2017 Outings Reports 38

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. Cambridge Colleges Tour - became Hughenden Manor     21st June 2017

As we search further afield for new attractions, we do more mileage and although we try to avoid rush hours, it was inevitable that one day we would fall foul of a major traffic jam.

We battled against the widespread traffic jams (M3, M25, M4, M40, A30, A322) and although adopting a cross country route to by-pass some of the holdups, that was thwarted by a width restriction, and we ended up static on the M25, not even as far as the M40, after 2 hours, with a coachload needing a comfort break. There was no possibility of making the Cambridge Colleges Tour within any realistic time - – forcing us for the first time, to abandon our destination and divert to an alternative.

As soon as the traffic jam moved forward, we diverted westwards on M40, found a service station, and then enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon at Hughenden Manor – Disreii’s home, and listened to the stories of the relationship of Disreli and Queen Victoria and war-time map-making. First class alternative.

Steve Duckworth primed Hughenden on our arrival and so they could provide food (normally a quiet day); they welcomed us.

. The Play that  goes wrong .  23rd November 2017

Our coach dropped us off at the Duchess Theatre in London for an excellent comedy based on all the things that can go wrong during a performance.

Plenty of slapstick, collapsing and revolving scenery , pregnant pauses, wrong lines ,repeated lines, offstage prompts, wrong entrances, great acting and impeccable timing – what more could you want in a comedy? Laughter from the time of reaching our seats to final curtain. Great evening’s entertainment

. VintageTrain and Jurassic Coast cruise  19th September 2017

Nordon was our start point for the Heritage railway. the Station was a small branch line station with skeleton ticket office and short platform which got very crowded as the train arrived – although we had reserved seats, we had to chuck some interlopers out. Such interest in vintage railways! even in mid-September!! We looked upwards to Corfe castle as we puffed past. on the way to Swanage – the spiritual home of Fawlty Towers - and Lunch. Passengers were threatened with dire consequences if they took too long for lunch in Swanage - they would be missing the boat sailing – so everyone was on time and grabbed a seat for the cruise - past the Section of the Jurassic Coast, Old Harry Rocks. We experienced the strong tides rushing past Sandbanks with its chain Ferry and the millionaires properties when entering the busy Poole Harbour - a great day out at the seaside.

   The sun shone for most of day – great views of Isle of Wight from Swanage

   The sea state was calm.

   All the traffic jams and accidents were on the other side of the road – we arrived at Norton exactly on target – to the minute

Only hiccup was on the Swanage railway - we had selected a train which was steam powered, but the day before, the train company indicated a technical problem, and the Steam engine was replaced by diesel – but that did not spoil the experience.

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