Manchester July 2019 Hull July 2018 Anderton Boat Lift April 2018 Nene Valley Railway September 2017 Llandudno July 2017
Tewkesbury April 2017 East Lancs Railway September 2016 Whitby July 2016 Burghley House April 2018 Greenwich September 2015


4th July 2019


27 forum members boarded the coach at the usual points bound for a day in Manchester. Once dropped off, our party made its way past the imposing Town Hall to the Tourist Information Centre which was in the Central Library.

From there we boarded a city tour bus for an excellent ride round both Manchester and Media City (Salford). There was a lot of Victorian architecture to admire and more recent additions including the second home of the BBC and the famous Manchester United ground. Some of the party stopped to look round the Salford Quays area and the Science Museum (home of The Rocket locomotive).

A tasty late lunch and a look at Piccadilly Gardens and China Town for others and it was time for our ride back over the moors route. An excellent day out.

Many thanks to David Farley, David Pinney and Pete for the photographs

Central Library which also housed the Tourist Information Centre There were some attractive treed streets and squares
Media City, 2nd home of the BBC Stylish Bridge at Salford Quays Salford Quays once an important shipping terminal
Margaret and Harold enjoyed their Manchester day out Photographers, Davids Farley and David Pinney, on the tour bus. Jenny Timmins at Salford Quays. Lots of new building here
We passed some older buidings dating back to 13th century Famous Rocket steam locomotive in the Science Museum Man U football ground familiar to those of us who watch MOTD!
The Sightseeing Bus Tour was an excellent way to view the area We enjoyed travelling on the Metro Link tram system (93 stops!) China Town was worth a visit on our way back to the coach

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Hull City of Culture

July 2018

Pictures kindly supplied by Committee Member David Farley

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Anderton Boat Lift

April 2018


Our culture trip tp the Anderton Boat Lift near Northwich was most enjoyable. Staff gave us a fine welcome and the visitors centre had an excellent museum and good refreshment facilities.

We enjoyed our 'drop' down the lift and the river cruise up the Weaver to Northwich. Those with more energy then had a walk round the nearby nature reserve. It was interesting that the lift would have been a great help to barges en route from Trent Lock to Liverpool Docks.

The companionship on our coach trips is one of the reasons the committee wants to continue in the future (from L: David Farley, Ian Neill, Jenny Timmins, Pete Wearn) photo David Pinney Forum Members queue to board the boat. We reached the site in good time with no traffic hold-ups. The boat lift is one of only two working examples in the UK (other in Scotland). (David Farley)
A view showing the boat lift in context with the Weaver Navigation centre and the Trent & Mersey hidden to the right (Ian Warburton) Our skipper guides the boat into the lift. (David Pinney) We learn the principles of the simple hydraulic system used in the current lifting mechanism. (David Farley)
Once on the Weaver, we cruised along to Northwich and listened to the very informative talk by the skipper about industry in the area. (David Farley) It was nice to have our Vice Chair, Roy Smith, aboard. The talk included some chemistry about salt and limestone. These were used to make washing soda crystals. (David Pinney) The by-product of the washing soda plants was calcium chloride which now forms the basis of reclaimed wetlands .. good dog walking! (David Pinney)
Ian and Pete wait patiently to be served in the excellent Visitors Centre. It also had a very good museum (David Farley) Here we see the industrial flavour of the area served by the lift. (David Farley) Great photo from David Pinney - the wildlife areas adjacent to the Visitor's Centre were excellent.

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Nene Valley Railway

September 20th 2017

Our railway trip this year took us to a lesser known preserved steam railway. The Nene Valley Railwa,y now in its 40th year, offers a 15 mile round trip between Yarwell and Peterborough . The main station is at Wansford close to the A1 but its most attractive stopping points are Yarwell and Ferry Meadows. The Peterborough terminus, due for a rebuild, is quite near the city centre. Adjacent to the station there is a tourist attraction called Railworld Wildlife Haven.

We had a reserved coach for the outward leg from Peterborough. Many of our party got off at Wansford and thoroughly enjoyed the very high standard of 'home cokking' in the restaurant there.

