Judith Teasdale’s beautifully illustrated and meticulously presented talk on Lytes Cary Manor on Friday 14th September was a fitting and extremely interesting start to our Autumn programme. She attracted a very good turnout which filled the Balsam Centre Shed and gave everyone much to talk about over our glasses of wine afterwards.
Drawing on her experience of developing a Conservation Management Plan for the property on behalf of the National Trust, Judith showed us pictures not only of the nooks and crannies of this ancient property with its roots going back to manor house and village in Medieval times, but also a series of fascinating photos and stories of the Jenner family who were responsible early in the 20th century for purchasing and restoring the property after it had been reduced from grand house to dilapidated farm buildings. There were calves being kept in the chapel.
Of particular interest in bringing Lytes Cary alive for us were her stories of how Sir Walter Jenner had set off to serve in the Army during the First World War complete with his horse and a batman to look after him and how his wife had worked tirelessly to support the troops with extra supplies and comforts and how their daughter had set off to Wincanton to nurse the war wounded in the hospital set up here in the Carmelite monastery. Noblesse oblige!
Her talk not only attracted good turn-out but encouraged several new members to join the Society. This is great news as the time approaches when we will be able to set up the new Museum in Wincanton Library and there will be plenty for volunteers to do in many ways from following up a pet theme to taking a turn stewarding.