Association of Open University Graduates

Monthly Calendar for Activities in the Regions and Nations

April 2017

West Midlands – Region 04
Saturday 8th April. 11am
Meet in the main entrance of the award-winning Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke on Trent, ST1 3DW. This is situated on the edge of Hanley town centre, is adjacent to car parks and the bus station, and has good transport links to Stoke railway station. Admission is free, but donations are invited. The building is wheelchair friendly. For more information or to make a reservation contact the event organiser.

London and the South East - Region 01
Tuesday 11th April. 12noon
Meet at the Trattoria Verdi Restaurant, 110, Southampton Row, Holborn, WC1B 4BL for another great Italian lunch. The cost for a two-course meal with wine is £13 per head.  Bookings to lunch organiser.

Yorkshire – Regions 07 and 09
Tuesday 11th April. 2pm
Meet at the entrance to Ormesby Hall, Ladgate Lane, Ormesby, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, TS3 0SR. Visit this 18th Century mansion house built in the Palladian style and completed in 1754. It was once the home of the Pennyman family who acquired the Manor of Ormesby from the Conyers/Strangeways family in about 1600. Uncover the family’s stories from the Baronetcy bestowed on Sir James Pennyman by Charles II to Colonel Jim, survivor of the First World War, and the theatrical exploits of his wife Ruth. Then experience the life of a Victorian servant and explore the Laundry and Kitchen and finally, take a relaxing break and enjoy a cream tea. This is a handshake event between Regions 07 and 09. Please contact the Executive Representative for Region 09 if you wish to attend.

Yorkshire – Region 07
Thursday 13th April. 11.15am
Meet in the Espresso Bar in Salt’s Mill, Saltaire, near Bradford, BD18 3LA for coffee before touring the Mill. You might choose to admire the work of the artist David Hockney, visit the History Exhibition or the Early Music shop, or, if the weather is kind, walk around Saltaire village, a World Heritage site. The Mill is close to Saltaire station; entrance and parking are free.

Scotland – Nation 11
Tuesday 18th April. 11am
Meet at the entrance to the Kelvingrove Museum, Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG.  The museum features attractions such as Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvador Dali, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Glasgow Style Gallery, the Scottish Colourists Gallery with paintings by Peploe, Cadell and Fergusson.  Lunch can be taken in the hall to the accompaniment of the daily Organ Recital at 1pm before crossing the road to Kelvin Hall to visit the National Library of Scotland’s "Moving Image Archive” in its new location with guided tour at 2pm.  There is a direct First 77 bus from Buchanan St Bus Station every ten minutes. Entry and guided tour are free but we must know how many in the group so please book with the Local Contact as soon as possible so this can be arranged.

Ireland – Nation 12
West of Ireland
Thursday 20th April. 11.30am
Meet in the Brasserie, Hotel Meyrick, Eyre Square, Galway for morning coffee and time to plan for Local Contacts and future events. A copy of OMEGA will be on the table. Lunch will also be available and a musical interlude from 1pm to 2pm. Tickets for the concert are 7€ booked in advance so please book via Executive Representative. Music by Neasa Ni Bhriain – violin and Kart Rubbel – piano, works by Stanford and Turbin. Alternatives, afternoon tea and/or exploration of many attractions and shopping in Eyre Square.

South – Region 02  
Oxford and Area
Saturday 22nd April. 11am
Meet for coffee and light lunch in the Lounge at the Three Swans Hotel, 117, High Street, Hungerford, RG17 0LZ. (www.threeswans.net). Then have a look around the antique shops or a stroll along the canal and visit St Lawrence’s Church. Hungerford is a small town grown up alongside the coaching route of the A4 Bath to London Road. It also has the Kennet and Avon Canal and the rivers Dun and Kennet. Hungerford’s main claim to fame is that at the Bear Hotel in December 1688 William of Orange negotiated with the commissioners of King James II the future of the monarchy. This led to the subsequent invitation by parliament for William to take the throne. Trains; Hungerford is well served by trains from GWR arriving at least every hour. Buses; from Newbury take the Kennections 3 or 3A, from Swindon take the Thamesdown Transport 46.

North West – Region 08
Saturday 22nd April. 11am
Meet in the Tea-Room of Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley Road, Padiham, near Burnley, Lancashire, BB12 8UA.
An imposing house containing opulent interiors created by Sir Charles Barry in the 19th Century. The hall also contains the Gawthorpe textile collection.

