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Canal Museum Visit

Outings for 2022

Outing to Southsea Tuesday May 24. An email with all the details of the day has been sent to those who are going. Please contact Karen Rashleigh on 07831 681681 if you have any questions.

The World of Stonhenge - British Museum, Tuesday 12 July 2022. Sign up if you would like to go of contact Gill Harris -

 Outings for 2021

December 2021

December Outing to the Carols for Shoppers at St Martin's in the Fields

What could be better to start the festive season than going to a carol service; especially at St Martin’s in the Fields in Trafalgar Square.

On a cold December day we gathered at Waterloo and made our way to Covent Garden for seasonal retail therapy. Every shop, every stall in every avenue and in every road were highly decorated with baubles, bells, garlands and light. We stood with child-like joy at the ginormous tree lit by tens of thousands of mini white and red lights then wandered around the festive stalls selling all sorts of pretty things we did not really need or want – one or was it two or even three of us (!) succumbed to the sales patter and purchased stylish (un-Christmassy) items.

We arrived promptly at 5 pm at the Italian restaurant for a pre-concert supper. The jolly staff served our scrummy pizzas, tirimasu and plonk before we wandered through the dercorated streets to Trefalgar Square to join the congregation.  At precisely 7 pm the house lights dimmed for the soprano’s solo of the opening of “Once in Royal David’s City”. Dressed in black, the 22 strong adult choir stood in a semi circle at the top of the nave with their musical director in the centre. This enthusiastic conductor led his choir and the congregation through the programme with gentle humour and energetic instructions which put a smile on everyone’s face. They had a well-deserved standing ovation after a 90 minutes performance.

The simple beauty of the undecorated church “an architectural jewel” made a wonderful setting. In the gallery we were sitting above the nave but below the glory of the Italian designed “barrel vault” ceiling above our head.

Many thanks to Gill for organising this visit and writing these words!

October Outing to the Kew Musical Museum
October 2021 Outing

A very enjoyable and interesting out to this little known Museum but well worth a visit!

30 September 2021

A group of WI Members visited Kensignton Palace on 30 September where Princess Diana's wedding dress was on display. We aso visited the sunken garden with her statue. The weather was kind with no rain and of course we all tucked into tea and cakes!

Thursday 21 October 2021

Outing by coach to the Kew Musical Museum

Friday 3 December 2021 

Christmas Lunch at Silvermere more information on 14 october Meeting

Visits 2019

Carol Service, Royal College. Greenwich Monday 16 December

A group of us braved the train strike and landslips and met up at Carluccio's at Waterloo. We took the Thames Clipper to Greenwich and immediately went to Byron's restaurant for a magnificent hamburger! Then to the Christmas Market where purchases were many! Fudge, hats and hairbands to mention a few. We then went to the Royal Naval Chapel for the Carol concert. We did not have to queue and saw the choir practising. We then all enjoyed a truly magnificent Carol Concert in the most beautiful setting of the Royal Naval Chapel. On our return trip on the Thames Clipper we enjoyed the Christmas lights. A wonderful outing - Thank you Gill.

Thursday 25 July - Walmer Castle and Deal (on the hottest day of year/century!)

When Cobham Cedar Club announced there would be an outing to Walmer castle with a fish and chips meal, I thought I would put my name down for that as I have not been on a WI outing since I joined the Club a couple of years ago. I belong to several organisations and have not been able to fit them all in!

As the date grew nearer, and expecially in the last few days, the summer weather arrived with a vengeance. Thursday 25 July was forecast to have record breaking temperatures, Several people decided against risking a day out with the heat in mind, however, those of us that did venture out were the lucky ones!

We travelled in a lovely air conditioned coach. Walmer Castle has 10 foot thick stone walls so was very coo linside, and the restaurant where we had the excellent fish and chips was also air conditioned. No complaints at all.

George our tour guide around the castle was very interesting and amusing. The gardens (unfortunately not air conditioned) were well mantained and colourful with plenty of shady trees. The Queen Mother when she was Warden of the Cinque Ports and resident of Walmer Castle, was apparently very fond of the place. There is a pond designed for her 95th Birthday which is 95 feet long. On the day of our visit I think there may have been 95 beautiful dragonflies swooping and diving over the water as well. Walmer Castle is also famous for being the final resting place of the Duke of Wellington with the bed and chair still as he left it (almost).

I would like to thank the committee for aranging this outing - well done. i look forward to my next outing withCobham Cedar Club.

Visit to Wimbledon Tennis and Museum 6 June 2019

Our visit to Wimbledon was perfect. Excellent guide, fascinating information, a decent lunch and more weather than we could have possibly hoped for. In true Championship style, we had rain, sun, hail and a stiff breeze, all in one day.

