Report on the April Meeting 9th April‘Queen Elizabeth Tudor’ speaker: Kerry Sturdee
We were graced by a royal visit today, as Kerry Sturdee, heralded by a fanfare and dressed magnificently as Elizabeth Tudor, swept into the room. The daughter of Henry Tudor and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth, at the age of 25 became Queen, following the death of Mary, a devout Catholic. Well educated and able to converse in 6 languages, she proved to be a strong ruler.
Court etiquette, suitors, intrigues and executions were told from a personal perspective. Kerry portrayed the Queen as a woman glorying in her wealth, who possessed at least 60 castles and palaces. In regal attire she explained her love of fine silks, furs and jewels, which adorned her wardrobe of 3000 dresses. Her red hair could be enhanced by 80 wigs or hair pieces. A pale skin was a sign of nobility, so courtiers following Elizabeth’s example, painted their faces with white powder made from vinegar and lead. Washing with infusions of mercury, they added sparkle to the eyes with drops of belladonna and it was customary to wash hair in urine. The sugar paste used to clean teeth contributed to rapid tooth decay. These strange beauty routines and lack of bathing made pomanders a necessity to offset the rank odours.
Elizabeth valued the expanding trade brought to England by Raleigh and Drake. Gold and silver thread, spices, tobacco, silks and potatoes added to her wealth. ”God blew and they were scattered” cried Elizabeth in victory as the Spanish Armada was routed in 1588. A triumphal feast of roast goose became thereafter a favourite meat at Christmas.
Kerry amazed the audience with details of how she had constructed the “throne” embellished with papier mache painted to look like dark oak. The simple set and her costume showed skilled workmanship and attention to detail. Her characterisation was lively, portraying Elizabeth as a formidable Queen, but left one wanting to hear more of the intricacies and secrets of court life.
(in alphabetical order)
For our April Meeting we went to Rugby Museum to see their Annual Collection Exhibition, which this year showcases new acquisitions and lesser known works of art. After a brief introduction by a member of staff, we viewed all the exhibits, selected our favourite or least favourite picture, to then introduce it to the group for open discussion. It was amazing to see, how often we were in agreement - on the ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ side. A quick sketching and guessing exercise brought our session light-heartedly to an end. We continued our discussion in beautiful sunshine over tea and cake at the Stableyard in Cotesbach.
May Meeting: 8.5. 2015, Compton Verney
The last two books we have read for our book group did not prove to be very popular and whilst not generating much positive feedback they did help many of us to decide we would not be reading any other books by these particular authors. The book for March was "Sylvia" by Bryce Courtenay a medieval tale that very few actually managed to finish and none would recommend. The April offering was a series of short stories by Helen Simpson entitled " In Flight Entertainment " not a very accurate description. However the unpopularity of these books did genarate a great deal of discussion which we all feel is a very positive aspect of this lively group.
The newly formed Group held its first main meeting on April 16th at the One Stop Shop where 18 members assembled to hear a talk by Bob Kennett, CEO of a company which has developed what Bob described as a "mini energy power station in our homes" using fuel cell technology to provide the base energy load for our domestic home living conditions.
To those of us who are only familiar with "a boiler in the cupboard" for heating, the Technology process that Bob explained together with a Power Point Presentation was quite a revelation.
Sadly however, and historically, like the way of many British Tech development projects, it is now in the process of being sold to an energy company in China as funding proved not to be forthcoming in the UK and Europe to continue further.
Interestingly, we will have a talk by Dr Peter Knight in June who will tell us about how the Aerospace Manufacturing community have to bid for Development Money in front of a Dragons Den panel .....Peter is one of the Dragons !!
Groups Events Programme 2015.
May - Free Lecture at Leicester University Thurs 21st on The Importance of Light at 18:30 - 19:30.
June - Talk by Dr Peter Knight, Friday 5th at 10:00 am One Stop Shop on Tech Funding by Dragons Den..
July - Visit to John Taylor Co - Bell Foundry, Loughborough Thurs 30th.
Aug - Visit to Rolls Royce Museum, Derby Wed 12th .
Sept - Talk and exhibits by Radical Sports and Racing Cars, Peterborough Thurs 17th.
Further events will be announced later on in the year.
Wednesday 22nd April – Barnacles Restaurant on Watling Street (A5 just before Hinckley Island) LE10 3JA Tel No 01455 633220 barnacles-restaurant.co.uk
As its name suggests, “Barnacles” Menu is heavily into fishy dishes – including Oysters and Lobster but they also do Steaks & Grills and an interesting-looking range of Stone Baked Pizzas as well as a Bistro Style Menu.
