Report  on the Centre Holiday in Suffolk, 2019

 A Magic Carpet Holiday

Sitting in the sunshine in our garden, my thoughts go back to the Centre‘s visit to Suffolk in  May. Enticed by the advertisement in our August 2018 newsletter and having previously been on David and Adris's holidays, Centre members applied without delay. Eventually forty five of us were lucky and on Monday, May 20th we set off with  David and Adris in charge.

Our base for the holiday was the Ufford Park Hotel, Woodbridge, a modern hotel beautifully set by a golf course - there was no time to play in our busy itinerary but some members of the group enjoyed a pleasant early morning or evening stroll there. Our stay was on a half board basis: breakfast was a choice from the well stocked buffet and as we ate we were asked to choose our evening meal from a menu which offered three options for the each of the three courses. On the first morning this caused a fair degree of chaos which I cannot explain easily. The restaurant manager was tearing her hair out, David blithely denied all responsibility and we all set off promptly at 9 o‘clock for our first visit of the day.

The programme of visits arranged by David and Adris with Nicola from Norman Allen Group Travel was quite simply excellent. None was far from the hotel, there was a wide variety from the bustling  city of Bury St. Edmunds to the quiet little town of Lavenham, from a farm labourer‘s cottage at Flatford in Constable country to one of England‘s great Treasure Houses, Hatfield, just 21 miles from central London, from the Jacobean style Anglesey Abbey to the "┬ÉItalianate vision" of Ickworth, from an Anglo Saxon royal ship burial ground to the recently completed fine cathedral of St. Edmundsbury. There were gardens galore, too. We had time to explore on our own in some places and at others we had guided tours led by knowledgeable and friendly guides. Some of us even managed to fit in a visit to family or friends we had not seen for a while and one member was able to deliver a small carpet thanks to the cooperation of Graham, our most amiable and indeed able driver. His reversing skills have to be seen to be believed!

Our thanks must also go to Jenny, our coach steward who calmly counted us on at the end of every visit. Her task was made somewhat easier by the group‘s good humoured punctuality but it is nevertheless a responsibility that I for one was  glad not to have.

And lastly we have to thank David and Adris. It was a truly wonderful holiday, made possible by their imaginative, meticulous and thoughtful planning. David‘s short introductions on the coach before every visit made us smile while Adris‘s box of sweets kept us all happy on the longer journeys and we shall probably never know which of them arranged for the glorious sunshine we had throughout the  five days.  Many of us thought it the best holiday they have organised for the Centre -  yet.

Thank you, David and Adris.

Jan Turner

"King Rædwald", in his helmet, keeps court at Sutton Hoo.

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