Thrilling Musical Evening arranged to raise funds for restoration of the Burrard Memorials
The Lymington Society and the ‘Burrard Neale 250’ team are pleased to announce an exciting concert, to raise funds for the restoration of two magnificent Burrard and Burrard Neale memorial plaques in St Thomas Church, Lymington.
The concert, at 7.00pm on Saturday 16th May, will feature the excellent Salisbury Chamber Chorus, who will present a thrilling and dramatic concert of some well-known operatic choruses from Wagner, including ‘The Flying Dutchman’.
This concert is part of the successful ‘Burrard Neale 250’ project, to re-awaken memories of forgotten Walhampton naval hero Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale – a colleague of Nelson – and to restore the 76ft Walhampton Monument, erected in his honour, and its surrounding grounds.
This project has so far completed the reinstatement of the Solent Way path, through the Walhampton Monument site and cleared decades of overgrown laurel and scrub, which have been replaced with 1,200 newly planted trees, all of which are of native species. The recent magnificent restoration of the ‘Gas Lamp Monument’, just outside the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, is another achievement of the ‘Burrard Neale 250’ project.
This concert aims to build on a generous donation of £1,000 from the Fulford and Burrard Trust towards the cost of the restoration of the Burrard Memorials in St Thomas and to try and raise the remaining £3,000 needed to complete the restoration in time for the 250th Anniversary Celebrations of Sir Harry’s birth on the 16th September this year.
Sir Harry is believed to have been the last person to be buried inside St Thomas Church, when he died in 1840 – 175 years ago.
Concert tickets cost £12 and can purchased in advance from the Church Office (mornings only) or from Solent House Dental Centre in Cannon Street – or on the door.
Speaking at the announcement of the Fundraising Concert, ‘Burrard Neale 250’ Chairman Don Mackenzie said:
“Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale is almost certainly the most eminent person ever to come from the Lymington area and it is only right that we should help remember this amazing man and his achievements, as well as restore and cherish the town’s monuments to his life.
The memorials to Sir Harry and an earlier member of the Burrard family in St Thomas Church are now sadly almost illegible and in great need of restoration.
Thanks to the help of National Park Archaeologist Frank Green, we have now completed the complex ecclesiastical formalities and have received official church permission to undertake this painstaking work.
It would be wonderful if we could get the memorials restored in time for Sir Harry’s 250th Anniversary in September, when we hope to organise another musical tribute in the church and we are very pleased to be able to announce this exciting Fundraising Concert to help us raise the remainder of the funds required.
We look forward to hearing this thrilling operatic concert by the excellent Salisbury Chamber Chorus and hope that local people will turn out in large numbers to support this worthwhile project.”
Awareness of Sir Harry on the rise
There’s no doubt that awareness of Sir Harry is on the increase .
A year ago few had heard of him and, partly due to the impassable state of the ‘Solent Way’, far fewer had visited the Walhampton Monument.
Now, this is all changing, as proved on Sunday 12th April . In addition to a steady trickle of walkers, the morning saw a visit by a Stag Party from London, whilst the afternoon saw a party of retired Trinity House Engineers and their partners, mostly from the Isle of Wight, deliberately climb up to the Monument on their way back to the Ferry Terminal after an enjoyable lunch at the Waggon & Horses
Winning Posters go on show
The ‘Design a Poster’ Competition [see below] proved to be a great success, with ‘Admiral Sir Harry’ posters being submitted by pupils of various age groups from no fewer than 7 local schools: Beaulieu, Lymington Infants, Lymington Juniors, Pennington Infants, South Baddesley, Walhampton and William Gilpin. Congratulations to all who took part!
Following the judging of the posters, the winning entries were displayed, for the whole of week commencing 23rd March, at Lloyds Bank in Lymington High Street – and very much appreciated by its customers. Details of the prize-giving arrangements will be available shortly.
Our thanks to all the schools involved in the competition … to the Rotary Club of Lymington, which sponsored the prizes – and especially members Terry Conner and Sue Abernathy, who took part in the judging … and to Lloyds Bank, for offering to display the winning entries
‘Thank you’ to Walhampton neighbours
When you’ve just planted some 1,200 hedging whips – dormant, bare-rooted plants, 2 – 3 feet tall, of a range of native varieties -the last thing you want is a virtual March / April drought! But that’s been the situation at Walhampton so, by mid-April, alarm bells were ringing. Fortunately, neighbours of the Monument site rallied round, feeding hose-pipes through their fences – although seemingly endless fetching and carrying of watering cans was still required!
