Posts Tagged ‘Morville Hall’

On Sunday April 27th we were joined by Marcus Halliwell, General Manager of Dudmaston Estate, who presented some of the group with National Trust Long Service Awards.
Four members completed a massive 20 years of volunteering and still going strong. Two members achieved fifteen year awards, one member ten years and five have clocked up five years.

Each person received a NT pin and the awards emphasises how much value the National Trust places on the work done by volunteer groups like ours.

PicMonkey Collage








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Did we eat cake? Yes, we did.

Morville cake

Was there sunshine? Yes, there was.

Moseley Kings Walk

Was there fire? Yes, there was.

Benthall Hall

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hello….are you there? We’ve been Missing In Action for a couple of months. Sorry. Lazy. Been busy cutting things, burning things and eating cake (what else would would we be doing?!).

What’s been going on with SSNTV?

We’ve had 16 workdays since the last web update. We headed north to Biddulph Grange and south to The Weir, visited old favourites (Morville and Dudmaston) and found our way to a new property (Benthall Hall).

Benthall is a real joy and the work is ideal for our group. Our first project is helping clear an overgrown path which stretches from the Benthall estate, downhill towards Ironbridge and the River Severn. In the near future, it is hoped that the restored path will be designated as a bridleway.

As we now approach the end of October, SSNTV look forward to a busy autumn and winter programme. You can find details of all our workdays on the EVENTS page.

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Beccy Speight joins SSNTV at Wenlock Edge

The month began with a special visitor to Wenlock Edge on Sunday 1st April. Beccy Speight, Regional Director for the National Trust in the Midlands, joined us for a workday. The location was the old railway line. The weather was fine, the cake was good and Beckie got stuck in with the work, felling trees and clearing brash. I hear that Ron soon signed her up as an apprentice firestarter!

We continued work at the same site on Friday 6th April (Good Friday Bank Holiday). It was Laura’s turn to be firestarter, under Ron’s watchful eye. Verdict: uses too many matches, has a lot to learn before she is ‘black belt’ firestarter. Max the dog worked hard and was too tired to walk home so he commandeered Ron’s car (see photo below).

Max drives home after a hard days work at Wenlock

It’s possible that April 2012 will be remembered as being very wet and we got a full helping of rain on Monday 9th April (Easter Monday Bank Holiday), Dudmaston, where we worked with National Trust Ranger Mike Annis to work on tree and scrub clearance at the Big Pool Dam. It rained in the morning…it cleared for lunch…it rained in the afternoon. We had two fires going which helped to cheer things up, but it did get a bit muddy underfoot and it’s hard to stay cheerful when your waterproof trousers cease to be waterproof and a dog steals your jacket to  lie on (poor Matt). A feast of Easter Eggs boosted morale.

Max doesn't like damp ground. Matt's jacket proved to be just right for resting on

We just can’t get enough of  Wenlock Edge. Our next session was Sunday 15th April. A different site this time, at the footpath running along the edge of the old quarry. In sunshine, we worked on path clearance and fence repair. This is a popular walking path for locals and visitors to the area. Our job was to cut back the overgrowth at the edges of the path and repair the fence on the quarry edge, improving path access and safety. If you are ever in the area, I can highly recommend the walks in and around Much Wenlock and along Wenlock Edge.

Wenlock Edge, Matt

The weather for Sunday 22nd April didn’t look promising but SSNTV are never put off by the forecast and there was a good turnout of volunteers at Wightwick Manor & Gardens. The work for the day was in the bridge garden, which had become overgrown with laurel and other tall shrubs. There was once a productive fruit garden in this part of the property and in the future it is hoped to return the garden to its former glory. With luck, we avoided the rain as we worked. It did rain, monsoon style, at lunchtime but we managed to take cover in a marquee to eat lunch and wait for the skies to clear.


Morville...soggy workwear

We didn’t have any luck with the weather on Sunday 29th April. Our visit to Morville Hall was cold and wet. It was raining as we arrived…it rained all day….it was still raining at the end of the day. Unperturbed, a hardy group of SSNTVers joined Morville Hall tenants Chris and Sarah. We braved the wind and rain to work in the garden, carrying out a list of tidying and maintenance tasks in preparation for the annual open weekend at the property and surrounding gardens. The upside of rainy days at Morville is that we are allowed to eat our lunch in the Elizabethan hall – very grand indeed! We stopped work only when we couldn’t get any wetter. Chris and Sarah provided tea and cake. This was much appreciated at the end of this damp workday.

