Talks & Trips

We have talks in Autumn & Winter and trips in Spring & Summer each year. For further details see the current Contact magazine (via the home page).

2017 Talks & Trips

TALKS  – Assembly Rooms, Christchurch St West, Frome
All talks start at 2.30pm. Frome Society publications are on sale.
Non-Members £3 extra for outings or talks

TRIPS –   We are trialling a plan to provide two Departure Points.  The main Departure/Return point will be at the Cricket Club entrance, located on Rodden Road.  The Cricket Club offers a large parking area formerly called the Old Showfield, which will accommodate all members who wish to park their cars there before boarding the coach, please avoid parking next to the Pavilion.
We also pick up members at the Memorial Theatre on Christchurch Street West, at the Bus Stop Opposite to the Memorial Theatre, which will also be the returning drop-off point.  The advertised Coach Departure Time is for the Cricket Club, to which five minutes is added to determine the pick up time for the Memorial Theatre.

 Bookings to Pat Eames on 464464. Alt. for emergency use 07493 419398

Guests pay £3 supplement. Please mention any dietary needs when you book and remember you are responsible for your own insurance.

You can download a short pdf version of the 2017 trips here. Visits Summary


Thursday 13th April  –  Caerleon – The 2nd Roman Legion Army in Wales
The extensive remains of one of the largest Roman military sites, the Fortress of the Second Augustan Legion, are contained in the Welsh village of Caerleon. The 50-acre Fortress housed over 5,000 Legionaries. Outside the Fortress, the massive Amphitheatre would have been used for gladiatorial combats, games and weapons training.  In the 20th Century, two Legion museums were built to house the many thousands of artefacts recovered as a result of extensive excavations and archaeological digs.
After included refreshments, our visit will begin with a short walk and introductory talk about the Amphitheatre; continue to the impressive Barracks ruins and on to The Legion Bath House Museum (free) with its very impressive, digitally recreated swimming pool and many areas of original stonework.
Lunch is available at nearby cafes and restaurants.
Our afternoon visit will continue in the Roman Legion Museum with a talk and tour of the Museum Gallery led by the Curator, Dr Mark Lewis and will conclude in the basement area for a ‘behind the scenes’ look at Museum conservation techniques and reconstructed Legionaries quarters.
There will be time for refreshments before leaving at 4:30pm.
8:30am Departure time from Cricket Club
Price £20   Phone booking from 29th March

Thursday 27th April   –  The Big Pit in Wales
As you will be aware, Frome lies on the edge of a huge coal mining area.  To gain some insight into the real working conditions of miners of not so long ago, we shall visit The Big Pit in Wales.  We shall be met by the Coal Curator for a ten-minute introduction to the site that has been effectively adapted to provide visitors with an underground and/or surface appreciation of a miner’s life.
There is much to see on the surface, with an excellent interactive museum, pithead showers and an exciting simulation of work underground.  Lunch can be taken in the Miners Canteen where reasonably price food and drinks are available.  However, for the real experience, we can choose to descend to the coal workings, all kitted out with helmet and lamp.  Visits to the coalface, cutting machines and stables are fascinating.  An ex-miner will lead the 50-minute tour, involving walking 700 meters carrying a lamp weighing 5kg.  There are places where you will need to bend to avoid bumping your head.
Big Pit is an outdoor industrial site.  Please wear warm clothing and sensible footwear as the site is on the side of a hill, with some long ramps to reach the different levels.
8:30am Departure time from Cricket Club
Price £12   Phone bookings from 12th April

