Fishbourne Roman Palace and Chichester – July 2016

Chichester CathedralOn Tuesday, 12th July 2016, we visited Chichester (Noviomagus Reginorum) and Fishbourne Roman Palace in a mixture of sunshine and showers with two hours to explore the city and have lunch. The coach stopped beside the Cathedral, so that was most people’s first port of call. Founded in the 11th century, it is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and contains a shrine to St Richard of Chichester. In the south aisle it is possible to see the remains of a Roman mosaic pavement through a glass floor panel. The spire, originally made of weak local stone collapsed and was rebuilt in the 19th century. The Bishop’s Garden nearby was delightful. Other places of interest included the Market Cross built in 1501 as a covered market-place, (a type of Buttercross familiar to old market towns) , Pallant House Gallery, which has a major collection of chiefly modern British art and the Novium museum. At various places round the city it is possible to walk along the city walls. In Priory Park is the 13th century Guildhall, still in use for various functions.

After lunch we boarded the coach for the short trip to the magnificent Fishbourne Roman Palace. There we watched an explanatory video about the site, about its first discovery in 1960, its then being covered over and protected, and excavation over a 10-year period by the archaeologist Barry Cunliffe. Read More

Hampton Court Boat Trip – June 2016

32 members and friends set off in sunshine to Westminster but, unfortunately, this soon changed to showers. As we were able to take cover on the boat this was no problem.

The commentary on the boat was good and our attention was drawn to places of interest along the River bank such as The Royal Chelsea Hospital, the Redevelopment of the old Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park, the “affordable” homes at Chelsea Reach, Kew Botanical Gardens, Syon Park and the Boat Race Course.

We passed through two locks at Richmond and Teddington, under 15 road bridges and 7 rail bridges. Fortunately, for our arrival at Hampton Court the sun came out so we walked around the Rose and Vegetable Gardens then on to the Restaurant for tea and cakes.

A short walk over Hampton Court Bridge brought us to the coach, a tour of Chessington, Ewell and Banstead, and got us home around 6 o’clock. Except for the roundabout journey home, all appeared to have had a successful day.

Sutton Central Library – April 2015

Kath Shawcross, Borough Archivist and Local Studies Manager welcomed twenty-one members from CADHAS to the Local Studies Room at Sutton Central Library to view three items of archive material acquired last year.

The Society had made a donation towards the acquisitions.

The items are:

  1. The Court Baron for Carshalton, dating from 1682-1833. This type of court dealt with the day-to-day business within the manor, admitting new tenants, disputes, fines and so on.
  2. Minutes of the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor in Carshalton. This dates from 1691-1746.
  3. A thin volume containing a valuation of the Parish of Carshalton in 1839.

It was an enjoyable and instructive visit. Kath explained how the documents filled gaps in Sutton’s archive collection and the ‘adventure’ of bidding for them at action.

Members were able to examine the documents and handle them carefully.

Anyone wishing to order them for further research is welcome to do so but please telephone 24 hours in advance on: 020 8770 4747 and request Accession 914, specifying which volume.

London Walk – October 2014

This year our regular guide, Pete Smith, led us on a very interesting walk titled ‘Police, Pubs and Pirates: a walk round Wapping’. Despite a dire weather warning, we were blessed with a lovely sunny day which made our stroll along the sparkling Thames even more pleasant. The starting point near the Tower of London gave us the opportunity to appreciate the wonderful display of poppies in the Tower moat and to reflect on the immense loss of life caused by the First World War.

Tower Bridge October 2014
Tower Bridge October 2014
Tower of London WW1 Poppies
Tower of London WW1 Poppies

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Bletchley Park – September 2014

A full coachload of people visited the museum at Bletchley, which was the War Office secret location endeavouring to crack the German World War II codes. How this was done was explained by interactive panels and posters situated in the original “temporary” huts and offices laid out as they would have been. It was a tremendous effort on the part of hundreds of men and women which remained secret until the Thirty-year Rule expired.

Bletchley Park House, September 2014
Bletchley Park House

The older members enjoyed a nostalgic trip seeing the uniforms and posters they had known, and hearing old newsreels, propeller engines of planes and sirens. There is a lot to be seen at Bletchley and none of us achieved it all, but we all enjoyed it.

Brunel’s Museum Rotherhithe – August 2014

We had a snack lunch at the Mayflower Inn where we were seated upstairs from where we had a good view of the craft going up and down the Thames. There had been an inn on the site since 1550. When the Pilgrim Fathers set out for the New World the Inn was called the Shippe Inn. This was burnt down in the 19th Century and renamed The Spread Eagle & Crown. Finally it was bombed in World War II and rebuilt in 1957 and renamed the Mayflower after the nearby steps down which the Pilgrims went to board the Mayflower ship.

Mayflower Inn, Rotherhithe
Mayflower Inn, Rotherhithe

Brunel’s Museum is near the original engine house where the water was pumped out the Tunnel. It was Marc Brunel who conceived the idea of a tunnel. Read More

Osterley Park – July 2014

Osterley Park is situated between A4 and M4 and is one of the last remaining family estates in the London area, so as we drove down the tree lined drive we saw fields of ripening wheat and pastures with horses, ponies and cattle grazing. There is also a vast area for sport and recreation and several lakes.

Osterley Park House
Osterley Park House

The original Manor house, bought by Sir Thomas Gresham (of the Royal Exchange and Gresham College) in 1562 is probably now the Stable block. The 3 sided, red brick block with square turrets at the corners, and central courtyard was finished in 1576 when Sir Thomas entertained Queen Elizabeth I. Read More

RAF Museum, Hendon – June 2014

After a longer than expected time spent travelling to the RAF Museum at Hendon, 34 members and friends of CADHAS arrived looking forward to their visit. Three guides were waiting for us to take us around.

The museum is sited on Hendon aerodrome, the cradle of British aviation, and was an actual WWII airfield and consists of a number of different hangars. We started in the Milestones hangar which contains a large number of aircraft and flying machines from the very start of aviation history. Most were replicas but there were a few actual aircraft to admire as well.

American B25 Mitchell, RAF Hendon
American B25 Mitchell

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May Weekend Tour Devon and Cornwall – 2014

Report of the May Weekend Tour to Devon and Cornwall, 10th-12th May, 2014

Due to the rain the countryside was very green interspersed with brilliant yellow fields of rape plants. We were fortunate with the leader, John Thornton’s choice of hotel – Livermead House Torquay. The food was excellent, the service good and the rooms comfortable.

En-route we stopped at Stonehenge. The heavy rain came while we were in the shuttle buses which took about 10 minutes from the new Centre to Stonehenge.

2014 May Weekend Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Circle
Sarsen stone circle with ditch and earthwork in foreground.

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