A slightly depleted (due to illness) but cheerful Outings Group visited the lovely Myddelton House Gardens today for snowdrop viewing and weren’t disappointed. Planting has extended way beyond what it was years ago, including the Alpine Meadow, and other paths and terraces are a pleasure to walk along, one leading to the striking Market Cross, which the horticulturalist E A Bowles (related to the perhaps more famous Parker Bowles family) rescued from being made into rubble in 1904. Besides snowdrops, crocuses, hellebores and early daffodils abound. This place is a gem which is delightful and worthwhile to visit at any time of year.
There an extensive set of images of Myddelton House Gardens here
On the last day of the month members of the Outings Group had the temerity to cross the river and venture into unknown territory – south London, and how well they were rewarded! The trip to the privately-run Cinema Museum in Kennington provided an irresistible combination of film and architecture. In the chapel of the former Lambeth workhouse – a Grade II listed building – is a screening area and all manner of memorabilia rescued from abandoned and demolished cinemas. The atmosphere is infused with the spirit of Charlie Chaplin, who was a resident of the workhouse for a while. Within the building there is also another cinema, and corridors lined with Art Deco-influenced artefacts from the Golden Age of cinema-going. Our hosts for the day were Martin (one of the co-founders of the Museum) and an appropriately attired, enthusiastic volunteer Maurice. Martin gave a history of the collection with a slide-show, and we learnt, with some dismay, that its future of the collection was in some doubt as the lease to the building was soon to expire.
Then it was over to Maurice who conducted a brief tour of the outside of the building, explaining more about the workhouse, its architecture, surviving buildings and decorative features (polychromatic brickwork and Venetian Gothic windows) and the water-tower. Then it was back inside out of the cold for a welcome cup of tea (I wonder why Martin thought Crouch Enders would only drink herbal teas?). Maurice then recalled the days of Saturday morning cinema showings for children and invited the visitors to join him in a brief sing-song, and the visit ended with a showing of a number short films on a variety of subjects, feeding memories of London’s trams and coffee bars (with a glimpse of Britain’s first teen idol and rock and roll star, Tommy Steele), and wartime information films, as well as some extraordinary film of flooding of the Seine in Paris, and an example of the avant-garde work of the G.P.O. Film Unit. This was indeed a wonderful visit.
This free exhibition at the British Library plumbs the National Sound Archive collection to demonstrate just how important have the sounds of the past 140 years been to our lives. It looks at the significance of sound since the phonograph was invented in 1877. Quite a few of the sound effects and recorded speeches you hear on radio and TV will have come from the National Sound Archive.
“Another great coffee shop meet up with the Outings Group today in Muswell Hill. Roslyn arranged the coffee meet up and about a dozen turned up for a good natter about what we had been doing during December. Many on the Outings Group are also on other groups so it is good to share news about different U3A groups. We all appreciate Roslyn’s efforts in arranging outings for us. Coming up is a trip to the British Library, a visit to the cinema museum and an outing to Myddelton House gardens – a nice variety. We enjoy our coffee meet ups between outings too. ” – Lesley Ramm via Facebook
“We were lucky that it was a clear day and dry – although very cold, especially along some of the windier streets. We left by the rear of John Lewis, which had beautiful strings of white lights from the fifth floor hanging alongside the escalators, and crossed Henrietta Place then Cavendish Square and left on to Wigmore Street where we passed Wigmore Hall. Then into St Christopher’s Place and Gee Court which had wonderful lights strung high above along the road before crossing Oxford Street where the bare trees looked lovely with their fairy lights and into South Molton Street. Here the lights were huge blue and white arches with stars all along the road – very striking. At Brook St we passed the entrance to Haunch of Venison Yard, Handel House museum and Jimi Hendrix house. Then we headed along Lancashire Court (formerly Horse Shoe Yard) decorated with very large bells, to New Bond St, and joined Maddox St. New Bond St was decorated with lovely white Peacock feather lights. At Brown’s dining rooms Roslyn told us it was originally a tailor’s and some of the original décor remains inside. We looked at St George’s Church Hanover Square, where a choir was rehearsing before heading back along Maddox St before crossing Regent St which was decorated with flying angels. A quick look at the Christmas windows in Liberty then down Kingly St and Ganton St, strung with multicoloured bulbs, into Carnaby St, Newburgh St and Foubert’s Place decorated with a tropical theme – palm trees, parrots, party poppers and oversized lightbulbs. We passed Wright Bros Oyster House and The Bag o’ Nails nightclub. Then we were back at Regent St with the angels – and pretend soldiers outside Penhaligon’s. We headed along Regent St to Vigo St, where Pickett (leather goods shop) had lovely trees lit up over the doorway, past Savile Row and into Burlington Gardens towards Old Bond St. cut through the lovely Burlington Arcade where the decorations were beautiful trees with subtle green lights and out into Piccadilly. Looking along Old Bond St we saw the huge diamond light near De Beers. In Albemarle St there was a simple but lovely theme of white lights across the road. Looking across to the beautifully decorated Ritz we were now getting quite cold and tired, so set off for home after a wonderful walk seeing some beautifully lit streets … “ – Lesley Ramm via Facebook
“… a large group of us visited Walthamstow Wetlands today. Some met up at Costa Finsbury Park and travelled together to meet others there. We went into the visitor centre/shop/café area in The Engine House. I bought a map – which thankfully Julie Vaggers could read. We set off in improving weather along the top of the East Warwick Reservoir. It was blustery and chilly until we went down to the path again. We returned to the café between eastern reservoirs and saw more birds and several anglers.
Most of us had lunch at the café. Having sat outside some of us soon got chilly. We then went up to the second floor to look south over the reservoirs towards the very prominent church spire of St Mary Stoke Newington (identified by Julie from Google maps). Roslyn and a few others the set off for the northern reservoirs on the other side of Forest Road. We all enjoyed a great day out thanks to Roslyn. – Lesley Ramm via Facebook
Friday 27 October 2017 – Osterley House and Garden
Successful and heartwarming … Members of the Group visited this handsome (and accessible!) National Trust property wearing its lovely autumn colours. One of the last surviving country estates in London, it was once described by art historian Horace Walpole as ‘the palace of palaces’, Osterley was created in the late 18th century by architect and designer Robert Adam for the Child family to entertain and impress their friends and clients.
“Fabulous visit to Osterley Park and House with the Outings Group on 27th October wonderfully arranged by Roslyn Byfield. We all thoroughly enjoyed the visit, in lovely weather, and much appreciated Roslyn’s efforts on our behalf. Not only was travel free with 60+ Oystercards and Freedom Passes but entry was free with an Art Fund card too! Looking forward to more outings with a lovely group.” – Lesley Ramm via Facebook