Mark Kershaw, newly elected chairman of the National Trust Solihull Centre, launched the centre’s new “At Risk Appeal” by committing to bringing the Centre’s total contribution to £300,000.
Since its launch 42 years ago the Solihull Centre has contributed £290,551.60 to a wide range of projects including the Coastline Appeal and many individual schemes at local properties Baddesley Clinton, Packwood House and Coughton Court.
At this week’s AGM (26 April) the Centre handed over cheques for restoration of the drapes on Queen Margaret’s Bed (total £3,000) and an annual contribution to the Coastline Appeal of £360.
The first subject for the new At Risk Appeal will be the Coat of Arms stained glass window in Queen Margaret’s bedroom at Packwood House. This window is in the National Trust’s “at risk” category and conservation is expected to cost £4,000.
The AGM was followed by an update from Stephen Spinks, General Manager for North Warwickshire, on re-wiring at Baddesley Clinton and projects at Packwood House and Coughton Court. Ben Shipston, National Trust Assistant Director, Operations, gave an illustrated talk on how National Trust strategy was being applied in the West Midlands.
Queen Margaret’s bed
This bedstead was used by Queen Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI, at Owlpen Manor Gloucestershire (then a Royal Manor) on May 3rd 1471, the night before the Battle of Tewkesbury. It was evidently re-upholstered and the pillars and canopy added in the time of Charles II. The hangings are largely of that date and the colours red and white commemorate the Battle of the Roses.
It was brought from Owlpen to Packwood by Baron Ash in 1927.
The back drape and valance around the top have been in store since 2013, to prevent further damage. Paddy Tranter, Conservation and Engagement Manager, Packwood, and Ksynia Marko, the National Specialist Textile Conservation Advisor for the National Trust are shown inspecting the valance in store. The photograph below shows how it will look when complete.