Southend Branch Trips Newsletter – November 2016


Dear Member/Friend,


We have been a little quiet lately, mostly due to our personal circumstances, but here we are with what we hope you will think is an appealing offering for the remainder of this year but in particular for 2017! Sorry for the amount of reading in this newsletter but we have been very busy on your behalf and have a lot to tell you about.


We have unfortunately found it necessary to cancel the planned holiday to Bournemouth as the result of a number of cancellations brought about by health issues. We simply fell below the level of numbers necessary to make the trip viable and therefore took the decision to cancel. If you paid a deposit you should by now have received your full refund.

NARPO Christmas Social

Friday 16 December is the date for the NARPO Christmas Social (formerly known as the White Helmet Do). A free buffet will be provided and we hope this will be seen as a function appealing to more folk than in the past; particularly those who may not have served in the Southend-on-Sea Constabulary or the Southend Division or area. You are most welcome. It will be held at lunchtime at the Naval and Military Club, Royal Terrace, Southend-on-Sea.

show_halfasixpenceHalf a Sixpence

On Thursday 5 January 2017 how about starting the New Year with a Flash, bang wallop? The new production of the show made famous on the stage and film by Tommy Steel, Half a Sixpence, has transferred to the West End after receiving rave review at its extended run at Chichester. The show is produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and has been re-written by Julien Fellowes. It has additional music to the original with a re-worked script and the young man, Charlie Stemp who takes the lead seems to have stolen most of the critic’s plaudits, The show is full of lively music. We have great stall seats with a face price of £72.50! Sorry for the short payment date but if we pay later the price will increase and we have a fantastic deal on this show that will undoubtedly take the West End by storm!!


Our AGM will be held 24 March 2017 at the Len Ford Centre. We have access to the hall from 19.00 hours for a 19.30 hours start and there will be a bar available as well as a free light buffet. We are usually well supported by the same group of members and it would be really lovely to see some new faces! If you have not been before why not come along, see some old friends (or make new ones) and have a drink with them as well as showing support for the Southend-on-Sea Branch. Parking is free and you will not need to display a parking badge. See you there?

The Girls

On Thursday 4 May 2017 we have really excellent front stall seats for ‘The girls’. This is the stage musical comedy based upon the film ‘Calendar Girls’. This has a musical score written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth. This show has been described as a bracing, brassy, beautifully British musical. The story is based upon a W.I. group of women who decide to be photographed naked for a calendar to raise funds for a Cancer charity following the death of one of the member’s husbands. It is uplifting and very finny! We have top price (£69.50) stall seats. Don’t forget to bring the bigger buns!

Mamma Mia!

We recently had a really great evening at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert, ‘The Best of Broadway’. That evening ended with a medley of Abba tunes that had everyone on their feet and almost set the hall on fire! On the way home we were nagged in the coach by those who shall remain nameless that we must book ‘Mamma Mia!’ . So here we are, on Thursday 8 June 2017 we have excellent stall seats with a face value of £67.50 for the show featuring the best of the music by ABBA.

Yorkshire DalesWest Yorkshire

The good news about a holiday for 2017 is that at this late stage we have been able to secure a booking at the Hollins Hall Marriott Hotel and Country Club near Shipley, ‘West Yorkshire’. Our booking is from Saturday 1 July to Friday 7 July 2017 on a Dinner, bed and breakfast basis. The hotel, set in 200 acres of landscaped gardens offers all the usual Marriott amenities including a swimming pool, leisure club, Spa and 18 hole golf course. This year we stayed at the Preston Marriott and with one of the best guides we have worked  with, Tess Pike. With her we enjoyed the Lake District and the Western side of the Dales. We are very pleased to say that Tess will again be our guide this time. We will enjoy Tess’s company for two days, one touring the Eastern side of the Yorkshire Dales and the other touring the Yorkshire Moors visiting Whitby and returning on the outstanding North Yorkshire Moors Railway that is usually steam hauled. During the week we will visit Leeds and the Royal Armouries with free time in the City for those who prefer that. We will have a half day visit to Harewood house and a free day in York with an option to visit the National Railway Museum. We are still working on the fine detail of the itinerary but rest assured it will be full of great scenery and interesting places to see. We have priced the holiday on an assumption of receiving a specific number of bookings. If we exceed that we will of course look to reduce the cost. The single price reflects the fact that the hotel charges by the room plus the cost of food. The room cost is the same regardless of the number of occupants. We have secured the hotel at the lowest trade price available so it reflects extremely good value. We will require a deposit when you book and also need you to tell us the type of room you would prefer (Double/twin or single). Please do not pay in full until we have confirmed the cost. This far in advance it’s the same old story, many of the places we may visit cannot yet confirm prices for 2017.