Our special thanks to local farmer Brian Goodall, who received our plea for help late one evening and, by early next morning, had delivered a bowser full of water to the top of the site, which needed it most
27th March saw the Lymington & District Historical Society focussing on Sir Harry, when its President and renowned New Forest historian, Jude James, gave a much anticipated talk entitled ‘Sir Harry Burrard Neale – his life and his Monument’.
National Park staff visit the Monument
The NFNPA has been particularly helpful to the ‘BN250’ project -offering advice on a range of issues and, in particular, making a grant under its Sustainability Fund to meet many of the costs of restoring the Walhampton site
Sir Harry Burrard Neale Schools Poster Competition
A display of the winning posters in the recent schools competition will be on display at Lloyds Bank in Lymington High Street for one week and commencing 23rd March.
Eight local schools have submitted entries and children were asked to design a poster to show visitors to the town about the life of Sir Harry .
Burrard Neale Monument Planting Day 28th February
The Burrard Neale 250 team would like to thank all those who took part in the very successful Volunteers Weekend on the 3rd and 4th of January when a working party from Lymington Society and Hampshire Conservation Volunteers (HCV) helped clear decades of overgrowth at the Burrard Neale Monument site.
Efforts now turn to starting the task of restoring the site with the planting of 1200 Holly and other plants including field maple, dogwood, hazel, dog rose and blackthorn.The first volunteer planting session takes place on the 28th of February and the Burrard Neale 250 team would your help to make this day successful.
Experienced volunteers from the HCV will be on hand to advise so even the least experienced will be very welcome to come along and give a hand.Please come prepared for a bit of digging in suitable clothing/boots etc. and meet at the Monument at 10.00 am on Saturday the 28th of February.
Parking is available at the nearby Walhampton Gold Club or the car part of the Waggon and Horses on Undershore Road
Peter Stone will be on hand to help run the day and can be contacted on 01590 672673 if you need to contact him
28th February – Another Volunteers’ Day of achievement.
Saturday 28th February dawned cool and damp – but that was all the
more reason for a hardy team of Lymington Society and Hampshire
Conservation Volunteers to ‘get stuck in’. Fortunately Vicki Jordan,
our Consultant Arboriculturalist, was on hand to dispense both
guidance and hot drinks and, by the end of the day, 3 trees and
hundreds of hedge whips, of a range of native varieties, had been
planted across the bottom of the site and all the way up the southern
boundary to Monument Lane. ‘Thank you’ to all who made it such a
Pennington Infants six week project on the life of Sir Harry
The Burrard Neale campaign was thrilled to learn that all the pupils in year two at Pennington Infants School have chosen to complete a six week scheme of work based around the life and times of Sir Harry. On visiting the school Mark Lanigan and Pam Morrissey from the Burrard-Neale campaign and Helen Robinson from the New Forest National Park were able to question the children about their work and were given a guided tour of the exhibits that had been made by the children including maps, wall displays and letters to Sir Harry . The children had even used ‘The Life of Sir Harry’ to explain one of the schools value words resilience.
The children will be taking part in the poster design competition and the Burrard-Neale team is looking forward to a return visit to see their work and present prizes.
Many thanks to Sarah Draper and both class two teachers Mr Butcher and Mr Hustler for allowing us to visit and share all the great work that has been achieved.
Local schools design a poster to celebrate Sir Harry’s anniversary
Over half term eight local Lymington schools will be taking part in a Designa Poster Competition to help celebrate the 250th anniversary of one of Lymington’s most famous sons.
The task comes as part of the Burrard Neale 250 project – which is led by the Lymington Society with the support of the town council and hails the achievements of naval hero Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale.
Pupils from the schools will be asked to design an A3 poster to show visitors to the town where they can find memorials to commemorate the life of Sir Harry.
There will be prizes, which are sponsored by the Lymington Society and the town’s Rotary Club, given to one pupil in each year per school, from years two to six. The students will each be provided a Junior Fact sheet to help them with ideas and tell them more about the life of Sir Harry. There is also a leaflet for teachers to help guide the students.
The Burrard Neale scheme aims to educate people of the life and times of Sir Harry in his 250th year and will oversee the renovation of his Walhampton monument.
