October 16th - Apsley House
After a thoroughly enjoyable visit to the Tower Bridge Experience and All Hallows Church organised by Isobel and Barry our next trip, for those who are coming, is, as you are aware, to Apsley House and Wellington Arch.
As previously advised we will be taking the 10.09 from Edenbridge Town, changing at Hurst Green, for the Victoria train and meeting up en route with those starting from a different station.
After a brief coffee stop and short bus journey we will arrive at Marble Arch for a five minute walk to Apsley House. As you are also aware we are still commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War and during the walk you will be able to see several memorials relating to that conflict in a traffic free environment ranging (depending on your personal views) from the iconic to the somewhat bizarre.
At Apsley House the number of audio guides available will depend on how busy the house is at the time. I would recommend getting one if you can as they highlight some hidden gems that might otherwise be overlooked. If you are travelling as a couple you might want to share a guide with one of you listening to it whilst the other generally peruses the room and then switching over. There are, in any event, leaflets and attendants in most rooms.
Again, as previously mentioned, Wellington Arch can only take 15 at a time. Accordingly, on arrival at Apsley House we can agree a time to meet in its main reception for the first batch to go over to the Arch. It will simply be a question of me taking to the Arch those who want to leave at that time. (You do not need to decide in advance). I will then return, again at a pre-arranged time, for the remainder. As a general guideline a visit to the House will take between one and two hours.
Apsley House doesn't have any catering facilities but does have toilets. There are, however, no facilities at Wellington Arch. The Arch is quite small but you will have the opportunity to see the special exhibition on the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo shortly before it closes.
After visiting Wellington Arch I will take anyone who is interested on a closer inspection of the various memorials. For those who want to go straight back to Victoria I will point out the bus stop. A 38 or 73 will take you to the station. You shouldn't get lost as it is the last stop!
I have not booked anything for lunch as there is a multitude of choices at Victoria. Assuming that you want to avoid the food hall I will point out when we arrive in London the glass buildings where several restaurants are located. The only draw back is that the seemingly never ending construction works has resulted in numerous barricades that have turned a five minute walk into one nearer fifteen minutes!
I think that about covers it but I will stick with anyone who doesn't know the area and will have my mobile with me at all times
November Visit - London Beefeater Gin Distillery
Debbie Collins has written to you all regarding her proposed visit in November to theLondon Beefeater Gin Distillery and I hope that you will be confirming to her that you can come along. If for any reason you haven't received her message and want further details please let Debbie or me know.
Barbara Burkitt and Ann Bellamy are organising the Christmas lunch and further information will follow shortly. However I can advise that it will take place at 12.30 onFriday 11th December at the Old Eden. You might want to make a note in your diary.
There is no obligation on members to organise a visit but I would recommend that you all consider it as it can be a very rewarding experience. In a very short while we will need to start planning an itinerary for 2016. Accordingly if you are inclined to volunteer please give it some thought as to what month you would like to arrange (usually on the 3rd Friday) and where you would like to go. I can always assist both with logistics and locations. There are also professional guides available who can arrange tours at a modest cost (to be shared by participants).
No need to commit yourself at this stage but I will write again later in the year to seek volunteers. We have had, I believe, a very interesting and varied programme in 2015 so far with more to follow and I am confident that we can repeat it in 2016.