Features

Features

As part of our commitment to inform, entertain and educate our members about the wide range of arts and leisure activities taking place at LALG or more widely, we will promote occasional features. This will include information about our groups' interests, activities taking place locally and online and articles that we hope will amuse you or provide an enjoyable break from the norm. The information will be shown as Articles below.

Contributions will be welcomed from any member of LALG; you do not have to be a member of our features team.

If you would like to contribute, send your item to the Features Editor using the address given in the Contact Details box.

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This is a project to create a network of paths between towns in Great Britain. It is a collaborative effort supported by 80,000 registered people to help walk and review walks. There are over 8,000 Slow Ways walking routes, including 970 with options for a circular walk.

For more information please visit: slowways.uk or email hello@slowways.uk

Every year on 21 June communities around the world come together to Make Music. It all started in France in 1982 where it was known as Fête de la Musique. By the early 90s, it was celebrated in eighty-five countries across five continents.

Make Music Day first came to the UK in 2012 and has been growing year on year. It has been a UK-wide coordinated initiative since 2017 with support and funding from a broad range of national organisations.

 

As usual, LALG supported our local Festival in a number of ways:

Letchworth Festival Colour Run

Norton Common was transformed into a riot of colour as Leysbrook Estate Agents delivered the first ever colour run in the town, supported by LALG.

Over 140 runners took to the Common and were colour splattered by marshals stationed around the course; some ran the full 5km and some took a lovely stroll.

They all had a good time and they all had a good shower when they got home!

Letchworth Festival Walks

The Decluttering Group started earlier this year [2022] with over a dozen members. Some of us wanted to chuck out a few useless items, others had a more serious need for a radical clear out.

At our first proper meeting we had an excellent talk by LALG member Jenny Jones, who shared her wealth of professional experience in house clearance. At another meeting, some members of the LALG computer users group gave us a fantastic session on selling our treasure online. Now lots of us are on eBay and Facebook Marketplace etc.

Back for 2022, LALG is holding a writing competition for anyone from Letchworth to enter.  There are two categories: 1) Adult (up to 10,000 words)  2) Under 18s (up to 5,000 words).

Jordans Mill This is a flat ride through Arlesey, Henlow and Langford and back; about 20 miles. Lunch is particularly enjoyable outside during the summer months looking out over the river Ivel. But equally comfortable in the restaurant during the winter months.

Southill Another flat ride of 22 miles in a similar direction through the Bedfordshire countryside. A nice non-rushed lunch at The White Horse - in the garden in the summer - is lovely. It is also quite cosy inside, during the winter months.

Now and again some special visit is organised for those who attend or are associated with LALG’s Opera and Ballet Group. Such visits usually have a connection with opera and/or ballet; for example, watching English National Ballet’s dancers in their daily morning class, or a backstage tour of the Royal Opera House. But two visits last August were different.

The GoVolHerts website makes it easier than ever to volunteer in Hertfordshire.

TeamHerts Volunteering (#THV) has developed this platform to support the whole of the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector (VCFSE) across our county. The platform is incredibly user-friendly for both volunteers and organisations.

Several filtering options enable prospective volunteers to choose an organisation that interests them and apply for a role with just a few clicks!

Twas the night before Christmas, but Covid was here,

So we all had to stay extra cautious this year.

Designs of LALG Posters that have been used.

It is fast becoming a ritual that after travelling from Letchworth, we meet up in Betws-y-Coed in the middle of the day and have an afternoon walk up to the monument on Llyn Elsi Reservoir. A lovely woodland walk finishing with beautiful views at the top before making our way to Coetmor Mill in Bethesda.

A very windy day but dry for our Annual LALG golf day which was held on Tuesday 19 October at Wyboston Lakes Golf Course.

The scores were very close but the winning team consisted of Malcolm King, Chris Thomson, Peter and Jill Bransby.

As the organiser, Michael Homfray-Cooper, is moving out of the area we need one or two people to take over this annual event.

Merry Christmas from Cathy Watts of the Games Club. Here are some fresh alternatives to the regular mainstream games to play at Christmas.

First a bit of advice on choosing the right game: read the mood and age of your group, keep games easy and fairly quick to play, make it simple to teach (at least one person should know the rules beforehand).

Letchworth Music Club may be one of Letchworth’s best kept secrets, with origins going back to the International Club which was formed during WW2 for refugees from Europe.

The Club met at Howgills in South View, offering English and shorthand lessons, lectures and concerts. Over time, the Club lost its international aspect and activities reduced to an annual series of concerts.

In 1949 it was reconstituted as the Letchworth Music Club and its first season comprised nine concerts with annual subs of 10s 6d, (52.5p).

On Sunday October 24th Robert Hyman was in the Broadway gallery as their new ‘composer in residence’. Robert is a composer and lyricist from a background in musical theatre. He sat in the exhibition space all day responding to Abi Spendlove’s exhibition. In the afternoon he invited any musicians from the area to come down and, essentially, have a jam session with him as he composed a new work. Any and all instruments were welcome including your own voice!

What does being an LALG member mean to you? Meeting new people; having fun; trying new activities?

Members who volunteer to help run activities or work behind the scenes of LALG get so much more!

Graham: “Editing the newsletter is a chance to use and build on my IT skills. And running the computer group is so rewarding; helping others to get more out of their computers and understand safe working.”

As the evenings are getting longer (and hopefully warmer) and lockdown measures begin to ease in line with the government’s roadmap, we have been thinking about what LALG can offer going forward.



I appreciate that everyone will have their own comfort zone. Some members will still be cautious about mixing whilst others will be raring to get out and about again and to see people for real, not just on Zoom.

There was such an outcry when we said Lockdown Quizzes would end in May that we have decided to restart them in the Autumn, with a new name.

Lockdown quizzes came about by chance when the 2020 Annual Quiz had to be moved online by the organisers, Ann and Andrew. “We did not dream it would be so successful or become a monthly event.” said Ann. “The emphasis was on breaking down social isolation. Only text questions were used, no pictures, so people could join by phone if they weren’t online.”

We recently had an excellent talk about Citizens Advice Bureau with particular reference to North Herts.

The Citizens Advice North Hertfordshire 'slogan' is: Free support and advice when you need it

Its promise is : Local charity, available to all, offering free confidential help and support

All Things Feathered Poultry Society

Chickens make such lovely companions, especially in a time of isolation.

The All Things Feathered Poultry Society have been keeping in touch over lockdown via WhatsApp, Zoom and email. 

Have you seen this box? Who put it there? And what is it for?

An LALG member has asked us to help him find out about this intriguing mystery box, which he spotted on the Greenway. The mystery has been solved - see end of article

A list of some cafés, some not so well known, compiled by Sheila George when out and about on her bike.

Sheila welcomes any suggestions to add to the list for future publication.

Please email Sheila sheila_g120@hotmail.co.uk.

At LALG we love to celebrate the creativity of our members.

A treasured member of our Nordic Walking Group, Karsi, has taken lockdown as an opportunity to return to her creative writing, and has penned this cheerful poem which is certain to make everyone smile - I'm sure we can all relate!

She looked every inch an excited bride-to-be as she collected a wedding form. A couple of days later, the completed form was returned.

What a wedding it would be. The groom was the son of the commanding officer at RAF Bassingbourn, his bride the Letchworth girl who had filled in the form. Innumerable bigwigs were coming: bishops, an air vice-marshal or two, and so on. The camp chaplain was to officiate, and there was to be a very exotic honeymoon.