There was a full house at the May meeting of Hepscott WI, enticed by speaker Lloyd Langley who was engaged to tell us all about Wallington.
He has been manager of the house and collections at Wallington for 14 years and is lucky enough to live there as part of his job.
Using portraits, land plans and photographs, he gave an enthralling account of the history of the estate.
Wallington has been home to some of the most illustrious Northumbrian names — De Greys, Struthers, Fenwicks and Blacketts, before coming into the hands of the Cornish Trevelyan family through marriage. It was the Trevelyan family who gave the house into the care of the National Trust in the 1960s.
Mr Langley focused on the last Trevelyan owners, Sir Charles and Lady Mary (or Molly as she was known). Sir Charles was regarded as something of a radical, a socialist MP who wanted the best for everyone. He and Lady Molly enjoyed great rapport with their tenants and staff. Many of us could remember with fondness hearing their daughter Patricia Jennings, a noted Northumbrian piper, playing in the courtyard at Wallington.
He went on to describe current National Trust initiatives, ensuring interest for all visitors. He explained how Rothley Lake and the Wallington ponds are involved in the Water Projects to stop Morpeth flooding, endearing himself greatly to flooded ‘Hepscottians’.
But perhaps the most interesting link for us was provided by the words of Lady Mary Trevelyan, who, after a visit to Hepscott WI, pronounced it “a lovely homely Institute”.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, at 7.30pm in the Village Hall and will be our annual photographic competition.
On Saturday, Hepscott WI is hosting a murder mystery night at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. Murder at Morpeth Manor will be enacted by the St George’s Players. Tickets, £10 including supper but bring you own drink, from Lynda Wadge on 01670 504909.