Bolney WI: Our speaker this month was Jan Whitlock, former Manager of the Rawson Hall and secret builder. We were totally fascinated by her account of building her straw house: the first in Bolney.
Over the past three years,Jan has been actively involved in building this unique home which will surely ensure her place in the history of Bolney’s domestic architecture.
Her knowledgeable description of the techniques involved left us all totally ‘gobsmacked’!
The initial idea came from her time in Africa, but the design reminded me of the trulli of southern Italy, which are also noted for being warm in winter and cool in the summer. One of her many tasks was to prepare hazel branches which were used to secure the straw bales together.
Jan also proved herself to be a good ‘scavenger’ - recovering e.g. a loo and a butler’s sink from skips, interior paints from Glastonbury and floor boards from the old Rawson Hall!
Once again we were privileged to hear of one woman’s determination to achieve her dream.
Next month on April 13th at 2.30pm in the Rawson Hall we look forward to an account of women who worked on the canals of the UK earlier last century.
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