Basingstoke Civil Service Retirement Fellowship 08/22

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The Chairman, David Cowling welcomed everyone to the meeting on Wednesday 6th July and then, in the absence of the Secretary, Tony Brazier, gave details of the forthcoming trips, including the one to the Amberley Museum in September and the “Do as you please Day” in Brighton during October. He also reminded members to let the committee know if they had any suggestions for speakers and trips for next year as the programme was in the process of being prepared. The Welfare Officer, Christine Broadbent, then gave us updated information on those members who had not been well.


Girl in front of waterfallThe speaker scheduled for this month was unable to attend but we were fortunate in having Barbara Cummings step in to give us a talk on her visit to Venezuela a few years ago. She had called her talk “The Lost World” as it was the title of Arthur Conan Doyle’s book based on the expedition of his friend Percy Harrison Fawcett to the Province of Caupolican which is now known as Huanchaca Plateau where he said that “monsters from the dawn of man’s existence might still roam these heights unchallenged, imprisoned and protected by unscalable cliffs”. This was Barbara’s first stop where she had to scale those cliffs, sleep in tents on the side of the cliffs and endure very primitive cooking and toilet arrangements. WaterfallShe had to overcome all of her main phobias – heights, birds, fish and frogs besides some of the rather peculiar habits of the guide and some of her travelling companions. She then went up the Amazon by boat where she saw Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, and although the sleeping was in huts, it was on hammocks and the best way to have a shower was in the rain. Her anecdotes and graphic descriptions kept everyone amused.


The group’s next outing will be on Friday 26th August to Hatfield house followed on Thursday 15th September by a visit to the Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre and then on Thursday 13th October there is a “Do as please Day” to Brighton with time to visit some of the local attractions.

Next Meetings

The next meeting is on 3rd August when the speaker will be Steve Harra with a talk titled “Romance, Riches and Retribution.” and then on 7th September Alan Copland is giving us “Tales of the Unexpected”.

The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Brookvale Village Hall from 10am to 12 noon and all retired Civil Servants, their relatives and friends are welcome.  Further details about the group and information about our trips can be obtained by contacting –

— David Cowling