Upper Thames Cruise

We have again chartered a lovely boat, the Caversham Princess for a six hour cruise on the upper Thames. We will sail  on Thursday 10 August 2017 from Reading as we did this year. This time we will sail towards Mapledurham, Whitchurch and Goring Locks to Cleeve before returning to Reading. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the River Thames. We are arranging a BBQ lunch of BBQ flavoured chicken, Cumberland sausages with Potato onion and chive salad and Tomato and onion salad, all served with Bread/rolls. Later in the afternoon we will enjoy a cream tea. This year we completely sold out very quickly and had folk on the stand by list whom we could not accommodate. Our advice is to book early to ensure your place. By arranging this trip in 2016 for summer 2017 the caterers cannot yet confirm their costs. We have therefore estimated those based on this year so it is possible the price may change but only a little and possibly downwards!


This from Roger Culham :- “On Thursday 29th sept Southend branch retained the 3 Branch golf championship beating both Chelmsford and Colchester branches at Harwich Golf Club. This being a charity event when £150 was raised for worthy causes.”


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.

Payment 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 cancel 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. Birmingham or Yorkshire, 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.
This will be the last newsletter of 2016 so if we will not see you again this year from us and your committee may we wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and happy 2017!

Kind regards,


Mike Beaveridge

Lyn Beaveridge

Southend Branch Trips Newsletter – Schedule Table


Date Destination Departure time from Len Forge Centre, Eastwoodbury Lane Member/
Partner cost
Guest cost Book and pay before date
Friday 9th and Saturday 10th December 2016 Thursford Christmas Spectacular 8:00am £143.00 – Single supplement of £43.50 £151.00 – Single supplement of £43.50 Fully booked
Friday 16th December 2016 NARPO Christmas Social (formerly known as the White Helmet Do) 12.30pm for 1.00pm None N/A N/A
Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd December 2016 Andre Rieu at the Genting Arena, Birmingham 09:00am £210.00 Single supplement £65.00 £216.00 Single supplement £65.00 Fully booked
Thursday 5th January 2017 Half a Sixpence, Noel Coward Theatre 3.30pm £57.00 £62.00 28th November 2016
Thursday 9th February 2017 The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Criterion Theatre 3:30pm £41.00 £47.00 Fully booked
Thursday 23rd March 2017 ‘An American in Paris’ Dominium Theatre 3:30pm £45.00 £50.00 Fully booked
Friday 24th March 2017 AGM at Len Forge Centre 7:30pm N/A N/A N/A
Thursday 13th April 2017 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane 3:30pm £41.00 £47.00 30th August 2016 Fully booked
Thursday 4th May 2017 The Girls, The Phoenix Theatre 3:30pm £57.00 £62.00 20th December 2016
June 2017 Mamma Mia! Novello Theatre 3:30pm £51.00 £56.00 16th December 2016
Saturday 1st July to Friday 7th July 2017 Yorkshire 9:00am Double/twin £580.00 pp Single £810.00 Double/twin £600.00 Single £830.00 £50.00 deposit when booking. Balance 20 May 2017
Thursday 10th July 2017 Thames Cruise 8:00am £65.00 £70.00 Deposit of £5.00 when booking, balance 8th June 2017