HRH tours Wiltshire & Gloucestershire, visiting Marshfield Bakery, Dyrham Park, Jessie May Trust & Berkeley Castle.

Today, The Countess has toured Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire & Gloucestershire with 4 engagements. HRH has started her tour with a visit to Marshfield Bakery in Dyrham to see how food and grocery companies are helping unemployed people find out more about the range of jobs available within the industry and increase their employability skills.

Local unemployed people got the chance to practise their interview skills with Her Royal Highness as she took part in a Feeding Britain’s Future (FBF) Skills for Work Month workshop at the Marshfield Bakery. This is part of a national campaign led by the food and grocery research and training charity IGD to help prepare thousands of schoolchildren, young people and the wider unemployed for the world of work.
courtesy of Feeding Britain’s Future via Twitter feed

The participants had the opportunity to see how the bakery is run and learn about the wide variety of roles available in the industry such as engineering, food science, marketing or merchandising. They also received employability skills training, such as help with writing standout CVs, as well as the chance to try their hand at practical jobs such as flapjack making.

The Countess was smartly dressed as usual, but for the tour of the bakery, she has sported less fashionable outfit, however even with hair net, ‘oversized’ protective coat & shoe covers, HRH looked lovely as ever. The DM did an article entirely about that outfit.

According to Twitter-sphere, Mrs Pettifer and some of Marshfield Primary year 6 children, helped Marshfield Bakery celebrate the opening of their building by the Countess of Wessex. HRH has unveiled a commemorative plaque. Family-owned Marshfield Bakery was started in 1984 by Paul and Lynne White in their farmhouse kitchenin Marshfield, a small village on the Cotswold Way that would come to influence the products made by the couple and their employees. Learn more here.

This year, IGD also launched its Feeding Britain’s Future Schools Programme. This has seen major food and grocery companies go into schools throughout 2015 with the aim of inspiring 5,000 pupils about the industry and the world of work. This has seen food and grocery leaders across the whole supply chain, including IGD President Andy Clarke, going back to schools to stimulate the next generation. IGD is a research and training charity that helps the food and consumer goods industry deliver the needs of the public. Find out more here.

Full press release can be found here. Articles about HRH’s visit: This is Wiltshire, here & Bath Chronicle here. One more here.

Afterwards, The Countess travelled to the nearby Dyrham Park at South Gloucestershire. During HRH’s visit to the National Trust place near Bristol/Bath, Her Royal Highness visited the rooftop walkway at Dyrham Park, seeing the vital conservation work taking place to replace the leaking roof. She chatted with some of the stonemasons and carpenters who are working on the roof.

courtesy of National Trust/Laura Williams.

Also in attendance was High Sheriff of Gloucestershire Roger Head, Vice Lord Lieutenant for Gloucestershire Robert Bernays, Dyrham Park General Manager Cath Pye and Project Manager Colette Cuddihy. Others who had the opportunity to meet HRH: Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter, also Robery Bernays and Roger Head.

courtesy of National Trust/Laura Williams.

While at Dyrham Park, The Countess signed one of the slates which will make up the new roof. In order to help cover the costs of the circa £4m conservation project, the National Trust team launched a Sign a slate fundraising campaign – where visitors can sign their name on one of the new Welsh slates making up the new roof in return for a donation.

courtesy of National Trust/Laura Williams.

Cath Pye, General Manager at Dyrham Park, said: “It’s such a privilege to welcome The Countess of Wessex to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – seeing conservation in action on the roof. We’re delighted that she signed one of the new slates and made a lasting connection with Dyrham Park.” More info in the press release by the National Trust. Click here.
courtesy of Dyrham Park via Twitter feed

Dyrham Park is an elegant 17th-century National Trust baroque mansion set in an impressive sweeping valley surrounded by an ancient deer park and magnificent garden. It is supported by National Trust – UK conservation charity, protecting historic places and green spaces, and opening them up for ever, for everyone. Learn more here.
courtesy of Hilton Bristol Hotel, supporter of the charity, via Twitter feed.

Then, The Countess visited The Jessie May Trust, The Kingswood Estate, Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, on the occasion, what would have been, the 21st birthday of Jessica May Purrington, who died in 1994 aged four and a half months after being born with the genetic condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Jessica May, photo via Jessie May Trust, click on pic to be redirected and read this baby girl story….

Subsequently, Jessica’s parents, Chris and Philippa, created Jessie May Trust to ensure that every child who is not expected to reach adulthood receives nursing care within the home. Since 1996 The Trust has been providing this care, free of charge, in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
courtesy of Hilton Bristol Hotel, supporter of the charity, via Twitter feed.

