An excellent yr for Cuckoos; the Royal Event – a bit noisy; Hordle seashore – a bit sandy; Christine Truman’s first Wimbledon; the Masonic women faculty; poignancy on the Air Forces Memorial; Prize-giving at Shirley Avenue Faculty; Heath Lobelia, leafy Nottingham and some cricketing greats.
Cuckoos are ample in the Chandler’s Ford area this Summer time of 1957, and Noticed Flycatchers, though late in coming, look like plentiful, with a pair nesting on the home subsequent door and hawking bugs, often from the gateposts in the front garden of The Ridge. Gran hears a Nightingale from the home, the first, she says, for several years, however most of the heathland, scrub and birch wood birds, acquainted to her in previous years, not nest close by as the world is progressively built up. She data Wood Warblers in the Pinewood nonetheless although, and writes on June third:
As I emerged from the Pinewood into Hiltingbury Street I saw a Wooden Warbler carrying food for young in her bill and as Hazel joined me, the hen flew onto a tiny Candy Chestnut sapling not five yards away from us and dropped to the ground. Instantly little clamouring voices proclaimed a nest with younger. The nest was straightforward to seek out but domed so that we couldn’t see inside, but we have been glad.
Slightly tragedy occurs on the 4th, Jean Hockridge from subsequent door, giving “the sad news that a cat or dog had earlier killed both the children’s Guineapigs – what a pest these wretched animals can be!”
Risky! Picture by Doug Zwick by way of Flickr.
There’s little rain right now and Gran borrows a hose from next door early one morning to water the garden, and enjoys watching a Goldcrest, ”which came within a few ft of me and intentionally stood beneath the shower of water”.
On June 15th Gran is again in London once more, with a social gathering, this time at Earl’s Courtroom to see the Royal Event. She says:
The Event was actually fantastic, though not likely my ultimate leisure, being very noisy certainly, extremely so at occasions, but some elements of it I completely enjoyed and there was a magnificent pageant of color and motion. The Salute this evening was taken by the Second Sea Lord, but I didn’t hear his identify. He occupied the Royal Field.
This was the type of factor Gran loved at the Royal Event. Picture by Douglas Sprott by way of Flickr.
“I cannot mention all events separately’, she continues, “so I naturally choose those which impressed me most and omit the noisy battle scenes, which, though clever and well-executed, only distressed and unnerved me with their excessive noise.” She describes the music and gown uniforms, the well-known drum-horse, “Hannibal”, and, very a lot of its time:
Tribal Show and Drill…depicted the transformation of the East African Tribesmen into the educated King’s African Rifles. Within the first a part of the show, the soldiers have been seen shifting in the direction of the Wajir Fort to offer themselves as recruits, and each tribe carried out its personal native dances. The second scene was a drill show by males of the 6thand 26thBattalions from Tanganyika with the band of the 4thBattalion (The Uganda Rifles) a show of sensible regimental marches and arms drill of which these darkish troopers of the Queen could also be justly proud.
During Wimbledon fortnight, Gran watches a variety of matches subsequent door on the Hockridges’ television, and accompanies Bob Fowler and his daughter Diana, who’ve tickets, to the place itself on June 27th. She queues for a ticket and has a nice time watching play on Number one and Number four Courts, however she says nothing of the matches she saw.
On July 2nd although:
I finished portray the [Corn] Bindweed, a most pleasing subject, earlier than going subsequent door to observe the tennis. It was most enjoyable this afternoon, for the sixteen yr previous, British Junior Champion, Christine Truman, beat the fifth-ranking American, Mrs Pratt in a titanic wrestle to succeed in the semi-final at her first Wimbledon. It was a splendid performance and a very engaging match, which was tremendously enhanced by the exceedingly good sportsmanship of the American loser, who smilingly acknowledged each shot which beat her.
And two days later, she writes more of Wimbledon:
…the place, as I anticipated, Christine Truman was utterly outclassed by Althea Gibson, who gained 6-1, 6-1. I do not belittle the efficiency of the English woman… however Althea Gibson plays a magnificent recreation and at this time misplaced no time in attacking Miss Truman’s weakest point, her backhand, giving her no probability to use to effect her very robust forehand. I hope most sincerely that Althea Gibson will go on to win the final… I feel virtually everyone can be pleased to see this coloured woman win this nice event.
