We're still on a high after our short-listing for the national Heritage Angel Awards, but we still need your support to help bring People's Choice back for Bristol.
Summer in the Home Park
- Heritage Angel Awards
- Lifting the Curtain IV - working party progress
- Conservation plan progress
- Re-launch of our walking guide
- Doors Open Day details
- Youth park run
- History update: New acquisitions - can you help?
Don't Forget! - Working Party Reminder
Reminder: August's working party will take place next week, on Sat 15th. Meet at Shirehampton Road public car park at 10am. We're planning to continue carrying out light clearance nearby along the South Walk between the Circle and the Echo, continuing the progress on our "Lifting the Curtain" project made over the last few months. This will involve the removal of self-seeded saplings and light undergrowth. Please come along with suitable clothing for the weather on the day, bring hand-tools if you have some suitable, and we hope to see you there.
Heritage Angel Awards
National recognition for KWAG
It was a real surprise to discover last month that we'd been short-listed for the Heritage Angel Awards, run by Historic England and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It's great recognition of our hard work over the last four and a half years and, regardless of whether we win, it means that historic Kings Weston is being noticed at a national level!
A band of our regular volunteers have been invited to represent KWAG awards ceremony next month, on 7th of September in the Palace Theatre, London. We'll be accompanied by two officers from Bristol City Council parks department who we've been working with closely with our restoration efforts. Our fingers are crossed for success in our category where we're up against three other locations in the UK for work on "other" heritage sites.
But we still need your help! We're in the public vote against all of the other fifteen on the full short-list for the People's Choice award. Voting is still open until for a few days, until the 16th August. We still need everyone's vote to put us in with a chance. Apologies that the links in our last email may not have worked when forwarded to friends and family, but the following link should function in taking you to the voting pages on the Historic England web site. Alternatively there is a link on the front page of www.kwag.org.uk.
LOOK OUT FOR US IN THE VIDEO THAT'S JUST BEEN UPLOADED FOR OUR CATEGORY!
Heritage Angels Award page: http://historicengland.org.uk/news-and-features/angel-awards/shortlist-2015/
KWAG in a recent edition of the Bristol Post (there were some inaccuracies in the article!)
Lifting the Curtain IV
Working party progress along South Walk
The South Walk provided a shady location for July's working party efforts. Carrying on from where were left off in June we moved eastwards, towards the Echo, clearing undergrowth and self-seeded trees that have grown up over the last few decades, choking the historic parkland.
The woodland here was much denser than in previous areas, and although the path is elevated here above the house, the views are blocked by more mature trees. However we still made a big impact, restoring a sense of openness beneath the canopy, and giving the more mature trees a greater chance of survival. Amongst these was a beautiful tall oak that had virtually vanished from sight before our work.
During work we noticed that this oak was not a lone parkland tree like the others we've uncovered; looking back down the South Walk across the work of the last few months we noticed that the mature trees we've revealed are in fact part of a planned avenue stretching right back towards the Circle! We hope that future work will continue to uncover more so this lost feature can be properly appreciated once more.
Join us on the 15th of August if you can lend a hand with this project. We look forward to meeting you.
Looking down the freshly revealed avenue of oak, cedar, lime, and sweet chestnut, in the direction of the Circle
Conservation plan progress
Fresh commitment from two of the Council's key Cabinet members
There's been a lot of activity behind the scenes with Kings Weston recently. A new officer's been appointed to coordinate matters regarding Kings Weston house and park with an over-arching responsibility covering the several departments that have interests in the estate. Peter Insole, the Council's Principal Historic Environment Officer, will be responsible to the Deputy-mayors who hold the Council Cabinet brief for Neighbourhoods, Culture, and 'Place'.
We met with two of the Deputy-mayors, Daniella Radice and Simon Cook, late in July and we're delighted that they'll now be looking into how the Council could support a future bid for a major Heritage Lottery Fund, Parks for People grant. If successful this bid would enable the recommendations outlined in the Conservation Management Plan for the restoration of the estate to be undertaken - one of our biggest ambitions. We will continue to encourage the Council to commit to, and progress, a bid and have offered our support wherever we can give it.
Exciting plans for the grounds immediately around the house are also soon to be progressed. Norman Routledge who owns the lease on parts of the grounds and car parks associated with the Grade I Listed building has been progressing designs to improve the woodland car park, and reinstate some of the formal gardens. We hope to be able to circulate some of these proposals soon.
