Eltham Palace and Thames cruise  21st March 2017

Eltham Palace was once one of Henry VIII's favourite palaces. Over the centuries it fell into disrepair, until it was taken over by the Courtalds in the early 20th century. They restored the Great Hall and built a mansion as a kind of "annex". The interiors of the mansion  were decorated and furnished in beatiful Art Deco style, e.g. the solid onyx bath and gold leaf tiles of one bathroom. Outside, the gardens were landscaped with rose gardens, and small lakes backed by enormous rock gardens. The high location of the Palace, combined with good weather in the morning  meant that the views over Docklands and the towers of central London were spectacular.

Our coach then dropped us off in Greenwich Park, At the Observatory we examined the Greenwich Meridian, found good places for lunch, and had a look at some of the Royal Naval College buildings, then gathered beside the Cutty Sark ready to embark on a river trip up to Westminster Bridge. At Westminster our coach picked us up and brought us home again.

Next day some perverted, bloodthirsty Soldier of Satan drove a vehicle accross Westminster Bridge and into people on the bridge, before attempting to enter the Houses of Parliament with knives. We had had an interesting day, but were happy to have missed that event.

2017 Outings report 37

Bathe in style

Art Deco seating comfort

The charming Mariners’ Chapel at Greenwich.

Osterley Park Mansion  (NT) and Design Museum  5th April 2017

Several of the rooms at the National Trust site at Osterley Park had unique matching floor, ceiling and furniture designs. The history of the banker owners (the Childs) - their hospitality, entertaining and their moneyed existence were fascinating.

Most members liked the new Design Museum and were surprised at the content and scope and intriguing exhibits (e.g. a 3D printer) and the walls full of numerous (small and large ) items which we owned , or still own,. It brought home the impact of good design on our everyday lives.

Chatham Historic Dockyard  16 May 2017

For the nautically-inclined, we ventured to Chatham Historic dockyard with a wide choice of attractions in the 80 acres–The most visited exhibits were the three boats in dry dock – from the ancient sailing frigate HMS Gannet, through the WW2 destroyer HMS Cavalier. Those who investigated ‘the Silent Service’ and clambered down into the submarine HMS Ocelot , were especially impressed.   The rope-making demonstration showed how the old boats were provided with essential gear. It was impossible to visit all the items on show and visitors could have spent longer.

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