On July 6th, returning with Antony Harding from a Natural History Society area trip to Micheldever, Gran, “saw with delight, in a man’s newspaper in the train, that Althea Gibson did, indeed, win the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles, beating Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2, and I later learned”, she says, “ that she won the Doubles as well”.
Althea Gibson. Picture by Fred Palumbo, Library of Congress, by way of Flickr.
Nothing additional is written about Gran’s battle over the removing of “her“ Yew timber opposite The Ridge, and she or he seems to have accepted their unhappy fate. Her final reference to the state of affairs is made when writing of extra felling of woodland in the neighborhood of the colony of Epipactis leptochila close to Standon:
I resolved to write down to several individuals to see if anything might be finished to save lots of them however I’m not very hopeful in view of the fiasco over the felling of our Yew timber.
July seventh sees Gran participating in an unfamiliar and little appreciated family outing:
I used to be taken immediately with some kin, right down to Hordle in order that a number of the social gathering might bathe, however this part of the outing held no attraction for me… This place was really horrid – crowded with holiday-makers and once we did find a spot in entrance of the wall to take a seat down for our lunch, the wind blew the sand onto and into every part in order that to eat was inconceivable. We simply sat there whilst the bathers had their dip, and the sand blew into my ears, down my neck and into my hair until I used to be more than glad to maneuver on once more.
Hordle – a bit too sandy for Gran. Image by Jim Champion by way of Flickr.
The social gathering goes on into the New Forest, of rather more interest to Gran, they usually take pleasure in “an early tea at the Honeysuckle Tea Rooms at Minstead, which have changed hands since I was last there…”, she writes. It’s whereas there that Gran first sees the flower-arranging materials that we know as “oasis”, describing it thus:
…round containers have been crammed with a sponge-like substance and have been stored moist with water poured in, and the flowers inserted in holes everywhere in the balls. The effect was one of many nicest I’ve seen.
“I went this morning’, she writes on the 13th, “with a party to visit the Masonic Girls’ School at Rickmansworth”:
One of many Senior women, Diane by identify, took half the social gathering, of which I was one, and carried out us, with a candy assurance and charming manner, over the Faculty of which she was obviously very proud – and with each purpose. It has eight Homes, each named after a well-known benefactor, and there are simply over four hundred women. The Faculty is constructed so that the whole area, except for the Sanatorium, may be traversed underneath cover, the outer corridor in the type of cloisters.
She is impressed by the Chapel, describing it in nice detail, and continues:
The views of the encompassing countryside from the windows of the library, widespread rooms, dormitories and lecture rooms have been such that, had I been a pupil here, I might have had the greatest problem in getting any work achieved… The Faculty is definitely situated in one of many loveliest potential elements of this pricey previous nation.
She thinks further on “this dear old country” on the homeward journey:
We stopped at Runnymede to see the Air forces Memorial, which was lately unveiled by the Queen. It is extremely lovely but pathetic and heartbreaking, for it is sacred to the memory of twenty thousand males of the Air Forces of the Commonwealth who haven’t any recognized grave, and it is set on a hill overlooking what have to be one of the loveliest elements of this pricey England that they died to defend.
Gran reminds us of the phrases utilized by the Queen at the unveiling, writing, “It is fitting that this memorial should be set up at Runnymede, where, seven centuries ago, in the signing of the Magna Carta, the first seed of freedom was sown”, and Gran finishes by quoting, “Pope’s immortal words, which are reproduced in the entrance”:
On Cooper’s Hill everlasting wreaths shall grow,
While last the mountain or while Thames shall move.
Humbly I walked away, wondering why men are such fools – the flowers of youth, the most effective in the land, thrown away due to Man’s lust for domination and energy. Ah, me. As if life doesn’t convey its own measure of unhappiness without man adding needlessly to it!
The Air Forces Memorial, Runnymede. Picture by Dave – resting by way of Flickr.