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I don’t want to brag but….we are really, really great! And there are numbers to prove it.

Each year, one of our more organised members keeps a record of the hours volunteered by each group member and the group as a whole. Our group year finished at the end of August. I am sure there is a spreadsheet involved and lots of number crunching that I barely understand, so I’ll just give you the facts:

  • total volunteer hours for the group – 3,343.25
  • 69 people volunteered with the group
  • there were 67  workdays at 15 different National Trust sites

I think these statistics are amazing. We are a part-time group yet we contributed the equivalent of over 80 weeks full-time work.

Where did we spend our time? The top 3 sites measured by hours worked are as follows:

  • Dudmaston
  • Morville
  • Attingham
I love statistics, but there is one vital stat missing – how many slices of cake were eaten during the year?!

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Sunday 14th August

Following on from the blog post for our visit to Morville today, the following photos show the new sundial garden. Work began on this project in March 2010. Chris and Sarah, tenants of Morville Hall, designed the garden and WNTCV helped bring the project to life and I think we should be proud of what has been achieved. The two photos show the garden in March 2010 and today.

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Morville Hall, Sunday 14th August

It has been a few weeks since we updated the news section, have you missed us? We haven’t been lazy during our absence. In fact, we have had several Sunday workdays (Attingham, Moseley Old Hall, Dudmaston) and some of the group headed north to Northumberland to spend a working week at NT Cragside.

Today we find 22 of the group, including 2 new members (hello Shelly and Kate!), at Morville Hall in Shropshire. WNTCV members know this property well as we visit at least 4 times per year. Non-members should have a look at our news archive and photos for details of previous visits.

We had such a successful visit today. There was a list of tasks, including:

  • stage one of a new project – converting the 1960s swimming pool into a natural pond
  • cutting back the clematis adjacent the new sundial garden
  • trimming the top and sides of the laurel hedge
  • tidying the area around the pond
  • cutting back the hawthorn hedge
  • preparing areas near the old swimming pool for planting

There seemed to be tasks to suit all. The ‘heavy’ team set about shifting 7tonnes of pebbles and slate into the base of the old swimming pool – the pool had already been lined prior to our arrival. They then positioned half barrels in the pool, which were filled with soil – these will be planted with water lilies in phase 2 of the project. The ‘heavies’ were left to their sweat and toil while the others formed small teams to attack the rest of the task list. The weather was perfect for working: not too warm, not too sunny, not too dull and NO RAIN.

There was cake….oh yes, a LOT of cake….we do like cake. Thanks Sarah and Chris for your hospitality – we had a great day and look forward to visiting again later in the year.

If you’d like to leave a comment regarding the above, please do so using the ‘comments’ link.

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Morville Hall

Morville Hall, Sunday 17th April

First things first  – a ‘plug’ for the good people of Morville and their annual festival, being held over the three days of May bank holiday (30th April – 2nd May). Have a look at the  Morville Festival 2011 website where you will find details of the flower festival, garden fete and open gardens. I can highly recommend a visit – the cake alone is worth the journey!

Morville Hall

Now to news of our workday. As I was driving over to Morville today, with sun shining and blue skies, it struck me that I can’t remember having a day of bad weather at Morville. Morville Hall is a very impressive sight in any weather, and particularly fine in the sunshine.

We were warmly welcomed by our good friends, Chris and Sarah Douglas, who had prepared a list of gardening tasks for the group including planting lavender in the new formal garden, dry stone walling, erecting fence posts, hedge trimming and general garden tidying. After tea and biscuits we headed out into the garden to start work.

Planting in the new formal garden

Workday leader, Mags, kept us motivated with homemade maple syrup fudge and we were soon racing through the list of tasks.

Here’s me (below), doing some work for a change instead of taking photographs! Repairing the wall was a bit like a jigsaw puzzle – we were sure that all of the stones that had fallen from the wall were in the pile, we just had to work out what went where.

At the end of the day, we were served tea with a delicious spread of cakes (thanks Sarah!).

Wall repairs (me doing some work!)

Cake Oclock

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Well, we aren’t really going on a bear hunt…..that poem has just been stuck in my head for the last few days.

We are REALLY going to Morville Hall, this coming Sunday 17th April (where there are unlikely to be bears). Morville Hall is a favourite venue for the group – we always have a great turnout for our visits. It is a stunning location, there is a wide variety of gardening tasks to choose from and we are always warmly welcomed by Morville Hall tenants, Chris and Sarah Douglas.

Of course, there will be an update on this site after our visit but why not come along and join us instead?

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