After what seems such a long time, today I returned to my voluntary rôle as one of the Exhibition Stewards at Winchester Cathedral’s award-winning ‘Kings and Scribes – Birth of a Nation’ exhibition.
As a member of an enthusiastic team of volunteers, I enjoy welcoming and introducing visitors to a historic significance, unfolding the awesome happenings of England’s former capital. There were many visitors today; wonderful!
Receiving and engaging with visitors from the world over is an absolute delight. They stare in awe and wonder at this 1000-year-old icon. Makes me feel young!
Why do I enjoy such activity? Talking with people of various nationalities and cultures; exchanging comments and observations. The combination; observing people ‘walking through history’; listening and exchanging comments.
Some visitors are stunned by Winchester Cathedral’s majesty and whether full or empty, a sense of calm and serenity. The atmosphere friendly.
I must admit to enjoying learning about England’s history and observing the faces of visitors as they realize the significance of Winchester over the centuries. From the Roman era, Anglo-Saxon, Vikings, to the Norman Conquest, and much more.
King Alfred the Great certainly stands out as a champion of freedom. He is the only king to be afforded the title ‘Great’. An incredible statue overlooking the city center presents him as a strong and worthy monarch. He did much to release England from the ‘bondage’ of Vikings.
One historical aspect follows another. Walking through the city one is greeted by one artifact after another; the old Roman wall, ancient buildings, the Water Meadows, River Itchen (poet Keats’ favorite river-side walk) Jane Austin’s final resting place, and her tomb inside the Cathedral.
Countryside, rivers, hills, meadows, and pastures are literally within a few minutes’ walk from the center. No matter how many times I walk around this wonderful city, there is always something previously unseen. As if hidden from view to be revealed anew.
Visitors to Winchester are amazed at the spontaneous friendliness afforded by strangers.
Winchester is essentially a friendly place and almost everyone exchanges greetings on a country walk.
Friendly, historical, countryside, hills, and rivers. What more can one ask?