Association of Open University Graduates


Verulamium Museum

AGM 2014

Region 06 hosted the 2014 AGM/Social Weekend from 16th - 18th May at the Noke Thistle Hotel, St Albans. St Albans dates back to Roman times with many Roman features and remains, and it is these Roman aspects that formed the basis for most of the optional excursions available to both members and non-members during the weekend.

The programme began with an outing to Verulamium Museum. The guided tour gave a glimpse into the life of Roman citizens who settled on the banks of the River Ver a couple of millennia ago. Then back to the hotel for dinner, the AOUG Foundation for Education raffle and two tough logic tests (by way of entertainment).

On Saturday morning the more formal parts of the weekend took place - the official AGMs and then a Workshop to discuss the AOUG website and newly introduced Members Only Forum section. After lunch, there was a trip to the World of Butterflies. The group enjoyed the Tropical Butterfly House and the Insect Study Centre as well as the Future Gardens, designed by twelve renowned garden designers, and alongside, the permanent gardens. The Gala Dinner that evening was held in a marquee. A delicious meal was followed by an interesting speech from the Archivist of John Lewis and music from a local jazz trio. Then came a raffle and auction of handmade dolls. After the customary speeches of thanks, the pennant of the Regions and Nations was passed from the Executive Representative for the East of England, the host Region, to the Chairman, who accepted it on behalf of the next AGM host, Wales, which did not have an Executive Representative. Members danced or chatted into the night.

The weather was fine on Sunday morning for a guided tour of the city, exploring the old streets and Abbey grounds as well as the Abbey itself. Leaving the Great Gate of the Abbey, now part of St Albans School, the group walked towards Verulamium Park where the tour ended. After Sunday lunch back at the hotel, everyone went their separate ways, planning to meet again next year in Wales.