Only 5 of us went and found the place lively and almost full to bursting. The one person who had a Starter (Scallops) pronounced them “delicious”. We all enjoyed our Mains but the 2 of us who had the Fish Pie found it flavoursome and deceptively filling to the extent that all we could do was to glance at the Desserts on offer – the others had no such inhibitions!
Wednesday 27th May – I will book at “Rossini” in Hinckley but be warned – we will probably have to sort out what we want to eat before we go.
ALL THAT JAZZ - SUMMERSAULT JAZZ EVENINGS
– These are back but usually only on the Last Friday of each month and a “surcharge” of £5 if you want to sit in the premium space at the front.
Having said that, the next date was Friday 17th April, when Thomas “Spats” Langham & “Hotfingers” were the performers. Seven of us enjoyed the evening sitting almost toe to toe with the Group. We have heard them before and always enjoyed their range and versatility – not to mention the range of food and wine available!
Summersault’s next “Jazz Night” is Friday 29th May, when “Al Gurr and Friends” are on the “Menu”. Al Gurr has made a name for himself in a wide variety of different contexts, arranging and producing as well as playing piano and bass. Recently he has worked with Hayley Westonra, Blake, Alfie Boe, Lorna Luft and members of the CBSO. I have booked 10 places and currently have 3 left.
Please let me know if you want your name(s) adding to the list for that night remembering the minimum £14.99 spend plus the £5 for sitting in the front area.
23 April 2015
We started by discussing future meetings (see below). We then described our perfect day, real or in wishful thinking. After that we talked about what we had done over Easter.
The next meeting will be on 28 May 2015, when we should come prepared to discuss our hobbies, also bring any suitable French book you may be able to lend someone, to discuss at the June meeting. I also have some French instructions for napkin folding.
On a fresh and breezy afternoon, our first visit of the season was to the extensive gardens at Kelmarsh Hall. We received a warm welcome and our young guide, Sam, gave us a brief history of the estate whilst taking us on an excellent tour from the west terrace, through the sunken garden, rose gardens and walled kitchen garden with potting sheds and orangery. He also invited us to take a look at the ‘wilderness’ area around the lake. His knowledge of plants was outstanding. As is customary, this was followed by a cuppa and cake in the café. A very pleasant afternoon.
On Tuesday, 26th May we will be visiting the gardens at Castle Ashby near Northampton. I have booked the Broughton Astley Community Bus which will leave Lutterworth Recreation Ground car park at 10.45 a.m. We will have a guided tour of the gardens starting at 12.00 noon which will last approximately 1 ½ hours. There will then be free time for refreshments and further exploration before returning at about 3.45 p.m. The cost will be £13.50 each (£6.50 for bus, £5.00 garden entrance and £2.00 for the tour, based on a full minibus of 15 people.)
If you would like to come, please contact me as soon as possible on 01455 557888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If there are more than 15 members we may be able to arrange for some to travel in private cars.
Tuesday 21st April – we went to “The Stable Yard”, Cotesbach, where they have a reasonable range of food locally sourced and cooked on the premises. Several of us had their home-baked quiches with salad and one of the men had Garlic Mushrooms on two thick wedges of very nice, locally-sourced bread. It looked a veritable “mountain” on his plate but he then went on to have a Dessert as well! I think he does a lot of cycling and burns off all the calories!!
Tuesday 19th May – Nemo’s Bar Diner at Stoney Cove – remember that once you get in the Car Park you need to drive across as far as you can go! They provide a range of Homemade Dishes, Fish Dishes, Grills, Jacket, Baguettes, Burgers and Lite Bites. We might have to order before we go which I feel is a real pain especially as most places have Lunchtime Specials.
13th April 2015
Are we too reliant on technology?
Technology seems broadly to fall into 3 categories:
Optional – such as PCs, mobile phones, skyboxes, sending emails and ordering online.
Technology which is thrust upon you – such as businesses and local authorities who expect you to respond or contact them on line
Work – for those still earning their living and have to use their company’s systems.
Much technology is hidden as with white goods, cars and self-checkouts. It was agreed that society cannot do without technology. However concern was expressed about the elderly and others who don’t have access at all. Libraries are some help, but being able to book a slot is difficult as so many people want to use them. Appreciation was expressed for sat nav., holiday bookings and 3D printing which will facilitate new hips and much more. However, we were concerned about the loss of letter writing skills and photos which no longer appear in hard form and don’t have information on the back such as ‘Auntie Mary on the beach and the date’. Will this have a detrimental effect on biographies, family history and other forms of research? Some of the group were concerned about online banking and shopping. Others saw it as a boon. It is interesting that Barclays are advertising their technical ‘eagles’ helping children and the elderly with technology.