West Midlands – Regions 04, 05 and 06
Saturday 22nd April. 12 noon
Meet at the Stables Tea room at Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire, NN11 3SD, South of Daventry off the A361, as a Handshake Event with Regions 05 and 06. The house remains virtually unaltered since about 1710 and is maintained by The National Trust. Entrance £10 (Free to NT Members). Please contact the Executive Representative for Region 05 for more information.

South West - Region 03
Cornwall Group
Thursday 27th April. 8pm
Meet in Victoria Inn, Roche, St Austell PL26 8LQ for the Book Club’s monthly meeting.

May 2017

London and the South East - Region 01
Monday 1st May. 11am
Meet at Paddington Underground Station, London W1 (exit to Paddington Basin) for “Canalways Cavalcade”, a unique and colourful waterways and community festival traditionally taking place at Little Venice over the May Bank Holiday. Admission free, including pageant of boats, Morris Dancers and a wide variety of food.

Eastbourne Group
Wednesday 3rd May. 12.30pm
Meet at The Ship Inn, 33-35, Meads Street, Eastbourne, BN20 7RH, for lunch with other OU graduates. Members from other groups and friends and family are always welcome. 

East Midlands – Region 05
Saturday 6th May. 12 noon
Meet at the Royal William IV, Brayford Wharf North, Lincoln, LN1 1YX for our Spring Lunch and a friendly get together for local members. Newcomers will be made very welcome along with anyone who wishes to travel from further afield. Please pre-book with the Executive Representative so that a suitably sized table can be arranged.

Yorkshire – Region 07
Saturday 6th May. 12noon
Meet in the café of Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall, Leeds, LS5 3EH before enjoying the Museum itself. It contains recreated 19th Century houses and shops and a childhood gallery. It is housed in the former gatehouse of Kirkstall Abbey. The meeting time is later than usual as the Museum does not open until noon on Saturdays, but, if the weather is fine, you might enjoy a stroll around the remains of the Abbey on the other side of the road first. If you are arriving in Leeds by train, buses 33, 33a and 757 run from Wellington Street, near the station. Admission charges – Adult - £4.50, Conc. - £3.50, Child over 5 - £2.30.

South – Region 02  
Portsmouth and South Downs Area
Wednesday 10th May. 11am
Meet for coffee at the Toby Carvery, Copnor Road, Portsmouth, PO3 5HS.

Scotland – Nation 11
Tuesday 16th May. 10.45am
Meet at the entrance to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75, Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR, to explore the Joan Eardley Exhibition: A sense of Place. This exhibition features many loans from public and private collections, allowing the viewer to trace specific developments between the photographs, the drawings and the finished paintings. Joan Eardley’s career lasted barely fifteen years: she died in 1963, aged just forty-two. During that time, she concentrated on two very different themes: the extraordinarily candid paintings of children in the Townhead area of Glasgow; and paintings of the fishing village of Catterline, just south of Aberdeen, with its leaden skies and wild sea. These two contrasting strands are the focus of this exhibition, which looks in detail at her working process. It draws on a remarkable archive of sketches and photographs which remains largely unknown and unpublished. Entry is £9.00 (£7.00 conc.).

Europe
Friday 19th - Sunday 21st May 2017
Meet at Blackwell Grange Hotel, Darlington, England for the AOUG AGM and Social Weekend. If you have not already booked, then contact the AOUG Office immediately to see if there are any vacant places. This event is open to all OU graduates, OU students, OU staff and any of their friends and family.

South West - Region 03
Cornwall Group
Thursday 25th May. 8pm
Meet in Victoria Inn, Roche, St Austell PL26 8LQ for the Book Club’s monthly meeting.

Ireland – Nation 12
Belfast Area
Friday 26th May. 11.30am
Meet in the Lounge, The Charlemont Arms Hotel, English Street, Armagh. A copy of OMEGA will be on the table. We can then explore the areas of historical interest on the Hill, St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Church of Ireland), Number 5, Vicars Hill – a listed building from 1772 which holds examples of early church records, Christian artefacts, ancient coins, gems, significant prints, collections and curiosities. Armagh Public Library which is the oldest library in Northern Ireland, founded in 1771. All three can be arranged as a Group Visit at a cost of £6 per person. Lunch can be accessed at Number 4, Vicars Hill. Other attractions within the city can be explored by choice.

South West - Region 03
Exeter Group
Friday 26th May. 12noon
Meet at the main entrance of the Countess Wear Beefeater Restaurant, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 6HE. Pre-booking with your Local Contact is essential.

North West – Region 08
Friday 26th May. 7pm
Meet at the Waterfold Farm, Waterfold Business Park, Bury, BL9 7BR for an evening meal at 7.30pm. All are welcome.

