Donations toward two links have been made by Alison Neasom, who lives 200 miles away in Hampshire, but has strong ties to the house. “They will be stamped with A.N for me, and O.W for my wonderful mum,” she said. “It is just a little way of giving back for the joy the house gave to my mother and I in our respective times at Wentworth Woodhouse.”
Alison’s mum was stationed there for two years with the Intelligence Corps Headquarters and Training Depot. Private Olive Wedgwood, from Langwith, near Bolsover, joined the Corps as war was ending
“Dad always said that mum was the reason Hitler surrendered,” said Alison.
“She was a clerk dealing with administration tasks, including deployment of troops, and went on to become a Lance Corporal. She loved the grandeur of the house, but as a nature-lover, having her place of work in such beautiful countryside was perfection to her. She spoke of the walks she took to Greasborough and through the grounds, and the fun she had skinny-dipping in the lakes.”
Some 27 years later, by a twist of fate, in 1974 Wentworth Woodhouse became her daughter’s home for three years.
“Dance, my passion, was a P.E. specialism at the Lady Mabel College based at the mansion. My mother was absolutely delighted when I went to train as a P.E. teacher there. She loved bringing me back to college and came to watch me in dance events,” remembers Alison (nee Hayes).
“My North Wing roommate for the first year was Kate Reynolds and we still have a very strong friendship.
“I don’t think any of us fully appreciated the magnificence of the building and grounds and how lucky we were to dance in the Marble Saloon, play lacrosse at the Deer Sheds and do our indoor sports and gym in the Stable Block.
“In my final year I was Entertainments Chair, which meant I was invited back to the following year’s college ball. My husband decided to propose to me that evening because he knew how much Wentworth meant to me,” said Alison.
With dance her specialism, she went on to teach and work in youth development and teacher training in Berkshire, Middlesex and Hampshire, retiring in 2021. Now 67 and a grandmother, Alison enjoys ballet and contemporary dance classes and plays netball and badminton.
She keenly follows news of Wentworth Woodhouse and was thrilled to return recently for a reunion of 1974 -77 Lady Mabel students.