Issue 40

October 2011

STRAY NEWS
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German Groups Visit Munich

Twenty two members of the German Group took part in our ninth annual visit to Germany recently.  This year saw us return to the beautiful City of Munich. Our hotel was conveniently situated for the Hauptbahnhof (the main railway station for the ‘uninitiated’!) and also for the trams.

For the most part we each did our own thing during the daytime and met up in the evening at a pre-arranged time to go out together for an evening meal. We had two outings. The first was to King Ludwig’s fairytale castle, Neuschwanstein, and the other was to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak.  Some members of the party met German friends they got to know through our previous visits.

Our thanks go to Pam Gilling who organised the holiday and to Siggie Mattison who organised train tickets and sought out restaurants for our evening meals, making this yet another enjoyable break in Germany.


Gordon Darlington

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Looking  at Churches Annual Outing

Durham Cathedral and St. Cuthbert’s Church Darlington were the destinations for the annual group outing.

Durham Cathedral is seen as the greatest Romanesque building in Europe. We received a very informative tour of the Cathedral including the Shrine of St. Cuthbert, the Galilee Chapel with the Tomb of the Venerable Bede and the Transfiguration Window in memory of Michael Ramsey which was dedicated in 2010.

Next we visited St. Cuthbert’s Church in the centre of Darlington which has been described as a mini Salisbury Cathedral. We had an interesting talk on the history of the Church and its association with St. Cuthbert. The highlight was the wonderful exhibition celebrating the 400th   Anniversary of the publication of the Authorised Version of the Bible.

It was good to put into practice all the knowledge that Patrick and Michael had been sharing with us over the past year.


Ruth Townrow

Durham Cathedral by Domstu

St. Cuthbert’s by Stanley Howe

Reproduced under Wikimedia C C Share Alike licenses

Once again our holiday in North Norfolk was a huge success. The weather was extremely kind to us all week, except for a drop of rain on Thursday afternoon.

Day 1 we walked to the end of Blakeney Point and had a lunch stop at the old Lifeboat Station (now a visitor centre). We carried on through the sand dunes learning from Brian Wood how they are formed. There were seals in the sea and a lot more on the spit of sand, which was the very end of the point. After this, we went on a boat trip to see the point from a different perspective. Arctic Terns and Little Terns made a tremendous noise and now we could see the seals lined up on the beach, they were grey seals.


Day 2 saw us at Cley Marshes and a brand new visitor centre. After lunch we went to Holkham Nature Reserve, walked to the beach and studied the shoreline plants.

Day 3 we met at the Post Office in Old Hunstanton and walked down to the beach. There were cliffs here, so unusual, dark brown at the bottom, a band of red in the middle, and then chalk on top. Anne Hopkins gave us an interesting talk on the formation of the cliffs called Carrstone, We then looked for fossils and later retraced our steps back up the beach to join the Norfolk coast path. In the afternoon we all met at the Titchwell Bird Reserve where we were lucky enough to see a very rare bird, a Bittern; it had three chicks.

Day 4 saw us at Dersingham Bog, part of the Sandringham Estate. We had a lovely walk looking for sundew and bog aspidel, and many more. We all met up at the Norfolk Lavender Farm, which marked the end of our lovely holiday. Thanks to everyone who chipped in with his or her expertise. Ian Wallace couldn't be with us due to illness, he was missed and we wish him well.


Diane Simpson

Naturalists Norfolk Holiday


Admiring the View near Blakeney Point