June 2017

Europe
Friday 2nd June 2017
Copy date for the Europe Newsletter. All contributions would be greatly appreciated on any subject for OU graduates, wherever they live. Please send to the Europe contact.

Yorkshire – Region 07
Saturday 3rd June. 10am for 10.30am
Meet in the Garden Room of the Friends Meeting House, Friargate, York, YO1 9RL for the AOUG in Yorkshire Annual General Meeting. After a ‘Bring-your-own’ lunch, the afternoon will be a ‘Bring-a-Thing’ session. Please bring with you something of interest or significance to yourself and give a short talk about it to the members present.                              

North West – Region 08
Saturday 3rd June. 11am
Meet at Liverpool Cathedral, St James’ Mount, Liverpool, L1 7AZ at 11am for a coffee then visit The Hardmans’ House, 59, Rodney Street Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 9ER. This visit had to be postponed last year. It’s well worth a visit but you need to contact the Chairman Margaret Stobirski to book by 18th May as tickets are for a timed entrance and need to be booked beforehand.

North – Region 09
Tuesday 6th June. 2pm
Meet at the entrance to the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Stewart Park, Marton, Middlesbrough, TS7 8AT. Enjoy a voyage of discovery into the life and times of the British naval explorer and circumnavigator Captain James Cook within a museum dedicated to him. It opened its doors to the public on 28th October 1978 – the two hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of Cook’s birth and incorporates themed display galleries and comprises some of the modest collections including household items and a speculative reconstruction of the birthplace cottage. Also, soak in the atmosphere of the parkland and enjoy refreshments in the café.

London and the South East - Region 01
Wednesday 7th June. 11.30am
Meet on the forecourt of Eastbourne Station, Sussex, BN21 3QJ for coffee in a local café, then walk or bus to the Ship Inn, 33-35, Meade Street, Eastbourne BN20 7RH to join the local Eastbourne Group for their monthly lunch (12.30pm). In the afternoon return to the centre of town to visit the Towner Art Gallery, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne BN21 4JJ for current exhibition and afternoon tea in the Gallery’s delightful café. The Gallery is open until 5pm and admission is free.

Eastbourne Group
Wednesday 7th June. 12.30pm
Meet at The Ship Inn, 33-35, Meads Street, Eastbourne, BN20 7RH, for lunch with other OU graduates. Members from other groups and friends and family are always welcome. 

South – Region 02  
Saturday 10th June. 11am
Meet at the entrance to The Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park, Wick Lane, Egham, TW20 0UJ for a walk around the gardens. Free car parking, when visiting the garden. Entry is £9.75 with a £1 reduction for Seniors. Enjoy the Spring flowers in the Royal Garden with plants from all over the world. Admire the stunning displays before visiting the restaurant for a light lunch. Located off the A30, fifteen minutes’ drive from Windsor town centre. Brown tourist signs aid direction.

Wales – Nation 10
Saturday 10th June. 11am
Meet in the café near the car park to Bodnant Gardens, Tal-y-Cafn, Colwyn Bay, LL28 5RE for a visit to Bodnant Gardens and to meet the Chairman. Bodnant Gardens is situated above the River Conwy in North Wales with views towards Snowdonia. Free for National Trust members - entrance fee for non-members..
This visit had to be cancelled on 25th March due to Degree Ceremony duties, I apologise for any inconvenience.

South – Region 02  
Wednesday 14th June. 11am
Meet at the main entrance to Whitchurch Silk Mill, 28, Winchester Street, Whitchurch, RG28 7AL. The Silk Mill is the oldest of its type in the United Kingdom, with the original water wheel, Victorian machinery and looms. The Mill is fiftenn  minutes’ walk from Whitchurch Railway Station, and buses 76 and 86 (somewhat irregular) pass nearby. Admission is £4.50. Lunch at the Bell Inn nearby after the visit.

South West - Region 03
Bristol Group
Thursday 15th June. 11.15am
Meet at M-Shed, Princes Wharf, Bristol BS1 4RN for the 11.30am tour of the Museum's stores. After this, you are free to look at the exhibitions (including a temporary display about skeletons) or get lunch in the Museum café or the Brunel's Buttery BS1 6UD on the waterfront. RSVP to Pam Day by 8th June.

East Midlands – Region 05
Saturday 17th June. 11am
Meet at the new Visitor Centre at the Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve, off the A52, Gibraltar Road, Skegness, PE24 4ST, which is three miles South of Skegness itself, to view the many species of wildlife. Admission is free but donations are very welcome.

