AWAY DAYS

The Away Days are jointly organised by Jim Sweeney [020 8340 9282], John Hajdu [020 8883 8114] and Sue Teller [020 8381 4480]. There are up to three visits per term and they are advertised in Newsletters or the Update mailings and here on this page. [Photograph above is of an Away Days visit to All Hallows by the Tower and the surrounding area.]
The distinctive difference of the Away Days is that they are open to ALL members. You need not register to be in a group. Just choose an outing that interests you and apply. But, as numbers are usually limited, you MUST apply. We look forward to seeing you but please post your applications promptly as demand often exceeds supply.
Any enquiries should first go to Sue Teller [020 8381 4480]
Click here for a blank application form
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Future (and recent) Away Days will be listed here (newest on top).

Away Days.(Organised by Jim Sweeney, John Hajdu and Sue Teller.)

Friday, 24th November, 2017
Southwark Cathedral –  London Bridge, London, SE1 9DA

southwarkSouthwark Cathedral is the first Gothic church in London. The Lady Chapel and Chancel date from the 13-15C. It has many impressive monuments, including the John Harvard chapel and the Shakespeare window. Our Cathedral guide will give us an informative and entertaining history, including the Winchester, Shakespearian and early hospital connections and how the original monastic foundation survived the vicissitudes in English history, finally becoming a Cathedral only in 1905. We can also admire the beautiful stained glass and architecture, with remains from the original Norman church up to Sir Arthur Blomfield’s great Victorian Gothic nave. We are only a short, self-guided walk away from the remains of the Bishop of Winchester’s palace, the Clink Prison, the Globe Theatre and Borough Market, Mecca for food-lovers, and open from mid-day.

Facilities and access. Disabled access to all levels and to toilets is available.
Times.  10.50 am for 11.00 am at the South Entrance, furthest from the river and overlooking the churchyard or 10.30 am in the Cathedral refectory. The visit will last about 1 ½ hours
Cost. £7, payable in advance.This includes Cathedral group entry and guide.
Travel. London Bridge Underground and Bus Station is almost directly opposite, in Borough High Street. Among the many buses are 17, 21, 43, 45, 48, 141 and 149.
Booking. (Essential. Early application advisable.) Please use adjacent booking form (or send a note with the required details) and your cheque.


Friday, 20th October

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising – 111-117 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1QT, 0207 243 9611

brandsA self guided meander through a treasure trove of retro design and memories, where every corner you turn leads you into a different decade. Rimmel cosmetics from the 1890s, First World War Oxo Cubes, Mars Bars, Rolos and KitKats from the 1930s, a 1970s Chopper Bike and around 12,000 other items that will open your eyes to the way we lived and shopped. It’s all here… the brands and packs, posters and ads, fads and fashions, toys and games. Evocative and inspiring, a kaleidoscope of images and iconic brands. (Ad speak gets infectious.) Do also read Leni Green’s excellent description in the April 2017 TNL, easily viewed online.

Time. 10.50 am for 11.00 am.
Cost. £5.00, payable in advance.
Travel. The museum is located just off Ladbroke Grove and the nearest tube station is Ladbroke Grove, a few minutes walk away. From the tube exit, go down Ladbroke Grove , away from Westway, and turn right in to Lancaster Road.
Facilities and Access. There is an award winning café and garden onsite (open from 10 am) where we can meet before we enter. There are also toilets and full access to all areas.
Booking. (Essential. Early application advisable.) Please use adjacent booking form (or send a note with the required details) and your cheque.


Friday 30th June, 2017

RNLI Tower Lifeboat Station at Lifeboat Pier, Victoria Embankment, Westminster, London WC2R 2PP

