Hastings and Rother U3A

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HASTINGS and Rother U3A members enjoyed an interesting and well organised outing to Petworth recently. The sun shone and the air-conditioned coach kept members cool.

The comfort stop at Shoreham Airport proved a popular choice, as members could watch light aircraft taking off while enjoying a drink and snack. The Art Deco building in itself is very interesting.

The driver then took a scenic route to Petworth, skilfully negotiating some quite narrow country roads. He parked near the church in Petworth, so members did not have to walk up the long drive to the house, but could slip quickly into the house or the restaurant as they wished.

The floor of the original entrance hall of Petworth House is both decorative and imposing, as is the main staircase the walls and ceiling of which are painted in dramatic fashion. It was interesting to compare the utensils in the vaste cavernous kitchen with modern ones.

The living rooms inside are rather dark, as dark colours are used on the walls, which are covered with numerous works of art. The National Trust is clearly conscious of the fact the muted lighting makes some of the paintings difficult to see in all their glory, as they have launched an appeal to improve the lighting of the paintings.

The furnishings are very much of heavy and ornate rather than light and frilly, indeed the only frills are on the lamps! But one cannot fail to be inspired by the carvings of Grinling Gibbons in the Carved Room.

Members had time to stroll in the landscaped gardens and sit and admire the wonderful views.

A lovely day out.