The national theme for Heritage Open Days 2023 was” Creativity” and our Group decided to support this by giving a Talk on the subject and conducting a Guided Walk both of which took place in the week commencing 11th September. Advertised by the Farnham Society in their HODs leaflet, both were well attended and all the indications are that they were well received by members of the public who attended.
A good deal of research was necessary for both the subject matter and the ideal route for the Walk in the general area of Bourne Wood. It soon became apparent that historically The Bourne has been a very creative place and continues to be so today. This was described in detail in the Talk which, appropriately, was given in the Church of St Thomas –on-The Bourne, itself a good example of creative architecture which directly led to the creative music of the fine Choi that is still keeping the tradition alive today. Another musical example concerned the nationally famous Rock Choir created by Caroline Redman Lusher in The Bourne in 2005.
Creativity of a collective nature for the community included the building in 1892 of Taylor’s Hall (today often called the Scout Hut) as a social club for young people, and the setting up of Woodlarks Campsite followed later by the Woodlarks Centre, both aimed at easing the lot of disabled people. In 1940, when our nation was in grave danger, a different sort of creativity came into play with the construction of a line of defences against a possible invasion, the results of which can still be seen in the Wey valley in the area of Waverley Abbey and elsewhere.
The Talk concluded by clearly demonstrating that creativity is still alive and well in The Bourne as shown by the Garden Designs of Cathy Stewart, the history books of Bishop Christopher Herbert, the paintings of Yasmin Osborne and the wildlife photography of Heather Angel.
The Creative Walk commenced on a warm Saturday morning at the busy Cricket Pavilion area and set off along Dene Lane and into the calm of Bourne Wood, taking in along the way Lobswood Manor,the former home of Sir James Barrie, and a tremendous view of the RSPBs Farnham Heath reserve. A stop was made to view and discuss the use of the Wood for filming and there was another stop in Sable Wood to hear from the owner, Bruce Callander, about how it is managed for the benefit of the environment and members of the public. On return to the Green a final stop was made in the Church of St Martin- By -The Green where Brian White had kindly provided some welcome refreshments and also introduced the walkers to this delightful village church.
The Group’s thanks go to all who helped prepare and deliver these two events including Simon Bradbury, Charles Fearnley, Noel Moss, Myung Hye Chun, Wendy Scoble and Clinton Bradshaw.