Spring Walk - Maggie Marshall
It was a blustery day - a very blustery day, but the sun was shining, it didn't rain and the views were fantastic. After the most important job of the day, ordering lunch, around 30 intrepid walkers set off from the Greetham valley golf club, towards the pretty village of Greetham (too early to stop in the pub). We strode out across the rolling Rutland countryside, stopping frequently to admire the view, it was a bit hilly in places!
The paths were good, no mud this time, so we made good time to our next stop by Fort Henry, a gothic folly, built in 1788 by the Earl of Gainsborough. Our group was so large we blocked the stile for another group of walkers who had to double back to find it (oops). Carol took lots of photos of a very windswept group.
The last leg of our walk took us around a picturesque lake, lots of ducks, geese and swans with lambs on the hillside (aah). Up and then down a set of steep steps set into the bank and then back to the golf club in time for an excellent Sunday lunch ( the beef was superb).
Thank you Jenny for a lovely scenic walk in a beautiful area.
Clay Pigeon & Other Shooting - Sue Evans and Doug King
On a bright sunny Saturday afternoon we met at a working farm in Wilstead for a multi-experience afternoon. Whilst we waited for our allotted time we watched a birds of prey display from afar and saw storks and a fish eagle being put through their pace in the air.
We then went to start shooting things, as soon as the live chickens that were roaming free were moved out of the shooting range. We were split into two groups with one bunch having a go with rifles whilst the second group went back to basics with bows and arrows.
We used the air rifles first and tried to hit a variety of stationary targets including pigeons and rabbits. Once the ladies got their 'eyes in' they were blasting everything in sight - well as fast as you can when you have to reload after every shot!
Then we swapped and had a go with longbows and cross bows. There were traditional targets to shoot at with the longbows - some of the arrows found their target but some may have ended up in the next county!
There were animal targets to shoot at with the crossbow bolts including meerkats, a rabbit and a wild boar that may never walk again having been shot in the leg several times. One of the meerkats was eliminated by Steve with probably the best shot of the day.
Then we all moved on to pistols - shooting at rats. The pistols were brand new - just out of the box that morning so we were the first group to use them. The rats were well and truly peppered by the time we had finished with them! Some people were more interested in checking out the very cute piggies in the pen behind us.
Next we all moved onto the Laser Clay Pigeon shooting and once somebody realised that you need to shout 'pull' not 'Paul' to get a clay in the air and that number 4 comes after number 3 and before number 5 things went more smoothly. I think some people were absolutely amazed when they hit a clay and there was at least one person who didn't hit any but Steve was the hero of the day again as he was probably loads better than everyone else put together.
This was a very enjoyable afternoon - well organised - great fun with some like-minded would-be assassins and great value for money. A big thank you to Pauline for making all the arrangements. No birds, piggies or other creatures were hurt in the making of this experience!
Coventry Blue Badge Walk (Group 1) - Ann Cook
This year's BB walk was in Coventry and although most of us had visited before this guided walk gave us a good insight into its long and eventful history. As usual this event was well attended and we had to split into two groups. Our group was led by our friend from previous tours, Roger. Roger obviously felt very passionate about the history of his home city and took us to parts that we would never have found had we been on our own and of course he is always good at adding a touch of humour to his stories.
A lot of the city is not very attractive with different stages of modern development but there are still clues to its past dotted about and in the two hours of the tour we were shown some lovely buildings.
In the true tradition of a 50+ jaunt there was time for coffee, lunch and more coffee and the bonus of lots of sunshine and laughs.
Many thanks Jenny for organising our trip.
Coventry Blue Badge Walk (Group 2) Linda Vickerman
We arrived after just one wrong turn and soon found a coffee venue already occupied by other 50plussers (we are so predictable!).
Coventry city presented us with a medley of sounds, traffic, telephones ringing, marching bands, pneumatic drills and of course our knowledgeable guides. We saw a hotchpotch of buildings and styles, medieval, modern replica and restorations.
Our starting point was the Cathedrals new and old... the ruins with an evocative feel, stark windows outlined against the sky, a simple cross formed from burnt timbers, all linked to the new building and reflected in a huge etched glass window, nearby the statue of St George dominating the devil was unforgettable.
We progressed into a medieval building with beautiful ceiling, a huge 14thc tapestry, a suspended coat of arms and a wood panelled room with furniture covered in carvings of the Elephant and Castle which is Coventry's symbol (believed to have derived from L'Enfant de Castille).
Our guide walked us through the town centre entertaining us with stories about the architecture and the development of the town centre. We passed a street of medieval houses, relocated after the war, now used as shops, we learnt that a buttery has nothing to do with butter but a butt store (used for water or beer).
A short walk took us through the shopping centre to the statue of Lady Godiva on her steed spied on by Peeping Tom; opposite we saw the clock where on the hour Lady Godiva rides again out of one door and in the other, Peeping Tom pops out to have another look each hour.
Our tour ended and we stopped for lunch before exploring the car museum. A fascinating place full of bicycles ranging from hobby horse bikes through to the penny farthing, onto motor bikes and a tandem with 5 seats! Early cars led to an exhibition of Jaguar cars (very nice) and onto the land speed record exhibits starting at 34 mph, currently over 730mph. The rocket car exhibits were very impressive...did anyone try the simulator?
After a stroll through some pretty gardens we turned to our cars - needed to resort to the Sat Nav to escape Coventry!!
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