In April members of the Group travelled to the Guildford area to visit two National Trust properties. The first was Clandon Park, which you will probably recall that the house was badly damaged by fire in 2015.
The group then travelled a few miles to another National Trust property, Hatchlands Park.
After lunch we had an enjoyable walk around the bluebell woods and then proceeded to the house. There were a limited number of rooms open to the public, which contained part of the Cobbe family collection of old masters and keyboard instruments. The paintings included works by Titian, van Dyck and Gainsborough; also of interest was an anonymous work that is claimed to be the only life portrait of Shakespeare. The exhibition of keyboard instruments included ones owned and played by famous composers including J.C. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Elgar and Chopin. The oldest instrument was a Harpsichord dating from 1622, and there was also a piano played by Marie Antoinette. Most of the instruments are maintained in full working order and often played at recitals by leading pianists. The visit was enhanced by an excellent and knowledgeable tour guide.
Don’t forget to look at U3A Anton website, to see what is coming up over the next few months!
BobTaylor & Rosemary Crumplin
On Tuesday 9th April in very wet weather 17 intrepid Questers arrived at the impressive Home Bargains Distribution Centre at Solstice Park near Amesbury. We were greeted by the young Human Resources Director who gave us a very interesting introduction to TJ Morris Ltd - the parent company which is the largest independent grocer in the UK, selling fresh and frozen foods as well as household goods. Over 30% of their lines are end-of-range branded goods bought in bulk from the original manufacturers.
Headquartered in Liverpool and originally concentrated in Northern England, there are now nearly 600 Home Bargains stores around the country and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The business is still privately owned and run, with three generations of the Morris family now in executive roles. The company does not advertise! Until 2015 all the distribution took place from Liverpool but due to the rapid expansion and success of the company the Amesbury centre was built to service the southern and western areas of the UK. The company is still growing rapidly and the Amesbury site has the capacity to deal with many additional stores as they come on stream. Currently they already service over 150 stores, from Penzance to Swansea to Great Yarmouth, with plans to grow this to 400 stores.