There was much concern about keeping children safe online. One member said that Bedfordshire police are running parents’ sessions in schools, this may be the case in other counties too. Downsides were discussed such as the inability to repair your own car because of the computers used by all the big companies, if the lines are down businesses stop and employees can’t work until services are restored and people appearing to concentrate on their phones rather than speaking to each other.
Obviously others are concerned too. Martha Lane Fox of lastminute.com used her Dimbleby lecture to call for the government to set up a definitive public institution for the digital age and to make Great Britain the most connected country in the world.
In summary we can’t put the genie back in the bottle and the good points far outweigh the bad.
This month's topic was "Home and Family" and we approached this from many different angles, reading Derek Mahon's rather bleak portrayal of homecoming to Ireland which contrasted with the delightful Laurie Lee's "Home from Abroad". Home from an immigrant point of view was depicted by Carol Ann Duffy's "In Your Mind" and Grace Nicholls "Wherever I Hang" written in the pigeon language of her youth and containing the wonderful line "wherever I hang me knickers that's my home".
Family relationships and reflections on family life were explored, often in comic poems from Judith Vriost, Roger McGough and lots of Pam Ayres . Some of the poems were poignant such as Frances Cornford's "Childhood", and there were poems of loss and remembrance from Carol Ann Duffy and Thomas Hardy. Other poems depicted family scenes as in Spike Milligan's "Catford 1933", portrayals of grandmothers and sisters, and incidents remembered from childhood.
Next month's topic is "Politics in Poetry", and we will meet on 28th May at 2pm.
Wednesday 1st April – The Wharf at Welford. Because of dental work (ouch!) I was unable to go back to The Wharf where I had eaten in March on a “scouting” expedition. Afterwards, I received several emails and a phone call or two as well as comments from people at our U3A General Meeting. They had all evidently enjoyed the experience – reporting that the plates were warmed, the helpings generous,and the girls serving them swift and cheerful. I gather that most people went for the roast dinner at £5 with the option of adding a Dessert for a further £2. I think “The Wharf” is well-patronised by the Walking Groups.
Wednesday 6th May, we will be at another “wharf” - The Waterfront at Market Harborough – report next month.
Wednesday 3 June, I intend to book at “The Old Lion”, Pailton Road, Harborough Magna, CV23 0HQ, Tel 01788 933238 www.theoldlion.com where they do Lunch Sandwiches, Snacks & Sides as well as Mains priced at £9.95 such as Pork Chop with Fat Chips & Pan Fried Vegetables, Chicken in an English Cheddar Sauce served on Wilted Lettuch & New Potatoes, Fish Fingers & Chips, Home Made Beef Burger with Coleslaw & Chips. At £6.95 there is Pulled Pork with Salsa & Green Salad and, at £7.95, Pie of the Day.
On the 17th April 21 people met at the Granville Road end of New Walk in Leicester. We were led by Steve Bruce, Blue Badge Guide, who explained that New Walk has been a pedestrian thoroughfare since 1785. New Walk followed the line of the old Roman Road, Via Devana. It was originally called Queen’s Walk after Queen Charlotte, wife of George III and was developed in 3 phases, the first being closest to the city. Wealthy citizens bought houses away from the pollution and dirt. Most houses had 2 addresses, one fronting onto New Walk and a second at the back for deliveries and storing a horse and carriage. There are 3 green spaces along the Walk – The Oval enclosed by metal railings which is near the Belmont Hotel, De Montfort Square near De Montfort Street and Museum Square beside New Walk Museum.
There are many notable buildings sited on the Walk including the United Reform Church which was removed brick by brick from its original place next to the station and reassembled; the Belmont Hotel – part of which was a school for young ladies and another part which was the home of Ernest Gimson’s family for an number of years (from here he left to join the Arts and Crafts movement in the Cotswolds after hearing a lecture by William Morris); and New Walk Museum designed by Joseph Hansom as a school which eventually became today’s museum. Also of interest are the ‘extensions’ to some houses of Georgian origin – bay windows of various kinds added by the Victorian’s, and an artist had increased the size of one of his windows to give him more light in his studio on the top floor.