Burrard Neale 250 education co-ordinator Pam Morrissey, who is organising the poster competition, said: “The competition is the perfect way to kick-start the celebrations of the Burrard Neale 250th anniversary year. It is also a great parent/pupil activity for half term
“In highlighting the achievements of Sir Harry we can bring them to a wider audience and give local children knowledge of a forgotten naval hero they can be proud of.”
“We look forward to judging what I am sure will be a great display of artistic talent when choosing the winning posters.”
Volunteers’ Weekend a great success!
The event took place at the Walhampton site, on 3rd/4th January, with the aim of clearing as much as possible of the remaining Laurel, dead timber and rubbish.
Saturday’s efforts were focussed on the waterlogged bottom of the site, adjacent to Undershore, and Sunday’s on clearing a formerly densely-wooded area just north of the Monument. Our photos show the transformation that resulted.
A very big ‘Thank you! and Congratulations! to all who took part in the weekend. As a result of your efforts, we are now a big step closer to being able to bring on-board the contractors who are going to improve the ‘Solent Way‘ and the drainage of the site … and erect fencing to improve site safety and security.
Our thanks also to the managements of the Walhampton Golf Club and ‘Waggon & Horses‘, who kindly made parking space and toilets available for our use – as well as volunteering during the weekend – and to Hilary Teal, who readily provided tea and biscuits!
Priestlands’ pupils lead the way
On 9th December, a group of students from Priestlands School, led by Art teacher Joanne Westwood, spent the morning learning about local lad turned national hero, Harry Burrard Neale. First, they visited the Walhampton site, following the ‘Solent Way’ from Undershore up to the Walhampton Monument … and then they visited St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, to view the Admiral’s feature within the current ‘Lives Less Ordinary’ exhibition – and especially the unique ‘Nore Drum’.
Peter Stone, who guided the party around the Walhampton site and provided the first copies of the project’s new ‘Junior Factsheet’ said: ‘It was great to be able to welcome our first school party to the Monument and show them what we’re up to. I think that one of the best moments was when the pupils realised that Sir Harry was only their age – 13 – when he joined the Navy!’
Our photos show a stop on the ‘Solent Way’ and a souvenir gathering on the Monument’s plinth.
Raising awareness of the project – and of Sir Harry – is No. 1 on our list of priorities and we’ve recently taken a big step towards realising it …
All the key points about Sir Harry’s life and achievements have now been summarised on the two sides of an A4 leaflet, drafted with the assistance of local teachers and specifically designed to be attractive to young people.
Copies of the leaflet will be distributed to local schools early in the New Year but you can have a preview here.
U3A Genealogists on the case!
One of the fascinating features of the ‘Burrard Neale story’ is that we know the names of all those whose contributions funded the erection of the beautiful Walhampton obelisk – because we have ‘A LIST OF THE SUBSCRIBERS TO THE PUBLIC TESTIMONIAL TO THE LATE SIR HARRY BURRARD NEALE, BARONET, RECENTLY ERECTED AT WALHAMPTON, NEAR LYMINGTON HANTS.’
We know that the maximum (declared) donation was £50.0.0d. – made by 3 members of the Royal Family and a number of other key individuals – whilst, at the other extreme, there were contributions of the proverbial ‘widow’s mite’. In total, some 200 people subscribed £1,482.3.0d which, as far as we can tell, met the cost of the monument.
The majority of the donors were local – and so are recognisable to local historians such as Jude James, the author and President of the Lymington & District Historical Society.
On the other hand, some were from further afield and their names currently mean little to us. Hopefully, all this is about to change! Members of the Lymington U3A Genealogy Group have kindly offered to research a cross-section of the subscribers – to find out more about them and their connections with Sir Harry … and maybe trace a few descendants …
Our photograph shows a meeting on 5th November when (L to R) Maggie Cooper, Group Leader Barbara Ball, Jude James and Peter Ashwood, held a preliminary meeting to discuss their research.
Gas Lamp Monument’ restoration (virtually) complete
The restoration of the Listed ‘Gas Lamp Monument’, paid for by New Forest District Council and undertaken by local specialists JW (UK) Ltd was completed by the end of October – and the result is stunning!
Our photographs below show the monument still surrounded by scaffolding (on 25th October) … and above glowing in late-afternoon sunshine (on 27th October).
