Welcome to 2022 from the Committee of the Friends. We hope that you have managed to survive the trials and tribulations of Covid, and that you, like us, are looking forward to getting out and about in 2022.
The committee has not been idle in these difficult times. Necessity is the mother of invention, so when we could not hold indoor meetings to raise money, we looked outside the ‘box’ and signed up for a stall at the artisan markets in Rochester High Street on the 2nd Saturday of April, June, July, August, September and October. We also signed up for a stall at the City of Rochester Society’s Craft Fair for the two weekends either side of the Dickensian Christmas Festival.
Our stalls, selling mostly pre-used jewellery as well as other small objects d’art, have raised a healthy sum in 2021 which means we can continue to support work at the House. We also plan to attend the artisan markets in 2022 and the craft fairs organised by the City of Rochester Society.
At this point we would like to thank all those who kindly donated items for the stall and helped with the setting up, packing up and lunchtime cover.
If you have items you would like to donate - good quality items of jewellery or small objects d'art, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Window Work at the House
It has long been the aim of the Friends to help with the cost of repairs to the windows at the House. A quote some time ago for all the necessary work came to over £26,000. This is out of our reach at the moment, but we are working on the windows in the meeting room so that they open and close, making it more compliant (and more comfortable) when we hold our talks in that room. There are all sorts of hoops to go through when working on a Grade 1 building, but hopefully the work will be done by the summer.
Display about ‘The Worthies’
Those of you who came to Claire Gapper’s talk about the 3rd floor wall paintings will have learned that the figures are referred to as ‘The Worthies’. As the 3rd floor of the House is not yet accessible by the public, the Friends have paid for professional photographs to be taken so that an interpretative display can be set up in the room on the 2nd floor where extensive decorative wall paintings have been uncovered and conserved. A large print will be displayed over the fireplace and the extant wall paintings protected so that the temporary timber and Perspex barrier can be dismantled to allow access into the room. The council will pay for the printing and display work. This will greatly enhance the presentation of this area of the House, and the Friends are pleased to have helped bring this work about.
The Gardening Group continues to work on ‘our’ patch just outside the railings, with the help of Norse and Rotary. Watch out for the crocuses and English bluebells in the spring. If you would like to help contact the Friends on email@example.com.
The Friends will be running a stall selling objects d'art and jewellery at the City of Rochester Craft Fair in the Castle Grounds on Saturday and Sunday 27th - 28th November and Saturday and Sunday 11th - 12th December. We are pitch number 10 just down from the Way In door. We hope to see you at some time over the two weekends.
Trading is from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily. If you are able to help, cover is especially needed to run the stall at lunchtimes, 1-2 pm, on all four days and also for the last hour of trading on Saturday 11th December in order to give Sue Haydock a break. Stalls must not be left unattended. Help would also be useful for setting up and clearing away.
Please contact Sue Haydock 01634 811172 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you can volunteer to cover one of these slots.
The Friends' Committee
The Council has announced that Eastgate House will reopen on Thursday 28th October 2021.
The house will be decorated for Hallowe'en and there will be a Spooky Treasure Hunt. Free Admission for up to three children from Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st October who must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.
Under our EVENTS heading you will find details of our next talk. This will be the first one since lockdown, so I do hope you will want to come along and hear Claire Gapper talk about the wall painting figures on the 3rd floor. This floor is not open to the public, but there is a chance that those at the talk will be allowed up to see them for themselves. Booking starts on 28th September.
Sue Haydock, Chairman
You will have seen our article about the Friends having a stall at the monthly Rochester Artisan Market in April.
Well, it all went so well that we signed up for the rest of the summer season. We had stalls in June, July, July, August and September. May was cancelled due to bad weather.
We are booked in for Saturday 9th October 10 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. We are located near the entrance to La Providence. We do hope you will come along and say ‘hello’.
The stalls have been very profitable, making over £800 so far. The cost of the pitch is £30 and so far each month has been sponsored by one or more of our members, and including the current mayor. If you would like to help by sponsoring a stall, please contact us on email@example.com Providing the stall takes £100 I feel it is worth doing.
You can help in other ways, too. We sell good quality second hand jewellery, (which is where we started) but have expanded into small ceramics, decorative plates, objects d’art, and some small miscellaneous items that hopefully will attract a buyer.
With Christmas on the horizon, we will not be doing the November Artisan market as we hope to have a stall at the City of Rochester Society’s Craft Fair at the Rochester Christmas Market and Dickens Festival (TBC). These dates are 27/28 Nov ember and 11/12th December
As our items sell so well, we are always in need of replacements. If you think you have something that might be useful to us, we will be pleased to take your donation, especially if it might make a good Christmas present. I am always in need of the little jewellery boxes, as well. It does improve our presentation, and helps to sell our items. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond.
Sue Haydock, Chairman
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