The Mary Roxburghe Trust was delighted to welcome the Good Companions Club to West Horsley Place for their monthly gathering this September. The Good Companions club provides a monthly social event for those in the village over sixty, though the majority of current members are eighty and over. Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe was a supporter of the Club in decades gone by and often hosted them here. We are honoured to be able to continue that tradition and raise awareness of this important organisation. Club Chair, Rosalind Horstead spoke to WHP Operations Manager Clare Clinton:

 

CC-What is the Good Companions Club?

 

RH- We are a social club for the over 60s of West Horsley village, it’s been going for 60 years and meets one Wednesday afternoon a month. We have drivers to ferry the old folk. We have an entertainment and a nice home tea. At one point the membership was nearly 80 now we are around 20.

 

CC- What is the connection between Good Companions and Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe?

 

RH- She was interested in the old people of the village, She would host teas of at West Horsley Place and was a donor.

 

CC-What made you want to come to back to West Horsley Place?

 

RH- My son Johnny was trying to raise money to keep the club going. He got in touch with the Mary Roxburghe Trust, who invited us to the manor house for a meeting, talk and tour for those who were able.

 

CC-How has the visit been for everyone?

 

RH- The hospitality shown to us was really marvellous. We were thrilled. Volunteer Joy Davis gave us a most interesting talk on the history of the house, followed by a guided tour. The club members were more excited than I have seen them in years!

 

CC- What do you think about the future plans for West Horsley Place?

 

RH- I think it is amazing that the Trust is so interested in the village and wants to make it a village affair.                    

 

 One long-standing member of the Good Companions had personal memories of the Duchess,

 

‘I visited West Horsley Place once before many years ago with Horsley Rambling Club. The Duchess offered us a glass of wine and there was a roaring fire in the hall. I’d always hoped to come back. Today we saw around everywhere. Hopefully the money will be found and it will all be restored.’