May 2016

LAUNCHED: 28 May 2016.       LAST UPDATED:

Accessed at least many times since 27 May 2016.

OVERVIEW: This was a short trip to England to attend the spring dinner of the James Caird Society, a lunch to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Sir Clements Markham's death, to stay four nights at New Inn—a Landmark Trust house in Suffolk—and to attend the Service of Thanksgiving for Sir Ernest Shackleton at Westminster Abbey.

Wednesday 11 May 2016. Off to Nashua just after noon. Parked and waited for the bus. To Logan Airport without any difficulty. Had the usual delcious and expensive meal at Legal Seafoods.

Dinner at Legal Seafoods before the flight. Crab cake, scallops, shrimp, salad and onion strings. Wine, too.

To Terminal E. Checked in at Norwegian Airlines—great price but everything else is extra. €35 to check a bag! Ended up with center seat; no way around it. Plane left on time. Very full. A new Dreamliner: very nice.

Thursday 12 May 2016. Landed at Gatwick on time. Gatwick Express to Victoria. Orange juice, coffee and a bacon sandwich in the station. CouldnÕt find my Oyster Card (later did) so bought another one. To Paddington, then walked to the Bonhams in Westbourne Terrace, arriving at noon.

The Bonhams near Paddington.

Went up to their flat and had a nice lunch of meat pie and vegetables. Got settled into the ground floor flat and went up to Paddington to get my phone going at Vodafone and then shopped at Sainsburys. Got money from the bank, then had a cold Fosters at The Pride of Paddington on the corner of Praed and Spring Streets. Back to the Bonhams. Had a short lie-down.
Met up with John around 4 and took the tube to Euston Square and walked to the Warburg Institute where we went for a talk on mapselling by Jonathan Potter. Bob Headland was there. Tube back to Paddington.
     John and I walked up the road to Pearl Liang in Sheldon Square, a quite good Chinese Restaurant. Back again to the Bonhams and to bed for an early night.

Friday 13 May 2016. Up and showered. Headed off on foot to the Royal Geographical Society via Kensington Gardens. A nice walk.

Kensington Gardens with Henry Moore's "Arch" in the distance.

Blossoms in Kensington Gardens.

The Albert Memorial

Was at the RGS when it opened at 10am and went to the Archives where I met up with Eugene Rae who sat me down with the RGS copy of the Aurora Australis, newly rebound. Inspected and collated it. (This copy was long thought to be lost but was recently found and restored.)

The Shackleton statue set in the RGS facade. When will they ever clean the brick and limestone?
Inspecting the RGS copy of the Aurora Australis.

Sometime after 11, Joe OÕFarrell showed up at the RGS. We took a cab to the Bonhams and Joe got settled in. We walked up to Praed Street and stopped into the same pub as yesterday and had a drink and lunch. I headed off on my own afterwards by the 436 bus to Park Lane and walked to the Naval Club where I checked on my membership and spoke with Mr Sonderskov about our lunch on Monday. From there to Curzon Street where I stopped into Maggs and visited with Fuchsia Voremberg. Then wandered to Green Park and relaxed there for awhile. Walked down Jermyn Street to Piccadilly Circus tube station where I picked up tube and bus maps.
     Tube to Bank where I visited the Royal Exchange and waited until 5 when I showed up at Mansion House to see Juliet Evans, now Juliet Mountevans. Beautiful interior—not Julia; Mansion House! Let me rephrase that: both are beautiful! She gave me the grand tour including the Plate Room where all the gold and silver is kept.

Mansion House and preparing for a banquet.

The 'Plate Room' and the Lady Mayoress, Juliet Mountevans.

Tube from Cannon Street to Victoria, then train to West Dulwich. Walked to Dulwich College and the spring dinner of the James Caird Society and got there just as people were congregating for dinner. Many of the usual people in attendance: Jonathan and Daphne Shackleton, Brad Borkan, Jan Piggott, Judy Skelton, Ann Shirley, Patrick Fagan, et al. Zaz Shackleton gave the talk. Very nice dinner selections. Back with the Bonhams in their car.

