On Thursday, November 24, the members, husbands and friends of Brackley WI, enjoyed a very interesting trip to see Winchester Cathedral and the adjoining Christmas market.
The morning was chilly, but the day stayed completely dry. The coach whisked us effortlessly to Winchester, apart from a tiny detour towards the end. Trying to find a tiny road within the maze of ‘ye olde town’s network of olde roads’, was a little trying. But the driver got us there in the end.
Having disembarked (it was 11am), we walked towards the cathedral, promising to meet the coach again at 4pm.
At 11.30am, for those who had paid the fee, we were taken on a tour of the cathedral. We were divided into four groups, and four very expert guides took us round to show us some intriguing and very old parts of the building. The crypt was fascinating, being always wet. There was a beautiful metal figure, made by Antony Gormley, standing alone under its vaults. The diver William Walker famously saved the cathedral from sinking, it having been built on marsh land. There was a handsome bust of him outside.
We were shown some original floor tiles, the oldest parts of the cathedral, the beautiful altar, the huge organ, the decorative choir stalls and the carvings. The main stained-glass window that had been smashed quite some years ago, put back together, albeit in tiny pieces like crazy paving by the locals of the time, was magnificent.
There was so much to see and hear about.
After the tour and lunch, many of us toured the Christmas market, which consisted of so many different crafts and items for Christmas stockings. The roofs of the trade chalets sparkled in the dimming day with pretty Christmas lights.
I can say, for sure, that we all enjoyed the trip immensely, the coach driver getting us home safely and in record time.
Thank you, Rowena, for a wonderfully organised trip.