From its conception Spencer House was recognised as one of the most ambitious and splendid private Palaces ever built in London and is the City's only eighteenth century house to survive intact.  The Palace was built between 1756 and 1766 for John, first Earl Spencer, an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales. The tour starts at 11am and takes about one hour. After that I imagine you will be ready for lunch and the rest of the day is your own.  Unfortunately there are no refreshment facilities available at the Palace.

We will meet at Charing Cross at 10.30 am sharp and take a short bus ride towards Spencer House and then have a short walk to reach the Palace.

Cost:  £13.00 which includes a small donation to the National Trust.

Organiser:  Elisabeth Cleall 01322553535


MASONIC HALL DARTFORD  FRIDAY 20TH APRIL 12 noon for 12.30 buffet

Why not join us for what promises to be a very special afternoon of sheer nostalgia. I have been fortunate in booking Steve and his wife Maureen to give us an afternoon to remember. We start off with a finger buffet, drinks can be purchased at the bar and then we can sit back and be entertained with songs from the era of Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones and Dean Martin etc. Steve has a really wonderful deep husky voice and when he does Country and Western numbers you will be tapping your feet. He will be taking requests, so, if you have a favourite song and would like him to include it in the programme please make your choice clear on the booking form. He may not be able to include everyone’s choice but you have a good chance of hearing your favourite. No need to ask for the song ‘More’ – I am requesting that one! I will send Steve all the requests by 13th February to give him time to build his programme around our chosen songs. We will have an interval when tea and biscuits will be served and there will be a raffle. I do hope you will support this afternoon as I can promise you will not be disappointed. I have now heard him sing on three
occasions and enjoyed listening to him more each time. I took my son-in-law Mick to see Steve in a concert in August and Mick said as we were going ‘why have I given up a Saturday afternoon to be with all old folk listening to a singer’. When we got back home Mick thanked me for giving him a ‘wonderful afternoon, I have not enjoyed myself so much for a long time’.  Praise indeed.

This event is open to non members so why not bring a friend or relative along.  
Cost: Only £20 per person which includes finger buffet lunch, tea and biscuits and gratuities. 

Organiser Pam McQuillan        Tel: 01322 401898 



A morning guided tour of HQS Wellington, the floating livery hall of the Honourable Company of Mariners. This naval sloop was used in WWII and is now home to the Merchant Seaman’s museum, with many interesting artefacts.  
Following a lunch break and wander in Temple gardens, we have a tour of the Tower Lifeboat station. Said to be the busiest of all the RNLI stations. Then, if you would like to, we could have a Clipper boat trip to Greenwich, O2 or Woolwich.

We would meet outside Temple tube station at 10.45. Our tour on HQS Wellington starts at 11.00 and lasts about 1½ hrs. Tea/coffee and biscuits are provided at the end of our tour and are included in your ticket. We could then go into Temple Gardens to enjoy the surroundings and have a picnic lunch (not provided). At 1.30pm we would start to make our way to the Tower RNLI Lifeboat Station next to Waterloo Bridge, for our tour at 2.00pm. This again lasts about 1 ½ hrs and your ticket will include a donation to RNLI. (Please note our tour may be affected should there be a “Call Out” for the lifeboat while we are there). 

At the end of our day you might like to travel part of the way home on one of the Clipper boats (price not included but reduced fares are available for Freedom Pass holders and with Oyster cards).

DCNTA tickets will be limited to 18 people per day as this is the maximum number for the lifeboat visit and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Please wear suitable shoes and warm clothing if it’s a chilly day, as you will be outside on the river for some of the time. Please also be aware that access to the boat/lifeboat station will be via ramps.

Cost for HQS Wellington & RNLI Tours: £15

Contact Rosemary Webdale: 01322 442856



The historical town of Faversham is home to more than 450 listed buildings. We will be dropped off near the Market Place and the iconic Guildhall. The Fluer De Lis Heritage Centre 11-13 Preston Street houses the Visitor Centre and Museum. You can pick up a Faversham Town Walk guide here. I will send a visitor guide and map on booking showing and marking up places of interest to help you plan your time here. It will be market day so
enjoy a wander through this arts/craft and food market. If the market is not for you, why not take a 10-15 minute stroll along Abbey Street to Standard Quay. This is a very exciting area full of things to do and see. Go into the Standard Quay and SBC Cambria Visitor Centre where the history of the Thames Barges and the restoration project of the Cambria are on view. Walk along the creek to see the barges moored up. There are various pubs and eating places including The Secret Garden Café which has a small garden centre and s full of antiques in the upstairs of the building. Next door is the Salt and Spice shop selling hand blended herb and spice mixes. Look out for Kay Fee Cee spice (can you guess what this is)? A visit to the vinyl record shop on the corner of this area is a must for record fans. Retracing your steps along Abbey Street look out for the many plaques on the walls of the houses. Church Street has an interesting wooden carving of the gatehouse to the Abbey and St .Mary of Charity Church is worthy of a visit, as is the Creek creative gallery/café. Walk along West Street and visit the charming vintage tea room named Upstairs Downstairs. Entrance to the tea shop is from Morrison’s car park. With interesting, unusual shops to visit Faversham is a must.

