Summer Outing – June 2017.

Our thanks go to Margaret Hathaway for, once again organising, a really enjoyable trip. Here is Margaret’s account of the day.

A valiant band from the society joined forces with friends from Belbroughton History Society and braved the lashing rain and heavy wind as they set out on the coach journey which would take us towards Craven Arms. We travelled the scenic route, the views mostly hidden in cloud.This was weather we were unacustomed to. Where was our famous History Trip Sunshine? It was there waiting for later in the day and Shropshire and Worcestershire sparkled brightly on the homeward journey.
We now all understand the meaning of the phrase ‘peak stuff’. A phrase which has started to be widely used. Both the museum we visited – THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT, in Craven Arms, close to the SHROPSHIRE DISCOVERY CENTRE and WALCOT HALL, situated a few miles away, towards Bishop’s Castle – wonderfully illustrated the meaning of the phrase, each in its own way.
THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT is three storeys crammed to the rafters, quite literally, with all manner of things that might normally have been thrown away. There is packaging, clothing, domestic appliances and so much more arranged in a sort of thematic way. Fascinating!Everyone was struck by particular memories as they spotted things. I was horrified by some green patent vinyl hot pants (Ed note – Margaret does not say whether she had owned a similar pair) made nostalgic by the Biba packaging and amazed to see how compact 1950’s furniture actually was with 2 arm chairs and a sofa happily fitting into that typical 10’X 10′ sitting room mock up. We could almostfeel the itch of that moquette as it pressed patterns into our thighs.
The husband and wife team who run this supremely quirky place, are still buying, although where they can display new items is a mystery. Recent purchases, costing hundreds of pounds, were a number of costumes from the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. I have yet to find anyone else who spotted them.

THE SHROPSHIRE DISCOVERY CENTRE made a great base, with its striking grass roof, super cafe and lots of comfortable seating, displays and and lovely grounds to explore with easy paths. The exhibition features the geology of the area, a friendly looking woolly mammoth and a virtual balloon ride.

Our afternoon was spent in the company of the present owner, who happily shared her home with us, explaining how it has changed over the years from a black and white building, through many remodellings by the Clive family (of India fame)the Earls ofPowis and the Stevens (of Judge cookware and with close links to the area)until the current owners took it on in the 1950s. Now it is of georgian appearance with magnificent views over water and sweeping hills,
The family keep the roof on the building by hosting weddings, 43 this year, providing holiday lets and by running events such as opers and concerts ; my Alfie Boe, Michael Ball and Cliff Richard this month alone. But they very much live in the house, taking meals regularly in the magnificent dining room and coping with the absence of anything but night storage heaters downstairs by setting big warm fires in the various hearths. The gentleman of the house is another collector and his study was piled high with a huge assortment of his aquisitions which included textiles, old Barbie and Action Man dolls, walking sticks etc. etc. More ‘Peak stuff.’
A sudden downpour somewhat curtailed exploration of the gardens and arboretum so we repaired to the ball room for tea and cakes to celebrate a good day out. And then the sun began to shine.

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