Outings group of Brent U3A
Cruising the Thames on the Waverley Paddle Steamer
We had a wonderful cruise down the Thames on the Waverley, the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer. Beautifully restored with twin red, white and black funnels, timber decks, varnish and brass.
Sailing through Tower Bridge as it opened specially for Waverley, we had a commentary as we cruised in sunshine to Greenwich and the Thames Barrier. We visited the cafe-bars and restaurant and saw the steam engines as they powered the paddles that took Waverley along the River Thames.
Some of us got off at Gravesend for lunch in a fabulous riverside pub.
The rest sailed to Southend and beyond to see the famously long Pier and Red Sands, the Thames Estuary sea forts. Gigantic metal Maunsell gun towers built in World War II to protect London. Later used by 1960s pirate radio stations!
Photos above (© SM), On-deck with Waverley branded tea cups; sailing through Tower Bridge; Thames Forts.
Jo Cox get-together
We had a lovely bring-and-share picnic in the beautiful Barham Park walled garden, Sunday 18th June.
This was part of a nationwide celebration of the life of Jo Cox, a highly respected working Member of Parliament, who was murdered on 16th June last year.
It was two picnics in one, with a tea party in Barham Park Community Library.
It was the hottest day of the year and there were get-togethers all over the borough, so many thanks to everyone who turned out and braved the heat to enjoy a cucumber sandwich!
Thanks especially to Val, Celia and team for producing a lovely surprise tea in Barham Park Library. Much appreciated!
Barham Park, Harrow Road, Sudbury, HA0 2HB Open website in a new tab or window.
Milton Keynes Court buildings
In 2016, Celia's tour visited this modern court and learnt a lot about the legal process.
Happy 21st birthday, Brent U3A!
A 21st birthday always deserves a good celebration and so we decided to push the boat out and enjoyed a delightful tea party on 21st September 2015 – when else?
Donald cleverly got a grant for us from U3A HQ and this meant we were able to treat ourselves to tea and Portuguese cakes at the Portuguese Café in Dollis Hill. This was organised by Cathy, conveniently placed by the Jubilee Line station for easy access.
Heavy rain failed to put a damper on the proceedings. Nearly 50 members came along, as well as guests of honour: Councillor Lesley Jones, Mayor of Brent, Councillor Mohammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, and Melvyn Leach, former head of Brent Adult Education. Melvyn had helped set up Brent U3A back in 1994. Founder members Rina Rosselson and Celia Stern, both of whom still run Brent U3A groups, cut the cake. New people came along to meet Brent U3A and find out what was on offer.
Covent Garden Opera House
Celia's 2015 tour of the Opera House included the front and back stage and a lovely lunch in a nearby hotel.
RHS Hampton Court Flower Show
'Gardens, florals and shopping' is the advert for the Royal Horticultural Society's Hampton Court Flower Show. We had special reduced price tickets and enjoyed this stunning garden show, photo right (© SM).
Our visit in July 2014 was organised by Cathy, with good weather and a speedy train ride from Waterloo.
An early refreshment break at the Hampton Court tea-room was a good start for our visit to this enormous site.
The exhibits extended along the appropriately named Long Water in Home Park and covered the nearby Golf course.
There were crowds at the Show but the queue for the train home afterwards wasn't too long!
A large group enjoyed bright sunshine for Celia’s tour of the Shard in June 2014.
The Shard is London’s latest must-do attraction – a tower 1000 tall with stunning views over London and beyond, photo right (© SM).
We were especially lucky, as it had rained overnight, clearing away all the dust and giving us views as far as the Downs and Richmond.