A Day Out in Bucolic Essex
19th May 2015
A group of thirty members and guests enjoyed a trip out of London into bucolic Essex.
At Bishop’s Stortford we were greeted by our host for the day, Aldersgate Ward Club member Derek Connell, and boarded our ‘transport of delight’ – a 1950s vintage coach, which brought back childhood memories for many!
The Essex countryside was looking at its springtime best, despite heavy rain showers interrupting the sunshine, as the coach navigated us along single-track country lanes through an area sadly under threat from the expansion of Stansted Airport. At Duton Hill, the small village where Derek is publican of The Three Horseshoes, he played ‘Mine Host’ to perfection, drawing us all pints of his ‘Captain Bob’ bitter or whatever other drink we fancied. His pub contains an eclectic extravaganza of bric-a-brac collected over the twenty years of his ownership. But most impressive of all was his famous collection of postage stamps and first-day covers, all featuring some aspect of London, which Derek introduced with characteristic brio.
Our intrepid coach-driver then took us on to the historic market town of Thaxted, where we wined and dined at the Swan Hotel. Afterwards, we were given a short tour of the spectacular parish church, dating back to the fourteenth century, and learned something of the historical connection between Thaxted and the Master Cutlers. On a short walk around the picturesque town, we were able to view the Guildhall, Dick Turpin’s cottage, Gustav Holst’s house, and the famous John Webb windmill.
Once more in our Bedford charabanc, the happy band of day-trippers returned to Bishop’s Stortford, whence we parted for our separate journeys home.
Ron Wood, Master