Our second visit of the day is the beautiful town of Whitstable. There are lovely art galleries here including Horsebridge Art Gallery and café in Horsebridge Road, The Fishslab Gallery 11 Oxford Street and others. There is the Harbour Market, beautiful quaint shops in the High Street and historic alley ways to explore. Peter Cushing, the actor of Star Wars, horror films and Dr. Who fame lived in Whitstable for 35 years. Why not see if you can find the memorial seat and plaque to him and sit and enjoy Cushings View. Try the oysters at the harbour, (Jim always did this eating over 2 ½ dozen one week end and wondered why he was ill!) Walk to Whitstable castle and gardens and enjoy a snack in the garden overlooking the bowling green. The roses in the castle gardens should be in bloom at this time.

Cost: £16.50 includes gratuities.

Coach pick ups:  Dartford 8.00am             Bexleyheath 8.15am                   Sidcup 8.30am                 
Organiser: Pam McQuillan



STANDEN HOUSE AND GARDENS - In 1891-1894 Philip Webb, a friend of William Morris designed Standen House for James and Margaret Beale. The house is one of the finest examples of Arts and Crafts workmanship with Morris and Co interiors and decorative art of the period. After James’s death in 1912 Margaret continued to live at Standen. On her death in 1936 their unmarried daughter, Margaret succeeded her, and on her death in 1947
Standen came into the possession of Helen their youngest daughter. Helen never married and when she died in 1972 the house passed by bequest to the National Trust. This year sees previously unseen rooms open. Standen is a beautiful intimate house with a strong feeling of the family still living there and have just popped out. Entry to the house will be by timed ticket, starting at 11.00am for 10 people and then 10 people every 10 minutes. Hopefully we will arrive between 10.00-10.30am and the café will be open when we arrive. We have been asked to stagger times to the café due to lack of space. Picnics are encouraged at Standen. Photography is allowed without flash in certain areas of the house so please check. We have been asked to make sure mobile phones are on silent please.

The 12 acre hillside garden established by Mrs. Beale is now restored to its 1920s glory. The garden is divided into many outdoor ‘rooms’ each with its own theme, colours, textures and detail. It is a great example of an Arts and Crafts inspired garden. We will leave Standen at 1.45pm for Quebec House. This timing will allow anyone wanting lunch to have time to ‘stagger’ their timing if the restaurant is busy. Why not take a picnic and enjoy the fresh air!

QUEBEC HOUSE: We hope to arrive by 2.15pm. Come and see what makes this small but intimate 18th century house so special. Uncover the reality of Wolfe’s Victory at the Battle of Quebec in 1759 and reflect on his legacy for both his contemporaries and for us today. Explore how James’s family lived in the 1730s; including the food they would have eaten and the games which would have kept them entertained. We will leave for home at 4.00pm.


Cost: £16.50 includes gratuities

Coach pick ups: 

Dartford 8.00am                    Bexleyheath 8.15am                      Sidcup 8.30am

Organiser: Pam McQuillan




Please let me know if you would be interested in a tour of the Painted Hall’s ceiling in Greenwich.  At the time of going to press, the August dates are not available until April. If there is enough interest, I would aim to book a morning tour with a view to having a tour of the Queen’s house after lunch, if I can arrange both on the same day.

As I am sure you are aware the Painted Hall’s magnificent ceiling is being renovated. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Britain’s largest painted ceiling close up. It will not happen again for 100 or so years! Please be aware you would need to be able to climb the stairs to reach the platform 60ft up!

The Queen’s House is the first classical building in England, designed by Inigo Jones in 1616. It is home to many great works of art and has a wonderful Tulip staircase, amongst other impressive features.

Cost:  £20

Please contact Rosemary Webdale by March 31st by either phoning   01322442856 or my
mobile 07990951588 or Email:  rosemarywebdale@gmail.com



Sunday 12th August 2018

Why not invite some friends, bring along a chair/table and your picnic and while away a pleasant summer afternoon (hopefully)! If you have any outdoor games please bring these along with you if you wish to be among the energetic ones!

I have been asked in the past if it would be alright to bring grandchildren along. I have asked Giles and Liz Brown and they are happy to accommodate this request. Please be aware though that an eye must be kept on them at all times because of the danger of the moat. 

The picnic is by ticket only: tickets £1.50 per person available from Pam McQuillan


We have done a full recce of this long weekend break and we hope you enjoy it.  We will be using Jewels Tours for this trip.  Booking will be by post and to be fair to everyone applications will be held until 31st March when if oversubscribed a draw will take place.



The hotel is four star, based on the imaginative conversion of an old 17th Century Farm House.  It is a very good hotel with friendly and helpful staff.  All rooms are en-suite with tea/coffee making facilities.  There is also a swimming pool and sauna for free use by guests. 

Our itinerary will hopefully include, Canons Ashby, Lichfield, Biddulph Grange Gardens, Little Moreton Hall, The National Memorial Arboretum, Shugborough Estate and World of Wedgwood. 

Cost of 4 days (3 nights) Dinner, Bed and Breakfast, transport by Jewels Tours, entrance costs, Arboretum Land Train tour and gratuities for the coach driver are all included.  Any other gratuities are at your discretion, e.g. rooms/restaurant service.

We have been allocated 12 single rooms with a £20 per night supplement, 12 double rooms and 6 twin rooms.   Two friends sharing will, of course, be allocated a twin room.

Double and twin rooms                          £305 per person

Single rooms                                        £365 per person

At booking a non-returnable deposit of £50 per person is requested, with the balance (by
instalments if required) to be settled by 30th June 2018 LATEST please. 

Cheques should be made out to Darent Cray NT Journey Club.

We hope you will be able to join us. Norman and Brenda Jerome (01474 705402).


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