1936 – Tyneham Rectory Roof / Garden Fete


The raising of funds towards meeting the cost of urgently-necessary repairs to the roof of the Rectory, the residence of the Rev. and Mrs. G. Clifford Frend, was the primary object of a fete held on Wednesday in the charming grounds of Tyneham House, which had been lent by Dr. and Mrs. Sauer. Part of the proceeds are also to be devoted towards the expenses incurred in conveying members of the Tyneham Women’s Institute from outlying hamlets to meetings.

The roof of the Rectory is in a very dilapidated condition and far from watertight, and although the rector and Mrs. Frend spent a good deal of money on it when they came into residence in the hope of avoiding further trouble, it was found advisable to call in an architect. The lowest estimate obtained for the work was £735, but with a new scheme the cost has been reduced to £550. Towards this sum promises amounting to about £400 have been received including generous subscriptions from the patron of the living, Mr. John W. G. Bond, C.B., and diocesan funds. The district embraced by the Women’s Institute, which owes its inception to Mrs. Frend, who is the present president, is such a large and scattered one, including Kimmeridge, Steeple, Povington, and Creech Grange, that to enable members to get to meetings in the hut at Tyneham a ‘bus and usually two taxes have to be requisitioned, which represents an expenditure of £10 a year for transport.


Mrs. Sauer, formally introduced by the Rector, declared the fete open and wished it every success. Mr. Frend, in thanking Dr. and Mrs. Sauer for kindly lending the grounds, mentioned, apropos the object of the effort, that the Rectory was practically uninhabitable. It was hoped by that afternoon’s effort to raise sufficient to pay off the amount required for meeting the cost of repairing the roof. The Women’s Institute was quite a young and growing branch, and naturally wanted something to feed on. (Laughter and hear, hear.)

Mrs. Sauer was presented with a bouquet of pink carnations by little Miss Clare Farley-Smith (grand-daughter of the Rector) and cordially thanked on the proposition of Mr. Ralph Bond.


Favoured with brilliant weather, the fete attracted a large number of visitors, who found much to interest them, apart from the pleasure of a stroll through the grounds. A unique feature at night was the flood-lighting of the beautiful Elizabethan house, which is of Purbeck ashlar, commenced in 1567 and mostly built in 1583, although considerable alterations and additions were made by the late Rev. William Bond in 1820. Mr. N. Fitzgerald generously defrayed the whole of the cost of the flood-lighting.

Mrs. W. H. Bond, Miss Margot, Mrs. Ralph Bond, Mrs. Frend and Mrs. Sauer presided at a stall devoted to the sale of miscellaneous articles, whilst members of the Women’s Institute had charge of a produce department and work made by them. Sweets were sold by Miss Margaret Bond and Miss B. Kendrick. Mrs. F. H. Swann was responsible for the serving of teas, whilst Mrs. Bowditch later in the evening saw to the provision of suppers.

Plays, “No Beggars or Hawkers” and “King or Clown?” were presented by “The Barnstormers”; “Estelle,” clairvoyante and crystal gazer, gave demonstrations, whilst various competitions added to the visitors’ interest and augmented the funds. Amongst the side-shows, &c., were a Chinese laundry, run by Mrs. Donald Leney; a treasure hunt, the charge of Mrs. John Evans; bowling, at which the helpers included Dr. Dru Drury and Mr. Ralph Bond; cocoanut shies, in the care of Mr. T. W. Wrixon; darts, Messrs W. H. Clifford Frend, C. H. Bayliss, and G. N. Walton; Mr. D. Squires (Kimmeridge) persuaded “anglers” to fish for bottles in a bath; and a whist drive on the lawn, with Mr. A. Dunning as M.C., followed by dancing to music by Wareham Town Band, were fitting finales to an interesting programme.

Messrs. J. H. Heard and Hy. Grant were responsible for preparing the ground for the fete.

Published by the Western Gazette, Friday 28 August 1936