FOLLOWING completion of official business the Group's October meeting continued with a presentation by one of its members who is currently a Guide at the National Trust's (NT) property of Berrington Hall near Leominster. We were given an entertaining and informative illustrated talk about the Hall and its owners and occupiers since it was first built in 1775 by Thomas Harley who made his fortune as a London Banker and government contractor. Thomas was a one time Lord Mayor of London, a Member of Parliament for the City of London, President of St.Bartholomew's Hospital, London; a wealthy man with property in what is now a classy area of London.

Harley Street best known now for its top medical establishments with such famous institutions as The Harley Street Clinic and The London Clinic, is named after him.

Harley had ancestral links with Herefordshire and needed to escape to the country in his retirement to get away from hectic City politics. He employed Lancelot Brown

a capable and well established landscape designer of the time to lay out his estate.

Interestingly in this year when we celebrate the 300th anniversary of Brown's birth, we have in our "area" his first and last creations at Croome Park and Berrington Hall respectively. Both sites being NT properties. In recognition of the place in history of Berrington Hall, the Great Western Railway named one of its steam locomotives Berrington Hall, but alas unlike the magnificent building, the loco. has not survived.

The Conningsby Family owners of nearby Hampton Court were visitors to the Hall from time to time. We will find out more about the Conningsbys when the Group's

November meeting will be a visit to the Conningsby Museum in Hereford.

How the Conningsbys became associated with the Order of St.John, the Knights Hospitaliers, Nell Gwynne and the Black Friars will be explained during the visit, by the Museum's Curator who will be our Guide.