Walking guide re-launch
Our popular guide returns for Green Capital year
Our first ever publication has returned! KWAG's first walking guide is available again from the cafe at Kings Weston house. Re-publication has been supported by our Green Capital Grant from the local Neighbourhood Partnership, and it's been updated for a second edition. The walk takes in a familiar circuit including the Home Park, Penpole, and the spectacular views overlooking the Avon from Shirehampton Park. For the first time both our walking guides are available, free to everyone, at the same time!
If you can't wait to get your hands on a copy you can download it from our website.
Doors Open Day details
Special arrangements for Kings Weston for this year's event
Some of you have noticed that Kings Weston House hasn't been included in the annual Bristol Doors Open Day programme this year. Unfortunately the main day, Saturday 12th September, coincides with a private event being held in the house, but instead will be open for Free the following day of Sunday 13th September 10am-4pm.
Hopefully this will mean that people will have an opportunity to visit other venues on Saturday before taking a more leisurely time around Kings Weston House and grounds on the Sunday. As always the cafe will be open, and KWAG will be hosting our regular exhibition and tours. It will be a great chance to learn more about the history of Kings Weston and see how the restoration of the house has progressed. We will also reprise our popular art exhibition and sale after last years success; this will be held jointly to raise funds for KWAG and local Twyford House Art Group.
If you are able to help out and help supervise the exhibition we would really welcome the assistance from anyone. You needn't know everything about the park, or KWAG, but it is a great opportunity to meet everyone and get involved. Please email us or phone 07811 666671 if you can spare any time on the 13th to help us.
Junior park run
The inaugural event of a new group coming soon
A new event will be taking place at Kings Weston; The Kings Weston junior parkrun, set up by the Westbury Harriers running club, will be launching on 23rd August. The event is a 2K timed run that is free to enter for 4-14 year olds. All abilities are welcome, this is an event for everyone. Participants and volunteers are required to register at www.parkrun.org.uk and all are given a unique bar-code number to record participation (as runners or volunteers). It will take place on
23rd August at 10am – meeting outside Kings Weston House.
Everyone is welcome to come and support the launch event, and the organisers are hoping to find a few more members for our core team – please circulate an appeal to anyone you know who may be interested. They do not need to have anything to do with running, just willing to give a small amount of time every 4-6 weeks to lead an event and be part of something special. They would also be interested to hear from anyone who would consider helping with recruiting volunteers and ensuring local youngsters/parents are aware of, and participate in, the event.
There will also be a test event on 16th August so if you want to come and see what the event is all about and have a go at volunteering – please register at parkrun
For more information contact Warren Pickles, event director for the Kings Weston Park Run on email@example.com.
History update: New acquisitions - can you help?
New additions to the park's history
We're always on the lookout for new historic material relating to the Kings Weston estate. If you have anything you can share with us, photos, memories or artefacts, we'd love to hear from you.
This month several items have come to our attention. On the right you'll see an idyllic photograph of Shirehampton Park looking in the direction of Sea Mills in about 1880. The grove of pines was a popular spot for artists at this time, but the trees were probably planted much earlier, by Sir Robert Southwell in the late Seventeenth Century. They are a constant feature of Shirehampton Park through the 1720 and 1772 estate surveys and successive owners must have replenished and maintained the small plantation. This picturesque view shows the wooden fence that was erected to protect the public from the recently opened railway line that had been threaded through the park, along the banks of the Avon, in 1875.
Sadly this viewpoint and most of the pines were lost in in the 1920s when the Portway cut through this exact location.
We hope that someone out there can help with another discovery. We've acquired the scout badge illustrated here, but we are having difficulty in tracking down its history. Emblazoned with a crown (possibly symbolic of the "King" in Kings Weston?), a pole, and the words 'Penpole District' we believe it relates to the Bristol District Scout camp that was based in Penpole Woods between 1937 and 1947. During this time Penpole Lodge became the gateway into the camp site and was used by the older Ranger Scouts as their HQ.
A second image here shows the detail of a wartime photo posed in front of the gates of the now-ruined lodge and shows the plaques the Scouts attached to them. Is this the same logo as the badge we've acquired, was there a later Penpole District Scout Group, or is there no connection with the estate at all? We hope that someone out there might know and we hope that any former Scouts that remember their time at the Penpole camp might be able to help us.
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