Saturday 14 May 2016. After breakfast Joe and I headed off to find a place to buy reading glasses (he left his at Dulwich). Admired the Queen's Cinema along the way ("First opened as a cinema in the 1930s, the Queens building is an art deco masterpiece thatÕs recently been restored to its former glory. The Queens Cinema was built for and operated by W.C Dawes' Modern Cinemas, a small independent circuit which had cinemas in the west of London. It opened on 3rd October 1932 and was designed by architects J. Stanley Beard and Clare.")

The former Queen's Cinema, now a branch of Heal's, in Westbourne Grove.

Met up with Brad Borkan at the Paddington Hilton to talk about his book project. By tube out to Hammersmith where we called at Zaz Shackleton's. We enjoyed a glass of wine, then went across the road to the Stonemasons Arms and had a pleasant lunch.

Zaz and Joe in Hammersmith. The Stonemasons Arms.

Off to Hampstead, Swiss Cottage tube station, and went to the matinee of Lawrence After Arabia, quite a good play at the Hampstead Theatre. Having a drink in the bar afterwards, the actor playing Lawrence sauntered by. Joe rushed after him and had some conversation; once back, we spied the actor who played Shaw and chatted with him, too. You'd think they'd be taking naps before the evening performance.

Joe outside the Hampstead Theatre.
Afterwards: Joe with the actor who played George Bernard Shaw.

Original lighting at the Swiss Cottage tube station.

Back to Paddington, stopping at a shop to buy some groceries, then back to the Bonhams. Met up with them later and went to the The Mitre pub for a drink, then close by to Taormina for a good Italian dinner. I always enjoy this place. Back to the Bonhams and eventually to bed.

Sunday 15 May 2016. On Sunday we met up with the Bonhams and Ann Shirley at the East India Club in St. JamesÕs Square and had a very enjoyable birthday buffet lunch. Following that we went down the street to the Army & Navy Club and saw Murray LevickÕs penguin on the 1st floor. Joe and I walked through Mayfair, stopped at a church in South Audley Street, walked to Marble Arch, stopping at Speakers Corner. Joe rang his daughter Sarah and we arranged to meet her in Islington. We ended up in a brewpub which was filled with supporters of Arsenal after its football victory. Sarah met us there and we had a beer and then walked down to the road to LeCoq and had a bite of supper. Joe and I took the bus back into central London, then ending up back at the Bonhams.

Outside the East India Club. Sunday lunch inside: Ann Shirley, John and Sue Bonham, Joe O'Farrell and me.

Murray Levick's Emperor Penguin at the Army and Navy Club ('The Rag').

Speakers Corner, Hyde Park.

Horse Head at Marble Arch.

Joe and his daughter, Sarah, at LeCoq.

Monday 16 May 2016. My 75th birthday! Fine weather. After breakfast Joe and I took a cab to the Naval Club, 38 Hill Street, where Ann Savours Shirley and I were hosting a session and lunch recognizing the 100th anniversary of Sir Clements MarkhamÕs death. We had a lively discussion in an upstairs room from about 10:30 to 12:30, then drinks in the bar, then a very pleasant lunch of Fish Pie at one long table in the Dining Room. Joe and I left promptly at 2:30 and took a cab, first to Kings Cross where we dropped off Bob and Jackie Burton, then to Liverpool Street Station. Took the train to Ipswich and walked across the bridge to the Avis garage and picked up a rental car. Drove north stopping at a Waitrose in Saxmundham. Bought groceries for the 4 days and nights that we would be at New Inn in Peasenhall, a 16th century building accommodating 8 people. We were only 4 so had our pick of bedrooms. Had drinks and cooked up a dinner. Stayed up late talking.

Three quarters of a century!

Markham discussion and lunch at the Naval Club.

The front and back of New Inn.

Looking into the back yard. The main lounge.

Tuesday 17 May 2016. A lovely day. After a good Irish Fryup orchestrated by Joe, we all headed off to Framlingham, a very attractive town (and namesake of Framingham, Massachusetts). The centerpiece is the Castle, operated by English Heritage. We spent perhaps two hours there. One of the attractions inside is an excellent local history museum. We walked the ramparts with views out to the surrounding countryside. Not crowded at all and quite unhurried. Afterwards we walked into the town admiring the architecture and the shops. Had lunch in a little cafˇ recommended by a local man. Then on to Halesworth. While going through a round-about recognized a building, Hooker House, which I had seen with Antony Bowring some years back. It was the home of Joseph Hooker and his father, both commemorated by plaques.
     We continued on to Southwold on the coast. Stiff wind off of the North Sea. On the way back to New Inn we came upon an antiquarian bookshop in an old Methodist Chapel. About an hour was spent there.

