Homegrown Tastes, Fire Training and the Architect

Homegrown Tastes, Fire Training and the Architect

This week began with some more training for staff by Julie O’Donnell from Best First Aid. She was here to deliver a Fire Safety training course. The majority of our staff took part and they were also joined by the two apprentices from Gordon’s Garage, Tom and Jay. All the students listened hard and did well in the final test. Julie has sent off for their certificates and will present them next week.

Julie from Best First Aid
delivering the Fire Safety course

Craig, our Hall Steward
has been growing peppers

The lovely weather has meant that the tomatoes are still doing well and it is amazing to think that we are continuing to get them in October. Craig, our Hall Steward, is also very proud of his peppers. The flower garden, grown so we can continue to have nice flower arrangements in the Hall, is also doing very well. We have also had a very good harvest from our walnut trees. We have experimented with using some of our produce to make some delicious soup and also marrow cake, which helped keep the hunger at bay for our students at the Fire Safety Training.

Elsewhere on the Estate work continues up at the Rectory. The Bed and Breakfast staff bathroom has now been installed and the paddock beyond the garden has been mowed making the whole area look much tidier. Two men in a boat went out to survey the lake in front of the Hall and reported back that there was an awful lot of silt built up at the bottom.

The flower garden at the Hall
is doing very well

The soup was made with produce
from our own vegetable garden

On Thursday Caron, our Heritage Interpreter and Administrator, went off to Cusworth Hall. Cusworth Hall was partly designed by architect James Paine, who designed the east front here at South Ormsby Hall. Paine’s designs in the eighteenth century followed the Palladian principles of symmetry and the Venetian windows here mirrored the arched niches at the earlier building of Cusworth. One of the speakers, Nicola Fox, talked about how we had learned a lot about Paine’s personality and relationship with his commissioners from ten letters he had written to William Wrightson, the then owner of Cusworth.

Another conservator revealed how they had discovered painted-over images in the Chapel which were part of Paine’s original design. These paintings by Francis Hayman and Samuel Wale were covered with paint but restoration research carried out by Liz Hirst and her team showed that paint layers were hiding the work of the original artists. Coincidently, one of the key researchers in the team was our own paint conservator Karen Morrissey. Karen remembers the excitement of the discovery then and has helped us find some interesting things out about South Ormsby Hall too; for example under our main staircase, she discovered some candle burn marks that could represent actions to ward off evil spirits and witches!

The homemade marrow cake was
enjoyed by the Fire Safety students

The boat and men out surveying
the lake in front of the Hall

Last week ended with South Ormsby’s Harvest festival at St Leonard’s Church. Although congregations are not as big as they used to be, it was lovely to celebrate and give thanks for the Harvest with the local community. Certainly, farmers have had a good year due to the warm weather and in spite of the lack of rain.