2019 November 6

GLASTONBURY CONSERVATION SOCIETY

The Glastonbury Conservation Society was founded in 1971 in appreciation of our built and natural environment here at Glastonbury, in Somerset, England.


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The society has so far planted 51,800 trees in and around Glastonbury. Tree-planting volunteers always welcome. Contact Alan Fear, 83 3185.

50,000th tree was planted this year, retiring chairman reports

This view of Cheddar Gorge is dated June 1858. The camera was that of Dr John Gutch, a surgeon, who produced salted paper prints, one of the earliest forms of photography. People in the scene had to remain still for several minutes. His camera, made of walnut, was nearly the size of a telephone kiosk.
The album Adrian Pearse has acquired is one of only about 20 in existence. He showed it at the Conservation Society AGM on November 1.

During 2019 the number of trees and hedging planted by Glastonbury Conservation Society in and around the town over the past five decades passed the 50,000 mark.

  Alan Fear, retiring after nine years as chairman and many more as a tree-planter, was able to report the milestone at the society’s annual general meeting (AGM) on November 1.

  As some of the trees by now have reached a substantial size, the beneficial effect on the landscape is clearly apparent. In gratitude for his efforts, the society had presented Mr Fear with a crabapple tree for his garden.

  The treasurer, Kevin Mitchell, presented the balance sheet. Thanks to a recent legacy the society’s assets are substantial, enabling the support of various heritage projects in the town, such as a grant toward the current major remodelling of the interior of St John’s church to make it an effective community space.

  Ongoing activities include keeping the 32-mile network of public footpaths around Glastonbury in usable condition. The society’s recently revised booklet Glastonbury Footpath Walks (on sale from book shops in town) suggests a number of interesting rambles, complete with detailed maps.

  Glastonbury Conservation Society welcomes new members and also new committee members. In particular, the posts of chairman and secretary each need a volunteer.

  The October committee meeting invited Adrian Pearse to stand as chairman, but he felt that a Glastonbury resident should fulfil the role. Adrian, who lives in East Pennard, instead accepted the job of vice-chairman. The chair is still vacant for now.

  Since the AGM, Mike Smyth, a new member, joined the committee and was appointed footpath coordinator.

  Contact details for committee members are on this website. The committee meets monthly at The Hermitage, Chilkwell Street, on first Tuesdays at 6:30pm.

Website demo, church renovation, pioneer photographer

  Following the formal AGM business Jim Nagel demonstrated the recent makeover of the society’s website. The site provides an index and archive of some 400 newsletter articles since 1999, as well as contact details for the committee and links to related organizations and information.

  He also showed photos of the current state of the work inside St John’s Church. The church is set to reopen on February 23.

  Adrian Pearse then presented on screen a rare album from 1858 by the pioneer photographer John Gutch of Cheddar, Wells and Glastonbury.

Bishop’s Barn at Wells is next project for preservation trust

The Bishop’s Barn is a 15th-century tithe barn given to the city of Wells 130 years ago for the use of citizens.

The Somerset Building Preservation Trust — of which our society is a corporate member — is trying to find ways to increase the community use of the historic Bishop’s Barn, in Silver Street, Wells. It is listed Grade I.

  A number of studies have been carried out with SBPT and partner organizations, and these are now being considered by the Wells Recreation Ground Trust.

Mendip District Council is the sole trustee of the Bishop’s Barn. There is also a Wikipedia article about it.

  The SBPT’s September newsletter can be downloaded from its website.

  John Brunsdon, our society’s president, has stepped down from the SBPT committee; he was a founding member. At its annual general meeting on October 8, the SBPT chairman, Russell Lillford, thanked Mr Brunsdon “wholeheartedly” for the work he has done for the trust over many years.

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