Newsletter – June 2008

June 22nd, 2008 by JCope

Joan Ryder opened the meeting on 3rd June by thanking those who had made the recent Cheese and Wine Evening such a success and in particular, Margaret Rorison.  She went on to give details of the excursion to Kings Norton Grammar School and the Saracen’s Head on 4th August: Ella Turner is arranging this event.

We then welcomed Roger Hailwood to hear his fascinating insight to the National Memorial Arboretum.  The arboretum opened in 1997 in memory of those who gave their lives in service for their country and for all who served or suffered as a result of conflict.  Using an excellent selection of photographs, Roger took us on a tour of the 60-hectare former gravel pit site, situated near Alrewas in Staffordshire.  There are now some 50,000 trees and 120 memorials in the Arboretum: we saw their wide variety and learned something of the stories and symbolism behind them.  Perhaps most poignant was the Shot at Dawn Memorial in the form of a young man about to be shot for cowardice during the First World War.

Roger, who is a guide at the Arboretum, showed such passion and insight for his subject that it was difficult not to be moved by what we saw and heard and many members were heard planning to visit the Memorial.

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