The following site visits have been arranged for 2018. Attendance sheets will be available at the DIAS evening meetings from January. If you intend to come on any of these visits please add your name to the sheets. Numbers may be limited on some of the visits. For any other information contact Ian White at email@example.com or telephone 01929 462868
Wednesday 9th May Willows and Wetland Centre Stoke Saint Gregory (near Taunton) TA3 6HY. Meet at the centre car park at 1.45pm. Cost will be £4 each
This is an opportunity to visit a family run traditional business in the willow industry. The Coate family have been growing willow on the Somerset Levels since 1819, producing many basket ware products from their own withy beds. We shall have a guided tour covering the history of willow growing and processing and shall see the skilled basket makers at work, producing a range of items from garden ornaments to furniture. There is also a museum with many examples of willow items from the past. We shall also be able to walk round the withy beds which also serve as a nature reserve. The centre has a cafe and shop where basket ware products are for sale.
Sunday June 3rd Twyford Water Works Hazely Road Twyford (near Winchester) SO21 1QA Meet at the works car park at 10 30. Cost will be £5 for concessions, otherwise £6.
We shall have a guided tour of this extensive site which has been in operation since Edwardian times and still produces water from the original bore holes. It is unusual in that it has extraction and water softening plant. It has been a Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1973. One of the most notable parts of the works is the boiler house and steam engine which have been undergoing renovation for some years and is now operational. The Babcock and Wilcox water tube boiler dates from 1906, it supplies steam to a 1914 Hathorn Davey triple expansion steam engine. All this in the original boiler and engine houses. The plant is steamed on the first Sunday of the month hence the date of our visit, this will also be a public open day so we aim to there as soon as the plant opens. The cafeteria will be open during the day.
Wednesday July 4th Gillingham Town Walk Meet at 2pm at the museum
Peter Stanier will be leading us on a guided walk of approx. 2 hours round Gillingham pointing out former sites of local industry, the town bridge (painted by Constable), the railway station and its surroundings. We shall first visit the museum courtesy of Gillingham Local History Society for an introduction and brief look round. The walk will be mainly level on pavements and paths. We shall meet at 2pm at the museum which is in the library building opposite Waitrose. Car parks are available at Waitrose (for shoppers) and a paying public car park behind the museum. Refreshments are available in Waitrose or in the town.
Should there be enough interest, an option for a much longer walk could be available. For this we would meet at 10.30am. The walk is at least 4 miles to include sightings of the Wyke brewery and Purns Mill. It would be on pavements and fields. If you feel able, and wish to do this walk in addition to the afternoon walk please indicate accordingly on the attendance sheet.
Voluntary donations can be made to the Gillingham Local History Society
Wednesday 22nd August Portland Port Cost £3/£4 depending on numbers. Meet at 1 30pm outside the entrance to the port.
We have another opportunity to have a guided tour within the port area of Portland. Our previous visit was in 2010 and we now have an opportunity to see what changes or development has taken place since then. As before we have been able to get ex Dorset CC Archaeologist, Gordon LePard, to guide us round the site which has many buildings of historic interest and we shall be able to examine the structure of the breakwaters at close quarters.
SWWRIAC 2018 14th April at The Village Hall West Cocker, near Yeovil