Thursday 11th May  –  Kingston Lacy (NT) (45 Max due to House restrictions)
We will be welcomed with included tea/coffee and biscuits before being divided into smaller groups to visit this Italianate House, built for the Bankes family after the Restoration. On display are paintings by Brueghel, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titian and Van Dyck and also the largest U.K. collection of privately owned Egyptian artefacts.
If there is time, when leaving the House, visit the interesting Laundry Room and Shop before having lunch in the Café.
There are walks across the lawns to the Formal Garden, Potting Shed Book Shop, and the Japanese Garden before venturing further along the paths to see the restored Kitchen Garden.  In front of the House are various Egyptian Curiosities, including an Obelisk, brought to Dorset with the help of a family friend, the 1st Duke of Wellington.  There are longer Woodland Walks to see the wildflowers and the famous herd of Ruby Red Devon Cattle.
There will be time for tea in the Café before departure at 4:15pm.
8:30am Departure time from Cricket Club
Price £16 NT members or £29 non-members   Phone booking from 20th April

Wednesday 24th May  –  Poole Pottery & Royal Navy Lifeboat Institute College
The coach will take us to Poole Quay where we can choose to go into Poole Pottery for coffee, (where there is a large restaurant with choice of meals at competitive prices) or walk to the museum and shopping mall.
In the pottery area there is a large Factory Shop where they sell all grades of famous ‘Poole’ from the one-off ‘Studio Collection’ pieces to quality seconds, also other brands of china, glass, kitchenware, clothing and accessories.
At 11:45am we can visit the studio and watch a free demonstration of artists at work.
At 1:15pm we board the coach for a short drive to RNLI College where we will be shown how Lifeboat crews and Lifeguards are trained.  This includes the Sea Survival Centre, which hosts wave tank and lifeboat simulators.  After the tour there will be time to visit the shop or have tea before boarding the coach for home.
8:45am Departure time from Cricket Club
Price: £18   Phone booking from 10th May (Note: Max 45 persons due to RNLI restriction.)

Monday 12th June  –  Tetbury and Chavenage House
Before visiting historic Chavenage House we shall spend approximately 2 hours in Tetbury, the charming Gloucestershire town that Frome Society members know and like so well.  We shall have time to explore the shops, maybe visit the quaint Police Museum (free admission) or the historic Parish church and have lunch before moving on to Chavenage House for 2:00pm.
This property is mainly Elizabethan and has been owned by only two families since the Reformation.  One of the current owners, from the Lowsely-Williams family, will give us a guided tour and include a talk about the colourful history of the house.  These days Chavenage is greatly in demand as a setting for TV historical dramas including Poldark and Poldark fans will recognise many of the rooms and grounds.
Before leaving we have an included afternoon tea of scones, cream and jam.
When booking please indicate if you require gluten-free scones.
8:45am Departure Time from Cricket Club
Price £21   Phone booking from 23rd May

Thursday 22nd June  –  Coleton Fishacre (NT)
You need not be a Gilbert and Sullivan fan to enjoy this country retreat created in 1923 for the D’Oyly Carte heir and his family.  However, the House and Gardens are a must if Arts and Crafts architecture and Art Deco style and the RHS accredited gardens are of interest to you.  Visitors have spoken of appreciating the elegant saloon, which evokes the glamorous atmosphere of the Jazz Age and then experiencing the contrast with the light and airy rooms used by the servants. Outside are paths that will take you around the colourful gardens and the nearby motor house where bats roost and swallows annually return to nest. Other paths take you further to ponds, the habitat for many insects and creatures, and give glimpses of the sea through the trees.  Many tender plants from around the world thrive in this microclimate above the Devon Coastline and seals have been known to live in the peaceful cove below the gardens.
The Café Coleton sources local produce and locally caught seafood, and have been recommended by the Taste of Devon Awards for their lunches. There will be time for tea before leaving at 4pm.
8:30am Departure time from the Cricket Club
Price £13 NT members or £23 for non-members   Phone bookings from 8th June

Wednesday 26th JulyBridgwater Town and Churches Tour
Bridgwater is an ancient port and the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell’s admiral, Robert Blake.  We will visit Blake’s birthplace, now an excellent town museum, and visit two churches.  St Mary’s parish church is closed for restoration but we have special permission to see inside.  The Duke of Monmouth saw the advancing royalist forces from its tower before the Battle of Sedgemoor.  The Unitarian Chapel goes back to the 17th century; the poet Coleridge preached from its pulpit.  After lunch (included in the price) at a historic pub, Peter Clark will take us on a tour of some elegant Georgian domestic architecture.
8:45am Departure time from Cricket Club
Price £20   Phone Bookings from 12 July