Yorkshire – Region 07
Walking Group
Walks are arranged of varying lengths to suit all abilities
Sunday 18th June. Singing Ringing Tree, Burnley.

Scotland – Nation 11
Tuesday 20th June. 11am                    
Meet at the entrance 9, Craigentinny Crescent, Edinburgh EH7 6PR where you will hear the story of Craigentinny Mausoleum genesis. We will continue into the nearby Piershill Cemetery, following which those who wish can join us on a walk through Figgate Public Park. Free of charge. Lothian Buses 21, 26, 45, 69, and EC bus 124 all stop opposite Piershill Cemetery, near Craigentinny Cres.

South – Regions 02 and 06
Thursday 22nd June. 1pm
Meet at the main entrance to Bletchley Park, Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK3 6EB to find out more about the home of British codebreaking and the first computers. Visit what is often regarded as the best kept secret from World War II. Meet by the entrance.  Entry is £17.25 with a £2 discount for seniors. Advance tickets are £16 and are available at www.bletchleypark.org.uk. This is a Handshake event between Regions 2 and 6. This event may be preceded with a meeting at OU campus to take part in a focus group discussion with the Legacy Department. Please contact the Executive Representative for Region 02 for more information.

South West - Region 03
Cornwall Group
Thursday 29th June. 8pm
Meet in Victoria Inn, Roche, St Austell PL26 8LQ for the Book Club’s monthly meeting.

South West - Region 03
Friday 30th June.
Revivalist talk at a member’s home. Further information from your Local Contact.

July 2017

South – Region 02  
July (contact Local Contact for more information)
We hope to take part in one of the Blackwell’s guided walks. (2017 calendar of events unavailable at this time) Please contact either Executive Representative or Local Contact

Ireland – Nation 12
Dublin Area
Saturday 1st July. 11.45am
Meet at Bru na Boinne Visitors Centre for Newgrange Heritage Site, Donore, County Meath. A copy of OMEGA will be on the table. As access to Newgrange Monument is only by guided tour and can only be booked on the day on a first come first served basis, prior notification to the Executive Representative is essential. Cost to Seniors/small groups is 6€ each. Parking space is available but only limited. Public transport via Dublin/ Drogheda. Taxi service could be arranged dependent on numbers.

London and the South East - Region 01
Wednesday 5th July. 11.15am
Meet at East Grinstead Railway Station, East Sussex, RH19 1EB. A half-hourly main line service operates by Southern Rail from London Victoria (journey time 55minutes), East Croydon and Oxted (Surrey).  Coffee on arrival in the Grinstead Buffet Carriage, followed by a return trip from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park, on the volunteer run Bluebell Railway, one of the first preserved heritage steam train lines in the country, commencing train services in August 1960. Stops are made at Kingscote and Horsted Keynes en route to Sheffield Park Station, restored to the Victorian period of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. All Line tickets allow unlimited travel for the day between East Grinstead and Sheffield Park and allow passengers to stop off at any station on the way, or Half Line Fares are available allowing one return journey between East Grinstead and Horsted Keynes. Adult fares (3rd Class) at time of going to press: All Line £17.00, Half Line £14.50.

Eastbourne Group
Wednesday 5th July. 12.30pm
Meet at The Ship Inn, 33-35, Meads Street, Eastbourne, BN20 7RH, for lunch with other OU graduates. Members from other groups and friends and family are always welcome. 

South – Region 02  
Wednesday 5th July. 11am
Meet for coffee at the Toby Carvery, Copnor Road, Portsmouth, PO3 5HS, to discuss the agenda for the rest of 2017.

East Midlands – Regions 05 and 07
Saturday 8th July. 11am
Meet at the Harley Café on the Welbeck Estate, Mansfield Road, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire S80 3LW, which is on the A60, prior to visiting the Harley Gallery with its different exhibitions changing throughout the year. The Portland Collection, on the same site, displays many works of art amassed by the Dukes of Portland, owners of the estate for over four hundred years. Entry is free but donations are requested. This is a Handshake Event between Regions 05 and 07

North – Region 09
Saturday 8th July. 12noon
Meet at the entrance to the Palace Green Library, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3RN. Visit the permanent exhibition in the Wolfson Gallery entitled, “Living on the Hills: 10,000 years of Durham” which explores the lives of people who lived and visited Durham through the tools and everyday objects they used; their art and architecture; prehistoric objects; Roman objects uncovered by Victorian antiquarians and Medieval objects found during 1970s archaeological excavations. 

