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Category Archives: National Trust
When we wrote our last report a month ago we were hoping that the promised “Freedom Day” would follow on June 21st and hoped to email out some good news to the group. However, this was not to be so the promised email would have been pointless!!!!
July again promises to bring “Freedom Day”, however, while writing this note we see the highest number of Covid-19 cases recorded since mid February. As you will be very aware Social Distancing rules remain the greatest hurdle to resuming our visits. If we get positive new guidelines, then we will contact J B Tours and Fountains Abbey immediately to try to arrange a date for the visit. When we reach this stage we will email or phone all of you who are booked on the visit.
We know that we are all frustrated beyond belief but we will get things organised on the first day that we possibly are able. In the longer term, if it is possible we intend to organise a visit to Belton House to see the Light Trail as well as trying to get some other trips in before the year ends.
Thank you all for your patience and keep your fingers crossed that things improve in the near future.
Sue and Barrie Saunders
As you will be aware, the decisions regarding the lifting of social distancing rules and face covering etc have still not been made and, at the time of writing this on May 26th, are due to be announced on June 14th, although this may change again!!
So presently we are still in the same position as last month with National Trust properties not accepting coach bookings and the coach companies forced to limit numbers on board.
If we have some positive news in the next few weeks then we will email or phone all members who were originally on the Fountains Abbey list to give out further information. This group will include everyone who paid for the trip and also the few people who requested their money back.
Hopefully we are getting close to making real progress but in the meantime enjoy the better weather which is forecast for the next week.
Sue and Barrie
Having read the following data in the newspaper today, the last day of April, then the Covid-19 situation seems to be improving rapidly.
‘The numbers falling ill with the Covid have dropped to the lowest level since the pandemic began. The number of over 80’s with infections is now at a record low’.
I could go on with many other statistics but the main point is that hopefully the roadmap will continue to progress and eventually clear us to resume many aspects of our lives. Hopefully National Trust properties will be more fully opened over May and June. All good news.
As I said last month, the vital factor for our group will be rules on social distancing on transport. Those of you who have ventured on to a bus or tram recently will know the problems present there. I hope that by the time of the next Newsletter then this situation will be clearer. I have received an email on behalf of two members who are so keen to resume that they are willing to pay twenty pounds each for the Fountains Abbey visit so that we could socially distance on two buses should this be the only thing stopping us going ahead.
If any other members have views on this please let me know by contacting us via the form below. This will allow us to gauge opinion should we reach this situation.
Barrie and Sue Saunders
The situation with regard to Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions seems to be improving but also still remains uncertain for reasons that we are all aware of such as the situation in Europe and a possible slowing down of the vaccination programme. For our group there are still some major hurdles to overcome.
Firstly, with regard to coach travel there are strict guidelines in place regarding the wearing of masks on board, social distancing rules to protect the driver and passengers which mean that it is not possible to run coaches at anywhere near full capacity. There are also regulations with regard to how to board the coach itself, where social distancing must be maintained.
Secondly, as you will be aware, National Trust properties are only operating at a reduced capacity for people who live locally to exercise. Car parking is limited and there is presently no facility to book coaches in for a day. Indoor facilities are closed for the foreseeable future although plans to open indoor cafes etc are being planned.
Thirdly, The Third Age Trust require that we complete a Risk Assessment before going on any visit. Whilst it may be possible for some u3a groups to meet in numbers up to six in the relatively near future, I think that the date which will determine our progress will be June 21st, when a decision will be made on Social Distancing and the wearing of face masks.
IF decisions made in June allow, then we will book the dates for the first two visits and let group members know immediately. We will put a short further update in the May Newsletter and on this website. In the meantime if you have any suggestions or comments please contact Sue or myself via the form below:-
When Sue and myself offered to take over the group after Sue Spolton decided to leave the position, little did we know that a year later we would still not have been on any visits!!
We do not want to dwell on the negatives from the past months but rather look forward to hopefully better times in 2021.
I am sure most members will have received email updates from the National Trust and be aware of the present limited access which is available to their properties. You will probably be aware that Belton House are running their Light Show but with very limited pre-booked places available. Although not a National Trust property, Wollaton Hall are operating a similar display. Although while writing this piece it looks like Ashfield is going to go into Tier 3 so limiting travel and visits even further.
When we do see some progress with Covid-19 and we get permission from the U3A, and Government rules allow, we will be visiting Fountain’s Abbey and then we have four more visits, one each to Yorkshire and Derbyshire and two to Warwickshire all planned.
We hope everyone in the group is staying safe and healthy.
Sue and Barrie Saunders,