NATHANIEL IRESON of WINCANTON – Architect, Master Builder & Potter

On the 23rd September 2016, in the Wincanton Memorial Hall; Peter Fitzgearld will give a talk on,

Nathaniel-IresonNATHANIEL IRESON of WINCANTON – Architect, Master Builder & Potter

Nathaniel Ireson has long deserved to be restored to his rightful place as one of the leading West Country architects of the early 18th century, and in Peter FitzGerald he has found an author worthy of his achievements.

Peter FitzGerald, who lives near Wincanton and has a particular interest in architecture, has undertaken extensive research which has uncovered the very large number of houses, churches and other buildings on which Ireson worked.

Peter FitzGerald’s patient research has unearthed evidence of at least forty other houses that Ireson designed, many of them in the Provincial Baroque style that was his hallmark. One of the book’s strengths is the detailed appendix listing the buildings on which Ireson worked. Ireson made his home in Wincanton, where he set up a delft pottery. He carved church monuments and played a crucial role in the rebuilding of Blandford Forum after the Great Fire of 1731. By the time of his death in 1769, he was a highly regarded architect, whose legacy lives on throughout the West Country.

Peter makes a strong case for the importance of this neglected architect-builder-entrepreneur, who became Wincanton’s biggest employer and principal citizen.

Nathaniel-Ireson-Jacket-front-for-website-230x355

 

It is sad that his name is no longer known outside the town, but Peter FitzGerald’s fascinating new book – Nathaniel Ireson of Wincanton, Architect, Master Builder and Potter – should redress that situation (and raise money to restore the imposing Ireson statue in Wincanton churchyard).

Wincanton Memorial Hall 23rd September 2016 7.30 PM

Cost; £5 Non Members, £2 Members

29th April 16 – The History of Palestine by Brigadier(rtd) J Deverell

If Middle East History is your thing or you are just interested, then come along to the Wincanton Memorial Hall on 29th April 2016.

Brigadier (retired) John Deverell CBE MPhil(Cantab) is giving a talk on “ The History of Palestine”.

With 10 years’ experience in the Middle East as an army Officer,  a diplomat, and  as a businessman, Brigadier Deverell will talk about his experience of this most topical and complex region

He has enjoyed postings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem and Yemen.

In Iraq he was instrumental in disproving the pre-war intelligence on the weapons of mass destruction WMD) as the senior British officer in the Iraq Survey Group. He presented his findings on the TV programme Panorama.

In Libya he advised the Gaddafi regime on how they would benefit from giving up their WMD programmes.

In Yemen his work with local officials helped avoid war in the wake of 9/11.

In the Palestinian Territories he was the only British government servant to live and work full time.  He was at the forefront of US and British efforts to reform the Palestinian security sector as a basis for a Two-State Solution. In this role John worked alongside Quartet Representative Tony Blair and General Jim Jones, thereafter the U.S. National Security Adviser.

John has spent time in almost every Middle Eastern country and, since leaving the Army, continues to work in the region – most recently in Lebanon.

He now runs Deverell Associates, working with commercial companies to advise them on Enterprise Risk Management and crisis management at home and abroad. He summarises his work as being about “the Prepared Mind”.

The talk is at 7.30 PM. Cost; Non-Members £5 Members £2 

The Sinking of the Lancastria. Friday 27th November 2015 a talk by Major David Glossop BEM

The sinking of the Lancastra off St Nazaire in June 1940Certainly most of us had not heard of the Lancastria before, but the story David Glossop had to tell was a sad and shocking tragedy, a catastrophe which has been largely forgotten. It involved the greatest ever loss of life in the sinking of a single British ship, claiming more lives than the combined losses of the RMS Titanic (1,517 passengers and crew) and RMS Lusitania (1,198 passengers). It had also the highest death toll for UK forces in a single engagement in the whole of World War II. Continue reading

The Story of Wincanton Parish Church

Friday 29th November in the Balsam Centre.  Colin Watkins gave us his talk on Wincanton Parish Church on which he has written a very useful and interesting guide. It may be the oldest public building in the town for parts of the church tower go back a very long way perhaps to Saxon times, and it has undergone a series of rebuildings reflecting the changes which have taken place over the centuries right up to the present day.

His lecture was a fully illustrated Power Point presentation and sits very well with the Power Point presentation on the Parish Church, the Bell Ringers and the View from the Top of the Tower which we now have on our Museum computer for people to view when we open in the Spring.

From Cardiff to Cherbourg

This was the title of our latest illustrated talk given by member of our Society Peter Lewis on Friday 30th November in the Balsam Centre.

His subject was the dramatic story of the setting up and sad demise in the 60s of the Somerset and Dorset Railway, well illustrated by an interesting collection of photographs.

Held on the evening of the day when a packed memorial service took place in the parish church for Jeff Kingaby, the fact that this talk attracted the biggest audiance we can remember, was a fitting memorial to Jeff whose tireless efforts have kept us all going.

Peter gave us a really interesting talk which attracted a good number of non-members whose great interest was railways in general and the Somerset and Dorset Railway in particular and his talk attracted several interesting questions and the revelation that there are gruops keeping sections of the track alive and there are even plans afoot to construct a new railway to cover much of the old route.  We shall have to wait and see about that.

John Baxter