushymeade woods and past Dobb’s Weir where the river and the navigation path split and we saw the historic 18th century Fish and Eels pub (pictured above right). We passed where the River Stort joins and contemplated a future walk along said river. We then passed Rye Meads nature reserve which we is well worth a visit for any bird lovers amongst us, but we hadn’t the time. We soon had a quick peek at Amwell Quarry nature reserve, but once again had no time to visit. After a picnic lunch, rushed a bit by rain on both days, we continued along the path enjoying the birds and the beautiful autumnal colours. When we reached Ware we had to detour around the closed canal for a brief look at Ware town centre and optimistically noted that most shops and cafes seemed to have remained open. The river soon widens and joins the River Beane and thereafter the beautiful King’s Meads. Upon reaching the end of this section I think all agreed that the best part was the feeling of normalcy once again and a fervent hope we can continue to walk together.