Gas lights were added in Victorian times and some of them which are hung from arches are listed. They were made in High Cross Street and the pattern for them was found in a Paris basement so identical lamps can be seen in Paris. The walk was just under a mile and was packed with interest and beautiful buildings.
Our next walk on May 15th- will be starting from the Boat House pub at Braunston, walking through the village and back along the canal towpath. It should take approx. 1 1/2 hours of easy walking.
The Boat House is on the A45 (London Road), it would be best to travel to Dunchurch and then follow the A45 towards Daventry. The pub is on the right hand side of the A45 just before the turning into the village.
The Boat House, London Road, Braunston, NN11 7HB. Phone number 01788 891734.
They do the usual pub food - there is a copy of the menu on the website - and have a large board of daily specials. We can order food before we set off for the walk. Further details from Anne Dean 01455 202327 email 01455 202327
01455 559725 email:email@example.com
BLETCHLEY PARK VISIT
Forty members set off by coach to Bletchley Park to explore the complex that was at the centre of Britain’s WW2 codebreaking efforts. Finding the venue proved a little difficult, well it was after all a secret establishment, but we arrived safely. After a brief introduction we all collected our individual iPad like multi-media guides and set off to explore the many buildings containing exhibits of what went on back in the day. Much of what we saw was mind boggling but interesting on lots of different levels. The sun shone and it was nice to rest our brains occasionally by wandering round the beautifully landscaped lake and gardens. The Cafes and coffee shops provided a good range of refreshments. Another successful outing!
1st WEDNESDAY WALKING GROUP
Roger Watmore 01455 552431
Julian Hargreaves 01455 557704
Date of Walk: - 3rd June 2015.
Walk Organisers: - John and Sue Hicks – Tel 07971 200861
Meeting Point and Time:Lutterworth Recreation Ground car park at 09.25 to leave at 09.30am
Start Point: The Wharf Inn, Welford. Post Code NN6 6JQ. Leave at 10.00am. Toilets available.
Directions to Start: - The walk will start from The Wharf Inn at Welford (NN6 6JQ) at 10.00am prompt. From Lutterworth take the A4304 to North Kilworth and just after the canal bridge turn right towards Welford. At the end of the road turn right on the A5199. The Wharf Inn is on the right as you enter Welford. Weekday special lunches cost £5 and should be ordered before the walk. Toilets will be open.
Route and Distance:-The walk is approx. 6 miles. The walk towards Sibbertoft follows the embryonic River Avon for a while and then along a bridleway past Sulby Abbey and Sulby Grange, through woodland and across farmland. Return is via the Jurassic Way through Sulby and between the Sulby and Welford reservoirs. There are a few easy stiles, and at the time of writing several fields of sheep.
The Wednesday April walk was enjoyed by a group of 22 walkers on a cool day which fortunately stayed dry for us. We started from the Elephant and Castle pub in Thurlaston and after leaving the village headed towards Leicester for a short distance before taking paths which took us back past Desford Hall. After a short road section towards Desford our route took us across meadows, stiles and the occasional arable field eventually crossing the A47 again at Leicester Forest West. From there we headed back towards Thurlaston across a variety of fields and stiles finally re-emerging onto the Thurlaston to Enderby road and back to the Elephant and Castle where we had an excellent (and cheap) meal served very efficiently by the staff. The total walk length was about 6 miles of fairly easy walking which was not as wet as expected after the heavy rain experienced over the previous few days.
4th WEDNESDAY WALKING GROUPCo-ordinators
Sue & Peter Creeden
Wednesday 27 May 2015
Walk Organisers:- Sue and Peter Creeden Tel: 01455 557888
Meeting Point and Time:- Lutterworth Recreation Ground car park at 09:20am to leave at 9.30am.
Start Point and Time:- The Bulls Head at Brinklow to leave at 10:00am
Directions to the Start:- Leave Lutterworth towards Magna Park. At the A5 roundabout take the second exit (B4027) to Pailton, Stretton under Fosse and then Brinklow. At the T junction in Brinklow turn right (towards Coventry) and the Bull is about 150m on the right. Please park at the back of the car park.
Route and Distance:-. The route will head up Broad Street and then turn off to pass the motte and bailey castle before heading to the canal and Hungerfield Bridge. It will then take a large loop to Kings Newnham before returning to Brinklow. The distance will be approximately 6 miles along a mixture of roads, canal path and tracks across fields. There will be only one significant hill and approximately 10 stiles (as far as we can remember!)
Lunch arrangements:- The Bulls Head has a reasonably priced lunchtime menu. We will order before we depart from the pub.
