Croome Court - credit Pete Franks

                                                        NEWS FROM CROOME COURT & PARK


     Following the success of the joint Study Day at Chedworth last year, a further Study Day has been arranged jointly with Cheltenham and Gloucestershire NT Centre and the North Cotswold Association of the National Trust, which will extend over a day from mid-morning to early afternoon to include morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.  Total cost as shown on the Booking Form (Appendix ‘B’  in the May Newsletter) is £25.00. 

The Study Day is on Wednesday 20th September at Croome, High Green, near Pershore, Worcestershire, WR8 9DW.  The main building, Croome Court, is a mid-18th Century neo-Palladian mansion surrounded by extensive Capability Brown landscaped parkland. There will be an introductory talk highlighting the latest developments at the House including the return of the collection.  All tours will be guided and there are alternative areas of interest in the afternoon for which attendees are required to select their choice.   (For details of the day, see below.)   Members will need to use their own car/transport to attend.  

PS.  30/ 07/2017 --  A Reminder about the Joint Study Day at Croome Wednesday 20th September

 Although the closing date for applications for attendance for this event officially closed at the end of July if you missed the date because you were uncertain whether you would be free on that date or just forgot I am putting in a reminder at this stage. At the time of writing, there are a few places available. It will take place but the afternoon options may be reduced if all the places are not filled, however, I am assured that the walled garden option will take place. Full details are in the May newsletter and on our centre website.

If you want to join contact me by email or by phone or fill in the form before the 1st September and you will be advised if there are places or a waiting list. We are concentrating on a number of key areas and plan that all the activities will have their own guides dedicated to the study group. All the talks will be in seated areas and transport to the house will be by vehicle if members do not wish to walk between the house and reception. If you need a lift please add that to the application form and we will try and accommodate you.

Subject to numbers there will be a choice of afternoon activities which includes a guided tour of the on-site Defford RAF Museum; a guided tour of the Red Wing of the House after major but basic repairs. This makes it available for study by groups like ours; or there will be the opportunity to have a guided tour of the walled garden formerly part of the property until being sold off, but being restored by the owners. Defford Museum
and the walled garden are both a short walk away from reception. The day starts at 10.00 a.m refreshments; an introduction and a guided tour of the house then a buffet lunch followed by one of three optional tours and free time to explore the grounds or follow up interests. 

The application form should be returned as soon as possible to Bill Cronin, 2, Jenner Close, Hucclecote Gloucester GL3 3DZ, together with your cheque and stamped self-addressed envelope.
                                                                                                                              Bill Cronin
                          Remember to take your National Trust / Volunteer card.  

                               Details of the day: 

            10.00am   Arrival and tea/coffee in the restaurant (former RAF Canteen) near Reception.

            10.30am   Guided walk / Shuttle to House - Katherine Alker, Parks Manager. 

            11.00am    Introductory talk (seated) in the Long Gallery on the latest developments at the                                  House including the return of the Collection -  Joe Tierney, House Steward   

            11.30am    Guided Tour of the House - Joe Tierney, House Steward 

            12.45pm    Buffet Lunch   2.00pm    Alternative guided tour options – please select (one only)                                              and indicate below                                                                                                     

                           Tour 1 – RAF Museum – Museum Team (RAF Defford was a Top Secret airbase on the        Croome site which undertook crucial work to develop airborne radar during WW2).                     

                           Tour 2 – Walled Garden – Chris Cronin, Owner.  (The walled garden, dating from the mid-18th Century, is owned privately and was completely derelict before restoration began in 2000.) 

                           Tour 3 – Red Wing – House Team  (Designed by Capability Brown and in a dilapidated state due to a lack of maintenance until taken over by the NT in 2011.  At this stage, only repairs to stabilize the structural integrity have been undertaken, enabling visitors to have a fascinating 'hard hat' tour)

                          3.00pm  Free time to explore / follow up areas of interest.

                          4.00pm  Tea / coffee before leaving.  

No guests can be accommodated as places are limited to 15 per Association / Centre.  Note the closing date for applications is 31st July at which time places will be allocated.  Successful applicants will be notified by telephone or email. 
Please send your completed Application Form - in May Newsletter, with your cheque and SAE to:  

                              Bill Cronin,   2 Jenner Close,  Hucclecote,  Gloucester,  GL3 3DZ. 


                               CROOME COURT AND NATIONAL TRUST AWARDS


A National Trust team has received a sought after accolade at the annual Museums and Heritage Awards  which recognizes the innovators and leaders in the world of heritage visitor attractions. 

The award for ‘Best Educational Initiative’ was given to the team working at Croome, near Pershore, for the ‘Potter and Ponder’ sensory experience announced by comedian Ian Moore. 

Regarded as the Oscars of the museums and heritage industry, the Awards ceremony is attended by hundreds of sector professionals who join to celebrate the incredible achievements and ground-breaking projects of the past 12 months.   

Now celebrating its fifteenth year, the annual Awards, judged by a panel of the sector’s most senior players, recognise the innovators and leaders of the diverse world of museums, galleries and cultural and heritage visitor attractions. 

“It was wonderful for Croome’s 'Potter and Ponder' initiative to receive national recognition for its innovative approach to education,” said Michael Forster-Smith, Croome’s General Manager. “The team responsible, led by Katherine Alker and Rachel Sharpe, worked alongside local schools and families to create a trail designed to share our park with children with a broad range of special needs. The outcome was an enriching and fun trail, focussing on a sensory approach to enjoying Croome’s landscape, available to all our visitors. The development of 'Potter and Ponder' was supported by Jo Amphlett and Kiki Claxton from our team at Croome, along with a variety of other partners, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Outside In, our creative partners. Well done to all involved in making 'Potter and Ponder' such a success, the Museums and Heritage award is richly deserved.” 

Croome’s ‘Potter and Ponder’ aims to encourage families with disabilities to explore the beautiful parkland in a very different way. 

Four local groups with wide ranging special needs and learning disabilities collaborated with the National Trust to create the map. During their visits to Croome it became apparent that the children loved making echoes under the Dry Arch Bridge; feeling the leaves and bark on different trees; smelling the variety of flowers and walking barefoot on the grass.  These sensory experiences were used in the final map which takes you on a journey of different sensations such as sound, touch and smell.  

The judging panel said, “It is a remarkable, creative and innovative story of engaging children with severe learning difficulties.  It benefits both the children and their carers and offers lessons which can be learned across the sector.” 

In addition to Croome’s award was a one-off ‘Special Recognition Award’ for the National Trust.  Nominated by the Judges, the National Trust was rewarded for its creativity in visitor engagement, remarkable growth in visitor figures and its impressive fostering of creative partnerships.  Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust accepted the award saying “We know we are just one part of a movement … the fact that we, as an organisation, are able to reach out and touch so many people is because of all of you and what you do on a day to day basis … We are enormously lucky for that support and to be able to spend more than we have ever been able to on conservation and experiences that move, teach and inspire.” 

The free ‘Potter and Ponder’ map is available from Croome’s Visitor Centre. 

Croome is open throughout the year. The park and lakeside are open from 9am until 5.30pm and Croome Court is open from 11am to 4.30pm every day. Normal admission applies. For more information please call: 01905-371006 or visit the website


                                         Photo.: The National Trust team accepting the award.


                                                                                                                Children enjoying ' Potter & Ponder'
                                                      One of the many senses at Croome

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