Trust Annual Report 2001


Report of the Council and Financial Statements at 31 March 2001


Summer Walks 2001


As I begin this article the heavens have opened and it is raining very hard indeed! However, up until now the 2001 season has been a good one for the Summer Walkers, and hopefully poor weather will not lessen the success of the remainder of the programme.


We started the season on 7th June with another excellent tour of Winchester's unique rural setting led by Liz Ford, the landscape architect. This year we concentrated on the trees and ecological history of St Giles Hill.


The second walk started from the foot of St Giles Hill and was led by Roger Brown, retired Planning Officer and Urban Model maker (whose wonderful model of Winchester in 1865 is still in need of a permanent home). Roger led us through over 1000 years of redevelopment from the Guildhall Steps to King Alfred's Statue, St Mary's Abbey and ending at the Peninsula Barracks.


The third walk was led by Richard Baker, Head of Architecture and Landscape Design at Eastleigh Borough Council. His well-prepared and interesting tour looked at the roofs and chimneys of Winchester.


"Ghosts, Battles, Bodies and Burnings at the Barracks", led by the architect Huw Thomas, was an absolute sell-out - which could have been due to the combined factors of the alliterative title, the personality of the leader, and interest in the refurbished and redeveloped Barracks. lt was so popular that it led to our Chairman having to write to the Hampshire Chronicle with a plea for less publicity!


The tour of St Cross Hospital and Chapel was led by our Deputy Chairman Michael Carden. On an absolutely beautiful evening we were taken around the exterior of the Hospital and then went to the Brothers’ Quarters, the Master's Garden and the Chapel. Michael is always able to present a fund of architectural and historical knowledge at this annual event.


On 12th July we were all treated to a characteristically creative exposition of Winchester's Silhouette by Andrew Rutter, retired Conservation Officer. The walkers were expected to contribute to the debate by providing silhouettes of their own making. Roger Brown was especially successful in doing this (town planning experience obviously helpsl).


Keith Leaman took us on a short walk starting at the crisp, white new Bauhaus Art School and Fabric Conservation Centre and looking at numerous new developments in the city. During the walk we were asked: "How appropriate are these buildings for an historic city?". This raised more questions than it provided answers, and led to discussions about scale, setting and missed opportunities.


Canon Walker's tour of the Cathedral Crypt and icons was another over-subscribed spectacular, and those who went were not disappointed. We hope Canon Walker will lead us on a further tour of the Cathedral next summer.


As indicated at the beginning, it rained very heavily for the walk around Winchester College, but this was still a fascinating event. Patrick Maclure addressed us from the pulpit of the College Chapel, and we listened to readings from the original Charter Documents of the College.


There will be a further four walks before the end of the season. l think that we have had more walkers than ever this year, and that the quality of the events goes on improving. l am already looking forward to the next season!


Nick McPherson

Summer Walks Organiser