The Spring outing, organised by Nan Miller and Alan Mepstead of the Vocational Service Committee on St George's Day was to Aylesford, near Maidstone, and began with a delicious lunch in the 13th century Pilgrims' Hall at The Friars, one of Kent's hidden treasures set in peaceful grounds bordering the River Medway and home to a Carmelite Community.
photos by Jenny and Bob Anderson - click to enlarge
Lunch at Aylesford Priory
Extra time would have allowed those visiting for the first time to visit the Pottery and Gift/Bookshop but we were awaited at The Royal British Legion Village close by.
Introductory Talk by Liz Rickaby
In days gone by, it was here that the thousands of poppies worn on Remembrance Sunday were made but this activity has since been moved to Richmond - although the Poppy Appeal still has its office here.
We saw where most of our Motorway signs are made, together with wooden pallets and rather oddly, the making of display models to advertise a children's construction kit in toy shops.
The latter were minor miracles and they had also made a full size 'model' of the new racing car attempting the world's speed record. 70% of the workforce are visually, mentally or physically impaired and they do a great job.
However the big surprise was a new Garden of Honour being created, designed by our own member Andrew Clague, (see picture below). The poppy is made of a reflective material and looks stunning in the sun.
The purpose is, 100 years after the outbreak of World War I, to form a garden which will provide the public with a space to pay their respects andit will serve as a permanent reminder ofthe bravery and sacrifice made by our Armed Forces every day. There is also housing in the RBL Village for the war wounded.