'Life Begins at Sixty Five!

..or at least it does if you went to the United Benefice
Over-65 Holiday Club 2009

Between 15th and 19th June, 2009, a select group of citizens of mature years
from the United Benefice enjoyed a week of varied activities, at home and away. 
The photographs, by Bill Tudhope and Maureen Madden, are interspersed below
with diary entries by some olf those who took part.

Monday, 15th June

10.00 am – and the doors of St. Mary’s Hall opened, into which entered forty-odd senior citizens whose
combined ages would surely cause eyebrows to raise!

A cup of tea or coffee welcomed the thirsty, while the first of the day’s activities saw people doing a Quiz of
European capital cities (forty-nine in all) – the winner to be announced later in the week.

Then a female member of the Hugh Baird Catering Department, accompanied by a handsome final-year male
student treated us to a cookery demonstration.  They distributed their offerings in small dishes – yoghurt and
cucumber, salsa of red peppers and tomatoes, and finally a vegetable rissole eaten between two halves of a
small roll.

Following lunch brought by club members and eaten in the hall, promptly at 1.30 pm, a coach took the whole
company off to visit Knowsley Safari Park – where we were greeted by heavy rain and dramatic black, black
clouds from which emitted zigzags of lightning.  It did clear and most of the hour’s drive was done in golden

We saw a variety of animals, while listening to an excellent recorded description of the Park and its inhabitants. 
We delighted in the baboons sitting on cars, and we had to edge very slowly past a most aristocratic camel that
refused to move while holding its head arrogantly high.

A most welcome cup of tea or coffee accompanied by a rich cream scone in a private room of the restaurant
ended a most happy afternoon’s visit – and we did not get one drop of rain on our persons!

June Birch, St. Mary’s Waterloo Park

Tuesday, 16th June

The programme for today promised us entertainment by Waterloo Primary School Children in the morning,
followed by an afternoon of being pampered.

The first part of the entertainment was a performance of very energetic Irish style dancing – think ‘Riverdance’

by either 2 or 3 girls.  We then had the choir, boys and girls, though it was far more girls than boys.  They sang
a varied selection of songs with several solo items.  All the children, dancers and singers, were excellent, with
the soloist being outstanding. After all their efforts the children were given a tour of the church and rewarded
with orange juice and biscuits. They then came and moved about among us, and one of the girls assured me
that it was much better than school!

Pampering in the afternoon consisted of having either a Back massage or an Arm, Hand and Finger massage. 
Choice was limited to whoever was available when your number was called.  I think that only one of us managed
to have both.  There were some very attractive young females doing massaging, but sadly for our ladies, no
attractive young men.  On the other hand, two of the masseuses claimed that they were old enough to join us.

Ron Rankin, St., Faith’s Great Crosby

Wednesday, 17th June

Wednesday was a very wet day, so we were very pleased to stay in the Church Hall!

To start we did Circle Dancing – no one had ever heard of it before but it was very pleasant.  We did various
dances, including Jewish, Greek and French.  The dancers enjoyed it and so did the onlookers.

We have numerous cups of coffee or tea during the day which is most welcome.

After we had had our lunch and a chat we watched a film called “Mrs Caldicott’s Cabbage War” starring
Pauline Collins and John Alderton, which we very much enjoyed.

The week so far has been most enjoyable and we are looking forward to the next two days.

Margaret Hurst, Christ Church Waterloo

Thursday, 18th June

On Thursday of the ‘Holiday week’ an eager group of people met at the gates of St. Mary’s to go to York. 
We settled into a comfortable coach and were soon off through Seaforth, Litherland and up ‘the new road’. 
I was especially pleased to go as I hadn’t been to York since 1943!  After a coffee stop on the way we began
to see towers, walls and battlements and pulled into the coach park.

Our first visit was to the Minster where two helpful, knowledgeable guides took us to the benches made by
‘the mouse man’, the choir stalls, not as old as we all thought, the chancel steps, slightly off set and not on stable
foundations.  I had forgotten the 1980s fire which burnt part of the wooden roof and we saw close-ups of roof
bosses designed by local children.

From there we went to a restaurant for lunch – not the best part of the day.  The fish and chips looked good and
came quickly but the rest of us waited and waited and eventually had to go before we had finished.  I really enjoyed
going through the narrow streets like The Shambles to get to the Jorvik Centre, an underground experience of life
in Viking days, dug out by the local history society.

Then back to the coach and home over the Pennines, the ‘end of a perfect day’. We give our thanks to the two
ladies who arranged it all, and I especially as a visitor to all the week’s activities.  Thank you for making me so
welcome and I hope to see you next year.  I wish my church did something similar.

Doreen Isles
... a visitor from Dunstable, who came for two days and enjoyed it so much she re-arranged her visit north and
s=tayed the whole week!

Thursday, 18th June

Yet another wonderful day so efficiently organised by Joan and Lynne.

We started our outing to York by coach at 8.35 am, arriving there at 11.30 am. (including a stop at a Motorway
Service Station), and made our way to the magnificent Minster where we were given an guided tour by an extremely
knowledgeable and enthusiastic
gentleman, and the time passed all too quickly.

After an enjoyable lunch we went to the exhibition known as “Jorvik”, the name of York as known to the Viking
settlers in the 9th century.  Originally it had been a Roman stronghold and had a strong defensive wall and probably
a royal palace. After the Viking Invasion their Kings (both Danish and Norse) reigned for nearly 100years but in
AD 954 the last one was expelled when the city then became part of the new Kingdom of England.  We saw fantastic
displays of Viking artefacts, craftsmanship, etc., and also had a unique passage through time of typical 9th century
lifestyle via a very modern mode of travel – rather like going on a Fairground Ghost Train but much more luxurious
and comfortable!

Finally, we left York soon after 5.00 pm, arriving back at 7.30 pm, having enjoyed a really interesting and pleasant

Joyce Jones, St. Mary’s, Waterloo Park

Friday, 19th June

Our 65 Club set off on a nice sunny morning with our Blue Badge guide for a two hour coach tour of Liverpool;
her name was Elizabeth, and how she could remember all the dates and names of the docks, people and places
I don’t know, but we all enjoyed it very much.  We heard from her about the first Bishops of Liverpool and our
two Cathedrals, Florence Nightingale and lots and lots more information.

Then our afternoon came to an end with a lovely afternoon tea, which was enjoyed by all.

Thank you Joan and Lynne for a really great week, and for all the hard work that must go into this wonderful
week with such a varied programme.

Joan Sutherland, St. Luke’s Crosby

Extract from a letter from Elizabeth Newell – Blue Badge Tourist Guide for Merseyside

“You really gave the oldies a wonderful week, and I know from comments I heard that they enjoyed the week
enormously.  I’m sure some of them don’t get out much and will have really appreciated all the events you organised
and all the companionship of the group.  It is quite humbling to think how easy it was for me to give them pleasure
and I’d be d picturevery happy to do another tour next year”.

Footnote from the organisers

This year we were oversubscribed: we are of course governed not only by how many people we can manage,
but by the capacity of the coach for going out on trips.  We have doubled our numbers in four years and I
year there will be more people wanting to join us.  We are grateful to those who were brave enough to sign up
for the Holiday Club that first year in 2006, to start what has been such a successful venture.

We try and keep the cost for members as low as possible, and have been grateful for a grant from a Trust Fund
and a generous donation from an anonymous source.  The money has been used wisely for the sole benefit of those
attending the Holiday Club, to enable everyone there to have a really good week.

We are always ready to receive new ideas and contacts for activities in the hall.

Joan Tudhope and Lynne Connolly

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