Purpose of N40s
The purpose of the group has always remained the same; for people to meet socially in a relaxed atmosphere, and where friends and neighbours would be welcome to join us, with no strings attached. This principle has continued to work well.
Although many are church members, we have several who come each month who are not members but are friends or contacts people have made. Numbers vary each month from 10 up to 32, (our highest number), but depends on the activity that has been programmed.
This is a wonderful opportunity for those who would like to meet new friends and are open to all, whatever age you are, (although we are aware the trips out are during a weekday), so come along and join with us. Our times together are certainly not boring!
Flavour of the past (History)
The N40s started fifteen years ago, with a group of people from the church who were mainly 60+ in age, so retired or semi-retired, who wanted to do things socially, they still felt young in mind and body so called themselves the ‘New 40s’, so hence the name the ‘N40s’.
Their first visit was in February 2005 to the Anne Frank Exhibition at Hall Place to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the end of the second world war. 15 people came – mainly members of AHCF and three friends. From then on, monthly trips or guided tours were made to different places of interest either locally, in London, or in and around Kent. Sometimes it would be a circular walk in the Kent countryside. But there was always time for a pitstop at the local café wherever they were. They have visited a diverse array of places over the years such as:- Guided Walk Through London’s Jewish Community, London Wetland Centre, Tour of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Bank of England, Pollock’s Toy Museum, Royal Observatory & Planetarium,
Shoreham Aircraft Museum, Tour of BBC Television Centre, White Chapel Bell Foundry, Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, Buckingham Palace, The RNLI Tower Lifeboat Station and London Postal Museum to name but a few. There have also been talks and tours by local historians or nature/bird enthusiasts organised.
As the years have gone by there have been changes to what they did, especially as some in the group became less able, so they would meet-up at the Banana Garden Café at the Oval on a bi-monthly basis. (As it is run today). It has run on happily without stopping until 2020. There were a couple of meetings at the start of the year; Jan & Feb in the Banana Garden Café at the Oval, but then Covid19 struck and we went into lockdown mid-March with the rest of the world! Many of the group were shielding, so it was some months before they met again in the summer, following the restrictions for social distancing etc.