Morpeth Lions Club
For many years Morpeth Lions Club has sought out means of adding to the general education of its members.
These educational visits have included taking in sites of historic interest, the Falkirk Wheel, lead mines in Weardale, the Royal Armoury in Leeds and the Bowes Museum, to name but a few.
There is, however, a common link due to the fact that these visits can be of some distance and involve hiring a mini bus. That link is the brewing or tasting of beer.
Morpeth members acknowledge that they are getting no younger and because of this the retention of details relating to the brewing of beer or the distilling of whisky needs to be replenished on an annual basis.
This year Lion Harry Cone arranged a visit to Belhaven Breweries in Dunbar, where our excellent guide gave a very informative tour of the brewery, including its history and methods of brewing.
Until 1992 the brewery was in the hands of one family. However, it is now part of the Greene King group of breweries and its products are exported to many countries throughout the world.
It believes it is the oldest brewery in the UK and will be celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2019.
The date is already in the Lions diary — particularly as the tastings sampled at the end of the tour met with everyone’s approval.
To cater for more serious educational needs, there followed a visit to the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune Airfield.
For many attending this was their first visit, and probably will not be the last.
Currently, there is an excellent display area containing the first British Airways Concorde.
Visitors are allowed to enter the plane and many were amazed at how cramped it seemed compared to modern aircraft, although the legroom was very adequate. On the plus side there was first class catering available and it only took slightly over three hours to cross the Atlantic.
There are also displays of fighter and civil aircraft, with plenty of interactive areas to keep the young, and certainly the not-so-young, visitors happy.
The four hours spent there certainly passed quickly.
Harry, however, never loses sight of the liquid aspects of education and near Berwick was a well-stocked ale public house that served good food.
Arriving back in Morpeth some 13 hours after leaving, the Lions expressed their gratitude to Harry for organising the day and to Lion Les Sage, our ever reliable driver.
The club is a member of Lions International and aims to serve the local community of Morpeth, providing assistance and manpower as required, as well as contributing to international projects.
Its work is funded by donations from the public, which are raised through street collections and events.
Members also enjoy a range of social activities, from barbecues and dinners to walks and outings.
If any reader has time to spare to help in our community and might be interested in joining Morpeth Lions Club, please contact Simon Pringle on 01670 513169. New members are always welcome.
Meetings take place on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Morpeth Conservative Club in Newgate Street.