Golden Cap Association (West Dorset)

a local association of the National Trust

Golden Cap Association (West Dorset)

a local association of the National Trust

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A damp day in Tyntesfield

The weather was dreary and damp as a group of members joined the coach for our visit to the NT owned Tyntesfield house, gardens and grounds near Bristol. Fortunately the weather didn't really interfere with our enjoyment of this fascinating house. There was even a little sunshine although you had to be fortunate to actually enjoy it. There was also hailstones so you can appreciate the the unreliable British weather was doing its best to make our visit 'interesting'.

Due to the complications of the new legal restrictions on photographing individuals the following pictures are from the house and its surroundings. Thanks goe to Veronica Smith, Rob Dunford & Chris Senior for supplying the pictures.

The house and a small selection of areas of interest inside the building:

There is a small chapel with some beautiful stained glass windows:

Outside the grounds are fascinating especially the beautiful spring flowers and kitchen garden.

· 07/04/2019 16:20 · CA Senior

2019 AGM

Members met in March for the 41st Annual General Meeting. Proceedings went through rapidly as there was nothing contentious to discuss.

We welcomed a new member to the Committee who has agreed to be our Vice-Chairman - Rob Dunford. The remainder of the previous committee members were all elected for a further term of office. Most have been in position for well over the statutory maximum 7 years but, like other organisations, we are finding it almost impossible to attract people prepared to volunteer to help. This is of considerable concern as should the situation not improve it will not be long before we have to disband despite experiencing excellent attendance at all our events and a membership in the region of 400 members.

Members waiting for the proceedings to commence.

Rob Dunford, our newly appointed Vice-Chairman being welcomed by the members.

Our chairman, Gordon Simmons, flanked on his right by Rebecca Burton, NT South West Regional Director and our speaker for the evening; with Hannah Jefferson, General Manager North & West Dorset NT, is on his left.

Hannah accepting a £3,000 donation cheque from Gordon which is the surplus income from our 2018 activities. This money will be put towards equipment for the Ecology Team which carries out vital work on the Golden Cap Estate.

· 07/04/2019 15:37 · CA Senior

Annual Spring Lunch 2019

Sixty-five members made a happy return visit to the Eype's Mouth Country Hotel, which, at its name suggests is set in the small Dorset village of Eype, near Bridport. It is a family run 17 bedroom hotel where we are always sure of receiving a warm welcome. The March weather outside may not have been particularly pleasant but nobody was concerned as they enjoyed an excellent meal amongst excellent company. Judging from the sound of the conversations and laughter a good time was had by all.

· 09/03/2019 16:00 · CA Senior

Meeting Isambard Kingdom Brunel

A damp day in October was our second visit to SS Great Britain in Bristol but this time as well as the ship there was the added interest of the brand new Being Brunel Museum.

Brunel was 32 when he launched his first ship in 1838 - SS Great Western, the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic; in 1845 when he was 39 years old he launched SS Great Britain, the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic, which it did in 14 days; at the age of 52 he launched SS Great Eastern, dying shortly after the launch. In between times he built a railway, bridges and countless other projects.

On our arrival we were taken straight to the ship where a sandwich and soup lunch was laid on for us. Once this was enjoyed we were free to explore the ship and museum at our leisure.

The museum's aim is to introduce us to the man Brunel and his many interests and skills. Amongst other things he was a keen follower of the arts and loved Shakspear (not a typo). One striking feature of the museum is an enormous reproduction of his head - which can be entered via his ear for a visual presentation of some of the events during the building of the railways as seen through his own eyes, including smoke, smells and loud noises. On exiting the 'head' we entered his 'London Office' and joined in a visual presentation of a debate on whether it was cost effective to build the SS Great Britain.

By spring 1858 Brunel was seriously ill. He may have been suffering from kidney disease. He had a stroke in 1859 while on board the Great Eastern. Dying he was carried home to London but held on for reports of the Great Eastern, on her trial voyage off the south coast of England. He must have been hoping for good news. Instead he heard how one of her boiler feedwater tanks had exploded off Weymouth, damaging the ship and killing three men.

On board SS Great Britain we were able to sit with the great man himself, visit the kitchens and check out the other services available. Around the dockyard the everyday activities were going on as usual.

Another very interesting day and well worth our return visit which can be thoroughly recommended.

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