Volunteer Val clocks up 20 years at Tattershall Castle

Paul Robinson, the castle's learning experience manager, presents Val with her medal
Paul Robinson, the castle's learning experience manager, presents Val with her medal

The fact Val Truepenny knows every inch of Tattershall Castle won’t surprise anyone as she’s just clocked up 20 years as a volunteer there.

And her anniversary coincides with celebrations marking the 100th year that the now National Trust owned property re-opened to the public.

Val started as a room steward in 1994. On her second visit as a volunteer, she took her spinning wheel and was soon showing visitors - mainly children - how to spin.

Now, anyone who has a go takes home a small card of a sample of what they have spun and a certificate showing proof of their achievement.

Last season, Val had 28 different nationalities trying their hand at spinning.

In 1995, the castle staged a pageant portraying its history and Val played Lady Maud Cromwell, the wife of Lord Ralph de Cromwell, the grandfather of the man who built the present brick structure.

The volunteer stewards decided that it would be nice to wear the pageant outfits during their duties so the Lady Maud outfit became Valerie’s room steward uniform as she demonstrated her spinning wheels.

She has since made a number of different medieval dresses for herself and other volunteers at the castle.

Because of the amount of spun wool, Val and her husband Keith started a project to use it to weave into material to make medieval peasant outfits to wear at the castle.

Val has also added another interesting rarely seen wheel which she demonstrates, a very large ‘Great Wheel’ or ‘Walking Wheel’. She has also knitted a number of children’s toys.

She was presented with her 20-year badge at a volunteer meeting.

The castle’s General Manager, Sara Blair-Manning, said: “We are thrilled to be able to present Val with her badge in recognition of 20 years dedicated service.

“She has been a loyal and enthusiastic supporter of Tattershall Castle and deserves this recognition. Well done Val and thank you for your continued support.’

Volunteer Manager, Charlotte Stockdale added: “Val’s dedication across these 20 years has been fantastic. The work she does for Tattershall really brings the castle to life.”

*Anyone interested in volunteering at the castle should contact 01526 342543.