Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Caversham Heights Society

THE society ended its season with a mini-holiday to Devon.

THE society ended its season with a mini-holiday to Devon.

Nearly 40 members travelled to Torquay on May 16 and stayed at the Headland Hotel, once used by the Romanoff family, Russia’s last Tsar and Tsarina. The views from the hotel were spectacular and the food and hospitality were excellent.

Several interesting trips had been arranged.

The first was by steam train from Paignton to Kingswear and then across to Dartmouth by ferry to the one railway station designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel that was never used as a station because Parliament refused permission to build a bridge across the River Dart at that point.

The group returned via the delightful fishing port of  Brixham.

The following day we went to Morwellham Quay, a restored mid-Victorian village situated at the highest navigable point on the River Tamar.

During its heyday this was a bustling port where copper from the nearby mine, still explorable, was shipped to Wales for smelting.

Today it boasts a pub, a Victorian school room, a village store, a blacksmiths, a costume museum and a small chocolate workshop, the whole being an ideal place for school parties studying Victorian England.

Despite the adverse weather on the Thursday, the group was able to explore Exeter, especially the cathedral, in the morning before visiting a fascinating glass- blowing and marble factory and museum near Bovey Tracey in the afternoon.

Our return journey took us via Cothey Manor and gardens near Wellington. Set in unspoilt rolling Somerset countryside, this gem of a late 15th century manor house is set amid lovely gardens reminiscent of Hidcote Manor, a National Trust property near Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire.

The group returned tired but enthusiastic for what they had experienced.

The new season begins on September 21 when John Brierley will talk about “The Verney family of Claydon in Buckinghamshire”, a story of love, war and madness in the Civil War. Meetings are held in the church hall next to Caversham Heights Methodist Church in Highmoor Road and begin at 7.30pm.

A warm welcome is extended to anybody wishing to join the society.

Enquiries should be made to Carol Cozens, the membership secretary, on 0118 946 1509 or at rooster10@btinternet.com or to Jill Hodges, the chairman, on 0118 959 5307.

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