July 2017 Trips Newsletter
‘NARPO Christmas Social’
The ‘NARPO Christmas Social’ will again be held at the Naval and Military Club, Royal Terrace, Southend-on-Sea. The social will be held on Friday 15 December 2017 starting at 12.30 for 13.00 hours. As in previous years there will be a substantial buffet provided and there will be no charge for NARPO members. We very much want this to be an inclusive event and not one considered to be only for those who served in Southend-on-Sea Borough Force before the amalgamation with Essex, or those who are NARPO members. If you served you are very welcome to attend.
Thursford Christmas Spectacular
We have booked seats for ‘Thursford Christmas Spectacular’ for Monday 18 December 2017. We have seats in the centre raised section that gives a great all round view. If you have not been before, this is the biggest Christmas show in Europe. Performers come mostly from the West End and the show is a mix of music, songs and comedy. We will as last year leave and travel to Thursford with a stop on the way for a full English breakfast. After the show, we will travel to Norwich for our stay at the Sprowston Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club. We are booked in for Dinner bed and breakfast and of course you are free to use all the usual Marriott amenities during our short stay. The following morning, we will travel into Norwich to allow some time for those who want to visit the city centre. Those who prefer will be welcome to stay at the hotel leaving later when the coach collects those who choose to go into town. Rooms check out will be 12 noon. This trip always sells out fairly quickly so we suggest you book as soon as you can. Please do not pay yet. We have based the cost on fewer people booking than the number who travelled with us last year. If we receive the same number of bookings as last year we will look to reduce the cost accordingly.
River Thames Cruise
On Thursday 28 July 2018 we have chartered a boat for a cruise on the River Thames. We will sail from Runnymede and while on board have a hot lunch of shepherd’s pie with vegetables, followed by apple pie and cream. There will be tea/coffee to finish. After about 4 hours on the river we will disembark at Windsor where we will arrange tickets to visit Windsor Castle. The tickets may be registered during the visit and will then be valid for a further visit during the following year with no further charge! Please be aware that the castle involves some stairs and steps and users of mobility scooters may access the castle provide the scooter fits inside the lifts, (see www.royalcollection.org.uk for full details). Wheelchairs are available for loan on a first come first served basis. After about 3 hours or so we will leave for home. Clearly there is some walking involved in the day and if you feel you would like to miss out the chance to visit Windsor Castle, let us know when booking and we will reduce the cost accordingly. That will leave you free to enjoy Windsor at your own pace. If you intend bringing a mobility scooter to use during the day please let us know in advance. Your scooter should be of a size that will fit the boot of a car and you may have to lift it on board the boat and/or the coach yourself. If you find this difficult we are sure there will help available. This will be a long day but we hope a very enjoyable one.
St. Pierre Marriott Hotel and Country Club
We have booked an allocation of rooms at the St. Pierre Marriott Hotel and Country Club for our 2018 holiday from 12th to 17th August. The hotel, near Chepstow, is about as far East in Wales as it is possible to be and is surrounded by 400 acres of beautiful grounds including two championship golf courses. The main building dates from 14th century and there is a church adjacent to reception that was built in 1066, one year after nearby Chepstow Castle. The hotel is unusual in that there is no single accommodation block. The rooms are within the Mathern block, which is part of the main building and can be reached from reception without the need to use stairs to access the middle floor. This floor houses the accessible rooms and other rooms as well. There are stairs to access one floor up or one floor down from the middle level. Other rooms are within the courtyard adjacent to reception and set within small terraced stone cottages. These are either ground floor or first floor rooms accessible by stairs to the first floor. The remaining rooms are within the Lakeside Village. This is an area about 150 to 250 yards walk from reception (depending where within the village the room is situated). Rooms are in small buildings about the size of a large detached house and include doubles, twins and suites. All are either ground floor or first floor reached by stairs. Some rooms there have balconies, some have lake views and some have neither. We are not able to specify a balcony or lake view room when booking but are happy to ask on your behalf. If you are allocated a room here you may if you wish order a buggy to take you to the main building to access the public rooms.
