IMG 0171 Picture of most of the participants at Symonds Yat.

After joining their coach in Emsworth, 36 members of the Trust travelled through rural Wiltshire to Lacock to visit the Abbey, the Fox Talbot Museum of Photography and the nearby picturesque village. The head of a close-knit family, William Fox Talbot is famous for creating a photographic negative that saw the birth of modern photography. Expansive flower gardens surround the well-furnished house - a pleasant place to spend a relaxed afternoon. Mine1
Next morning the group travelled to Hereford, an historic city founded in the 7th century by the Saxons and later claimed by the Romans, the Welsh and the Royalists. Many of the original black and white timber houses have either been destroyed or covered with more modern facades. Nevertheless it is an attractive city with a magnificent cathedral that houses the famous Mappa Mundi, the largest surviving medieval world map, and the chained library. Before returning to the hotel there was a visit to Symonds Yat, overlooking the valley of the River Wye, a photo opportunity in the late afternoon light.
On the third day the group was given an insight into the ochre and iron mining industry that had operated for 4500 years in the deep caverns of the Clearwell Caves at Coleford. The tunnels visited were cold and uneven underfoot and it was shocking to be told that originally many of the miners had been children, working by candlelight and climbing up steep ropes to the rocks above. More recently many films have been made in the caves, including Merlin, and a large illuminated lake with moving digital fish and plants was an eerie experience. A ride on the Dean Forest steam train and a visit to the Dean Heritage Centre concluded this experience of the County’s industrial train
On the return journey to Emsworth there was a visit to Basildon Park which is a 1750s Palladian building with a chequered history. Having been left empty before being requisitioned during the Second World War, the house was in a state of decline until becoming the home of the socialite Lady Illiffe and her husband in the 1950s.The rooms have been refurbished with period furniture, Old Masters, modern engravings such as those of Graham Sutherland and Chinese and Indian décor in some rooms. The expansive gardens have an abundance of colourful flowers and shrubs with many volunteers restoring the grounds to their former glory. A cream tea in the garden restaurant was a perfect end to the holiday.Thanks to June and Peter Morse and Woods Travel for organising this successful and interesting trip.

Sue Young
September 2017

Web Editors Note. To all the participants of the holiday. Please let me have any pictures taken on the holiday which I will share on this Dropbox link:
So far there are only two sets of pictures and I will add others as soon as I receive them. You can send them to me by email attachments, on a memory stick, a SD camera card or a CD. I will return CDs or memory sticks if you give me your address. If you have any problems or need my address, give me a call on 01243 371267.