Visits & Outings

Monday 12 October 2020

Moleside’s First VIRTUAL VISIT.  Inspired by the success of the club’s Monthly Meetings and our visiting speakers that we have enjoyed since July by Zoom – and thanks to our special interest groups who pioneered the virtual way for us before then – John Brice arranged and delivered our first ‘Outing’ since we had to lock down the club in February. The visit to The National Museum of Computing depended – appropriately enough – on computing.  And It turned out to be a bit of an experience for The Museum as well. Our 21 members were the largest group it had welcomed via its recently installed Virtual Tour system and the visit had to begin on one system and conclude on another – after a system crash. But that’s the price you pay for being pioneers and expertly co-ordinated emergency action – thank you John – allowed us to experience a real first for us all. Those members who had not been put off by the gremlins in the machine enjoyed a thoroughly engaging and expertly curated long distance outing from our desks at home. It will be a challenge to match the sense of achievement several of us expressed at the end as we thanked our host at The Museum Peter Hoath. Rest assured that Moleside will be looking for further ground breaking and inspiring activities as we face the long months of Covid 19 restrictions that we appear to be facing.


February 2020 – Postal secrets & a literary giant – Our last real outing before Lockdown
Speeding like the Post Office bags used to do under the streets of the capital was obviously a thrill for Moleside members.  Our visit may have raised the average age of those riding London’s Mail Rail but thanks to the patient organisation of Malcolm Bond we slipped almost seamlessly into the half term crowds enjoying one of London’s most popular experiences.

And from a century old engineering project on which our postal service used to depend we moved on to visit the London home of the Victorian novelist regarded by many as the greatest observer and recorder of the city’s social scene in the 19th century.  Charles Dickens and his family may only have lived for a few years in his Doughty Street terrace but the surroundings they shared here offered us an inspiring impression of the lifestyle in which he created some of his masterpieces.

Thanks to Malcolm and Mary for another great day out.

November 2019Remembrance, Royalty & Restoration 

  A thoroughly absorbing welcome  at The Poppy Factory in Richmond gave us an introduction to the North American inspiration that led to the adoption of the poppy as the emblem that reminds us of the sacrifice made by so many to secure our freedoms.  This was followed by a chance to try our hands at making the simple symbols of remembrance we are all proud to display each year and appreciate the work done here to support injured service men and women of today as they find their place back in civilian life.

We lunched at The Crown across the river in Twickenham and all agreed that its food and hospitality was ideal for a very special day out in part of London that may be close to us but which is still full of wonderful surprises.

But perhaps the biggest of the day’s revelations was our afternoon visit to Orleans House on the banks of an obviously rapidly rising Thames. Now established as an art gallery and study centre we learnt of the colourful history of an impressive Georgian home that welcomed Hanoverian royalty, became a bolt hole for French aristocracy escaping the turmoil of the Napoleonic revolution and was saved from demolition  by Nellie Ionides, a daughter of the founder of the original Shell Oil company.