Wednesday, July 3rd was one of those beautiful summer days, not too hot, not too cold, in fact the weather was 'just right'! It was on this day that the group had one of its most memorable and enjoyable outings. We had been invited to see the Sutton Coldfield Collection belonging David Owen, one of our long time members, at his charming cottage in the lovely countryside around Aldridge.
Smells of lavender greeted us as we approached the house through the front garden, and we were welcomed by Ethne, David's wife, who led us into their kitchen. Further aromas greeted us - coffee and biscuits - and we sat around an enormous kitchen table, which, we were told, came from David's childhood home at New Hall in Walmley. Here, David explained that his collection had been gathered over many years and consisted of a miscellany of books, old and new, maps, pamphlets, paintings, postcards and photographs. There was also his father's Mayoral Year Book of 1951-2.
Having then been led into the living room, we were astonished by the amount of material that he had arranged for us to inspect - it was like an Aladdin's Cave - and we spent the next hour and a half totally absorbed in the sort of things we all love! Lots of memories and questions kept popping up as people looked through items that they had never seen before.
There were to be two 'viewings' during the day in order to accommodate as many interested members as possible. Seven members came in the morning, two of whom didn't want to go home and stayed for dinner! The afternoon contingent numbered eight. Some of David's collection was arranged on a table just outside the living room, overlooking the back lawn, which was being mown as we sat there,. The whole ambiance just seemed perfect.
During the whole of the day, many aspects of Sutton were talked about and this carried on as the visit came to a delicious end! Once again, in the kitchen and seated around the table, we were invited to help ourselves to cake and the most welcome cup of tea. Needless to say, we were very reluctant to say goodbye!
So, many thanks to David and Ethne for a lovely day!