Oxford – 27 March

Another highly successful trip to Oxford.

On a beautiful Spring morning our new 57 seater coach arrived, the largest we have ever used because the trip was quickly fully booked and had a long waiting list. So we were able to accommodate 7 extra people.

Another first: on discovering that it was Judy Lanteigne’s birthday she was treated to a full throated rendition of “Happy Birthday” from the coachload of people! Judy is a new and valued member of the visits committee. Others interested in being on the committee and/or leading trips would be most welcome. Please contact one of the full committee members.

One reason for the popularity of Oxford is the diverse range of places of interest. At the end of the day I discovered that everyone had enjoyed the day in numerous different ways. Many had found that using the internet beforehand meant that they had been able to plan ahead to decide the use of their time.

Two popular locations visited were the Botanic Garden (the oldest in the UK, founded in 1612) and the Pitt Rivers museum.

The Garden was beautiful and shown at its springtime best by the sunshine and blue skies. The show of spring flowers and early blossom was magnificent. The variety of plants, shrubs and trees was amazing. Many found the stunning, huge magnolia tree in full bloom to be the highlight. It was also interesting to see the burgeoning growth of the plants and shrubs that will soon be in full colour and evidence of the careful planting and redesigning being undertaken by the gardeners. The unobtrusively placed labels gave useful information to those interested in discovering the names of new plans and shrubs. Every part of the Garden is meticulously maintained. A wonderful place in which to spend time.

The Pitt Rivers museum is a staggering collection of over 55,000 artefacts from around the world telling the story of life on earth. It also houses over 600, 000 objects, photographs and manuscripts from almost every country in the world. The information boards around the museum are expertly organised and provide lucid information. Impossible to take in everything in one day and is best approached by choosing segments to study in one visit. One of our members went there first thing in the morning for a couple of hours. After a lunch there and a guided tour in the afternoon he spent the whole day in the museum. His plan to visit the special exhibition in the Ashmolean museum had to be aborted! A similar tale came from a member who so enjoyed the Botanic Garden that she spent almost all of her time there.

Others spent their day in different ways, for instance taking guided walking tours, an open top bus tour, the Museum of the History of Science, the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments etc. Others spent a happy day at leisure meeting friends in Oxford.

Little wonder that many of those on this trip requested that we include another trip to Oxford in our future plans. Those who enjoyed the Botanic Garden specifically asked that a future visit might be organised for a summer month to catch a different aspect of the Garden.

David Beniston

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