After nine years Demaris Hess hands over the Tuesday lectures

demaris_presentationSince September 2006 Demaris Hess has been the power behind the highly successful Tuesday evening lectures.

This year’s Charles Lines lecture was her last event before she hands over to a new volunteer.

Our new chairman elect, Mark Kershaw, gave a fascinating talk on the BBC Proms. Whereas the first half was about the history of the Proms, after the coffee break he was able to bring us an insider’s view of how a television broadcast was created. For, after a lifetime’s career with the BBC starting as a cameraman, he had risen to control of every camera position and shot in BBC Four’s television productions of such concerts.

Before, his lecture, however, he introduced our new web site to the audience 😉 ;-). He then went on to thank Demaris for her work and support over the last nine years, and to present her with a basket of yellow roses. [COMMENT]


Packwood hosts committee lunch

pckwood_lunch_postcardStephen Spinks, General Manager, North Warwickshire, invited the committee of National Trust Solihull Centre to lunch in the new restaurant at Packwood House.

Congratulations to our president for starting this initiative of building better relationships with local staff to help each side to put names to faces.

We are looking forward to more co-operation with both news and activities.

As they say, watch this space.

the little book of great walks near you

great_walks_postcardThe National Trust has teamed up with Cotswold Outdoor to create a free ‘Little Book of Great Walks Near You’, suggesting some of their favourite walks at National Trust places in the Midlands.

This handy guide features walks across the region and is broken down into six categories; walks for ‘Wildlife and Nature’, ‘Peaks and Views’, ‘Woodlands’, ‘Water’s Edge’, ‘History’ and ‘Season’s Best’. It will be distributed through regional Cotswold Outdoor stores and all of the National Trust properties included.

There are lots of walks at National Trust places and the great thing is that they usually cater for all abilities, starting with gentle strolls around the houses and immediate gardens, through to longer walks that reach to the edges of some of the vast estates. Another highlight of a National Trust walk is there’s bound to be an excellent tea-room or restaurant offering hot drinks and a tasty slice of cake not too far away.

National Trust staff have helped to compile the walking guide, with many of the walks being personal favourites. Chris Shaw, Ranger at Belton House in Lincolnshire said:

“One of my favourite walks is the Park Walk as it gives you a great snapshot of Belton’s history coupled with views such as the long avenue down to the Bellmount Tower. This looks majestic all year round but especially in the autumn with the changing colours. Another of my favourites on the walk is the site of where the deserted village of Towthorpe once stood. It gives a real sense of all the rich layers that make Belton what it is today.”

Look out for copies of the guide at Cotswold stores and your local National Trust property.

Hopton Hall & Denby Pottery, Derbyshire

Tuesday 9 February 2016

johnson_coach_postcardAlthough Hopton Hall (near Wirksworth) is not open to the public, there is a tearoom there where we will have our coffee/tea on arrival (cost – approx £1.50 a cup – NOT included in the cost of the outing). You will see drifts of delicate snowdrops across 5 acres of woodland, with well sign-posted paths, mainly hard surfaced. With appropriate footwear the walks are easily accessible for most visitors, but hand pushed wheelchairs will experience difficulty.

We will leave Hopton at about 12.30 for Denby Pottery, where we shall have lunch in the Bourne Restaurant. As the weather can be very fickle in Derbyshire during winter months, a factory tour has not been booked – the tours can take up to one and a half hours – but we shall be able to visit the Reception Centre and the Museum and there is also a Dartington Crystal and Denby factory shop for you to browse around. Apart from your lunch, there is no charge for visiting Denby.

Please send your booking as soon as possible for this outing.

Leader: Pat Pope
Cost: £21.00

New web site launched

The National Trust Solihull Centre has launched a new web site.

We hope that you like it.

Please test it and comment on the news articles.

Also, please use the contact form to send  comments on the web site content and structure to the web master.

If you have news, please use the contact form to send details. Photographs of all local NT activities will be very welcome to info at

Many thanks