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May 2014

Liverpool Art Tour

A group of 23 from Sarum Arts Society spent 4 days in Liverpool in May. The city certainly deserves its accolade of European Capital of Culture, and we enjoyed exploring this historic city. The refurbished Albert Dock is a lively hub for many museums, restaurants and shops.

The contrast between the two cathedrals was marked, and I think most of us preferred the magnificent ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ with its stained glass transcending the interior with different colours from various angles.

A tour around Port Sunlight Garden Village, built for the Sunlight Soap factory workers in 1888, is a testament to profit sharing for the good of the workers. Sunlight soap was the first soap to be wrapped and marketed. At the centre of the model village the Lady Lever Art Gallery contains Lord Leverhulme’s great personal collection of fine and decorative arts.

The city is full of Grade I and II listed buildings which are being brought back to their original glory. One of the jewels is St George’s Hall , a lovely neo-Classical building housing the great hall and the old criminal courts.

The Walker Art Gallery has a wealth of artworks. Known as the National Gallery of the North, it hosted an exhibition of Grayson Perry’s tapestries ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’. They depict a moral tale of class mobility and social identity – shades of Hogarth’s Rake’s Progress.

Our local guide was excellent, sharing her pride in the heritage of her city. As an extra visit she took us to the stunning new Central Library, opened in 2013. The light-filled atrium rises up dramatically to a glass dome on the roof terrace.

No visit to Liverpool would be complete without a Mersey Ferry trip, and a few of us even went down to the Cavern Club in search of some Beatles music!

On our journey up to Liverpool we spent time at Compton Verney, and viewed the Moore Rodin sculptures both in the museum and in the grounds. On the return we visited the National Memorial Arboretum with a guided walk through the area.

25 - 28th
Sep 2011


A party of 23 Sarum Arts Society members spent 3 nights in Norwich during a warm spell of September weather. On our way we visited Hatfield House, where we were given a wonderful tour of this Jacobean home of the Cecil family. It has many links to Elizabeth I including the famous Rainbow Portrait, a pair of her gloves and silk stockings, possibly the first in England! A great collection of furniture, tapestries and armour were shown to us. In the gardens we caught the last week of the Henry Moore sculpture exhibition.

In Norwich we had a guided tour of the Cathedral which has many links to our own in Salisbury Then a city walk with Blue Badge guides, who took us through medieval lanes, past ancient houses ending up at the very attractive market square. After lunch we spent the afternoon at the Castle Museum which is the home of the Norwich School of Painting, with a display of decorative arts and an amazing collection of teapots!

The next day started with a private guided tour of Holkham Hall - a beautiful Palladian house set at the end of a 2 mile drive passing deer en route. After our coffee and delicious biscuits/cookies we were shown the wonderful collection of paintings, classical sculpture and furniture owned by the Coke family. It was very much a house that was loved and lived in. The great joy was being able to photograph inside and sit down on the chairs! Driving along the Norfolk coast we reached Sandringham House for our afternoon visit - a lovely setting for the royal family's retreat with lots of memorabilia of previous sovereigns.

Our final day took us to Bletchley Park which was very interesting and still in a timewarp. It was fascinating to see just where so much was done, which resulted in shortening the war by a number of years.

Staying in the heart of Norwich we were able to enjoy the wide selection of restaurants in the evening and to explore this lovely ancient cathedral city.

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15 - 19
May 2010


29 Sept -
3 Oct 2008