GalleryExtras 2013

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By scrolling this page up you may view reports and pictures of these events


- Theatre Group Three Annual Dinner

May - Theatre Group Three in The House

June - Display of art

June - Croquet

September - Theatre Group Three Weekend in St Albans

September - Holiday in Weymouth

September - East Anglian Studies trip to Prittlewell and Southchurch

December - Theatre Group One Christmas lunch



DECEMBER - Members of Theatre Group One, convened by Maria Buckley, wound up a busy year of visits to local and West End theatres with a  lunch at The Olde Dog restaurant, Herongate. Theatre Group One is one of Brentwoood U3A's oldest groups, and has been in existence since the start of Brentwood U3A. Being the only theatre group at the time it was called just simply "Theatre Group", but with the increase in membership and the formation of a second group in March 2004 and a third in April 2006, it was renamed "Theatre Group One". There are now four active theatre groups.

From left to right: Pat Barrow, Evina Montgomery, Pete Guntrip. Pat Guntrip,

Annette Dwyer-Joyce, Brian Staples, Diana Davies and Shirley Staples (Photo: Maria Buckley)

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SEPTEMBER - Members of the East Anglian Studies Group enjoyed a trip to Prittlewell Priory followed by a visit to Southchurch Hall, Southend. The name Pritteuella or Pritewell probably means "a babbling brook" which may refer to a tributary of the river Roach and which still runs past the Priory. The place or village was entered in the Doomesday Book in 1086, and it may have already possessed a small religious community at that time. Around the same time (1110), a Cluniac monastery was founded there by Robert Fitz Suen. He and his descendants added churches and properties stretching as far as Clavering with Langley in N.W. Essex, which survived until 1536, and which at that time, on the orders of Henry VIII, were sold. Eventually being sold many times to the Scratton family of Billericay and their descendants until the 20th century. The Priory church and most of the buildings appear to have been demolished but the Piory lodgings cellars and refectory were saved  by conversion to a farm house. In 1917 the owner sold off most of the estates retaining only the house. This was purchased by Mr R A Jones and the house was reconverted to its medieval form and the 40 acres of grounds were formed to be a public park.Then in 1920 Prittlewell Priory was opened to the public as a Museum with tea room.

Southchurch Hall is a very special building a rare medieval moated manor house built between 1321-1364. The rooms to visit are of different architectural periods of history. In the Exhibition Room you can read about the history of the Hall and view artefacts found during archaeological excavations. Moving through the main building down steps we arrive into the Great Hall 14th century. (Report and sketches: Irene Briscoe)


Sketches show:

Above: Front at Elevation of Prittlewell Priory, Cloisters, and the Refectory.

Below, left: Southchurch

Centre: Southchuirch Hall (sketched 36 years ago)

Right: The Great Hall

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SEPTEMBER - Following her successful holiday in Leeds last year, Joyce Lindley arranged another break, this time five days in the Dorset seaside resort of Weymouth. The holiday planned by Jackie Hurley, proprietor of  Break Away Tours, was very well received by all who took part. The Rex Hotel was situated in a fine position on the seafront and there was nothing but praise for the staff and the level of attention that was accorded all members. Another plus was the driver of the coach, Roy, who with the most pleasant of manners, couldn't have been more accommodating. The weather was generally very good and most of the days were warm and sunny with only one day being miserable. Among the excursions was a trip on the second day to the historic village of Tolpuddle where time was spent in the small museum and visiting the sycamore tree under which the martyrs used to meet. The group journeyed on to Athelhampton House and gardens in time for lunch. Many felt that the 15th Century Tudor house a was one of the best they had ever visited with a warm and lived-in feel to the rooms that were open to the public. The gardens were wonderful with different aspects being discovered as members walked through a number of arches. Day three and the group set off in the coach for Dorchester, a busy market town. Members were met by a Alastair, a Blue Badge Guide and town crier who told the tale of the Tolpuddle Martyrs' trial, while members sat on the benches in the actual courthouse that is maintained much as it was in those early days. Day four started grey and miserable for a trip to Swanage, passing Corfe Castle and the Purbeck Hills, though the latter were shrouded in low-lying mist. Highlight of the trip was a journey on a restored steam train that travelled from Swanage to Nordern and back - a journey of about 30 minutes. On the coach back the group enjoyed a visit to Portland with a short stop for photographs at a viewing point at Portland Bill. On the final day, the journey home was uneventful, with a stop for lunch at a garden centre. Everybody agreed that the entire week was very successful, made all the more enjoyable by the care and attention given by Jackie and coach driver Roy. (Report and Photos: Brian Leith)

