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  • Writer's pictureGordon Elliot

Burford & District Society Bulletin

Stephen Cooper writes about events since he became Chairman.

I am so pleased and proud to have taken over as Chairman from Peter Martin, who has left our organisation in such good health.

On 20 February 2024 I introduced Ken Ingamells, who spoke about Ernest Shackleton's most famous Antarctic expedition. Despite some technical difficulties, this was a most interesting event. Ken had first-hand experience of the Antarctic as a young meteorologist and the talk provided us with great insight into Shackleton's achievement in bringing all his men back alive, after the most extreme and terrifying experiences. For those who want to know more, I recommend Alfred Lansing's 'Endurance' (1959) - Endurance being the name of Shackleton's ship, and his men's most sterling quality.

On 19 March, Ben Cowell, Director General of Historic Houses treated us to a brilliantly illustrated and presented talk about the crisis experienced by the English Country House in the 20th century, and the role which his organisation has played in its revival. At the end he referred to his book The British Country House Revival, due out in May (cost £75).

On 25 March I attended the opening of the new Play Area in Hunt's Close and was struck, not only by the quantity and variety of the new installations, but by how much safer they are than the ones I knew as a child and even as a young parent. Congratulations to the Town Council on providing this and making us welcome on the day. The Society's donation was well spent.

I am looking forward to the Church Tour on 16 April. Because of the demand for places, we are now organising two tours, one at 11 am and the other at 2pm. For further details see the Society's website. Spaces are still of necessity limited, so book soon, to avoid disappointment.

One final thing: In the April edition of The Bridge, I implied that there was no charge for the Society's Annual Lunch but in fact there is - the amount to be decided by the Committee. It is the cost of the Garden Party on 18 June which is included in the annual subscription.


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