Artists find inspiration on outings
During August, the NortonRadstock U3A art group took their paintbrushes out on location. Despite the overcast and sometimes drizzly weather, the group enjoyed a morning painting the colourful fields at the Lavender Farm in Faulkland. This was rounded off with tea and cakes.
On August 8, they embarked on a trip to Sidmouth Folk Festival. While waiting for the coach to arrive to pick them up, 37 members sang Happy Birthday to two of the group. They stopped on way for a coffee break at the Fleet Arm Museum restaurant and then proceeded on to the Honiton Road to Sidmouth – the route passing through quaint small villages.
On arrival at the seafront in Sidmouth, we were met by crowds of visitors enjoying the ambience of the day. There were rows and rows of stalls along the promenade selling various kinds of ware. Streets, pubs and shops were decorated with wonderful flower arrangements and music of all kinds was playing to celebrate Sidmouth's Musical Folk week, held every year. There was singing, bands and instruments of various kinds, plus dancing, and a colourful procession through the streets. On looking towards the beach, hundreds of adults and children were enjoying swimming in the sea whilst others played games on the sand.
The mid-summer speaker meeting began with a talk by Margaret Briggs, one of the group's long-standing members, on her life as a social worker.
Social workers in those days were looked on by many as terrible people, who snatched children and dragged the elderly into homes. This could sometimes make their job very difficult.
After studying psychology, law and social work, then teacher training at university, Mrs Briggs decided she wanted to work with the elderly and children.
Her first year involved taking delinquent children on camping trips in the Lake District teaching them canoeing, trekking and abseiling, etc. This went well until it was discovered that some of the boys were using their abseiling skills to burgle high-rise flats.
Mrs Briggs told many amusing incidents in her career, but there were also stories of unbelievably heartbreaking cruelty. It is a credit to her strength of character that she has remained the cheerful, helpful person she is today.
The afternoon was rounded off with cream teas, the proceeds of which were added to the chairman's charity, RICE.