Southend Trip Newsletter October 2019
Please note the new arrangements for parking at the Len Forge Centre. The Len Forge Centre (LFC), Eastwoodbury Lane, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6UH, where our trips start, is located at Eastwoodbury Lane, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6UH next to the mini roundabout at the junction with Whitehouse Road and Snakes Lane.
When you first park there we will issue you a small badge that you will be required to display in your vehicle. Please retain the badge for future use. If you do not display a badge you may return to find your car has gained a “ticket”. You are required to park at the rear of the buildings on the side nearest to the buildings whenever a trip includes a Sunday. On Sundays the bays immediately in front of the model car track are required by users of the track and bays elsewhere not allocated to us on a Sunday are often used for parking an ambulance.
Our cars will be parked at the driver’s risk. No responsibility for damage or loss etc will be accepted by the centre. You will be able to use the toilets and bar facilities if the centre is open. We pay for your parking and therefore ask that you restrict the number of vehicles you use as much as possible.
If you would like to volunteer as a driver to assist members or partners who have a welfare need for transport, for example to a hospital to visit or for treatment, please contact our Welfare Officer, David Seago who will give you full details of what may be required and the reimbursement available for expenses. The take-up, following details in the last newsletter, was disappointing. We are still looking for volunteers!
Just a reminder to ask that you always write the name of the show or trip (as shown in the chart at the rear of the newsletter) on the back of the cheque you send us to pay for the trip.
Houses of Parliament & Tower Bridge
On Monday 13 January 2020 we have an invitation via Sir David Amess to Visit the ‘Houses of Parliament’. The tour will last about 75 minutes. After the tour, there will be the opportunity to purchase a drink and a bite to eat in the Jubilee Café off Westminster Hall.
From Westminster, we will make our way to Tower Bridge to take in the Exhibition. Included will be access to the bridge and the aerial walkway (over glass if you have the nerve, but a solid walkway if you do not). Having seen the bridge we can visit the nearby Victorian Engine Rooms that used to provide the power to lift the bridge.
Both Westminster and Tower Bridge are accessible for anyone who uses a wheelchair. There will obviously be a little walking involved in this day and little opportunity to sit while in the Palace of Westminster. The walk to Tower Bridge is about 600 to 800 yards but maybe a little longer depending on the route you choose.
Tower of London
It is some time since we were able to arrange an after-hours visit to The Tower of London. We have now been in touch with a contact and hope to arrange an invitation to visit the Tower and see the “Ceremony of the Keys” in March or April on a Tuesday evening. The format will be as it was in the past. We will arrive in time for you to purchase a bite to eat and then enter the Tower at 19.30 hours. Under the guidance of a Yeoman Warder, we will tour of some parts of the Tower (1 to 1.5 hours) before being invited into the Yeoman Warders Club (The Mess) where we can purchase drinks. During the evening we will be taken to a prime vantage spot to see the Ceremony of the Keys before having the opportunity to return to the club for a last drink before rejoining our coach.
There is a very strictly enforced dress code: Men must wear a tailored jacket (suit, sports or blazer type) as well as a collared shirt and tie. Ladies must be smartly dressed and may wear slacks. No one may wear shorts, jeans or trainers. The ground inside the Tower is quite rough and is cobbled in places.
We expect the invitation to be for a maximum of 30 people. Let us know if you want to join us and we will be in touch when we know the date and will book folk in the strict order that they register their interest.
Holiday Inn at Taunton
We have a reservation at the “Holiday Inn at Taunton” from where we will be visiting Devon and Somerset. The hotel stay will include dinner and breakfast and the hotel has a swimming pool. We will stay from Wednesday 15 July 2020 returning on Tuesday 21 July 2020 (6 nights/7 days).
During our stay we will travel on the West Somerset Railway by steam train from Bishop’s Lydeard to Minehead, a tram from Seaton to Colyton, the water-powered cliff railway at Lynmouth to visit Lynton in addition to touring Exmoor. We will also make the long but worthwhile journey to The Lost Gardens of Heligan that we last visited in 2002. It will take a little over 2 hours but we believe it will be worthwhile.
We have already made some reservations for these attractions and are finalising others. We have arranged cream teas during the holiday and other refreshments.
