The April meeting was the last of the speakers in the winter programme and the North Notts Association of National Trust Members are now enjoying outings during the summer months. The May outing was first to Middleton Hall in Tamworth and as usual there was a full coach. Upon arrival, the group were greeted with tea and coffee and then split into smaller groups to be shown around as much of the place as possible. The weather was not kind and therefore they were unable to fully appreciate the extensive grounds and the beautiful and unusual walled kitchen garden or the RSPB reserve.
Middleton Hall has an interesting history and the oldest building there dates back to 1285 and there have been many alterations, renovations and demolitions on the site since then. There is a beautiful Tudor barn and in the converted Victorian stables there are many independent retailers selling a miscellany of interesting items and also serving afternoon teas. The visit was not long enough to take in everything Middleton Hall had to offer but it opened up the desire to have another visit. This is not a National Trust property, unfortunately!
From there it was just a short journey to Lichfield Cathedral which is a truly amazing building. Once more, the group were given guided tours to see and learn about the wonderful architecture and the extensive range of stained glass windows which abound. The area around the cathedral is also most interesting with many narrow ginnels and low timbered buildings surrounding small squares (my friend and I were probably trespassing if truth be known!). There are also imposing large buildings which must have been for the church officials and many of these now comprise the Lichfield Cathedral School. A fascinating area and a lovely little tea room. Despite the weather, it was a most interesting start to the monthly trips.
June’s outing was to Broughton Castle and in July, they will visit the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre and Boston.
Anyone interested in joining the association must be a member of the National Trust and more information can be found online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/north-nottingham-association or you can email NthNottsNTAssoc@gmail.com for a calendar showing list of future events and membership details.