This was the first time that we had visited Waddesdon and it proved to be another successful and very enjoyable visit. The house was beautifully decorated with every room following a different theme but each having a huge Christmas tree. The decorations looked so fresh and as new as they must have looked when the Rothschild family occupied the house. Around the house was a Christmas Fair with many stalls selling food and other seasonal goods to help with the Christmas shopping. We had a superb lunch with turkey and all the trimmings, Christmas pudding with a glass of wine which was perfectly cooked and presented. When it got dark, a light show finished the visit and we all left Waddesdon feeling that the festive season had definitely started.
53 members travelled to the British Museum to see the blockbuster exhibition ‘Vikings – Life and Legend’. After coffee and biscuits, we had a fascinating talk on the Vikings and the artefacts displayed in the exhibition followed by a visit to the exhibition itself. This proved to be an enjoyable and educational day and complemented a previous study day and visit to explore items from the Saxon hoard.
The visit to this little known house and parkland in Lincolnshire proved to be a great day out. A number of members consider this to have been the most enjoyable trip in recent years. Currently a member of the Historic Houses Association, part of the property was built was built in the 13th century but the majority was added by Baron Willoughby de Eresby on the occasion of his marriage to Maria de Salinas, lady–in–waiting to Katherine of Aragon, in 1516. It has remained in the family ever since. Sir John Vanburgh added the front of the house in the eighteenth century and it contains important collections of tapestries, portraits and furniture including several thrones from the Palace of Westminster. After coffee on arrival, an hour long coach tour of the 3000 acres park was led by Mr Ray Biggs, the property administrator, who gave an extremely knowledgeable and fascinating talk on the grounds and house. This included the history of the whole site, areas of special scientific interest within the park and potential problems and diseases relating to the many hundreds of different variety of trees some of which were re–planted in the 17th century. We had a good lunch of quiche, salad and potatoes followed by an afternoon touring the house in guided groups. This left time to explore the gardens and have an ice cream and cup of tea before departing for home. A truly enjoyable and memorable visit.
At a well attended service, Angela Watkins presented the bound Church Record of All Saints, Leek Wootton to Revd Jim Perryman. Elizabeth Hunter, past Chairman of the Society who was Chairman when the recording began, was present along with several of the recorders.
The Record was well received and the PCC had kindly agreed to pay for the binding.
Our team of 4 volunteers are now entering their eighth year at the gallery.
During this time they have condition checked, recorded, photographed and repacked the Textile Collection and the Ethnographic Collection.
They are coming to the end of the Social History Collection, a large collection including many items of local interest. When this is complete they will return to the Textile Collection which, after 5 years, will need to be revisited.
Hundreds of artifacts have been checked and the two and a half hours spent every Monday morning are still much enjoyed by the team.
Volunteers worked on a large collection of Historic Motoring/Transport Trophies, the earliest was 1797 a Coach not a Car! The entire collection was to be exhibited at The Coventry Transport Museum unfortunately it appears that funding has placed a stop for the moment on this project, but as you can see we did as always bring these exhibits back to life.
The Herbert group has finished off a series of projects including making exhibit covers/curtains for the Natural History store, improved padded coat hangers for the dress store and making cushions to support books when they are accessed from the collection.
The museum displayed an exhibition about Children’s Television from the 50s onwards. We helped out with the ‘Hands on’ artefacts for pre school visitors based on the ‘Rainbow’ theme – lots of tactile clouds, rainbow banners and filling huge floor cushions with polystyrene beads -which is a whole story in itself !
Future activities may include making further calico bags for parasols and swords and checking and amending computer records of the collection.
Royal Regiment of Warwickshire Fusiliers Museum St. John’s Warwick
The group examined over 100 uniforms for damage, vacuumed them carefully and replaced them in custom made covers. As these uniforms are mainly red they are particularly prone to insect infestation so regular cleaning and careful storage are very important. The group also checked and updated all records related to the uniforms.
Our weapons Group, having previously worked both at the Lord Leycester Hospital and at the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum at St Johns, Warwick, have also recently completed a project for The Herbert Gallery at the Guildhall in Coventry. The group received further training from Gallery staff in order to complete this project.