Scotland – Nation 11
Tuesday 18 July. 11am                                                                                
Meet at the entrance of Jupiter Artland, Bonnington House Steadings, Wilkieston, Edinburgh EH27 8BB for a visit to the internationallly renowned Jupiter Artland garden of discovery - an earthwork here, a copse of cradled rocks there, the entrance to a fathomless burrow right before your feet. The artworks are land marks, events, confrontations on a journey of discovery; an open-ended journey. Come and discover, contemplate and delight. Visitors are given a map indicating the location of the artworks within the grounds. Lunch can be either packed or purchased. Entry is £8.50 (conc. £6.00).

Yorkshire – Region 07
Walking Group
Walks are arranged of varying lengths to suit all abilities
Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd July.
Grasmere.    

London and the South East - Region 01
Tuesday 25th July. 12noon
Meet at the Trattoria Verdi Restaurant, 110, Southampton Row, Holborn, WC1B 4BL for another great Italian lunch. The cost for a two-course meal with wine is £13 per head.  Bookings to lunch organiser.

South West - Region 03
Cornwall Group
Thursday 27th July. 8pm
Meet in Victoria Inn, Roche, St Austell PL26 8LQ for the Book Club’s monthly meeting.

South West - Region 03
Friday 28th July. 12noon
Meet at the main entrance of the Countess Wear Beefeater Restaurant, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 6HE. Pre-booking with your Local Contact is essential. Please note that the venue for this meal is yet to be confirmed.

August 2017

London and the South East - Region 01
Eastbourne Group
Wednesday 2nd August. 12.30pm
Meet at The Ship Inn, 33-35, Meads Street, Eastbourne, BN20 7RH, for lunch with other OU graduates. Members from other groups and friends and family are always welcome. 

East Midlands – Region 05
Saturday 5th August. 12noon
Meet at the Royal William IV, Brayford Wharf North, Lincoln, LN1 1YX for our Summer Lunch and now regular get-together for Lincoln local members, friends and families. Newcomers and those living further afield are also invited to attend. Please pre-book with the Executive Representative so that a suitably sized table can be arranged.

Scotland – Nation 11
Friday 18th August. 11am                                                                
Meet in the Book Tent Café at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Charlotte Square Gardens, Edinburgh. Entry to tented village and Book Tent is free of charge.

South – Region 02  
Sunday 20th August. 12.30pm
Meet between pier 2 and pier 3 on the River Thames near the Hobbs of Henley office on Station Road / Thameside RG9 1AZ to enjoy a ‘Vintage Themed Afternoon Tea Cruise’ with Hobbs of Henley (www.hobbsofhenley.com/vintage-afternoon-tea-cruise ). The cruise lasts three hours embarking at 1pm. Cost £26.00 for adults, £17.50 for children. Please book and pay online. When booking please ensure you state that you are with AOUG so Hobbs know how many there are of us so that we can be seated together. Please advise the Executive Representative when you have booked. This will be an ideal time to celebrate if you have passed your exams. Please allow plenty of time to get into Henley and find parking. Trains to Henley only come from Twyford and run every hour. Buses; From High Wycombe and Reading take the Arriva 800, Wallingford take the Thames Travel 139B.

September 2017

South – Region 02  
Saturday 16th September. 11.00am
Meet at the entrance to The Vyne National Trust property, Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, RG24 9HL lying between the A33 and A340 just a few miles north of Basingstoke. Meet at the entrance to the whole property adjacent to the Visitor Reception. This mansion was home to Lord William Sandys, Lord Chamberlain to Henry VIII. Now only a third of its size it is still an impressive site. There will be the opportunity to view the major restoration of the roof via the scaffolding, walkway and lift. Though the first floor will be closed, many items of furniture and ceramics will be on display on the ground floor. The property boasts woodlands, wetlands and an eighteenth century walled garden. Standard admission is £11.75 for adults and £5.90 for children. Trains; these run every half an hour in both directions from Reading and Basingstoke to Bramley station, which is two miles away. Buses; from Basingstoke take the Stagecoach 2, 22 or 14. Their nearest stop being about one mile from The Vyne.

Scotland – Nation 11
Saturday 23rd September.                                                   
We will choose several properties near Edinburgh West End which we can visit on Doors Open Day.
Institutions normally off-limits to the public open their doors and allow their staff to explain the history and function of many fascinating establishments. Contact the Local Contact for meeting place and full details nearer the time.

October 2017

South – Region 02  
Saturday 14th October. 12noon
Meet for our annual autumn lunch at The Mitre, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4AG. A chance to catch up with old and new friends over lunch. Please let the Local Contact know if you are planning to attend.