East Anglia News
RECENT EVENTS – A view of the branch’s activities!!
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Christmas Party – December 2013
The event of the year and the one to which nearly all the branch members attended! So over 30 people arrived at Paul and Anna’s house last December for the annual gathering.
As usual it was a chance to catch up with other branch members and partake of good food and wine. Then, of course, no Christmas Party would be complete without Felicity’s quiz. She did not disappoint this year and people were left scratching their heads trying to think up the titles of books that matched the clues – so easy when you knew the answer! We also had the other party game, one started by Roy Savill, who sadly died at the end of last year (and will be missed by all in the branch) viz. guess the objects in a sock! Some very inventive suggestions were made and then there were the oohs and aahs when the objects were revealed.
The last people finally left and the clearing up began but the party as ever had been a great event. Role on next Christmas – a volunteer to have their house invaded now needed!.
Colchester Cathedral – November 2013
An outing to the cathedral in Colchester had been organised by Colin and Jan Henson at fairly short notice. They had noticed that the cathedral was due to close for renovations for a long period, so that if the branch wanted to visited it as now or not for another 2 years. Due to the short notice, not too many were able to attend, but those that did had an enjoyable time and then were entertained back at Colin and Jan house.
Outing to the Mechanical Museum at Stowmarket June 2013
A group of members meet for lunch in a lovely pub not far from Stowmarket before going onto the Mechanical Museum at Stowmarket. The Museum is a treasure trove of old mechanical musical ‘instruments’ which were collected by a gentle who used to do house clearances and acquired objects of interest!. There are large numbers of old types of musical instrument, most still in working order and many of which were demonstrated to us. The highlight though was a Whirltzer Organ – i.e. ones such as used at Blackpool Ballroom and in the cinemas in the past. The organ rose out of the ground, as it had done in the days of the cinema, with the organist playing. He then proceeded to entertain us with a suite of melodies from the past.
After a cup of tea, we listened to the old large organs such as used at fair grounds before one of number (Sonia), being a pianist, asked for a personal demonstration of how the Whiristzer worked – all those stops and peddles!. The organist explained all the various sounds and how the stops changed the tones etc before letting Sonia have a go at playing.
A most fascinating afternoon
Wimpole Hall – April 2013
12 members meet for lunch in Arrington with a view to then going onto Wimpole Hall and meeting up with some more members. Unfortunately, to say that service was slow would be an understatement and we were still only on own main course when we were due to have been at Wimpole Hall to meet the others. We finally finished and arrived for the main event of the day, which was a guided tour, not of the House and main gardens but of the surrounding estate and its history. Glynis Pilbeam had researched the history of the estate and presented a very interesting account of how the small villages that had been on the land that is now part of estate had grown, flourished and then died until no trace remains others than a few humps and bumps on the ground. This had happened due to the growth of the estate where the landowners had wanted more and more land and villages and the ‘common’ people were a ‘blot’ on the landscape! Glynis then gave us a brief history of Wimpole Hall House and gardens before we had a walk up a hill behind the house to view the ‘Folly’ that all grand houses built and also ‘ridge and furrow’ landscape. Ridge and furrow is created when horses used to plough the fields; the furrow that the horse ploughed became deeper whilst the horse continued to walk on a ridge – hence the term.
A couple of members managed a visit to the house as well before we all met up for a quick cup of tea before heading home.
After the awful weather of previous weeks, we were very lucky to have a sunny day with not too much wind, so another successful outing!
Outing to see Half a Sixpence at Hornchurch Theatre – January 2013
The outing to the theatre at Hornchurch is becoming another regular item on the East Anglia Branch calendar.
The theatre mounts an amateur production (which is in fact very professional) of a musical every January and this year is the third year that a group has gone along. This year’s production of Half a Sixpence was, as ever, very good with fine singing and dancing. The lead man who played Kipps, if you closed your eyes, could have been Tommy Steele (who starred in the film version of the musical).
Mike and Sonia Gould as usual had organised the day (so thanks to them) and again as usual we went back to their house for a delicious meal. We have no photos of the musical but there is one of our leader Andy Holman enjoying himself at the meal afterwards.