Summer Outing 2014

Our original plans for a summer outing in June unfortunately fell through, but we were able to arrange a very interesting visit on August 23 to Whiteway Colony near Miserden, a ‘Tolstoyan village’ set up by utopian socialists at the end of the 1800s. Though some things have changed over the decades, many activities are still organised on a cooperative basis, and descendants of some of the original settlers still live there. New residents must be approved by the colony’s existing members; they can buy their houses, but not the land on which they are built, which remains colony property.

Joy Thacker – one of the residents, an experienced speaker and author of a history of the colony – gave the group a fascinating illustrated talk about its origins and history (preceded by unexpected and much appreciated tea and biscuits!), followed by a walkabout to visit many of the interesting buildings she had mentioned. (The picture shows the attractive Colony Hall in which the talk itself took place. The building was moved to the site from a TB hospital, and still has the verandah on which patients were required to sit outside in all weathers!) There were heavy showers around, but fortunately it stayed dry during the tour.

The ancient church of St Andrew in Miserden was open for us to look at after the Whiteway visit, and most of the group took advantage of this. It was generally agreed that the 17th century monuments in the manorial chapel are particularly fine.

The outing ended with a very enjoyable supper at the Carpenter’s Arms in Miserden.