Framlingham Castle sign.

Framlingham Castle.

The Framlingham town sign.

The center of Framlingham.

The bath huts at Southwold.

Wednesday 18 May 2016. A gray and sometimes lightly drizzly day. Essentially stayed at the house all day. Bob and Jackie Burton arrived sometime before 4pm and we started to prepare the nightÕs dinner. Lots of conversation. Got the fire going. About 5:30 or so Jill and Antony Bowring showed up for a drink. Nice to see them again after some years. Once they set off we finished preparing the dinner and then had quite a feast with an excellent Leg of Lamb prepared by Jackie as the centerpiece. Too bed an hour or two later, Bob in my bedroom and Jackie in AnnÕs.

Jackie preparing the lamb.

Jill and Antony Bowring with Rob.

One of our peacock neighbors.

Enjoying our lamb dinner with the Burtons.

Thursday 19 May 2016. Not long after breakfast Jackie and Bob headed home. We dropped in next door at the Weavers Tea Shop and had coffee on the porch. At midday we drove the half mile to Sibton and The White Horse, a very comfortable pub, and had a long and leisurely Sunday-type lunch. I had Fishermans Pie. Back at the house, I had a short lie-down, then a bath. The others headed off for a walk. Enjoyed odds and ends for supper.

The Burtons head home.

Enjoying coffee next door to New Inn.

The White Horse, about half a mile from New Inn.

Lunch at the White Horse. Judy's dessert.

Our entry in the New Inn guest book.

Friday 20 May 2016. Up before 6. Packed and tidied up and on our way by about 7:15. Drove to Ipswich getting petrol on the way. Dropped Ann and Joe off at the station, then to Avis to leave the car. Back to station. Coffee. Train to Liverpool Street Station. Tube to Westminster. We stopped at The Institute of Mechanical Engineers to leave AnnÕs bag, then walked a couple of blocks to Westminster Abbey and congregated outside. We've come here (along with 2,500 others) for a Service of Thanksgiving commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Shackleton, Crean and Worsley arriving at Stomness. I sit behind Falcon and Jane Scott and between Seamus Taaffe and Kevin Kenny. Service impressive; exactly one hour. (They've been doing this for a thousand years or so.) Walked to The Institute of Mechanical Engineers for the reception organized by the James Caird Society. Very crowded. Joe, his sister Carmel, Brian Lintott and I took a cab to the HQS Wellington on the Embankment for a Friends of SPRI event. Met the Clerk of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (Commodore Angus Menzies RN) who took me into a storeroom to show me the company's John King Davis sextant. I then took the tube to East Acton and picked up my bag at Judy SkeltonÕs. Back to the Bonhams in Westbourne Terrace and relaxed a bit. Joe showed up in time and he, I and John Bonham went to Tawana, a Thai restaurant in Westbourne Grove.

Life Guards along Great George Street near the Abbey.

Westminster Abbey. Princess Anne arrives at the Abbey.

Falcon and Jane Scott. Lucy Scott.

Rob outside after the service.

The reception at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Saturday 21 May 2016. Relaxed most of the morning. Joe and I had lunch in The Mad Bishop & Bear in Paddington. To Kings Cross and by train up to Cambridge for a party at Bob HeadlandÕs. Went to Bob and Jackie Burton's in Huntingdon for the night.

Joe O'Farrell at Kings Cross.

Sunday 22 May 2016. Lovely morning. Up around 8:30. Bob took me into Huntingdon to the station and I was in Kings Cross by 11am. Met up briefly with Joe and then took tube to Paddington and went to the Bonhams. Picked up my bag and headed back to Paddington. Circle Line to Victoria, Gatwick Express to the airport, a hamburger, then on Norwegian Airlines to Boston. Nearby kid screamed the whole way. Bus to Nashua, picked up my car and was back in Jaffrey before midnight.

Bob Burton and his cat in his library.

NOTE: These and other photos from this trip are at: https://rs41.smugmug.com/Travel/England-2016/