Thursday, 26 January 2012

Urchfont Manor - episode 2

You might have sat on one very special bench outside Urchfont Manor at tea or coffee breaks or for our 'goodbye' group photo last year as above. That special bench is in memory of Tom Barklem, a past Vice Principal and lecturer of ancient history who led many of his adult students around Greece and Italy on educational expeditions. Tom wrote the small book 'The History of Urchfont Manor' which is a fascinating story about the building and the alterations made over the centuries as different generations 'modernised'.

Tom has three sons and as well as a lovely garden bench, they now wish to buy Urchfont Manor itself and retain it in its current function to provide residential adult education. This seems to be the fairy godmother act that everyone was hoping for but never really thought would materialise. As you might imagine, this does not automatically 'save' Urchfont as Wiltshire Council need convincing that there is a demand 'out there' from adult students in order to persuade them to accept this bid and not to seek a much higher one, which they might get on the 'free market'.

Wiltshire Council have been censured for their lack of public consultation before last weeks vote so another is being taken on the 30th January. Can you help them in their 'consultation' and email the chair, Jane Scott and let her know how vital and enriching Urchfont has been in your life and wish it to continue providing adult education. So many of you come to Wiltshire from other parts of the UK and other countries of the world. Let her know what a gem Urchfont is in the world of adult education' and most importanly of all, please give your backing to the Barklem bid to buy Urchfont Manor.

Please email Jane Scott before the 30th - 

Many thanks to you all.


  1. I have never had the opportunity of going to Urchfont Manor but know from others what a wonderful experience it is. I have already emailed Jane with my support and do hope that hundreds of others will do the same, and that we can do our bit save it.

  2. I tried twice to e-mail Jane Scott with my support for the Barklem family's bid, but both times it has been returned as undelivered because: 'Mail server for "" unreachable for too long.' Don't really know what that means. Has anyone else had similar trouble?

    1. I can't explain that fault Catherine I'm afraid. Thank you very much for your efforts though. Maybe the mail server will be usable later? Another thought - would you like me to forward your message? S

  3. i sent an email without any problems but it was very soon after Sian you posted her details. Perhaps they have been inundated with emails and shut the system down!!!I did get a reply though