ISSUE 3, October 2002
Editorial
Brother Winston: Churchill as a Freemason
Travel: Getting the taste
Manchester City: Masons achieve their goal
Freemasonry in the Community: Sermon of the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral and Chief Executive spells out the five objectives of the Grand Charity
Quarterly Communication: Report of the Board of General Purposes and Address by the Pro Grand Master
A Dickens of a Night: Charles Dickens celebrated
   Masonic Research: Seek and ye shall find
Charity News: New Masonic Samaritan Fund and Grand Charity and Cornwall Freemasons raise 2.8m and MTGB: Special concert in the Grand Temple and RMBI: Care in action
Library and Museum: Burmese banners and Royal British Legion link
Letters
Freemasonry in the Community: Supplement
Gardening
Book reviews

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Getting the taste

Stephanie Voyager takes to the road with a French wine trip, courtesy of Arblaster & Clarke, to Burgundy and Beaujolais


Although I didn't know what to expect, as a lover of food and wine I was sure I would enjoy the trip. It wasn't until I received my itinerary that I realised that it was a coach trip with a set-off time of 5.45am.
    People seem to either love or hate coach trips. I was about to find out, as I had never been on one for more than a day at a time.
    There was, of course, some trepidation on going on holiday with 31 strangers.
    Would we get on? What would be the age group of my fellow companions? Would everyone be in couples? I needn't have worried.
    'Usually at least one-third are single,' said our guide Rebecca, a very competent lady who had studied wine at Bordeaux University, and spoke fluent French. People came from all over the country, including Scotland, with at least half the single people having partners, but leaving their spouses behind to pursue their own interests. By the end of the first day, I was chatting to everyone around me as if we had known each. other for ages.
    Although we had to spend most of the day on the coach, bar the crossing, the journey was broken up with an onboard tasting of wines from the areas we would be visiting.
    We were lucky enough to have with us as wine guide Derek Smedley, a Master of Wine, who has been in the trade for over 40 years.
    Although many of the people were knowledgeable on wines, there were also those who enjoyed their wine, but knew very little more - for example, how it is made, the different grapes or the importance of the soil.
    Without being too technical, Derek was able to tell us as much as we wanted to know, and for those for whom the details were unimportant, the information just went over their heads.
    Without even wanting to, information somehow got stored in our memories, so that when we visited a particular vineyard we were able to get a lot out of it.

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