Bishop’s Knoll Volunteer Newsletter September 2018
Two working parties for the price of one to be reported here! The first being a extra session organised on Friday 31st August as a training course by Joe Middleton. This focussed on replacing the old narrow northern steps – the ones nearest the bridleway and above the great plane tree. The select group replaced 7 steps and despite the scurrilous comments below attributed to our Woodland Trust Site Manager(South West) Joe worked really hard and is a dab hand with a Mell. This event was also an introduction to our latest recruit Alan who (again despite the attributed comments) seemed to enjoy himself on his first working party. Welcome Alan!
September 1st becomes September 8th
Much to the annoyance of your Hon. Sec. the Downs Festival (who is Noel Gallagher anyway?) returned to our fair city on September 1st 2018. It would have been kind to have had advanced notice of the road closures but as result the date had to be changed and because of this we had 11 rather than our usual 16. That said what we lacked in number we made up in effort in what was also a shortened session to allow everyone to get to the booked AGM at the Mill House by 12.30.
While the main group added a further 5 steps to our northern staircase Bev and Martyn continued on Terrace 5 later joined by Brice P (Brian O was busy in the tree nursery). Further useful levelling was undertaken to make the area safe
Another 5 steps in place Martyn busy on Terrace 5
Sadly on their arrival Bev and Martyn also identified what appears to be yet another appearance of Japanese knotweed. This really has been most persistent. They also noticed that the single step down to the Lookout had been displaced. This has now been relocated and pegged and will be mortared in place in the next few days.
The temporary fix of the Lookout step The unwelcome reappearance of the knotweed
And what of the Weeks? Jenny and Peter had been delegated to remove the tree which had fallen across the path below the Lookout. This they soon accomplished and then set about removing the ivy from the neglected section of the huge retaining wall holding up Terrace 3. No easy task this as the area is much overgrown and there was a lot of ivy. Needless to say this excellent work has revealed that further pointing will be needed here in due course
The date of September 2018 reminds your Newsletter editor that he has never mentioned the significant book written by Liz Tomlinson and Jenny Weeks and published by the Stoke Bishops Local History Society.This should be of interest to all those reading this Newsletter.
The book relates the stories behind the First World War names on the Stoke Bishop War Memorial. (This is the one at the top of Stoke Hill which also contains the names of two of Robert Bush’s two sons who died in WW2). Among the WW1 names is that of Cecil Neate who was one of the gardeners of Bishops Knoll, as was his father George. Cecil joined the 3rd Btn the Royal Fusiliers but died in France aged 20 years; that is one hundred years ago this month on 1st September 1918
Copies obtainable from firstname.lastname@example.org
Bev and Chris