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This week’s 3 day visit from Ben Dames National Trust Jurassic Coast and Sylvia Saxon Group Travel was fun, enlightening and all too short!

We were blessed with beautiful weather (Ben always seems to bring the sunshine) so zipping around NTG sites and properties was a real pleasure, with lots of photo opportunities for Ben and Sylvia to share amongst NT Jurassic Coast members and future Saxon Group travellers.  The blog photo is Ben’s camera work – the printing blocks in the printers desk at Les Caches Farm.

The AGM itself was brilliant and vigorous, with much good news.  Of particular uplift was news of NTG property development work that will ripen 2014-15. We sadly said “adieu” to John Bracegirdle who retires as Treasurer – but being such an NT kind of person, he won’t go far!  Thank you John for the great Treasurer that you’ve been and your lovely company on Council.

Then came the fun part of the evening with pretty much  “An Audience with Ben and Sylvia”.  This was interesting, amusing and thought provoking.  We all left, much richer for the motivation and enthusiasm imparted by Ben & Sylvia, who covered serious aspects of working hard within their respective worlds (NT Jurassic Coast and NHS) and playing hard outside of the work place too.

Our gathered members were really involved throughout all of the discussions with superb Q & A’s  flying, left right and center.  We called time at 9pm, but, if we could have wanded in the food, water and wine fairy … it may have been a St. James lock-in.  To be able to say “We ran out of time” is a splendid indication of the hale and hearty evening we enjoyed.  Thank you Ben and Sylvia for sharing your insight, expertise and experiences in such a sunny way.  Ben’s blog on his Guernsey trip can be seen at @Jurassicoastin

Wholehearted thanks go to Condor Ferries for facilitating the NTJC members  -50% fare for day return foot passengers between Weymouth/Poole and Guernsey.  This incentive forged the relationship between NTG and NTJC.  To learn more ‘from the horses mouth’ about the beautiful Jurassic Coast,  our BBC Radio Guernsey interview is very well worth a ‘listen again’. Listen from around 2hrs 39 mins.

NTG Membership not only supports NTG locally, but NTG members get free parking and access to all NT UK sites – and other world wide sites too.  With single annual membership at £20 – and entrance to (eg) Kingston Lacy at £11.70 … NTG members cover their subscription with less than 2 visits to any UK NT property/place.  Money well spent and well worth thinking about.

Sylvia and Ben are avidly planning more trips to Guernsey with NTJC members and Saxon Group travellers (much crossover).  Such was the enthusiastic response to our guest speakers at this year’s AGM, that a repeat performance “September 2014 One Year On” is a compelling thought!

Sylvia & Ben at NTG's Grantez Mill Field (PS despite S's i-pad, we don't have wireless up there ... yet!)

Sylvia & Ben at NTG’s Grantez Mill Field (PS despite S’s i-pad, we don’t have wireless up there … yet!)