Club members and their partners visited London at the beginning of April, a trip inspired and organised by Ken Whitcombe and his band of helpers.
Mike Osborn Reports on the Events of Day One.
Woke at 0615hr to see a thick fog and thought, bang goes Ken’s ‘timed to the minute’ itinerary; however, Long Mynd Travels’ finest coach, with driver Barry , departed on time. After a comfortable drive we stopped for coffee at Cherwell Valley. Barry then professionally drove us through London to arrive, on time, at the Victoria Embankment near our venue, Middle Temple Hall. This country’s finest example of an Elizabethan Hall, spanned by a double hammer beam roof, has remained virtually unaltered to this day and is still used by Benchers, barristers and students for lunch and various ceremonies. The stained glass windows depicting various notables of which one, Edward Osborn, Lord Mayor in 1583, I thought was particularly pleasing!
Lunch, served to us on the top table with Ken presiding, surrounded by pictures of past Royalty, was an enjoyable but humbling experience. After lunch our two guides arrived to give us a most interesting tour of Middle Temple despite being harried by officious cleaners using ‘elf and safety’ to move us on. Visit over, our coach was waiting as planned and Barry manfully fought his way out of London to Richmond where the Premier Inn was to be our night stop.
For our evening’s entertainment the majority attended the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond where an excellent production of Invincible by Torben Betts was staged ‘in the round’. The more hardy and adventurous members hit the fleshpots of London.
Scott Walker Reports on the Events of Day Two.
After all the talk of not enough room in the dining room of only 30 seats a very good breakfast was enjoyed by all. When the coach was loaded we set out for the Royal Albert Hall arriving early. This gave us time for a stroll in the Park followed by coffee before the tour of the Hall. The statistics of the Hall were staggering. The auditorium can seat 5,250people; there are 5,845 metres of passageways; how many bricks to build it; how long it took to complete…..too early in the morning to grasp all we were told!
The visit finished in time for lunch at the Butchers Hall where we were welcomed by The Master Butcher who gave us a quick history of the Butchers Livery and all Liveries in the City.
There was a table full of drinks in the hall but we were taken downstairs to see the Masons Temple then upstairs to see other meeting rooms and all the time we could hear glasses clinking and see glasses being moved around ready for lunch. Eventually we were given a drink or two before our lunch which was a wonderful rib of beef. Sometime later we loaded up in the coach ready for home. After a pit stop at the Belfry we arrived back in Shropshire at 7 o’clock. A very good time was had by all. Well done Ken.