Kelston Roundhill makes a fine gathering point at times of crisis and stress. We invited the noted humanist celebrant Isabel Russo, a director of the excellent Good Funeral Guide, to devise a specific one-off ceremony for the community for 26 June. We felt we all need some sort of shared appreciation of what we are living through, and hope for the future.
We invited local villagers, the great and good of Bath Council’s eceonomic regeneration efforts, various faithful and other friends. The response was interesting. Some responded enthusiastically: this was just what they needed. Some felt somehow unworthy; since they had not suffered enough their places should go to others. Many simply did not reply; perhaps they were perplexed, perhaps RSVP has lost its traction.
But it worked out fine: numbers were precisely Covid-conformant. Weather was beautiful. Midsummer is gorgeous.
We heard from freelancers, school headteachers, doctors, faith representatives. We heard the anger and grief of a bereaved widow who had been unable to be with her dementia-suffering partner in his last weeks. We sat in healing silence, and heard the sounds of the natural world. Blackbirds sang through the silence, and continued right on cue while Charlie strummed and played the Beatles’ song of the same name.
We walked to the summit and admired the views from the clump, and returned for a shared picnic, with quiet conversation and reflection. The mood of the afternoon is well summarised by the poem Whisper our stories back written afterwards by Jon Hamp who shared the afternoon with us: see below.
We’re open to leasing Abbotts Copse and other space to make that possible, and to seeing a long-term viable business offering a range of outdoor activities on the site.
If you’re interested please contact us; we can hear your vision and experience and address any queries. Broadly we’re looking for an operation that is credible and medium to long term viable, enhances the reputation of Kelston Roundhill and provides a valuable service to the community, as far as possible “leaves no trace” (eg daily refuse removal), ensures staff and clients always respect the operations of the working farm and avoids any nuisance to neighbours or other visitors.
The funeral was held last Thursday at Roundhill Barn of Dan Spencer. A former Scout, Dan first came to Kelston Roundhill through his work with local schools.
Two years ago Dan moved his outdoor activities business Moving Mountains on site, and brought many and varied people to Kelston Roundhill for outdoor activities including archery, axe-throwing and orienteering.
We much valued his presence: cheerful, capable and content that he was in the right place. The barn and site are full of practical touches and improvements he added while he was working here. We will greatly miss him and our thoughts are with his family.
The permissive paths to Kelston Roundhill will be closed 15-19 March for essential maintenance works on dangerous trees which overhang the paths. They will reopen by 1800 on 19 March (sooner if possible). B&NES, Cotswold Wardens and Avon Ramblers have been notified. Cullimores Lane and the Cotswold Way are unaffected.
Thank you for your understanding. Please contact us with any enquiries.