Anton U3A Questors Group Trip to London Theatre
The 6th December was a fine chilly day for our outing to London. 41 people boarded a coach and left promptly to see 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
The journey was trouble free and navigated with precision by our excellent driver Andy. We travelled along the Embankment and past the Houses of Parliament before being dropped very close to the theatre.
We all dispersed for free time - some to shop and potter around Covent Garden others for a leisurely lunch before the performance at 2.30.
We were seated in the Royal Circle in an with excellent unobstructed view of the vast stage. The next two hours were enthralling - whilst the storyline of 42nd Street is a little weak and predictable this did not matter because the music and dancing were suberb. Faultless and very complicated dance routines, stunning costumes and brilliant scenery all made for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
The return journey took us through Trafalgar Square and Knightsbridge so we had sight of some Christmas lights and Harrods Christmas windows. Despite leaving in the rush hour we made good time, arriving back in Andover before 8pm.
The consensus of opinion was that we should do something similar again, certainly a block booking affords huge discounts on seat prices and when everyone co -operates by being in the right place at the right time it makes it easy for the organisers - thanks to all of you who came (whether for the theatre or just the coach trip), for making it easy for us.
On 17th March, 23 Questers from Anton U3A visited the Ordnance Survey offices at Southampton.
A series of presentations had been arranged to show how information is collected and processed to produce the popular maps that we buy today. We also were told about the total amount of information that is collected to make different versions of maps for other users giving a variation for their needs and to provide digital data for topography, roads, buildings natural features etc.
The printed maps part of the organisation is only a small function of the business which is owned by the Government but has to make its money from commercial operations. The Government only supplies a small income to support public service requirements such as emergencies.
We were told how they ensure the accuracy of the position of the instrumentation to record data. Mapping is now about digital data and digital processing. This could in extreme emergency situations produce a limited area map in 30 mins from ground and/or air observations to a digital map becoming available. Maps are normally updated about every 3 years, using aerial photography and field surveyors. The field surveyors no longer use a telescope type instrument but a sophisticated pole with a communication device, which communicates with radio beacons (these appear to replace trig points) and of course satellites.
Cartographers produce the coloured map by generalising the raw digital data and photographs to reduce the “clutter” of the raw information into easily understood symbols which enables us read the map.
Future developments were mentioned. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) to carry out limited area surveys is being investigated. The reduction of raw data through to a printed map without human input is also being developed.
We found it interesting and informative. The demise of the paper map has been predicted for some time, but sales are holding on and apart from their main function of showing where we are going (and significantly the batteries don’t run out), some of them are also works of art.