We have talks in Autumn & Winter and trips in Spring & Summer each year. For further details see the current Contact magazine (via the Bookshop page).
2017 / 2018 Talks & Trips
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.
Guests pay £3 supplement. Please mention any dietary needs when you book and remember you are responsible for your own insurance.
TRIP DETAILS FOR 2019
Monday 29th April – Stonehenge and its Prehistoric Landscape (NT & EH)
Our mid-morning arrival at Stonehenge will hopefully be at its quietest. There are toilets where we join the shuttle bus and before it starts the driver can be asked if anyone wishes to walk the last half of the journey to the stone circle. The shuttle hasa recorded commentary about Stonehenge. In your own time, walk along the shorter route by the circle or take the circuitous path around it for the complete view before walking back or taking the shuttle bus to the Stonehenge Centre. Here you might choose a visit to the excellent café before exploring the Neolithic Houses with their interesting interiors. You might prefer to visit the Exhibition Centre after lunch as this needs a longer linger to absorb the visual information and the sounds. There will be time to visit the Shop and the café again before the coach takes us for a short look at the intriguing Woodhenge site before returning to Frome in the afternoon.
Departure time from Cricket Club: 9.15am
Cost: NT/EH members: £10.00 Non-members: £25.00
Phone bookings from:Wednesday 10th April
Wednesday 8th May – Gloucester National Waterways Museum
Our visit to the recently renovated pedestrian docklands area of Gloucester, now known as Gloucester Quays, takes us on a discovery of Gloucester’s past as a thriving port going back to Roman times. The Quays has a large choice of restaurants, cafes and seating areas and pride of place is given to the refurbished grain store, built in the 1880s, which is now the interactive Waterways Museum run by the Canal River Trust.Our tour begins with a journey with commentary on the Queen Boadicea II boat through the docks and along the Gloucester and Sharpness canals.After a lunch break we will have a conducted tour of the Museum where we learn more about Gloucester’s history. Part of the Museum exhibits is a restored dredger which is now an art gallery. There will be time after the tour to explore further or have a cup of tea before our return journey.
Departurefrom the Cricket Club: 8.15am
Phone bookings from Thursday 25th April
Wednesday 22nd May – Wells and the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens
Wednesday is Market Day in Wells and we will arrive nearby with enough time to wander around the bustling Market Square and perhaps the Cathedral. There are various cafés including the excellent one in the Cathedral for coffee before assembling at the Bishop’s Palace at 11.30am. For over 800 years, Wells has been the official residence of the Bishops of Bath & Wells and there have always been a pair of swans living in the Moat who teach their cygnets each year to ring a bell for food. Sadly, the family had left after last summer but hopefully a new pair has now taken up residence! The tour guides will divide us into groups for our guided tours of the Grounds and Medieval Palace. Keep your individual tickets to allow you to leave and re-enter the site when wished; they will also give 10% discount in their shop and in the Bishops Table café.
Departure from Cricket Club: 9am
Phone bookings from Tuesday 7th May
Thursday 13th June – Mottisfont Abbey (NT)
Our visit takes place in June to maximise our chances of seeing the rose gardens at their best. The gardens are being restored to the original plans of Graham Thomas and we expect the herbaceous borders to be lovely. There is also a walled garden to enjoy.The Abbey/Priory is 800 years old and the 12th C vaulted Cellarium can be visited. There are six rooms to visit downstairs; notably the Rex Whistler room with his fascinating murals. Up easy stairs is an Art Gallery including works by Lowry, Hepworth and Gwen and Augustus John. There are free Guided Walks available and these can be signed up for at the Reception when we arrive. There are two cafés, plant sales, a second-hand bookshop and interesting walks by the River Test.
Departure from Cricket Club: 8.30am
Cost: £9.00 NT members, £22.00 non members
Phone bookings from Tuesday 21st May
Wednesday 26th June – Wimborne St Giles, (House, Tea and Church)
The Frome Society is very fortunate because our President, Michael McGarvie, has arranged a very special treat for us and one that might never be repeated! While in conversation with Lord Shaftesbury, Michael was given an invitation to bring members to St Giles House and to be shown around by the Earl. It was built c 1514 by Anthony Ashley who had many interesting descendants, such as another Anthony in the 19thC who was created the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury. He was honoured for his philanthropy in advocating schools for all, abolition of child labour and for his part in founding the Great Ormond St. Hospital. The current Earl of Shaftesbury has done much to restore his home and after his guided tour he has promised us afternoon tea. We will also visit the church which was rebuilt in the classical style in the 1730s and then later had some Victorian Gothic restoration.
