Members and guests of Buteshire Natural History Society were recently treated to a fascinating talk by Alice Martin, Head of Collections at Mount Stuart, on her previous post at Chartwell, the home of Sir Winston Churchill from the early ‘20s until his death in 1965.
Alice shared with the audience her knowledge of the house and how it had evolved during the years it was the primary residence of the Churchills. The scene was set by a resume of the way early experiences had shaped the character and needs of Sir Winston.
Alice showed images of the countryside around the house and spoke eloquently about how the beauty and tranquillity of the area was a source of solace to Sir Winston. It was revealed that the contents of the house as they are displayed today is a result of work by the Churchills who, knowing that the house would be run by the National Trust and open to the public, took the time and effort to ensure it reflected the heyday of their lives at Chartwell.
The Churchills requested that Chartwell should always be home to a marmalade cat called Jock. When Alice left Chartwell and moved to Bute she brought with her Jock V, so Jock VI is the new Chartwell cat.