Monday 7th August  –  STEAM – Museum of the Great Western Railway
The Museum of the Great Western Railway tells the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway.
In early 1840, Swindon was a small, sleepy market town, but in the spring of 1841, work began on the building of the locomotive works and railway village.  The carriage and wagon works were built during 1868, making Swindon the main depot for the G.W.R.
The Museum is housed in what remains of the old works as the majority of the works was demolished to make way for the new Designer Outlet Centre.
On arrival at the Museum, there will be a short welcome talk, after which you will be free to wander as you wish, following the history of the Birth of the G.W.R. up to the present d Platform One Café is open for refreshments and hot and cold meals. (Closes at 4pm)
The Designer Outlet Centre is a few minutes walk from the Museum, but you must be back to the entrance of the G.W.R. Museum by 4:00pm for our departure.
9:15am Departure Time from Cricket Club
Price  £15.00   Phone Booking from 25th July.

Wednesday 23rd August – Nynehead Court Gardens and Sheppy’s Cider Farm
On arrival at Nynehead Court, near Wellington, we go to the Orangery for included coffee/tea and biscuit followed by a guided tour of the gardens, which are on English Heritage’s list of Historic Gardens.  There is an icehouse, pinetum, parterre and access to an interesting small church.
At 1pm we board the coach for a short drive to Sheppy’s for simple lunch.  Menus will be available on the coach or take a picnic.
Following lunch there will be a guided tour of the farm where we will learn about the orchards and the processes of producing cider.  In the museum, we will be shown a DVD and be given a cider tasting.
8:45am Departure time from Cricket Club
Price £23   Booking from 3rd August

Thursday 7th September –  Fossils and Trams
The seaside Heritage Centre, formerly a cement factory in Charmouth, Dorset, was converted into a museum to display the many fossils and other artefacts found on the Jurassic Coast. After included refreshments, a Warden’s introductory talk will prepare us for a walk on the beach to discover our own fossils. Lunch items can be purchased earlier from the Café as our anticipated morning activities will last until approximately 1:30pm. Alternatively, lunch can be taken at Seaton in Devon, our second destination.
At Seaton, before boarding the tram at 3pm, there will be time to take lunch, walk along the promenade, do some shopping, or visit to the Jurassic Centre next to the tram stop.
Our tram journey will be a unique experience as the trams are genuine old working vehicles lovingly restored. The trams run along a track to the village of Colyton, through peaceful water meadows, beautiful scenery and the sight and sound of interesting water birds.
At Colyton, there is an opportunity for a final cuppa at the station café or visit the Vintage Shed Antiques Centre before boarding our coach for the return journey.
8:15am Departure time from Cricket Club
Price £28   Phone booking from 22nd August

Wednesday 27th September  – The Black and White Buildings of Ledbury

Ledbury, a historic market town in Herefordshire with 244 listed buildings, is also the birthplace of Poet Laureate John Masefield and for 12 years the home of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
While enjoying included refreshments, our visit will begin with a short introductory talk and slide show of the history of Ledbury.  You will receive a complimentary copy of the “Ledbury Heritage Trail” which will be invaluable for the town tour.  Continuing in smaller groups, a 45-minute guided tour will enlighten us on some of the local history connected with the buildings.
Lunch is available in any of the local pubs and restaurants. The afternoon can be spent exploring the interiors of The Painted Room (small entrance fee), the Butcher Row House Museum and the Heritage Centre, all located in Church Lane. St Michael and All Angels Church, ‘the premier parish church in Herefordshire’ (Sir Niklaus Pevsner), located at the end of Church Lane, is well worth a visit. There will be time for refreshments before our departure at 4:30pm.
8:45am Departure time from Cricket Club
Price £17   Phone Bookings from 6th September

  HDromanRLC talk

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