Newsletter Extra – March 2022

By | May 8, 2022

This month we mainly feature photos and text from our intrepid Explore London group members, plus the Geocaching group, as seen in lead photo.

Please find below additional items and photos mentioned in our March 2022 Newsletter.

Windsor u3a members registered on this web site can log in to view the full Newsletter here (as e-mailed).

For prospective members, here is a sample version of same, without full contact details.

Explore London 1 at the Garden Museum

The Garden Museum is housed in the medieval and Victorian church of St Mary-at-Lambeth. The first church on the site was built before the Norman Conquest, and was integral to the religious centre established by the Archbishops of Canterbury in the 12th century.  The structure was deconsecrated in 1972, and rescued from demolition by the museum’s founder, Rosemary Nicholson. The museum opened in 1977 as the world’s first museum of garden history; the churchyard was re-designed as a garden.

It is adjacent to Lambeth Palace on the south bank of the River Thames in London, on Lambeth Road. In 1976, John and Rosemary Nicholson traced the tomb of the two 17th-century royal gardeners and plant hunters John Tradescant the Elder and the Younger to the churchyard, and were inspired to create the Museum of Garden History. There is a narrow tall tower in the church with a spiral staircase and 118 steps leading to the roof – quite a challenging climb, but rewarded with great views across the roof tops of Lambeth Palace, and across the Thames.

The church was a place of burial until the churchyard was closed in 1854, and the ground level of the site has risen in consequence. It is estimated that there are over 26,000 burials. Burials outside in the churchyard include Vice-Admiral Bligh of HMS Bounty fame. It was the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of gardening. The museum is run as an independent registered charity and does not receive government funding, instead depending on Friends, Patrons and charitable trusts, in addition to income from admission and events.

Explore London 2 at the Music Museum

Seventeen members visited the Music Museum in Brentford. This houses an amazing collection of mechanical, self-playing, musical instruments that tell the story of how people listened to music before the days of microphones and electronics. The group were entranced by the demonstrations and explanations of how the music was made.

The tour culminated with the highlight of the day, a demonstration and mini concert on a Wurlitzer organ.

Explore London 1 members on a Kings Cross walkabout

A group of Explore London 1 members travelled to King’s Cross via Paddington station and enjoyed reminiscing with Paddington Bear, before taking the bus to Euston Road to visit the British Library, where they enjoyed more reminiscing.

Their walk continued through King’s Cross station where there are several interesting statues and of course, Platform 9 3/4.

The walk proceeded through the retail centre to a redeveloped area of the station, Coal Drops Yard, where the architecture of old and new buildings mingles happily.

Geocaching in the puddles

On February the 14th, several members of the Geocaching group had an enjoyable squelch, taking their total to 530. Soggy feet, but no-one fell over.

During February, Jane Brett visited Savill Gardens and Jo Wattis passed by the Ankerwycke Yew and enjoyed the snowdrops.

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