Our train was made up of old coaching stock. The railway had reserved a coach for the use of the Long eaton 50plus forum (photo by David Pinney) Although Wansford has a turntable, it was not used on this occasion. Here the loco 'runs round' the train ready for the return journey (photo by David Pinney)
Our shot shows our wonderful trip organiser Ian Neill with chair, Pete Wearn, and forum members enjoying their ride from Peterborough to Wansford (photo by David Farley) Wilf, a real railway character joined forum member Melvyn Rowthorpe for our trip. Wilf worked at Toton as fireman on the Garratts and as a linesman. (photo by Pete Wearn) Some members opted not to go on the train and spent their time in Peterborough. Here we see the magnificent cathedral. (photo by David Pinney)
Ian and friends enjoy a very tasty meal at lunchtime in the Wansford Station Restaurant. Catering staff remained cheerful and friendly as they coped with the large demand! (photo by Pete Wearn) Wansford Belles! There were plenty of places to rest and relax at Wansford and other stations on the line offered country walks. (photo by Pete Wearn) Pauline and Gordon, pose by the tank engine at Wansford Station. Pauline rarely misses either Open Forums or coach trips. (photo by Pete Wearn)
The station at Wansford (photo by David Farley) is very smart with excellent facilities. Peterborough Station is not so good and is due for a rebuild when funds allow. This Swedish locomotive was kept in working order by the Swedish government in the 60's and 70's as backup in case of nuclear attack! (photo by David Farley) Railway exhibits at Wansford also showing part of the turntable. Behind was a model garden railway. (photo by Pete Wearn)

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July 2017


Our trip to the seaside this year took us to the Victorian resort of Llandudno, a longish coach ride but worth it!

The photographs below were taken by David Pinney who has kindly given us permission to use them here.

Healthy walking along the prom... and lots of hotels! The Great Orme .. cliff scene.
I wonder how much it costs to stay at The Grand Hotel! Jenny Timmins examines the drinking fountain erected in celebration of Queen Vic's Golden Jubilee in 1887 A ride on the tram was very popular and you could go up to the Great Orme and back on a cable-car!

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April 2017



Tewkesbury in April proved to be a pretty cool place and by that I mean the temperatures!! Very different from our April visits to Burghley and Castle Howard. We missed our Coach Trip Organiser, Ian Neill, who had suffered a nasty break to his arm and had to miss the trip.

The abbey was very beautiful and other attractions included boat trips down the Avon and a fascinating local museum with a great diorama of the famous battle of Tewkesbury which established Edward IV on the throne in the wars of the Roses.

We left around 4.45 pm and were safely back in Long Eaton after an excellent run by around 7pm

Tewkesbury has good access to the UK canal system Guess who came on our boat trip!
Tewkesbury Abbey

We were very impressed with the beautiful interior of Tewkesbury Abbey.

The local ale was tasty!
A nice togetherness group sculpture just outside the abbey grounds The Tewkesbury Museum had an interesting model fairground which even included a Robin Hood section! (picture by David Farley) Exhibits from the Battle of Tewkesbury 1471 display in the local museum.

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East Lanc Railway, Bury

September 2016


We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the charming East Lancashire Railway where we received a warm welcome from (mostly) older volunteers on this preserved steam railway. We were hauled by a very old loco manufactured in 1896 and one of our members, David Pinney, even had a go at firing it!

Most of the large group of around 90 members chose to spend quite a bit of the day at Bury and were surprised by how much they liked this small northern town. At that time of year it was very peaceful with lots of cafes and other eating places to choose from. The Bury Transport Museum brought back a lot of memories and lots of interesting conversations took place between members relating some of their past experiences!

