Category: News

Message from the National Trust to Supporter Group

National Trust Logo

Below is a message received from Danielle Albracht, Liam Weatherill, Alison Yarwood, Emily Pritchard, Gill Cox, Luke Severn & Suzanne Coxon, of the National Trust to all SoFA members.

Dear All

As the end of 2021 approaches, we wanted to extend our warmest wishes for a happy festive period. 

Our Director-General, Hilary McGrady, would like to share a special festive video with you. Please click the link below.

A personal thank you to our supporters from the Director-General, Hilary McGrady

We are so grateful to you and your Group for your ongoing support of the National Trust and the work we have been doing in the North during this past year. You can see some of the highlights in this year-end celebration video. We continue to look after nature, beauty and history so everyone can benefit, and we simply wouldn’t be able to do it without you.

Wishing you and your members a safe and happy festive season, and all the best wishes for 2022.

Danielle Albracht, Liam Weatherill, Alison Yarwood, Emily Pritchard, Gill Cox, Luke Severn & Suzanne Coxon

National Trust Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2NA  

Postponed – TigerMuffin Soaps

Soap Bar

Postponed – TigerMuffin Soaps – Matthew 

Soap Bar

Due to our loss of venue, our preferred alternative location being unavailable, as well as the new variant of the Corona virus, this event is postponed.

Matthew of TigerMuffin Soaps, Formby was to give us an interesting and entertaining talk plus a demonstration of soap making.

This was to been an afternoon talk, our first one of 2022. However, we will be re-scheduling Tigermuffin to a later date.

On their website you can find out more about their family business.

If you are not a member, but would like to attend any of our events or interested in joining our Association, please complete our Contact Form.

Cancelled – Coffee Morning 08 January 2022

Coffee Cup

We were due to hold a coffee morning for you to come and join us for our first event of 2022. Unfortunate due to us losing our venue and the new Covid strain, we have had to cancel this event.  Here you would have had a chance to catch up with friends from SoFA.

Coffee Cup

As we have had to cancel this Coffee Morning we hope to hold another at a future date into replace this one.

If you are not a member, but you  would like to attend or interested in joining our Association, please complete our Contact Form.

For information on the National Trust, please check their website.

Cancelled Speaker Meeting 14 December 2021

The SoFA committee is very sorry to inform you that our December face to face speaker meeting has had to be CANCELLED. This due to the new strain of the Corona virus.

An email has been sent to the members to this effect and telephone calls are being made to members without email.

Apologies for the very short notice about the cancellation. 

If you would like join our association, please use our contact form.

SoFA Christmas Tree At Rufford Old Hall

SoFA Christmas Tree
SoFA Christmas Tree, Rufford Old Hall

At the end of November 2021 a few members of the SoFA Committee attended Rufford Old Hall to decorate a Christmas tree. The theme for the Christmas trees this year was the 1920s. This is a photograph of the tree we dressed, the image was very kindly sent to us by Catherine Hazley of the National Trust. Catherine informed us that they have received some lovely comments about it and that it really provides a beautiful welcome as visitors enter the house. She has also asked that her thanks be passed on to all involved and wished all SoFA members a very happy festive season.

Great Hall, Rufford

Our Vice Chair visited Rufford again the other day, she said that the tree looked even nicer in daylight with a bit of sunshine coming through the windows.

The dining room tree was very nice. The biggest tree is in the great hall, with the open fire the hall looked seasonal, with the greenery from the estate decorating the table. We are informed that the tree in the hall on the ground floor was decorated by the Ribble Valley group.

If you would like to see the SoFA Christmas Tree at Rufford Old Hall and all of the others they have there, make sure you visit very soon.

This year Rufford Old Hall closes on Sunday 19 December. Please check for 2022 opening date on the Rufford Old Hall website.

If you are interested in becoming a member of our Association, please complete our contact form.

Speaker Meeting – David Roberts

David Roberts

The Garden At Rufford Old Hall Talk By David Roberts

Talk about gardens at Rufford Old Hall

At our meeting on 9 November members explored the garden at Rufford Old Hall guided by our speaker, David Roberts.  David has been responsible for the gardens for over twenty years.  Throughout the lockdown he worked alone in tending the grounds and pathways and gladly welcomed back the team of Trust volunteers when it was safe to do so. 

Members were lead in a series of overheads through a brief history of the property up to when the Hesketh family removed to their property in Northamptonshire and the National Trust became involved. 

Unlike a great number of old properties within The Trust’s portfolio, there are few historical papers or plans about the garden.  David has successfully relied on old family photographs as part of the redesign work.

His talk took us through the woodland area with its autumn colours, especially the autumn crocuses, and describing the work to encourage bird life there and in the north paddock.  The pictures then moved along the squirrel border giving views of the south range of the house and the two giant green squirrel-shaped topiary.  Other topiary displayed along the north lawn added to its attraction.

David recommended a peaceful stroll along the beech walk paddock with the Leeds-Liverpool canal alongside.  We learned some of the history and detail of the orchard where he referenced some documentation from the Hall.  In 1779, this area of land was leased to a gardener called Thomas Lowe who worked it for 21 years.  Through his pictures of apple and pear trees we learned about fruit names including Keswick Codlin, Duke of Devonshire, Lemon Pippin and Bramleys seedling.

Talk about garden at Rufford Old Hall

David was thanked for his efforts to maintain the gardens for our pleasure and enjoyment.  The care taken in restoring structures using authentic building materials was appreciated.  As a result of the presentation and questioning, members agreed to fund the purchase of a suitable leaf blower for use around the property.

Our next speaker meeting is on Tuesday is on Tuesday 14 December 2021 at 14:15     The Star of Bethlehem – Dr S Barrett, if you would like to come along as a guest or would like to become a member of our association, please click here for our contact form.