lifeboatTower Lifeboat station is one of the busiest in the country. It covers the Thames from Barking to Battersea and was called out 465 times in 2015 to incidents ranging from injuries on a party boat and broken down vessels to people – and the occasional animal – in the water. In this one year, it rescued 245 people and saved at least 15 lives. Unlike many other lifeboat stations, Tower always has a crew ready to go within 90 seconds of an emergency call coming in.  Its 55 volunteers may have different ‘day jobs’ – as fire crews, bankers, TV producers, civil servants and students – but they are united in giving up their time to help save lives on the Thames. We have arranged a small group visit to see how the station operates and learn about the more general vital role of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Times. 10.50 for 11.00. The station is almost under the north end of Waterloo Bridge and is accessed from the Victoria Embankment.  We will meet outside the entrance and enter together. Please phone Jim (07930 974752) or Sue (0774 8478428) if you are held up. The visit will last about 1½ hours.
Cost. £7.00  payable in advance.
Travel. Nearest tube stations are Temple (5 mins walk) or Embankment (10 mins walk.) from both of which you walk along the embankment. Or, if you walk from the Strand and turn right into Waterloo Bridge approach, on the opposite corner there is a Pret,  Café Nero and  restaurant.. Then, looking down from the bridge itself, the RNLI station is clearly marked and there are steps down to the Embankment to the Lifeboat Station
Facilities and access. There are no public toilets on the station, but pay toilets by Embankment Tube exit and free toilets in Somerset House, whose rear entrance is close to the station. It is important to note that the station floats on a tidal river and is accessed by a ramp which slopes down quite steeply when the tide is low. It may also jolt around in the wash of passing vessels at times, so if you suffer from seasickness please take precautions before coming. Access around the Station is by an outside walkway grill separated from the river by just a railing, so you will need to wear flat footwear and outdoor clothes appropriate for the weather.
Booking. (Essential. Early application advisable.) Please use adjacent booking form (or send a note with the required details) and your cheque.


Friday 2nd June 2017

The Mansion House at Walbrook, London, EC4N 8BH

mansionhouse2We are very fortunate to have obtained, at short notice, an offer to visit the renowned Grade 1 listed Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London and site of many well known annual addresses by the Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary among others. We will see the public rooms on the 1st Floor – The Salon, Long Parlour, Egyptian Hall and the Drawing Rooms – and have a guided tour of the wonderful Samuel collection of 17th century Dutch and Flemish art.

Times. We will be met at the Walbrook main entrance to the Mansion House at 1.50 pm for a 2 pm start (not our usual 11 am start.) The visit will last about 1.5 hours.
Cost. £5.00, payable in advance.
Travel. Nearest tube stations are Bank (Northern Line, very close) or Mansion House (District and Circle, 5 minutes.)
Facilities and Access.There is a lift and toilets, but no eating or drinking is allowed within the building. There are nearby cafes.
Booking. (Essential. Early application particularly advisable.) Please use adjacent booking form (or send a note with the required details) and your cheque.


Friday, 24th March. 2017.

The Heart of Historic High Barnet – An exploration of a town centre with at least 1000 years of history.

BarnetFrom High Barnet tube station, we walk up Barnet Hill and the historic High St, finishing beyond the Spires Shopping Centre by St Albans Rd.  This leisurely walk will last about 1 ¾ hours. Along the way, we will see a famous, remarkable church, a 17thcentury pub, a 16thcentury school, and hear about an extremely famous 15thcentury battle. We will also hear about a brewery that became a town hall, and a church that became a shopping centre, as well as a fair that was so famous that Cossacks flocked to it, and so infamous that the Victorians tried to close it down. High Barnet has long attracted notable people, and we will hear stories along the way of Royalty and Prime Ministers, as well as Samuel Pepys, Dr Johnson, and Charles Dickens, who knew Barnet extremely well. We have secured the services of Paul Baker, an experienced, qualified City of London and Barnet guide to take us through the centuries.

Times and travel.  Meet at 1050 for 1100 outside High Barnet tube station.
Cost. £7.00, payable in advance.
Booking. (Essential.) Please return adjacent booking form or written application with requested details. And also enclose your cheque.


Friday, 24th February, 2017
Wesley’s Chapel, House and Museum of Methodism at 49 City Road, EC1Y 1AU

wesleychapelJohn Wesley laid the foundation stone of what became Wesley’s Chapel in 1777 and after 200 years of vicissitudes, it was extensively restored and reopened 200 years later. The Museum of Methodism, in the crypt, tells the history of Methodism from John Wesley to the present day and its contribution to shaping Britain’s political and social history. His house, standing next to the Chapel, was his home for over a decade and is one of the finest surviving small Georgian townhouses in London. Immediately opposite is Bunhill Fields, formerly a non-consecrated burial ground, and now an pleasant public space, where lie the graves of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and George Fox. We have arranged an introductory film and a conducted tour of the chapel, grave monument, house and museum.

Times. 10.50 for 11.00 in the chapel. About 1.5 hours’ duration.
Facilities. There is ramp access into the Chapel. The museum and disabled toilet are accessible by lift. There are many cafes in the area.
Travel. Nearest tube station is Old Street (exit 4), about 5 mins walk. Nearby buses are 21, 43, 55, 76, 141, 205, 214, 243, and 271.
Cost. £5 payable in advance
Booking. (Essential.) Please return adjacent booking form or written application with requested details. And also enclose your cheque.


