A sense of be­long­ing

Tempt­ing gift mem­ber­ships for ev­ery en­thu­si­ast, by WIL­LIAM COOK

The Oldie - - CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2018 -

Cinéaste

A night out at an Ev­ery­man cin­ema is a world away from the lo­cal mul­ti­plex. Comfy seats, a cosy bar, even wait­ress ser­vice – it feels more like a pri­vate film club than a pub­lic fleapit. The orig­i­nal Ev­ery­man, in Hamp­stead, opened way back in 1933 and there are now 22 venues as far afield as Leeds, Bris­tol, Birm­ing­ham, Winch­ester and Har­ro­gate, screen­ing live shows from the Bol­shoi Bal­let and the Royal Opera House as well as cur­rent movies. Mem­bers get ten per cent off food and drink, a free guest pass on Mon­days, plus ex­clu­sive ad­mis­sion to pre­views. Choose from £95 (seven tick­ets), £300 (24 tick­ets) or £600 (un­lim­ited ac­cess for a year). www.ev­ery­mancin­ema.com

Aes­thete

Dis­cern­ing oldies won’t need telling that the Royal Mu­se­ums site in Greenwich is one of the most splen­did places in Britain. On a spec­tac­u­lar stretch of the River Thames, amid gor­geous gar­dens, with breath­tak­ing views across Lon­don, a wan­der round the Queen’s House, Royal Ob­ser­va­tory and Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum makes for a de­light­ful day out. Mem­bers get free fast-track en­try to all three venues, plus the Cutty Sark and the Plan­e­tar­ium, as well as a snazzy mem­bers’ mag­a­zine, in­vi­ta­tions to pri­vate views and dis­counts on re­fresh­ments. An an­nual pass costs £44, or £65 for two. www.rmg.co.uk

Mariner

For salty old sea dogs or frus­trated land-lub­bers, a sub­scrip­tion to the

Ma­rine Quar­terly is an ideal Christ­mas gift. At £40 for four is­sues, this self-named ‘jour­nal of the sea’ is more than a mag­a­zine – it’s a cel­e­bra­tion of our nau­ti­cal her­itage. With time­less yarns by clas­sic writ­ers such as Er­sk­ine Childers and Ham­mond Innes along­side brand-new sto­ries about modern sea­far­ing, there’s plenty of salt wa­ter and stormy weather, and you’re bound to find your sea legs here. www.the­marinequar­terly.com

Bather

The Ju­bilee Pool in Pen­zance is one of Britain’s finest Art-deco build­ings, and 40,000 hardy swim­mers took a dip in its el­e­gant un­heated wa­ters last year. Drilling has now started on an in­no­va­tive geo­ther­mal sec­tion that will heat the sea­wa­ter to 35C, en­abling the pool to stay open all year round. If you’re lucky enough to live in Corn­wall (or even if you’re a fre­quent vis­i­tor), a sea­son ticket (£69 for adults, £52 con­ces­sions) is a great way to keep fit, as well as help­ing to pre­serve a val­ued land­mark. The pool was opened in 1935, to cel­e­brate the Sil­ver Ju­bilee of King Ge­orge V and had a £3 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion in 2016. www.ju­bileep­ool.co.uk

Art lover

The Jer­wood Gallery caused a bit of a ker­fuf­fle when it opened in Hast­ings in 2012, as some res­i­dents feared it would spoil the au­then­tic char­ac­ter of the seafront. They needn’t have wor­ried. This taste­ful modern venue (right) blends in per­fectly with the tra­di­tional net huts that sur­round it, and its stylish café has be­come a pop­u­lar ren­dezvous. An­nual mem­ber­ship costs £35 (£27 for lo­cals), which en­ti­tles you to dis­counts in the shop, café and as­so­ci­ated re­tail­ers, plus free en­try to a gallery that fea­tures great Bri­tish artists such as Stan­ley Spencer, L S Lowry, Wal­ter Sick­ert and Au­gus­tus John. www.jer­woodgallery.org

Train spot­ter

When Dr Beech­ing shut down the branch line be­tween Ox­en­hope and Keigh­ley, its York­shire pas­sen­gers took mat­ters into their own hands. Closed in 1962, the Keigh­ley & Worth Val­ley Rail­way re­opened in 1968, manned en­tirely by vol­un­teers. Fifty years later it’s still go­ing strong, con­nect­ing Ha­worth (home of the Bron­tës) and Oak­worth (where they filmed The Rail­way Chil­dren) with the main line at Keigh­ley. The old steam trains and vin­tage car­riages are en­chant­ing, and the sta­tions are ar­chi­tec­tural gems. Be­come a mem­ber for £25 (£22 for over-60s) and get three Day Rover tick­ets per year, half-price travel at all other times, and four is­sues of the Keigh­ley & Worth Val­ley Rail­way Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety

mag­a­zine. www.kwvr.co.uk

Wood­lan­der

Since the 1930s Britain has lost over half of its his­toric wood­lands. Those un­sung he­roes at the Wood­land Trust are fight­ing valiantly to pre­serve what’s left. They’ve planted 40 mil­lion trees, they’ve saved 500 forests from de­vel­op­ers and they now have over 20,000 hectares of an­cient wood­land un­der restora­tion. The trust man­ages around 1,000 forests, home to all sorts of pre­cious flora and fauna. It al­ready has 200,000 mem­bers. Why not make some­one you know a mem­ber too, for just £48 per year? www.wood­landtrust.org.uk

Bi­b­lio­phile

The Lit­er­ary & Philo­soph­i­cal So­ci­ety of New­cas­tle upon Tyne (or the Lit & Phil, as Ge­ordies call it) is the largest in­de­pen­dent li­brary out­side Lon­don. Founded in 1793, housed in a hand­some Geor­gian build­ing in the his­toric heart of New­cas­tle, it has the au­gust yet homely am­bi­ence of a gen­tle­men’s club. For £125 per an­num, mem­bers get ac­cess to more than 160,000 books (you can bor­row a dozen at a time) and, best of all, no fines for late re­turns. www.litand­phil.org.uk

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