This is not a large city centre hotel with lifts. It is a very characterful hotel having no lifts but there is never the need to climb or descend more than one floor to accommodation. We have arranged with the hotel that, particularly for early bookers you can tell us if you want a room that will not need the use of stairs to access it or if you would prefer not to have the walk from the Lakeside Village. Of course, as always you may request an accessible room at the time of booking. These are limited in supply but we have reserved a small number already! We have a map of the layout so please ask for one if you would like to have more details.
The hotel has beautifully appointed public rooms with many lounge areas. There are two bars and a restaurant that has views directly over one of the golf courses. There are no stairs other than a couple of steps in the public areas and all public areas are accessible to those who use mobility aids. The hotel is very well equipped and has a swimming pool with heated Jacuzzi and a gym. We have visited the hotel and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
During the holiday, we will use two different blue badge guides and take in the Brecon Beacons, The Black Mountains and Wye valley as well as touring Herefordshire. We will arrange a visit to the Royal Mint to see the manufacture of our coinage and its history and take a trip on the river Wye to view Symonds Yat at close quarters. We hope you find this appealing and we look forward to a week in beautiful surroundings in good company! If you want to join us on this holiday and intend to bring a mobility aid (mobility scooter or wheelchair etc) please let us know when booking so we can ensure there is room in the coach to accommodate it. Please only bring mobility scooters that fit the boot of a car and weigh no more than a full suitcase! Clearly some prices may change before next year although we have negotiated some at this year’s rate, and the final cost will also depend on how many people book. Please do not pay your balance until we have confirmed the final cost. If we have sufficient numbers we may of course reduce the cost!
We have arranged secure parking for your cars at the Len Forge Centre (LFC), Eastwoodbury Lane, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 6UH, where our trips start. The centre is located next to the mini roundabout at the junction of Eastwoodbury Lane 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”. We may ask you once a year to let us have the details of your car so that we can update the LFC records. You are required to park at the rear of the buildings and parking will be 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.
Booking Terms & 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 re-sell your booking without notice to you. We do not accept cash. Cheques must be payable to N.A.R.P.O. and 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 they must all to be sent at the same time. Please write the trip to which the cheque relates on the rear of the cheque, along with the name of the person who booked the trip if necessary (e.g. a building society cheque which has no name on it). As with any commercial operator if you book for others, you are responsible for getting their payment to us. We do not require a covering letter. If we require a deposit we will tell you in the chart at the end of this 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 done so 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. Preston, Birmingham or Bournemouth, 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 about other non-trip related matters please contact the appropriate committee member whose details are at the bottom of each page of this newsletter. John deals with all matters relating to membership (he keep us up to date with addresses and telephone numbers etc.), Brian handles all matters financial and Peter deals with NARPO circulars and information as well as other items of interest to members. David and Hilary look after all matters relating to welfare (e.g. applications to visit Flint House). We only deal with matters relating to the trips we organise.
Mike Beaveridge &
|Date||Destination||Departure time from Len Forge Centre, Eastwoodbury Lane||Member/partner cost||Guest cost||Book and pay by date|
|Thursday 10 August 2017||Thames Cruise||07.45 hours||£65.00||£70.00||Fully booked|
|Monday 9 October 2017||London Showboat||17.00 hours||£75.00 (Deposit £34.00 per person)||£81.00 (Deposit £34.00 per person)||Deposit when booking, balance 31 August 2017|
|Thursday 16 November 2017||Classical Spectacular||14.30 hours||£42.00||£48.00||Fully booked|
|Friday 15 December 2017||NARPO Christmas Social, at the Naval and Military Club, Royal Terrace||12.30 for 13.00 hours||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Monday 18 to Tuesday 19 December 2017||Thursford Christmas Spectacular||07.45 hours||£154.00 Single supplement £25.00||£160.00 Single supplement £25.00||10 November 2017|
|Thursday 1 February 2018||Cirque du Soliel ‘OVO’||14.30 hours||£67.00||£73.00||Fully booked|
|Thursday 26 July 2018||Thames cruise with lunch and Windsor Castle||07.45 hours||£60.00 (£43.50 without castle visit)||£66.00 (£49.50 without castle visit||Deposit of £10.00 per person when booking. Balance 26 June 2018|
|Sunday 12 to Friday 17 August 2018||Holiday to South Wales||To be advised||£500.00 (single £672.00)||£520.00 (single £692.00)||Deposit of £50. 00 per person when booking. Balance 26 June 2018|