Thursday, 26th now Friday 27th January, 2017
The 20th Century Rooms at National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, London WC2H OHE

portraitWe have again engaged the services of our esteemed Blue Badge guide, Brian, and will tour the 20th Century Rooms at the NPG. Starting with World War One personalities, we will travel through the century and meet writers and artists including the Bloomsbury Group, statesmen such as Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain, and famous scientists, generals and explorers taking us through our own times with portraits of the Queen, Henry Moore and the Beatles.

Times. We meet at 10.30 am in the onsite basement café or 10.50 for an 11.00 am start inside the main St. Martin’s Place entrance. Our tour will last around 90 minutes, plus a 5-minute break in the middle.
Facilities.The main toilets are in the basement, as is the cafe. There is a 3rd floor restaurant and lifts to all levels.
Travel. Leicester Square and Charing Cross tube stations are nearby. Numerous buses serve St. Martin’s Place and Trafalgar Square.
Cost. £6, payable in advance.
Booking. (Essential.) Please return adjacent booking form or written application with requested details. And also enclose your cheque.


Friday, 18th November.
Museum of Immigration and Diversity at 19 Princelet Street, London E1 6QH.immigration

We will have a rare opportunity to view the interior of this immigrant related Grade 2* listed building, not at present normally open to the public. On crossing the unprepossessing threshold, we will have an introductory talk on some historical connections – a Huguenot silk merchant’s home and a hidden Victorian synagogue – and can begin exploring the ground floor and the main exhibition Suitcases and Sanctuary. There will then be a more in depth talk about the building, the project and the history of immigration to London followed by further exploration of the basement areas and, if time allows, the room adjacent to the ladies’ gallery – with plenty of opportunities for individuals to talk with volunteers.
Times. 10.50 for 11.00. Visit will last around 90 minutes.
Facilities. There is at present only one toilet and no heating. There are cafes nearby.
Travel. About 10 minutes walk from Aldgate East tube station (District and Circle Line.) Head up Whitechapel High Street, past the Whitechapel Gallery (café and toilets), turn left into Osborn Street which becomes Brick Lane. Continue for about 400 m. and turn left into Princelet Street.
An alternative is to walk from Liverpool Street Station, north up Bishopsgate and right into Brushfield Street, passing Spitalfield Market where there are cafes and toilets. Then cross Commercial Street into Fournier St, left into Wilkes St and right in to Princelet Street. An A-Z is advisable.
Cost. £7.00
Booking. (Essential.) Please return adjacent booking form or written application with requested details. And also enclose your cheque.


Friday, 14th October 2016
Shakespeare in London
image0012016 is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. We will celebrate his legacy with actor Lance Pierson on this guided walk around the city. Although everyone knows that Shakespeare came from Stratford-upon-Avon, all of his famous working life was spent in London. We will follow in his footsteps and see the places where he lived, wrote and acted. At each stop we will be further transported with extracts from Shakespeare’s plays connected with that location. We will see the original site of the Globe Theatre and its sister the Blackfriars Theatre and two houses where he lived. The walk will pause at the modern Globe for a comfort break (and a chance to visit the shop) but won’t visit the actual theatre. ‘All the world’s a stage’ and our entrance will be at London Bridge Station. ‘Our revels’ will end near Blackfriars with plenty of options for post-walk refreshments.
Times and travel. We meet at 1050 for 1100 at the Tooley Street exit of London Bridge tube/rail station (you may have to go through the main station concourse first). We will finish near Blackfriars up to 2 hours later.
Cost. £7.00
Booking. (Essential.) Please return adjacent booking form or written application with requested details. And also enclose your cheque.


Friday, 24th June 2016
Mayfair Unpacked: Gambling clubs, broken hearts, diamond dandies and workmen’s spades.

BeauBrummellOur popular guide, Eileen, will take us through fashionable Mayfair, built on the fields, which were the dowry of the 12-year-old wife of Sir Thomas Grosvenor. There will be gossip, old and new, talk of property prices, and views of the shops, pubs and clubs. We will pass the double CCs – logo of Coco Chanel, lover of a Duke of Westminster – and see where the famous Regency dandy, Beau Brummell, would emerge from his rooms, but only after “the morning was well aired”. Crossing Piccadilly, we will finish at St James, passing the gentlemen’s clubs such as Whites where, in a gaming room known as Hell, “ young noblemen were fleeced and corrupted by fashionable gamblers and profligates”.
Travel and times. We meet at 1050 at Bond Street tube exit for an 1100 start. We will finish about 1230 close to either Green Park or Piccadilly Circus tube stations.
Cost. £7 each, payable in advance.
Booking. (Essential.) Please return adjacent booking form or written application with requested details. And also enclose your cheque.

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