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Wymering Manor is Open For Business

Published: 14th July 2014 10:22

 Karen Fletcher with volunteers Lisa Gallagher and Brandee
The oldest house in Portsmouth is now open for business.

Thanks to Lee Fletcher Funeral Services, the Wymering Manor now has a room which the Trust can rent out to start bringing in an income to help with the restoration. On Friday, the manor opened its doors to the public and revealed the newly refurbished "Music Room" for the first time.

Organised by Karen Fletcher, Lee's wife, the event was a 1940s evening tea with entertainment from local singer, Amy Baker, who serenaded the audience with music from the era. Some guests dressed for the theme including Karen who roped in as many volunteers as she could to ensure the evening was a success.

 Karen said, "It was the first event so I was quite nervous but really pleased that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The main thing was the lovely noise as you walked into the hall and could hear everyone laughing. It was like the house had come alive again. I am hoping that the next one will equally as good."

Lee, who runs his business in Cosham High Street, is hoping that the funding of the Music Room will be a big step forwards in helping in the restoration. He said, "The north part of the city hasn't got as many historical places as the south and as the manor is local to our community, I thought it was important that we play a role and help bring it on to make it available. This is a bit different to what we normally do but it's the centre of the community and will be used by the community. The sooner we can turn it around and open up as much as we can to the public, the better because it will start to be self-funding."

Volunteers were busy working to get the manor ready in the run up to the event including installing a disabled toilet downstairs.

 MP Penny Mordaunt and chair of the Wymering Manor
Trust gives a helping hand at the 40s tea party
Penny Mordaunt, MP for North Portsmouth and chair of the Trust, said, "I was delighted with the sell out event last week. It was the first event we have put on in that newly refurbished room and was a real celebration of the hard work of so many people.

"I was really pleased to see so many people had got into the spirit of the event and came dressed up in 40s gear. It was like Goodwood!  We are always keen to hear from the public about ideas and events they would like to see take place.

"We will be holding several events across the summer, and hope many more people will be able to enjoy the place.

"We will be formally marking the progress we have made to date and thanking all those who have worked so hard on the house and garden and raised funds, as we move onto the next phase of the project which will be a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund."

Meanwhile, Karen wants to spread the word about the new room so that people know that it is available to hire. She said, "It could be used for things like coffee morning, classes or for a night. It's a great place if people want a venue that is a little bit different."

If you're interested in finding out more about hiring the "Music Room" at Wymering Manor, contact Karen on 07880952930. More information about Wymering Manor can be found here.

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