Recent Events

Christmas Lunch at Egypt Mill, Nailsworth
Wednesday 20th December 2023

Evening with Wild Swans and Supper, WWT Slimbridge
Friday 2nd February  2024
After a welcome drink and canapés in the Peng Observatory the Reserve Wardens gave a commentary on the migration journeys and floodlit evening feed of the wintering swans, geese, and other wildfowl. A two course supper was then served in the Kingfisher restaurant. The evening was much enjoyed by the 50+ members who attended.

Visit to the Textile Conservation Studio
Wednesday 10th April 2024

Last autumn, Alison Lister came to Box Village Hall to tell us about her training and career in Textile Conservation and about the conservation projects undertaken by her Bristol-based business, Textile Conservation Ltd. 11 Club members subsequently took up the kind offer of a guided tour of her Studio which is based at the Paintworks development in Bristol. Alison put a range of carefully chosen objects on display from a variety of commissions that the Studio is undertaking and introduced us to each, explaining the individual challenges.

The Union Jack from the Royal Navy’s HMS Captain (launched in 1869) was made from wool bunting. If the Studio’s proposal is accepted, some earlier restoration will be removed and the Ensign sandwiched between sympathetically dyed cotton net and muslin, so stabilising it for rehanging from a pole in its current Church home.

The Coleford Wesleyan Methodist Sunday school banner is constructed of a wonderfully painted silk, but the latter is badly shattered. One of Alison’s assistants was assessing different red-dyed gauze to see which would be a suitable match, to be gently placed between the layers and hot glued in place. So from a distance the banner will appear whole, while close-up the repair and original can be distinguished. A painstaking conservation that will require around 1000h.

Besides these two objects we were treated to an overview of four others:  a beautiful lace curtain, one of eight from a National Trust property in Armagh, which were also being strengthened for rehanging by delicately sewing to a suitably dyed net backing; another flag, this time from the British Legion, again being stabilised for rehanging in Church; an evocative child’s sampler from the 1800s, a private commission, requiring some wool thread embroidery restoration; a 19th C wedding dress top that had been damaged by damp in a museum store and was in need of cleaning; and a tapestry from Kelmscott (though older and not contemporary with William Morris), Samson tending the Lion, which also required strengthening for rehanging and so was to be given a robust linen backing as it was very heavy - it was interesting to compare the light-faded front, for example with the green foliage now appearing blue, to the still vibrant colours on the back.

A really memorable visit.

Guided tour of the Medieval Monastic Estate of Frocester
Sunday 28th April 2024
A most interesting and enjoyable visit to Frocester Court hosted by CNFC member Arthur Price and his wife. We assembled in the puddley farmyard for our 3pm start and were taken through and around the various farm buildings, including the magnificent storage barn, with Arthur detailing the history and various uses of the buildings and equipment and the various types of stone that were used and the similarity and variation of design features in comparison to Woodchester Mansion, which has an interlinked history with the Court. Arthur also explained some of the buildings' work that his Father and himself had done and he is still doing, including chimneys on the main house and were shown his masonry workshop and tools.
We then entered the main Court house, unbooted, for drinks and biscuits with the opportunity to see the magnificent stone fireplace in the lounge, which Arthur explained is so much better than the somewhat similar fireplace at Woodchester Mansion. There was also a selection of some of the many publications that Arthur has been involved with compiling. The published finish time was 5pm, but there was so much of interest that the last of us left at 5.45pm. A most comprehensive and interesting visit during which Arthur displayed his in-depth knowledge of all matters relating to the Court and its history entirely from his head: The family farm is a survival of the Medieval Monastic Estate of Frocester, and still in use. The Grade I-listed cruck-framed barn was built for John de Gamages, abbot (1284-1306) of St. Peter's Abbey, Gloucester. A handsome lodge and gatehouse stand at the entrance of the farmstead. Close by lie Grade II-listed Victorian shelter sheds and granary with cart shed, now believed to have been designed by Charles Hansom for William Leigh, owner of Woodchester Mansion. An important Romano-British settlement was discovered under fields by Arthur’s father Eddie Price. There is further evidence of occupation thereabouts by Mesolithic and Neolithic people, with confirmation that the area was farmed from the late Stone Age and throughout the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman period.