April 2015 Walk Report
Gill Watmore lead 13 of us on a linear walk from Abbey Park to Syston. The walk was very easy along tracks and footpaths with only one small mount and no stiles to climb. We walked through the ruins of Leicester Abbey to reach the River Soar and then along its banks to pass behind the Space Centre and Abbey Pumping Station. We stopped to view the new spot where you could (if you should so desire!!!), have your ashes scattered into the river. We then entered Watermead Park which is over 2 miles long and comprises 12 lakes, some smaller ponds, wildflower meadows, woodland, grassland and reedbeds. We then climbed the small mount to look at the life sized mammoth sculpture and a fine view across the park. After a break we continued to walk through the park along stretches of the River Soar/Grand Union Canal to eventually pass the King Lear Lake and the sculptures which depict a scene from the play. The final stretch of the walk was along the Grand Union Canal towpath to arrive at the pub for lunch. The return journey was mostly on the bus but we did see the huge new Belgrave roundabout that has replaced the flyover and then strolled through Abbey Park back to the car park.
JOINT WYCLIFFE LUTTERWORTH
and LUTTERWORTH U3A GROUPS
TUESDAY WALKING GROUPCo-ordinator
Gordon Jones (Lutterworth U3A)
NOTE THE MEETING TIME. Date of Walk: 19th May 2015 Coordinator: Gordon Jones. Tel. 01455 556192 Walk Organizers: Mick and Brenda Barrows -Tel: 01455-556570 Meeting Point: Coventry Road Recreation Ground Car Park. Meeting Time:09.10, leave at 09.20.
Start Point: Glooston, LE16 7ST. Parking in front of village Hall and Lane 10.00am. (sorry no toilets )
Route and distance: Approx. 51/2 miles with 1 stile, mainly on undulating bridleways and country lanes with beautiful views and bluebells.
Lunch: At The Crown Tur Langton, 1 course £4.50, 2 courses £7.95. Directions to the Starting Point: Kimcote, Walton, by Shearsby Bath, cross A5199 towards Saddington, left then right for Kibworth, left on the bend to Kibworth Harcourt to the A6, head towards Mk Harborough turning first left Langton Rd. Go through Tur Langton and follow signs to Glooston.
Return Mileage from Lutterworth: 34 Miles.
JOINT GOLF GROUP (with Lutterworth U3A)
Co-ordinator (Lutterworth U3A)
PLEASE NOTE TIMINGS
Next Joint Golf Day - Organiser :- Peter Moore Tel:- 01455 552594 email:- firstname.lastname@example.org The next Golf Day will be at Hinckley Golf Club on Thursday 11th June 2015. competing for the Hartopp Trophy and Prizes, inc. Ladies Prize. Meet at 13.00 Hrs for 14.00 Hrs Tee off, at the *Halfway House* at the rear of 9th Green. Bacon / Sausage Roll and Coffee / Tea included.
To confirm your attendance or for full itinerary, including Meal choices, please contact Peter Moore, by Monday 8th June 2015 please.
Cost each approx. £34.00 To include Coffee and Bacon Roll, Green Fee, Prizes and Dinner. (Dependant upon numbers) Don't forget to invite your Wives/Partners/Husbands for 2 course Dinner at 19.30 Hrs in the Golf Club Restaurant. Cost £12.50p. per person. Coffee and Mints included. Jackets and Ties *not required*
Seasons Forthcoming Golf Days. Ullesthorpe- Thursday July 30th 2015 Whetstone- Thursday September 17th 2015, Away Day- Leamington and County G.C. Friday 9th October 2015. These are now all confirmed dates.
Full details of all above events in future Newsletters.
Maybe of interest to U3A members
The Victorian Society’s photographic exhibition Saving a Century, curated by noted architectural historian Gavin Stamp, which will be on show in Bishop Street Methodist Church, 10A Bishop Street, Town Hall Square, Leicester, LE1 6AF from 27 May – 24 June (Monday to Saturday, 10.00 – 4.00). There is no charge and the café is open.
The Victorian Society is the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment. It fights to preserve important Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes so that they can be enjoyed by this and future generations. It provides expert advice to churches and local planning authorities on how Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes can be adapted to the way we live now, while keeping what is special about them. It also advises members of the public about how they can help shape the future of their local Victorian and Edwardian buildings and landscapes. It provides information to owners of Victorian and Edwardian houses about how they can better look after their precious buildings. It helps people understand, appreciate and enjoy the architectural heritage of the Victorian and Edwardian period through its publications and educational programmes.