In 2014 our members enjoyed a varied programme:
In June a day at Penshurst Place, near Tonbridge in Kent, proved popular. The house guides had a wide-ranging knowledge of the Sidney family – in continuous occupation of Penshurst for more than 460 years since Edward VI granted the estate to Sir William Sidney, forebear of the 2nd Viscount de L’isle who now lives there with his family.
The Baron’s Hall (1341) is one of the best examples of medieval domestic architecture in the country, and the formal gardens are delightful.
In July members of the Society visited the new Mary Rose Museum and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to see the hull of the Tudor ship, 30 years after she was raised in the Solent. Currently viewed through the windows of an insulated area (a ‘hotbox’) as water is removed from the timbers after years of spraying with preservative, the hull will eventually be seen in an open museum environment. A unique collection of 16th century artefacts are displayed in mirror-image context galleries running the length of the ship, and other themed galleries illustrate the working lives of the crew.
After timed entry to the museum, members were free to explore HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, the National Museum of the Royal Navy with a major exhibition new for 2014 on the centenary of World War I, and Action Stations, which brings to life the modern Royal Navy through interactive displays.
Since 2012 the Society has organised tours further afield –
to Rouen and Monet’s garden at Giverny in 2012,
and Northumberland in 2013.
In September it was a tour of the Cotswolds. link