Bury Station
Our party of about 90 members made a busy start to the day for the welcoming volunteer railway staff (DWP) A great shot of our party taken by David Pinney (DWP)
Jenny Timmins who helps to keep us straight on these coach trips here having a snack at Bury station! (DWP) The loco, 1896, takes on water before hooking on to our train (photo by Pete Wearn) David Pinney, one of our intrepid forum photographers on board the loco. He had a go at firing too!
A great shot by David Farley (DWF) at Rawtenstall Station, end of the line for the East Lancs Railway We liked the town of Bury with museums and memories of Robert Peel who was born here and was PM twice and called the 'Father of British Police"(DWP) A lovely old Austin van at the excellent Bury Transport Museum, popular with our members (DWF)
Traction Engine and Fordson on show at the museum. The display panels were very clear and all the exhibits were very well restored. (DWF) Malcolm and friend on board the train to Rawtenstall. They enjoyed their trip out .. home territory for Malcolm! (DWP) Our jovial Melvyn Kelly aboard one of the many old coaches at the transport museum (PLW)

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July 2016


The trip was very enjoyable and we were blessed with good weather. The fish and chips were marvellous and lots of people enjoyed the Open Bus Tour. Our forum photographer and model railway enthusiast, David Farley, also visited the railway station where a steam engine arrived from Pickering,

Ian and I were impressed with the hygeine side of the donkey hire service on the sands; we had acliff top view of the brush and pan work by the proprieters! We also watched a young lad and his father play cricket on the sands for ages, a future Yorkshire Batsman in the making I reckon!

It was very gratifying to hear from so many that they had enjoyed their day. We do like to get this positive feedback from you all.

The streets were busy, lots of holiday makers Monument of the explorer Cooke brought up here
Open Top Coach Tour of the town For the young, a trip out to sea in a pirate ship Whitby Sands where we watched family cricket
All aboard for Pickering on the N York Moors Ralway Another view of the Standard Class Loco This cafe, one of many, caught David's eye
Some Whitby Donkeys brought back fond memories View of the harbour View of the historic Whitby Abbey Ruins

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Burghley House

April 2016


The trip to Burghley House on Thursday April 14th was less well supported than normal but those who did go had a great day out with lots of sunshine.

The gardens were extensive and included some interesting water features in The Garden of Surprises (see photo below) and an amzing amount of mistletoe in the trees. Tours of the house revealed lots of treasures collected over the years especially by the 5th and 9th earls. The food provided in the Orangery Restaurant was excellent.

Water Feature Ian and friends
Forum members pose behind the Water Curtain Feature in the Garden of Surprises Our trip leader with Cindy Woolley and friend
Mistletoe Cows Bus
The clumps in the trees are mistletoe Cow Sculptures by the artist Sally Matthews Group Photo .. nearly all there!
courtyard house gardens
Burghley House Courtyard .. the remaining photos were kindly supplied by David Farley The house is set in extensive parkland designed by Capability Brown Ornamental Gardens
bed kitchen screen
Four poster bed for draughty winter nights! An amazing collection of brightly polished copper cookware was on display Exquisite Artwork on this screen

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September 2015

Our trip to Greenwich took 103 forum members to Tower Hill Pier where 90 of us left the coaches  to take a City Cruise down the Thames to Greenwich ( a few stopped on the coach bound for Greenwich by road). The weather was great for a cruise and the off-the-cuff commentary from one of the boat crew was very entertaining. Click here for a sample of his Cockney Spiel.

Once at Greenwich, we had to sort out where coaches would pick us up. Then it was off to explore a wonderful heritage site with the Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark. Unfortunately the Queen’s House was closed.

Some of the photos shown here were kindly passed on by one of our loyal members, Stuart Larner (SL).

Our luxury coaches. The white car maybe should have chosen a better park-up! Our driver was entertaining!
On the boat sun shines on our boat trip A member of the crew provided the commentary
Ninety of our members made their way down the Thames from Tower Pier to Greenwich. The sun was shining as we were treated to an amusing commentary on the many points of interest we passed. To listen to a clip from the boatman's remarks, click here.
The National Maritime Museum Cutty Sark Greenwich Observatory
The National Maritime Musem .. plenty about Lord Nelson here! (photo by Stuat Larner) The Cutty Sark, restored after a devestating fire . This British clipper was built in 1869 for the China trade(SL) Dome on the famous Greenwich Obsevatory, home of Greenwich Mean Time! (SL)