Winchester and Avington Park – 9th June, 2011
Well organised by the outings secretary, Maureen Arrowsmith, a coach of members from the Meopham Historical Society set out for a visit to Winchester and Avington Park. Arriving in Winchester, we had a good 3 hours to look around at our leisure. Lin and I headed for the Cathedral, where we were just in time to join a group for a guided tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and spent over an hour showing and enlightening us on the various points of interest inside. Without him we would have looked around and left within a very short time without having learned much. After the guided tour and a quick snack on a bench outside, we made our way to the City Museum, where the Roman glass was of special interest to me. Then it was on to the City Mill, now a National Trust building. Unfortunately, because of a lack of volunteer staff, the promised demonstrations could not take place so that we were disappointed.
We resumed our journey to Avington Park, where we were given an excellent guided tour of the house, including the entrance hall, ballroom, drawing room and library. From there we made our way to St Mary’s Church and whilst we sat in the unusual box pews, we were given a talk and then a demonstration of the barrel organ. It was not the type with a monkey and organ grinder, but a two-barrel organ, situated in the musicians’ gallery that was set to play a number of hymns. From there it was back to one of the two conservatories, where we were given a cream tea before boarding our coach for the journey home.