Departure time from Cricket Club: 12pm
Phone bookings from Wednesday 12th June
Monday 1st July – Lulworth Cove and Lulworth Castle
Today is a chance to learn more about the Jurassic Coast in the Lulworth Visitor Centre where Ranger, Derek Billings, will give us an Introductory Presentation on the fascinating local geology. Afterwards you can choose either to walk down the lane towardsthe Cove for lunch or take the longer but gentle climb to see the spectacular Stair Hole, a formation of much folding in the rock and the marvellous view westwards to Portland before descending while seeing the amazing Cove below and joining the others. After lunch is the short ride to the Castle, the late 16thC hunting lodge of the Weld family who still live nearby. The curator will welcome us on the coach with an introductory talk before showing us the lift to the main floor.Despite a fire in 1929, there remain many interesting insights to the Welds’ history.There are flights of stairs for those wishing for more stunning views. Walks through the Grounds will take you to the family’s Catholic Chapel and also to the parish church of St Andrews. In thebasement is a ‘Below Stairs’ exhibition and a café.Departure from Cricket Club: 8.30 amCost: £13.00EH members £19.00 non membersPhone bookings from Wednesday 12th JuneMonday 22nd JulyForde AbbeyOur visit to Forde Abbey, the home of the Kennard family, is on a Monday so we can be given exclusive entry and tour of the house before it opens to the public. Much of its medieval history is preserved; the monks’ quarters can still be seen, as well as alterations up to and after the Dissolution in 1539 and on to the present. After our tour of the house, the day is free to explore the varied gardens, including the walled kitchen gardens, and see England’s highest powered fountain. The café serves lunches and teas including g/f.There is the Eeles Pottery and also the Plant Centre and gift shop.
Departure from Cricket Club:8.30 am
Phone bookings from Thursday 27th June
Wednesday 7th August – Tiverton Castle
After a short comfort stop at Taunton Deane Services, we continue to Tiverton and where the coach will be dropping us at the bus station in the centre of town. There will be up to 3 hours to explore and have lunch; perhaps visit the town museum, walk by the canal and in the church of St Peter you can see the burial place of the last Plantagenet, Katherine the daughter of Edward IV. The helpful Tourist Information Office in Becks Square will provide details of the walking Tiverton Merchants Trail. The coach will pick us all up for the short ride to the Castle which is the family home of Mrs Gordon who will be giving us a tour of the grounds and her home. There will be a chance for refreshments on the return journey.
Departure time from Cricket Club: 8.45 am
Cost: £26.00 Numbers limited to 30
Phone bookings from Thursday 18th July
Monday 19th August – Devizes: Wharf Museum & Caen Hill Locks
A day to help us explore and understand the workings of the Kennet & Avon Canal in the Devizes area and we begin at the Wharf Museum.Here we shall have a talk and refreshments, (included), and take a stroll to the canal side. The coach will then take us to the town centre giving us an opportunity to explore the historic Market Square and surrounding little lanes with time enough to potter and have lunch before returning to the coach. We will be taken to the famous stretch of eleven locks which allow craft to ascend and descend Caen Hill and witness this engineering masterpiece as explained to us earlier in the Museum. There are magnificent views down the hill overlooking the flight of locks and way beyond towards Somerset and a short walk will take you to the Quayside for a drink or an ice cream before returning to Frome.
Departure from Cricket Club: 9.15am
Cost: £17.00 Numbers limited to 40P
hone bookings from Tuesday 6th August
Thursday 5th September 2019 – Weymouth, Nothe Fort & Museum
Weymouth is one of the historic ports of England and is in two parts on either side of the River Wey.Weymouth itself has buildings and a town plan that go back to the Middle Ages and to the east is MelcombeRegis which became a favourite seaside town following the patronage of ‘mad King George III’. Peter Clark will talk about the history of the town on the coach. We begin at Nothe Fort that was built at the time of Napoleon III and in use until WW2 ended. If wished, there will be time for a coffee before our guided tour of the Fort. After a picnic or lunch at one of many outlets, we visit the Town Museum in Brewers Quay. After that we will have a walking tour of Melcombe Regis looking at buildings of architectural, historic and literary interest that will take us back to the coach that will be waiting for us at the railway station.
Departure from Cricket Club: 8.15am
Phone bookings from: Thursday 15th August
Thursday 3rd October – Lawrences Auctioneers, Crewkerne
This is a return to Lawrences Auctioneers, where we shall be entertained by an excellent speaker, art expert Richard Kay, who has given memorable lectures to the Society over the years.On arrival we shall be offered coffee and biscuits, before Richard Kay gives us a talk on a Fine Arts topic. Richard is prepared to give valuations from a photograph of members’ favourite pictures but hopefully not everybody will take up this offer as time is limited! Then we shall have a two course lunch with wine or soft drinks and coffee and then are invited to look round the Auctioneers’ house and view the exhibits to go into the Sale the following day. We are due to leave Lawrences at 2.30pm when there will be time to look round the quaint old town of Crewkerne. The Museum and the Parish Church are both well worth a look and maybe have a cup of tea before our return journey.
Departure 8.45am from the Cricket Club
Cost of trip £36.00 which includes £25.00 for the included lunch and talk at Lawrences
Numbers limited to 40. Phone bookings from Wednesday 4th September 2019