Meeting Report - February 2020

Paul Share, Chairman of Romsley & Hunnington History Society, welcomed everyone to the meeting on 25th February 2020. He introduced Derek Clarke, the speaker for the evening, whose talk was entitled "Repairing the Roof at Tyntesfield".

Derek informed those attending his was not exactly a talk more a journey of the ups and down of working on old properties and with the aid of slides he took everyone on this journey getting Tyntesfield, a National Trust property, into good health. The instructions given by the National Trust were that whilst the work was carried out the general public visiting had to still be able to access the house and be completely safe.

The roof was in a very bad state and scaffolding had to be erected over the whole of the areas to be renovated. First they had to make sure scaffolding was erected upon very good foundations. They were to dig trenches in the lawn and put in concrete pads but were informed that this lawn had rare wild orchids grown in it. So they carefully dug 12" x 12" spits of lawn and transferred them elsewhere in exactly the same order they were dug and the National Trust gardeners were to take care of them. They then could proceed. If the scaffolding that was used was placed end to end it would have covered 12 miles.

When repairing Hanbury Hall a staircase for the general public was placed on the scaffolding to enable visitors to watch the repair work being carried out. Tyntesfield wanted to have the same. They obliged. Both Hanbury and Tyntesfield visitor numbers rocketed whilst this extra activity was available. The old roofing was replaced with new wood where necessary, new roofing tiles were sauced from the same manufacturer who was still trading and all stone work either repaired or replaced. Whilst all this was being carried out the electrics had to be earthed and a new central heating system sorted.

Derek kept everyone hanging on his every word with his enlightening and entertaining journey to get Tyntesfield back into excellent health. Paul thanked Derek and many questions followed. In case you were wondering, the lawn went back afterwards in exactly the same order it was removed, the orchids survived and you wouldn't know they had been moved.

The next meeting of the History Society will be Tuesday 28th April 2020 in the Romsley Church Hall at 7.30 p.m., when the title of the talk will be "King John: The Worst or Most Useful King?" given by Max Keen. If you would like to come along all are welcome, you do not have to be a member.

Jean Cockin