Piece of history is returned to manor after being saved

From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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IT’S a piece of history nearly lost to the rubbish dump – but now back at its rightful home.

A plate from Wymering Manor dated 1916 was discovered by roofing contractor, Lee McGowan after clearing out a house in Oxford.

Lee, who grew up in Portsmouth, said: ‘I came across the plate in a house that was being renovated. I noticed the name on it and picked it up.

‘It was going to be thrown away so I asked the builder on the job if I could have it.’

The plate was originally presented to Elizabeth Muriel Cambie after a fundraising day for the widows and children of the heroes of the British Isles.

After growing up near the manor, Lee knew that he wanted to share the plate with the trustees so that they could add it to their collection.

‘I thought that I have got to donate this. So my friend put me in contact with trustee Karen Fletcher and she was excited,’ said Lee.

But Lee didn’t always have a fondness of the manor when growing up.

‘I only visited the house once when I was younger as me and my friends always knew it as the haunted house,’ said Lee.

Since growing up Lee hadn’t visited the manor until the handing over of this treasured item. He said: ‘It was like I was bringing the plate back home as it comes from there and that’s where it belongs.

‘I was pleased to give the plate to them’

Lee and his business partner Larry Stanley have offered to supply a new carpet for the manor and carry out further 
works.

By helping out at the manor Lee hopes that the place can get up and running.

Lee added: ‘We want to see it bought back to life but as they need funding we want to help out.

‘Me and Larry will be doing work on the manor for the next couple of months.’

Chairman of Wymering Manor Trust Councillor Rob Wood said: ‘We are thrilled with getting this plate as a piece of Wymering Manor’s social history and even more thrilled with the further help Lee and Larry are giving the manor.’