The All England Tennis Club was in a frenzy of preparation with three weeks to go before the start of the 2019 tournament. By the time it is over, we learnt, almost half a million people will have been served 320,000 glasses of Pimms, 29,000 bottles of champagne and as many strawberries as Kent can provide.

As for the tennis itself, some people will have been lucky enough to watch a match on the iconic Centre Court or the newly refurbished Court No 1, now with comfy seats and its own retractable roof for a cool £70 million. Not all the best action happens on those courts of course – Court 18 was the venue for the longest tennis match in history when John Isner finally beat Nicolas Mahut in 11 hours 5 minutes. He won the final set 70-68.

What surprised many of us however was that, with the exception of the outer courts which are used by club members, the principal facilities lie unused for 50 weeks of the year. Unused but not ignored – tours such as ours go on all year round and the grass surfaces are completely removed and resown, ready for the next Championship.

 Wimbledon June 2019 Wimbledon June 2019

Wimbledon visit
Wimbledon June 2019
Wimbledon June 2019

Visit to the Painted Hall at Greenwich - Thursday 16 May 2019

WI ladies get up very early to walk, send emails, clean windows, that sort of thing. So when we go on a London outing, coffee at Waterloo is mandatory and, on our recent visit to the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, lunch on the wharf was critical the moment we stepped off the Thames cruiser.

Thus fortified we were able to enjoy the magnificent restoration of the Painted Hall, described by our excellent guide as Britain’s Sistine Chapel. Glorifying William and Mary, the founders of the original hospital for old and injured former sailors, the fabulous scenes call on mythology, astrology, naval history and science to eulogize the peace, liberty and general all round fabulousness the couple felt they brought to the nation. The hall was at first the sailors’ dining room, but they found it all rather overwhelming and decamped to the undercroft below for their meals.

Luckily the undercroft now serves tea and cake so we were able to march on to the elegant Chapel and then the Queen’s House, which houses the 1588 Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I and Canaletto’s Greenwich.

So much to see, so little time. Another visit definitely on the cards.

Centre section of the ceiling painting in the Lower Hall of the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich by Sir James Thornhill
The lower part of the ceiling painting on the left
Cobham WI studying a painting at Greenwich

Visit to the Mary Quant Exhibition - Tuesday 9 April 2019

On a cool April morning, nine of us met in the V&A’s gloriously decorated cafe for coffee before our 11.30 timed entry to view the Mary Quant Exhibition.

The V&A has the world’s largest collection of Mary Quant's clothes, yet what makes the exhibition special is not the chronological charting of the designer’s career - she started making clothes in her tiny bedsit in the early 1960s to sell in Knightsbridge stores - but the real-life stories told on film by some the models and women who actually lived in her clothes. Visiting the crowded retrospective exhibition showing numerous clothes of differing styles was a “deep dive” into the style of the sixties icon.  

Mary Quant's legacy is so much more than the swinging mini-skirt. The exhibits capture the liberated mood of the post-war austerity years of the 1950s. The key pieces from the era were show are accompanied by appropriate music-of-the-time and numerous photographs. The archive films especially contribute to the reliving of that magical time for people who remembered the Swinging Sixties with affection.

Mary Quant was the first to take fashion to the mainstream - her durable fabrics, simple styles of skirts, dresses and trousers appealed to women with busy working lives who no longer sought fashion in the gaze of their mothers.

Coincidentally, across the corridor of the V&A museum is the Dior Exhibition - another feast for the eyes, another celebration of another fashion icon, albeit from a such a very different era.

We all remembered fondly some of the dresses and outfits we had either bought or made and worn during our formative years. We skipped out of the V&A and headed for home, wondering if we should shorten our skirts or just be content knowing we had enjoyed the Swinging Sixties when we wore mini-skirts and white boots.

The Mary Quant exhibition is open until February 2020 and well worth a visit. 

Mary Quant Exhibition

Mary Quant Exhibition  Mary Quant Exhibition

Visit to the Bank of England January 2019

Bank of England visitOn a rather chilly day in January, twelve Cedar Club members visited the Bank of England Museum - via a coffee shop at Waterloo Station, of course.

Bank of England ladies from Cedar Club WI

No sign of Mr Carney who was in Davos at the time, however, some fascinating displays took us through not only the history of the Bank but also its vital work in implementing monetary policy. 

So what did we learn? Among other things that in 1836 a sewer worker discovered he could get into the vaults and, rather than enrich himself, met astounded Bank officials behind the locked doors. Also, through some entertaining interactive toys, we found that gold bars weigh approximately 28 pounds, are 99.97% pure gold and very hard to lift with one hand,and that we would all be very bad indeed at maintaining a steady economy. We therefore consoled ourselves with lunch. 

Outings 2018

Visit to Imperial War Museum, London, November 2018

Imperial war Museum Poppies at the Imperial War Museum

Visit to Kew Gardens July 2018

Kew Gardens Kew Gardens  Temperate House