We have been sharing memories again with former housemaid at the Hall, Kathleen Brown. Caron went over to Lincoln this week to see Kathleen, and they were joined by Phil Stevens who is a Lecturer at the University of Lincoln. Kathleen, who was housemaid back in the 1930s, has very fond memories of her time at the Hall and was happy to regale Caron and Phil with stories about Captain Godfrey Massingberd-Mundy, the former squire when she was working at the Hall, and his wife. The Captain and his wife were the parents to Adrian Massingberd-Mundy, the last squire.
One of the residential home volunteers called Shirley stopped for a chat while Caron was visiting Kathleen and it turned out she had spent her childhood at Ketsby Mill, just down the road from South Ormsby. Kathleen had been able to tell Shirley more about her own family as she knew them too! It just shows what a small world it is!
Work to remove the old oil tank
The new oil tank in place with the workforce!
The group were also joined by Chaplin Geoff who is something of an expert on John and Charles Wesley who were the founders of Methodist Worship and who have a connection to South Ormsby. This helped Caron fill in some details on their father, Samuel, and John and Charles themselves. Samuel Wesley was rector at South Ormsby between 1690 and 1695. Geoff thought that John and Charles’ brother, Samuel, who was named after his father, could have been responsible for writing some of John’s sermons. The group were astonished to find out that Susanna, who is known as the ‘Mother of Methodism’ (as she was John and Charles’s mother) had 19 children with Samuel Senior. Sadly, of the six children born while Susanna and Samuel Senior were at South Ormsby, three died. In total, nine of her children died in infancy.
The chair in need of repair
The table that is in need of fixing
Work continued in the Parklands and the oil tank was replaced with a safer version which has been positioned slightly further away from the Hall. It will be great when we get to the stage where we can look at more sustainable fuels, our eye is always towards the future and more ecological ways of heating the Hall.
Chris Brooks, who helped at the Estate last summer, has been supervising things at the Hall this week and has tackled the ivy that seems to be growing everywhere. Chris also met with our local joiner who repairs our furniture and showed him the broken chair and table that are his next tasks. He has also been instrumental in keeping the chalk streams clear.
Joe examining the otter spraint
The otter spraint
Joe Blissett took Brian Hedley from Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union for a walk around the Estate and the two could confirm that we have otters in the streams. They found otter spraints (poo) that smelt of fish, confirming that not only do we have otters but we also have fresh water fish! Now all we want is to find native crayfish and we will be delighted!