are arranged by our small Committee to places of historical, cultural
and general interest, travelling by coach or, when practical, by local
members of High Lane U3A are very welcome on our trips and full details
of these are available on our 'table' at the general monthly meetings
(held on the second Wednesday of each month). Brief details will
appear in the Newsletter and on this webpage.
Some of Last Year's Pictures
of Outings -2009
MONDAY 2nd MARCH - STOCKPORT TOWN HALL
Report on the visit:
On 2nd March, 24 members went on a tour of Stockport Town Hall.
Before we started our tour, we were taken for coffee in one of
the committee rooms by Cheryl, our guide for the day.
The tour began at the original front entrance that leads to the
magnificent Italian Marble Staircase and entrance hall. She told
us that the Town Hall was designed by Alfred Thomas Brumwell, who also
designed Woolwich Town Hall and the City Hall in Belfast.
Stockport Town Hall took 4 years to build and was opened on 7th
July 1908 by the Prince and Princess of Wales (later to become George V
and Queen Mary). Part of Heaton Lane was renamed Prince’s
Street in honour of the occasion. The Town Hall is very much a
working place and is also well used for all manner of functions, thus
earning money for the Borough. The marble on the staircase had to
be replaced in 1966, but the rest of the marble in the hall is in very
good condition. At the top of the stairs is a gallery with
photographs of past mayors. The mayor’s office and dining room
(which we did not see) are off this gallery. We were taken into
three oak panelled committee rooms that have dividing partitions which
can be folded back thus making one large meeting room.
The Council Chamber was our next stop, in this room there are four semi
circular stained glass windows depicting the Charter of Freedom, the
Coat of Arms of the Borough, the Sovereign, and the Prince of Wales.
The oak benches are decorated with carvings representing honour,
liberty, justice, truth, and wisdom, and the seating is upholstered in
green leather. Full council meetings are held in this room, it is
also used for performing wedding ceremonies. The collection of
civic silver lines the walls of the corridor just outside the chamber.
There were items of mayoral regalia on show including the Mace
which is made of gold plated nickel and measures 4ft.2in. in length.
Unfortunately, the Mayor’s chain of office, which is solid
gold, was not on show, but we were told that it was presented to the
Borough in 1872 and at that time it was valued at £225.
Onward we went to committee room 213, which was designated as the
ladies rest room in 1920 and has its own facilities (almost en suite),
it is now used by brides at weddings, some of the furnishings are of
the art deco period.
After the tour we enjoyed an hour of music played on the Wurlitzer
Organ by Byron Jones, this organ was one of fourteen in the world
designed by Jesse Crawford in America. The organ came to the Town
Hall in 1977 from the Free Trade Hall in Manchester and before that
from a cinema. It is now owned by the Lancastrian Theatre Organ
Trust. Lunch time organ concerts have been held monthly in the
magnificent ballroom since 1999 and are very well attended. After
the concert we were given information into the workings of this
wonderful instrument by a gentleman from the Trust.
Some of the group were then taken to the staff restaurant where we
enjoyed a well earned lunch at a very reasonable price before making
our way home.
FRIDAY 22nd MAY – RENISHAW
HALL AND GARDENS, Derbyshire
Report on the Visit:
Travelling through the lanes of Derbyshire is always a
experience even when the sky is grey and the rain clouds are
gathering. However on our arrival at Renishaw Hall
we were greeted by a cheery guide and an invitation to sample the
coffee and biscuits which were prepared for us in the Gallery Cafe.
At 11.15 (be prompt) we gathered at the front of the Hall.
Renishaw Hall has been the home of the Sitwell family for nearly 400
years, and, in recent decades has become famous through the writings of
Edith, Osbert and Sacheverel, the gifted children of the eccentric Sir
George and Lady Ida Sitwell.
youngest of the trio Sachie, was the only one of his generation to
marry and Renishaw passed to his elder son, Sir Reresby Sitwell and on
his death (earlier this year) to his daughter, Alexandra (born 1958).
The published guide tells us that “the Ancient building straddles
the crest of a hill, the drives wind up through parkland past gaunt old
trees that stand sentinel around the front entrance. Grey and
machicolated, this grim northern facade is of immense length and
decidedly Gothic character, concealing the narrow width of the house
and the beautiful Italianate gardens beyond. There are terraced
lawns, clipped hedges and pyramids, statues and fountains on the
southern aspect of this great house.”
On entering the Hall we found a much loved home!
portraits from earlier times to the present day adorned the walls of
every room. As each generation took guardianship of the Hall
exquisite furniture, carpets, collections of silver, porcelain and
objects of great beauty adorned every surface. Books, old and
new, lined the walls of the library; modern magazines, collections of
cds’; cushions recently embroidered by Lady Penelope Sitwell all
gave the feeling that the family had only recently left the room.
An assortment of hats were still hanging outside the kitchen door
waiting to be collected.
The time we spend in the hall was little enough to appreciate all the
treasures which the Sitwell family had collected over the years.
The visit to Renishaw Hall and gardens was a treat indeed and well
Shirley Harrison WEDNESDAY 15th JULY
– LLANBERIS - 'ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN' WEDNESDAY 29TH JULY – BBC STUDIOS
WEDNESDAY 7th OCTOBER
are arranging a visit to the Macclesfield Heritage Centre Museum,
the Silk Museum and Paradise Mill (where we will have a guided tour), dealing with the silk industry
from its beginnings to the present day.
This visit will tie in with the
talk we shall be having at the August Meeting entitled 'The Story
of Silk in Macclesfield and Como' Participants
make their own way to Macclesfield. The cost of entry to the 3 museums
is £7.75. Further details can be found at the Heritage desk at
monthly meeting (or from Margaret Snape).
note that a deposit of £5.00 per person per trip is required at
time of booking. (This is non-refundable unless it is necessary for the
Heritage Group Committee to cancel the trip).