The unique lamp is now in full working order and only awaits connection of its gas supply (for lighting) and electricity (for ignition).
Congratulations to all concerned for a job well done!
On 21st October, members of the project Steering Group, representing the three members of the project partnership – Lymington & Pennington Town Council, the Lymington Society and Hampshire Gardens Trust – attended the quarterly meeting on the NPA Sustainable Communities Fund panel and secured a grant of £18,500, to fund the principal landscape improvements necessary on the Walhampton site. These include forestry, laurel and scrub removal, drainage of the lower half of the site, fencing and planting.
The project management is now engaged in detailed project planning and the tendering of contractor work packages, with a view to undertaking the necessary tasks between December 2014 and March 2015 – the time of year when it will cause the least disturbance to wildlife.
‘Wash & Brush Up’ for Burrard ‘Gas Lamp Monument’
On Monday 6th October – in a howling gale and driving rain – a firm of specialist lighting restoration contractors from Millbrook commenced the restoration of the unique double-headed ‘Gas Lamp Monument’, that commemorates the bringing of gas lighting to Lymington in 1832.
The monument represented a ‘Thank you’ from the town to Sir Harry Burrard Neale and his brother George Burrard, who gave the original iron columns and lamps respectively It initially stood opposite the old Town Hall, in the town centre, and, when that was demolished in 1858, the monument was transferred to a position outside St. Thomas’ Church. When the town’s lighting ceased to be gas-powered, the monument had a further move – to its current position adjacent to the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. A small barely-legible sign by the church gate-post records this last move.
The restoration of the cast-iron, recently-Listed gas standard is another important component of the ‘BN250’ project and is being funded by New Forest District Council.
Hampshire County Council to fund Solent Way improvements
Hants. CC has shown its support for the ‘BN250’ project with a grant to enable much-needed improvements to the ‘Solent Way‘, as it climbs from Undershore to the Walhampton Monument. The award, under the Council’s Countryside Access Small Grants Scheme, is for nearly £4,000 which, when topped-up by the New Forest National Park Authority [the site lies within the National Park] and Lymington & Pennington Town Council and ‘match funding’ of Volunteer Labour, is worth a total of £7,700.
In recent years, this section of the ‘Solent Way‘ has become seriously overgrown and, for 6 months every year, has resembled the bed of a stream – hardly an encouragement to pedestrians to visit the Walhampton Monument or follow the flagship footpath to Buckler’s Hard, Beaulieu and beyond!
The footpath improvements are expected to be undertaken during the January – March quarter 2015 – as the work needs to be integrated with more extensive improvements to the overall Walhampton site. They will form an important element in the ‘BN250’ plans to restore the various Burrard Neale sites ahead of the Admiral’s ‘250th Birthday’ in September 2015.
U3A Members discover Sir Harry
A team from BBC South spent 7 hours in Lymington on 30th July hunting for Harry Burrard Neale! As news of Admiral Sir Harry – our forgotten hero – spreads, so is the interest in him growing.
Popular BBC Television Reporter Briony Leyland, an Editor and Photographer, wanted to learn about the man and his monuments and Peter Stone spent the day escorting them to the ‘Solent Way’ and Walhampton Monument, Walhampton School – located in the former Burrard family home – the Gas Lamp Monument and St. Thomas’ Church.
Briony Leyland rounded-off the sunny day conducting ‘vox pop’ interviews on the High Street, in sight of the tip of the Walhampton Monument and asking what interviewees knew about it. As expected, the answer was ‘little or nothing’ – which is precisely why we’re conducting this campaign!
Madam Mayor launches project
1st April can’t always be taken seriously – but, this year, it saw an important milestone for Lymington.
Mayor of Lymington, Cllr. Anna Rostand, chose the day to launch the ‘Burrard Neale 250’ campaign – to raise the profile of forgotten local hero Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale and to restore the monuments to Sir Harry to their former glory.
Representatives of the three organisations forming the project partnership – Lymington & Pennington Town Council, the Lymington Society and Hampshire Gardens Trust – gathered at the Walhampton Monument to mark the occasion and offer the Mayor their backing, together with supporters from the National Park Authority and St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery
Cllr. Rostand said “Sir Harry was a central figure alongside Nelson in the Royal Navy and was, without doubt, one of Lymington’s greatest sons. The 250th anniversary of his birth gives us a great opportunity to give this spectacular monument and its surrounding a new lease of life.”