On Saturday July 1st and again on July 8th 2017 the Club enjoyed two guided tours of Winchester.

The Ward Club had one of its occasional “away days” in Winchester, home to our beloved Honorary Secretary and where our Chairman attended school, voluntarily, for 5 years some time ago. Due both to the popularity of this social event and combined with the limited numbers permitted at any one time in the Winchester College Treasury we, uniquely, held this event on two concurrent Saturdays, July 1st and 8th.


The tours of the Treasury were organised in liaison with the chief curator, Rachel Wragg in association with her assistant Richard Foster, both of whom gave a unique insight into the origins of the eclectic nature of the Winchester College collection ranging from world class pieces of medieval silver, pre-Raphaelite stained glass, Chinese porcelain, Greek pottery and pre-Columbian artefacts, all housed within the newly opened Winchester College Treasury, itself part of the original late 14th Century fabric of the College.


After the Treasury visit, the Chairman gave a personal guided tour of the buildings and sights of Winchester College, something usually not possible. Members were able to view the original 14th and 15th Century buildings of the College, the Chapel, the ‘new’ mid-Victorian teaching block, and explore the original School building built in 1688 before a very personal tour of the college cloisters with its memorials to Old Wykehamists and teaching staff who had died while at school.


A short walk away, passing 8 College Street (the house in which Jane Austen died on 18th July 1817 - see first picture below), lunch was served in a private dining room at the famous Wykeham Arms. The Winchester Dining Room is decorated with many articles of Wiccamica, some of which the Chairman was able to point out and describe.


After a splendid lunch, skilfully organised and co-ordinated by our Honorary Secretary, members split into separate groups to take advantage of a personally guided tour of the Cathedral, visit the newly refurbished County museum, or view the world renowned Great Hall and the equally celebrated King Arthur’s Round Table, which while most certainly round does not unfortunately date from the 6th century.


While your Chairman may not these days ride round Winchester on his 'Bogle' (bicycle), he hopes that his days 'Up to Books' (being educated at College) for 5 years without being ‘Rusticated’ (suspended) or ‘Firked’ (expelled) have helped make this day out a rather unique one.

                                                                                     Neil Hitchens

Jane Austen's House
Jane Austen's House
Photos by Neil Hitchens
:       :