Visit to Anglesey Abbey gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire, on Wednesday 17th May 2017

Anglesey Abbey

Forty-two members of the WNTA and friends spent a very enjoyable day at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire. In spite of very inclement weather most of the party managed to explore the fantastic gardens and visited the Lode Mill where we saw flour being made.

The highlight of the outing was touring the impressive Jacobean house, fully restored by Lord Fairhaven. The fine decorative art, the priceless furniture, the silver, the antique clocks and the old books impressed us all. Many of the group decided that they really needed another visit to appreciate all the treasures.

The new Visitors’ Centre provided welcome drinks and food during the day and the lovely NT shop tempted many to buy from its wonderful range of gifts. Altogether a place to revisit in the future.

Margaret Jones

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Saturday 17th June – Hughenden Manor

Hughenden Manor

The visit was well supported and we arrived in time for ‘Elevenses’. It was the home of Benjamin Disraeli who loved the Manor.  His wife was responsible for the way the gardens were laid out.  Well after WWII it was discovered that the cellars had been used for map making from Aerial photos of targets recently or about to be attacked. The German bombers tried to destroy the house, thankfully, they failed. The weather was perfect and the grounds were explored by most of the party.  Shortage of staff made for poor catering but all had tea and cake afterwards.

Pauline Heydon

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Wednesday 12th July 2017 – Knebworth House and Gardens

Knebworth House

There were forty-two of us in the coach party on a sunny day.  We were split into two groups to go round the house, which has been in the Lytton family for 500 years.  In the afternoon the Head Gardener took some of us on a tour of the garden and the grounds which date back to the 17th Century.  There was the Raj Exhibition which was interesting as the Queen’s first Viceroy of India was Robert, 1st Earl of Lytton.

David Allabarton

Thursday 10th August 2017 – Calke Abbey

The flower gardens at Calke

On the only sunny day in a very wet week, we enjoyed a really good trip to Calke Abbey.

It is unlike the restored properties that we are used to visiting and there was plenty of interest to see, although we would have preferred looking at fewer stuffed birds.

The food was good and the staff were pleasant and very helpful.  It was a good day.

Brenda Rimmer  

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Wednesday 6th September 2017 – Richard III Visitor Centre and Leicester Cathedral

King Richard III’s grave at Leicester Cathedral

Was Richard III a ruthless murderer or a misunderstood monarch? We may never know but there is enough information in the brilliant “Dynasty, Death and Discovery” exhibition to support both sides of the argument.  The centre tells the story of the life of Richard and the background of the Wars of the Roses, concluding in his death at Bosworth field.  Richard’s original shallow grave is visible under a glass floor.  On the first floor, the Discovery part of the exhibition details the story of the research, archaeology, science and painstaking analysis that led to the discovery and identification of the long-lost remains of the king.  All exhibits make excellent use of video and other technology and are very impressive.

The visit was combined with a guided tour of the cathedral where King Richard was reinterred in March 2015.  There was also time, if you had the energy, to do a town trail.  Many thanks to Louise for organising a super day and thanks to Janet for stepping in at the last minute.

John Norman

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Wednesday 18th October 2017 – Southwell Workhouse and Minster

The WNTA visit to Southwell Workhouse and Minster went very well. The weather was very kind to us.  The audio tour of The Workhouse was comprehensive with copies of the very strict rules displayed.  The bleakness of the place depicted the lack of feeling for the needy who were regarded, in the main, as idle and profligate.  The guides for the tour of the Minster were informative describing the beautiful carvings and stained glass windows.  In fact a very interesting day with two contrasting places one very austere and full of misery and the other rich in history and beautiful things.

Marion Malaband  

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Saturday 25th November – Christmas Outing to Trentham Gardens

Christmas at Trentham

We left Walsall in the snow which set the seasonal mood for the day.  The weather was not kind to us as it was a cold, windy day with frequent showers of rain, sleet and snow.  However, we could easily enter the nearest shop and view whatever it happened to be selling until the weather cleared. 

There were many establishments, selling food and drink, scattered amongst the shops as well as the main pavilion so we all had a wide range from which to choose. 

In the main pavilion, everyone was very taken with the wonderful singing reindeer, which amused and entertained all ages.

Our coach driver was very kind and helpful, assisting us on and off and making sure we were warm.  A good day was had by all.

Pauline Heydon

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