Tenterden District National Trust Association 25th Anniversary Celebration
Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Wednesday 4 September 2019
We were blessed with dry weather as we gathered around the steps below the archway of Vita’s Tower (the Gatehouse) at Sissinghurst Gardens. General Manager Philip Barnes welcomed the group and reminded us that Sissinghurst has been open to the public since 1968 and the peak visitor months have consistently been May and June. He thanked the local group for their fundraising contribution of £23k over the last 10 years, and an impressive £81.5k since the group began 25 years ago.
The guest of honour, historical architect John Sell, mentioned that the entrance gate through which we had all passed, was designed by him. The round of applause that followed indicated our approval. John quoted some figures relating to the extent of the National Trust, the properties that it owns and maintains and the membership that supports the Trust. Perhaps most memorably he described the total area of National Trust owned land as “greater than the area of Luxembourg"
As well as introducing the guests, Chairman Tony Pearlman invited reminiscences from Jenny Webb, whose husband was voted in as the original Chairman (in his absence) at the foundation meeting of the Tenterden NT Group in 1994. Fred Walker formally thanked the committee for their hard work, and revealed that back in the 1960s, although living in Glasgow at the time, he had visited Sissinghurst and climbed the tower with his fiancée, a Tenterden girl.
The gardening team were well represented and happily fielded questions and shared tips with some of our amateur enthusiasts.
There was punch and elderflower cordial, canapes and classical music from the string quartet. In all, a delightful evening entirely in keeping with the ambiance of the Gardens.
Read about the Tenterden District National Trust Association lectures >>> here