After busy summer activities, summer social and successful Summer Show members had looked forward with great anticipation to meeting old friends on September 16. Derek Walker said he was extremely pleased to say that congratulations were in order as Astley had won the Cup again for the best Trough entered at Kidderminster Horticultural Society Show held in the grounds of The Mercure Hotel in early September.

He reminded everyone to bring back their viola plants for judging at our Autumn Show on October 3. He also informed us that tickets were still available but selling extremely well for the the Harvest Supper to be held on October 17.

Entertainment will be provided by the Dave Christie Band. The next forthcoming monthly meeting will be held on October 21 at Astley Village Hall when speaker will be Bob Brown of the Cotswold Garden Flowers.Derek then introduced our well known local speakers for the evening who were husband and wife team Lesley and Richard Betts.

Lesley introduced “Our flight with John”.

We were privileged to watch their flying adventure in a plane with pilot John Hadley in the cockpit taking off from Shobdon Airport.

The journey took us over Bewdley, Stourport, Witley Court, Clee Hills, Ludlow, Leominster and Malvern and we saw amazing views on the ground below.

It was really exciting to see all the well known spots from the air. Lesley is a keen photographer and Richard the Technician.They are both very enthusiastic with their presentation.

She then introduced other themes and told us that she would show us a range of several pictures and a variety of exciting highlights accompanied by appropriate music including: Things I Love The Kingfsher, Wren, Squirrel; In the Rain Umbellas at the ready, reflections, raindrops, puddles; life through my lens close ups of bees, insects, damsel fly, dragon fly; winter wonderland pictures taken in the ice and snow at Hartlebury Common.

All the photographs were spectacular and Lesley described each subject with great passion for her work.

She explained that snow is a giant reflector and that pictures in the rain always produce interesting results.

Lesley then showed us her photographs of Historic Witley Court now maintained by English Heritage.

The monumental fountain pictures of Perseus and Andromeda were great and the Parterre gardens are now well kept.

All aspects of her photos are well thought out and her audience were captivated and really enjoyed the evening.