The hotel has been generous in the terms offered and we have reflected that in our proposed cost. We are sure you realise that by planning early we are able to negotiate excellent deals but the overall cost will as ever be dependent upon the number who book. The price shown is one we hope to maintain but is subject to issues out of our control. Should sufficient bookings be made we will of course reduce the cost if we can. Please do not pay in full until we have confirmed the final cost with you. We need a deposit when you book.
On Friday 14 August we have again chartered the Caversham Princess for a 6 hour Thames Cruise. We’ll sail from Caversham, upstream as far as we can get in the time and return to Caversham. We have arranged for a meal to be served on board that will consist of Pulled pork and BBQ chicken served with a tomato and onion salad and a potato salad, along with fresh bread. Later in the afternoon we have arranged a cream tea.
The boat company, in recognition of our previous trips have kept the fee at the 2018 price! We looked at other boats and boat companies but none came up to our expectations. We have arranged that we sail a little later in the hope that we may miss at least some of the evening traffic when leaving Reading. By arranging this cruise early we have been able to keep the cost to what you paid this year (2019)!
Terms and Conditions
Please, please read and take note of our booking and payment terms and conditions! We still have to chase far too many folk for overdue payments! We set payment dates to match those given to us by service providers (boat companies, hotels and ticket agencies etc.). Without your payment we cannot pay them! Check the payment date for your trip in the right hand column of the chart and ensure we receive your payment before that date. If your payment is not received by the due date we reserve the right to cancel your booking without notice to you. We do not accept cash. Cheques must be payable to N.A.R.P.O. We need a separate cheque for each trip you book and one cheque for your whole group is helpful. If you book for a group of people who insist on paying with separate cheques, you must send them all to us at the same time. As with any commercial operator if you book for others, you are responsible for getting their payment to us. Please write the trip to which the cheque relates on the rear of the cheque using the description in the chart at the end of the newsletter. No other detail is necessary. However, please show the name of the person booking the trip if that name is not shown on the front of the cheque. We do not require a covering letter or any other details. If we require a deposit we will tell you in the chart at the end of the newsletter! Remember deposits should always be regarded as non refundable.
If you cancel a booking we may still require you to pay N.A.R.P.O. the balance due if you have not paid by the time you cancel. If you do cancel we will always try to refund any monies you have paid, but we may not always be able to do so if we cannot re-claim the cost or if it will have an adverse effect on the overall costs. All trips include a gratuity for our coach driver. By booking with us you are deemed to have accepted these conditions.
We do not arrange insurance cover for you. If you need insurance for any trip e.g. Holiday Inn, Taunton, it is your responsibility to arrange the cover!
The stand by system is working well so if there are any trips showing as ‘fully booked’ that you’d like to go on, tell us and as and when any cancellations are received you will be offered an opportunity to take them up.
Lyn and I are more than happy to deal with any issues re the trips, but we’d appreciate not being contacted on Sundays or at an unreasonable time of the day. Before contacting us please read this or past newsletters. You will probably find the information you want there.
If you need to discuss anything not trip related, please contact the appropriate committee member whose details are at the bottom of each page of this newsletter. We only deal with matters relating to the trips and visits that we organise.
Southend Branch Trips Newsletter Oct 2019
Departure time from Len Forge Centre, Eastwoodbury Lane
Book and pay by date
|Thursday 19 Dec 2019||Thursford Christmas Spectacular||08:00 hours||£68.00||£78.00||Fully Booked|
|Monday 13 Jan 2020||Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge||09:15 hours||£20||£29||13 Dec 2019|
|Tuesday in Mar or April 2020||Ceremony of the Keys at The Tower of London||15:45 hours||£18.00||£27.00||TBA|
|Wednesday 6 May 2020||Mary Poppins|
Prince edward Theatre
|05:00||£68.00||£78.00||5 July 2019|
|Wednesday 15 to 21 Jul 2020||Holiday Inn, Taunton for |
Devon and Somerset
|09:00 hours||Twin or Double|
|Twin or Double|
|£50.00 deposit per person when booking, balance 1 Jun 2020|
|Friday 14 Aug 2020||Thames Cruise on the Caversham Princess||08:45 hours||£64.00||£74.00||£10.00 deposit per person when booking, balance 27 Jul 2020|