Eastbourne 2018

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JUNE - It was a dry start to the day in spite of the dire warnings of dreadful weather that had been forecast for the coming week. By the end of the holiday it may be fairly said that the little rain that we had during the whole of the week didn't cause any inconvenience whatsoever - all but one small shower occurring during the night.
Day one - Forty-one members joined the Just For Groups coach, driven by William, accompanied by the courier, Teresa, at the various pick-up points Ingatestone, Hutton, Shenfield, and Brentwood for a five-day break arranged by Brian Leith, chairman of Brentwood U3A. With a stop for lunch at a garden centre near Tunbridge Wells, the party arrived at the Mansion Lions Hotel situated on the seafront, in Eastbourne around 3.45 pm. The first thing that greeted them was a golden Mercedes car, parked in the street outside, and belonging to the owner of the hotel. It being a bank holiday, the resort was very busy and stallholders' gazebos were strung out along the seafront selling a mixture of foods, gifts and knick-knacks. A very tasty three-course dinner was served in a lovely dining room, by a team of waiters and waitresses who couldn’t have been more helpful. A quiz calling on voices from yesteryear concluded the day.
Day two – The first visit of the day was to the NT property, Bateman’s, the home of Rudyard Kipling. This is a lovely sandstone building full of furniture and artifacts from the days when Kipling lived there. A light luncheon was taken before journeying on to Great Dixter. This was a beautiful house with gardens that are internationally renowned with visitors from round the world seeking advice as well as purchasing specimen plants. Another pleasant dinner with few if any complaints.
Day three – This was scheduled to be a day at leisure in the resort, but an impromptu trip to a vineyard near Hastings took up the morning for some of the members.

The evening saw an addition to the schedule in the form of a performance by a local brass band which concluded with a firework display, in the bandstand almost opposite the hotel
Day four – For some members this was the most interesting of the places visited during the week – Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury Group. The party was split into four groups and each being conducted round by an experienced guide (each party laid claim to their guide being the better of the four, one member declaring this was the best guide she had ever experienced in her life). The lives (and loves!) of among other artists, Vanessa Bell was considered by some to be rather “modern” with inter-relationships between the various people who stayed at the house being thought of as “normal.” Almost every surface throughout the house had been painted on and paintings adorned the walls of every room. At the time the group was regarded as Bohemian. The rest of the day was spent in Brighton where the only rain to fall during the day caused little inconvenience. The evening proved to be great fun with a certain amount of cementing Anglo-Dutch relationships – the hotel also had a group of guests from Holland.
Day five – A misty start to the day as members set off for an uneventful journey home, arriving back around 3.30 pm. There was more than an hour’s delay getting through the Dartford Tunnel.

I am indebted to Bill Reeves, who spent a lot of his time looking through the lens of his camera. Unquestionably he captured the spirit of the Brentwood U3A week in Eastbourne. By clicking on the Eastbourne Button in the box below you may view many more of the photos that he took.

(Report: Brian Leith, Photos: Bill Reeves)

As well as the pictures below you may click on the button below to access more of Bill's photos and videos

 see more pictures and videos on Bill's website

DAY ONE - The journey to Eastbourne

Lunch stop on the way

Woodland display

Flowers for sale

The hotel owner's  golden Mercedes

Dinner the first evening - table one

Dinner the first evening - table two

Dinner the first evening - table three

Dinner the first evening - table four

Dinner the first evening - table five

DAY TWO - Visit to Bateman's (home of Rudyard Kipling)


Kipling's gravestone

Collection of Kipling's Masonic memorabilia

Front drive leading to Batemans


Lunch on the patio

DAY TWO - On to internationally acclaimed Great Dixter

The beautiful house known as Great Dixter


Part of the extensive gardens

More beautiful gardens

Rear view of Great Dixter

DAY THREE - Tour of vinyard followed by afternoon in resort and evening concert in bandstand

Start of the tour

Inside the winery

The seafront at Eastbourne

Start of the evening concert

Smiles all round for an entertaining evening

The 1812 rounds off the concert

The evening ended with a fine fireworks display



DAY FOUR - Visit to the quirky Charleston (home of the Bloomsbury Group), afternoon in Brighton and final fun evening at the hotel

The lovely Charleston

A feature of the garden was the pond stocked with plenty of fish

Abundant growth in every corner of the gardens

A cast of Vanessa Bell's nether regions

A group of Brighton Belles and the coach that took them there

The final evening's fun time

The start of Anglo-Dutch relations

Further integration

A brief pause before hitting the dance floor again

The things you Brits get up to

Time for a rest . . .

. . . . before starting again . . .

. . . . that's funny

DAY FIVE - Homeward bound

Said one member: "With a head like this, I'm glad we're going home."

So it's farewell to the hotel

A misty final glance . . . . . but

. . . . all smiles as the group heads for home

As well as the pictures above you may click on the button below to access more of Bill's photos and videos

 see more pictures and videos on Bill's website

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Page last updated : Tuesday, 23 June 2020