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SEPTEMBER - Members of Theatre Group Three enjoyed a weekend in St Albans, particularly as inclement weather that was threatened didn't materialise. Each year TG3 Convenor, Judith Finn, arranges a weekend away in different venues and during one evening attends a theatre in that town\city. Unfortunately there were no shows suitable at any of the theatres. Instead, members enjoyed dinner on both evenings of their stay. The hotel, the White Hart (pictured below), dated back to the 15th Century and on the first evening provided an excellent dinner that was enjoyed by all. The second evening's dinner was at Freddies, at here too, the food and service was excellent. Just outside St Albans is the De Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre where a range of ancient planes in various stages of restoration may be viewed. Pictured below is the remains of a glider that was used in the Second World War to drop paratroopers into Arnhem.  (Report and Photos: Brian Leith)

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JUNE - It was one of those glorious summer afternoons with just the hint of a breeze to cool the fevered brows of the nine players who took to Bob and Annette Dwyer-Joyce's garden for a few rounds of this friendly, yet competitive game. Conditions were ideal and the rhododendrons made a colourful backdrop. This was the first of the season's meetings and further meetings are planned for August and September. (Report and Photos: Brian Leith)

Above left: Maureen Beale and Peter Ely look on as Yvonne Leith lines up a tricky shot.

Above centre: June Randall makes her shot watched by husband Owen and Peter Ely.

Above right: Bob Dwyer-Joyce, Myra Bruce, Annette Dwyer-Joyce and Peter discuss the next shot.

Left: Brian Leith lines for his shot, watched by Owen, Peter and Maureen.

Right: June looks on as Owen takes careful aim.

Bottom left, centre and right: A welcome break for tea after some dazzling croquet.


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JUNE - Once again Myra Bruce's pupils, members of her Painting and Drawing Group, put on a display of art in the Gwendoline Lewis Room that was truly remarkable. In total there were more than 60 exhibits that covered a wide range of styles and subjects. (Photos: Brian Leith, with apologies to the artists for some intrusive reflections)


Top left: Bill Anderson


Above centre: Sheila Monk


Above right: Hazel Emery


Left: Pamela Harper


Right: Mollie Cooper

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MAY - Fourteen members of Theatre Group Three were privileged to join the Government and Opposition benches recently to witness history in the making. The venue, however, was not the House of Commons, but the Olivier Theatre and the history had already been made. The play, This House, was set in the 1970s when Harold Wilson came to power following the 1974 General Election, and the Labour Party with majority of only four members struggled to govern the country. Members of the Theatre Group had the best seats in the house (literally), as the stage setting was the debating chamber of the House of commons and TG3 members were seated on both the Government and Opposition benches, actually on the stage. In the programme it was pointed out that the play was a representation of that time and throughout the entire performance there was non-stop activity and at times a great deal of angry outbursts as the actors responded to the demands of the two Whips who in the Conservatives case were trying to bring the Government down, and on the Labour side trying to keep in power. Great entertainment. (Report and pictures: Brian Leith)

The Government benches were clear during the interval

The Opposition benches almost ready to start the second half

A view of the audience from the "Benches" on the stage

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APRIL - After several postponements, Theatre Group Three finally managed to arrange their annual get-together - their post-Christmas dinner. The severe winter weather had interfered with earlier attempts and it was not until late in April that the Group finally enjoyed an evening together. Eighteen members met at the Thai restaurant at the Rose and Crown, in the Ongar Road and all agreed that the evening was a success, with tasty Thai food in abundance. A set menu for £20.95 was chosen and proved to be ample with a variety of dishes being served at intervals during the evening. Convenor Judith Finn revealed a secret talent when she entertained the Group with a poem that she had written to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austinís Pride and Prejudice(Report and Photos: Brian Leith)
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