2023 Events for Members

Wednesday 22 March 2023 - Wellcome Trust Genome Campus

1.40pm at Saffron Walden Common Car Park to car share or 2pm at the Campus visitor's car park at Hinxton CB10 1SA off the A1301

The Wellcome Genome Campus is home to two of the world’s leading DNA science organisations: the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute. During your visit you will find out about the history of the Campus, its central role in the Human Genome Project, and how current genomic research is shaping the future of medicine, conservation, and much more. You will also get to see inside the largest DNA sequencing facility in Europe and a data center that stores and shares millions of DNA sequences with scientists all over the world. The visit ends at 4pm.

The Trust has asked us to share cars where possible because of a shortage of parking spaces at the Campus.  So, if you wish to attend please let us know if you will be offering lifts or if you would welcome a lift. Numbers will be limited to 25 so please book in advance with Peter Riding on 01799 502355 or email peter@riding.co.uk

Saturday 15 April 2023 - St Mary's Church Guided Tour

2.30pm start

The Rev’d Canon Chris Bishop, who is St Mary’s Church archivist, will give us a guided tour of St Mary’s, the largest parish church in Essex. As towns people, the outside of the church is unmissable, but the inside details will perhaps be unfamiliar to many. Chris will tell us about the way the church has developed since it first started here in the 12th century and the fine detailing inside. You may not know that in the past the then local council met in the church in a room above the south porch, or that the tomb of Thomas, Lord Audley is in St Mary’s.

There is no charge for the tour, but you are invited to make a donation to the upkeep of this fine building.

Numbers will be limited to 20 so please book in advance with Chris Knight at chrisjk@ntlworld.com or 01799 500502


Thursday 20 April 2023 - Fry Art Gallery Visit

7.30pm at 19a Castle Street, Saffron Walden

A guided talk on the main exhibition for the 2023 season entitled “Art and Design”.

The Fry Art Gallery has a national reputation for its extensive collection of works by artists of Great Bardfield and other north-west Essex villages including Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, John Aldridge, Sheila Robinson, Walter Hoyle, Richard Bawden, Marianne Straub, Michael Ayrton, Chloe Cheese and Olga Lehmann.

The exhibition explores the way in which many of these artists moved between pictorial art and design in the course of their daily work in such varied fields as book illustration, furniture, wallpapers, theatre and advertising.

There will be a charge of £6 with refreshments. Numbers will be restricted to a maximum of 20 visitors so please register beforehand with John Ready on 01799 528149 or john.ready569@btinternet.com


Tuesday 23 May 2023 - Visit to Saffron Walden Waste Water Recycling Centre

2.30pm start - off New Pond Lane, Saffron Walden (Parking in Swan Meadow)

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the used water that goes down the Saffron Walden sewers?  During this guided visit, the site manager will explain the water recycling process, including the problems faced by blockages and the unflushables that find their way into the sewer network. NB 'Stout footwear' is recommended.

Numbers will be restricted to a maximum of 15 visitors so please register beforehand with Peter Riding on 01799 502355 or peter@riding.co.uk  

Wednesday 14 June 2023 - Bridge End Garden Tour

Meet at 7.00pm in the Close Garden (opposite Nos. 5 & 7 High Street)

Many of you will already know Bridge End Garden in Saffron Walden but this guided visit will tell you more about its history and development. Our guide will be Liz Lake, Chair of the Friends of Bridge End Gardens, who also wrote the 1999 Management Plan that was used to obtain a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for restoration.

The Garden is registered Grade 2* on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest and is a wonderful asset for the town and its visitors. The guided tour will take around 75 minutes.

With a maximum of 20 places, you must book with David Pearl at dpearl564@gmail.com or 01799 500952 or 07910 987465. The Friends have asked for a donation of £3.00 per person.

Sunday 24 Sept 2023 - Saffron Walden Walking Tour for Initiative Members

Meet at 11.00 am outside Saffron Walden Town Hall in Market Square

Many of you will of course know Saffron Walden extremely well, but this is an opportunity to participate in a guided tour of the town, led by Initiative member Sue Ullstein. Sue regularly leads tours of Saffron Walden and she will take us to the major sites in the town to tell us some key historical and architectural facts that you may not know.

The tour will take about 90 minutes. Comfortable walking shoes, and hats and sunscreen if the weather is still clement.

With a maximum of 15 places, you must book with David Pearl at dpearl564@gmail.com or 07910987465 as soon as possible. We anticipate that this tour will be popular and Sue is happy to arrange another tour later in the year if necessary. Thus, if you would like to go on the tour but cannot make the 24th September, please let David know. 

Sunday 19 November 2023 - Initiative 20 Year Celebration Event for Members

Initiative Members are cordially invited to attend a 20 year celebration afternoon of Saffron Walden Initiative at the King's Arms, Saffron Walden on Sunday 19th November 2.30pm - 5.30pm. You will be welcomed by Board members and treated to a talk by Paul Hunt accompanied by light Wartime refreshments.  We do hope you can attend. Any problems with transport let us know and we will try to help you.

So that we can keep an eye on numbers, please let the Initiative Chairman, Jacqui Portway, know if you plan to attend - Jacqui.portway@gmail.com