Donation in memory of community stalwart helps meet target for medieval barn appeal
Published on: 04 Aug 2017
AN appeal to raise £10,000 for Winterbourne Medieval Barn has been reached, with one of the donations received given in memory of a campaigner who helped save the important structure.
The “substantial donation” to Winterbourne Medieval Barn Trust came from Christopher Dunn to remember his mother, Nancy.
She had been heavily involved in community matters in Winterbourne, especially during the 1960s and 1970s when there was a big expansion in housing in the village but few community facilities or organisations for all the new residents.
Mrs Dunn was a founder member of the Winterbourne Flower Club, which is still thriving after more than 50 years, and of the Winterbourne Society, which was active in saving the historic barn.
It was the society that had raised concerns in the 1970s about the future of the building and succeeded in getting its heritage value recognised locally and nationally through a re-grading in 1979 to grade-two* listed status.
Mrs Dunn also played a crucial role in getting local people involved in the process to save the barn.
Fellow Winterbourne Society founder member, Kathleen Marsh, said: “Before Nancy died, it was to become a real pride for her to experience its great success as an extra useful cultural facility in the village.
“Nancy could spot and activate gaps in community life, setting up groups for the young and old alike.”
Mrs Dunn’s husband, Alfred, also played an important part in the locality as he was headteacher of St Michael’s Primary School in Winterbourne for 33 years, including when Harry Potter author JK Rowling was a pupil.
When learning of his death in 2001, she told her family she “remembered him fondly, his shiny bald head and his love of Bristol Rovers" .
The trust said as a result of work by people such as Mrs Dunn, the barn was in a good state of repair.
However, some of the other buildings on the site were unsafe and urgently needed to be repaired before they affected the fabric of the barn itself.
Currently, the trust has reached the second round of securing a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund that will ensure survival of the barn and its associated buildings.
It had to raise money itself as part of that process, the reason behind the £10,000 appeal.