Caledonians visit to National Arboretum
After an 9 am start 35 members arrived less than an hour and a half later. Our friendly coach driver assured us that no one had ever been disappointed by their visit. How right he was.!
When we arrived a helpful guide met us off the coach and there were free mobility scooters if required. He suggested we might like to visit the Chapel of Peace and Tranquility for a morning memorial service to those who had lost their lives in the service of our country. We were also advised of a road train which toured many of the memorials with an on board commentary. This we could get on immediately after the chapel service.
The chapel itself is the most amazing building. Many large Scottish pines hold up the roof and are carved with the faces of the 12 apostles. There is a tranquility in there which is palpable, and the service was very moving. The last post was played, we observed a 2 minute silence and learnt a bit about our surroundings.
The land train was a great idea for a small fee. It drove us slowly around some of the 30,000 trees and 350 memorials.
All the Armed Forces, civilian bodies and volunteers in Britain and overseas are commemorated. Animals too have their memorials. Who would have thought that reclaimed gravel workings between the river Trent and the Tame would have been turned into this incredible, special place. We shall remember them and their sacrifice will not be forgotten. Its no surprise to know that many awards have been won for outstanding visitors centre, Coach friendly location and many more. Well worth a visit.
Many thanks to Alex and the committee once again for taking us to these marvellous places.
Roving reporter Margo