During the visit, HRH met nurses, volunteers, trustees, supporters and families cared for by the charity. The Countess also unveiled a plaque and was handed a posy by Lily Farr, whose 18-year-old brother Harvey is cared for by the Trust. The Countess also delivered a wonderful speech which can be viewed here. Lovely pictures at The Week In article.
courtesy of Matt Colley; Bristol based Mortgage & Protection Adviser via Twitter feed.

In this short video, recorded by Heart West News, you can see & hear excited children, talking toThe real-live Princess. What a great day it must have been for all those involved, though with a sad undertone… According to the Trust, BBC Points West has a wonderful coverage of their special day. However it will be only available to those in UK, I think. If I am mistaken, do let me know.

If you would like to support the Jessie May Trust, click here, to learn how you can do so.
via Cabot Federation Twitter feed.

After leaving the Jessie May Trust, The Countess was taken to the nearby John Cabot Academy, where a helicopter was waiting for her on the playing fields. There she chatted to the Academy students and Principal Kate Willis before taking off.

Final step for HRH, visit to the Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, to officially open The Hidden Treasures of Berkeley exhibition. During private visit HRH has met the Berkeley family, Castle staff and volunteers.

courtesy of Berkeley Castle.

Upon HRH’s arrival to the Castle grounds, The Countess was greeted by Berkeley Primary School children, who sang the national anthem. Sophie stopped and chatted with several of the children before heading into the castle for a tour, where she was welcomed by the Berkeley family.

courtesy of Berkeley Castle.

Headlining the display, which was toured by HRH is a highly important gold cup and cover made by Paul de Lamerie in 1717 – the only known surviving piece of gold work bearing de Lamerie’s maker’s mark. A nationally important piece, it is usually only displayed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum but special arrangements have been made to bring the item home to Berkeley Castle for the Hidden Treasures exhibition.

courtesy of Berkeley Castle.

Another item on display is a beautiful Saxon ring, most probably made during the early years of the ninth century (c. AD 800-830). It has been part of the Berkeley collection for over 200 years.  The ring has been described as one of the finest and most impressive Saxon rings seen and is in wonderful condition with virtually no signs of wear.
courtesy of Berkeley Castle via Twitter feed.

Further treasures that are on display include the Godwin Cup – a mysterious piece which, whilst thought to date from the 16th century, makes claims to have originated as the drinking cup of the Saxon magnate, Godwine Earl of Wessex who died in 1053 – and a selection of miniatures including work by the famous Elizabethan artist Nicholas Hilliard. His miniature of Elizabeth I playing a lute has been described as the most outstanding portrait of the Queen by Hilliard and has rarely been seen.

courtesy of Berkeley Castle.

Charles Berkeley expressed his delight at being able to display these items to visitors at the Castle. ‘We are thrilled to have been able to bring this collection together for our special ‘Hidden Treasures’ exhibition. Most of the pieces have scarcely been viewed and have certainly never been brought together for this sort of exhibition before. Berkeley Castle is full of fine art, furniture and furnishings but to be able to display a collection of such impressive and historically important items is a source of pride to me, our family and our team.  We all hope it will prove a sublime treat for our many visitors.”

courtesy of Berkeley Castle.

Another of Berkeley Treasures is the banner that the 4th Earl of Berkeley took with him to the Battle of Culloden. That one I would love to see as well.

Berkeley Castle is one of the most remarkable buildings in the country and has been lived in by the same family for over 850 years, longer than any other fortress in England.  Visitors can delight in fascinating tours of the Castle taking in history from the 12th century to the present day with highlights including a medieval dungeon (King Edward’s Cell), larders, buttery and kitchens, stunning drawing rooms, a Great Hall and an armoury. Guided tours are included daily and refreshments are served in an award-winning Yurt Tea Room.  Learn more here.

courtesy of Berkeley Castle.

This exhibition will be on display to the public in the Morning Room from Sunday to Wednesday throughout September and admission is included within the castle entry fee.
Articles, at Gazette here & Gloucester Citizen here.

Outfit & jewellery:
New Analena Dress Hibiya Orchid by Erdem.
Jacket seen many times before, no ID.
Back-to-Front Pearl earrings by Heavenly Necklaces.
Brooch by Dior from 2015 cruise collection. Part of Mise en Dior collection. Not available online.
Beauchamps of London, Codrington Clutch – Navy EXOTIC Python Print Calf Suede.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch.
Prada Brown Suede Pointtoe Pumps.  
Later shoes changed for LK Bennett Bayleen wedges. Sold out. 

6 thoughts on “HRH tours Wiltshire & Gloucestershire, visiting Marshfield Bakery, Dyrham Park, Jessie May Trust & Berkeley Castle.

  1. Many thanks for including us in your fascinating blog Anna. We had a wonderful afternoon with Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex. She delighted everyone that she met and seemed genuinely impressed with Berkeley Castle and our Hidden Treasures exhibition. Please let me know if you'd like further photographs or information. Thank you.


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