This afternoon I went to the Golden Jubilee Prize-giving of my previous Shirley Avenue Faculty, and it shook me to comprehend that I first went there forty-three years ago! My previous Headmistress [Miss Hole] was there and there were eight or 9 of my previous schoolfellows there, too, amongst them “Tommy” Fowler, [nee Joan Tomlinson] with whom I went. Shirley Avenue is a Junior Faculty only now, however in my time there have been youngsters from the age of five up to seventeen, at which age I left, having began there once I was ten.
A number of days later, Gran has certainly one of her “red letter days”, adding three new plant species to her Hampshire Listing, and accumulating small samples of every, to paint. Fellow Pure Historical past Society members, Messrs Southwell and Donahoe, take her out in the previous’s automotive, to point out her, she writes, “the great treasure, the rare Cut-leaved Germander (Teucrium botrys), which according to Bentham and Hooker, is found only in a few places in Surrey and Kent. Well! It occurs in Hampshire as well!” Spring Cinquefoil (Potentilla verna) can also be new to her, and:
…to Holmsley and South Hinton, the place, a little additional on, we stopped once more… and, in a constructive deluge of rain we ploughed by way of drenching undergrowth to seek out Acrid Lobelia (Lobelia urens) stated to only happen in Dorset and Cornwall. However I did know that it was discovered in the New Forest, although I had by no means seen it till right now. It was properly value getting soaked for this pleasure!
Heath Lobelia Lobelia urens. Image by Len Worthington by way of Flickr.
On July 26th Gran takes the practice from Winchester to Nottingham, where she is to spend the weekend with Jane. As typical, she data a lot of what she sees out of the carriage window, including that:
The spires, domes and towers of Oxford rose above the opposite buildings and introduced back reminiscences of many journeys long ago once I was a youngster, travelling to and from Birkenhead to satisfy my Father when his ship got here house… by means of King’s Sutton to Banbury from which level the journey was by means of countryside totally new to me.
Arriving at her destination, she is pleasantly stunned by the greenness of Nottingham, with its abundance of timber, and Jane’s flat, “high up on the bend of a tremendous hill… right at the top of a large house… the view is extraordinary”, and the first thing she notices in the garden is a Spotted Flycatcher flying from a perch in a Lilac tree.
One of the leafier elements of Nottingham. Image by Dun.can by way of Flickr.
On the next day, Jane exhibits her Mother elements of the town, and Gran’s thoughts is put at relaxation regarding Jane’s existence there:
I was stunned and happy to see how many individuals Jane already knows. I had relatively imagined her as a little, lonely figure in the guts of a big, strange city, and here she was, amid the large purchasing crowd, being greeted on every aspect! It did me a world of excellent.
After two days together in Nottingham, Gran and Jane return collectively to Chandler’s Ford, where their days are spent gardening, working at Fowlers’ store, delivering flowers to ships on the docks, attending Brockenhurst Horse Present, at which the Duke of Gloucester introduced the trophies, and in addition visiting Arundel to observe a cricket match, played in assist of The Enjoying Fields Association, “between teams captained by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Norfolk respectively”. The journey there, by automotive, is considerably making an attempt, Gran writing:
It took over half an hour to crawl up a lengthy steep hill the place we passed, bonnet to bumper, in an endless line, leaving a number of automobiles with boiling radiators to cool off in draw-ins specially offered for broken down automobiles. At size we reached the doorway to Arundel Park…
Of the game, she tells us:
…the match had been in progress half an hour once we arrived and the Duke of Norfolk’s group was batting. There were several well-known gamers in both teams and the Duke of Edinburgh was straightforward to differentiate. Such names as Graveney, Marshall and Eager, and Ian Craig of Australia added interest and excitement to the game…
Craig was caught on the boundary by Graveney and, in a second, Graveney was surrounded by a host of small girls and boys asking for his autograph, which he kindly gave until the police arrived to clear the pitch! The Duke of Edinburgh took four wickets, together with that of the Duke of Norfolk, and scored thirty-one runs. When he was bowled and was strolling off, a little or no boy of about 4, jumped up simply in entrance of us and ran out to satisfy him. Much to everyone’s disappointment a policeman caught him when he was solely about two yards from the Duke, and he dissolved into tears when he was restored to his mom.
We, sadly, needed to depart before the match was over, for we had a long strategy to go house, however we had loved a very great privilege.