Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 87)

Hedgehog action; mothing on Romney Marsh; a tour of the Queen Elizabeth; a plague of crickets; 50lb of blackberries; one of the “greats” of British botany, and a shifting wedding ceremony.

August 5th 1957:

Early this afternoon Jean Hockridge referred to as me in to see a baby hedgehog, which she had discovered in her drain, soaked by very popular water and soapsuds from her washer. The little creature seemed little the more severe and was drying off in the nice and cozy sunshine.

Gran has extra to put in writing about a hedgehog that evening, saying:

…I discovered a younger hedgehog getting ready a hole on the backside of the backyard for his bed. He was nibbling off scraps of leaves and dry stems and carrying them to the doorway of the opening.  When he had collected a little pile, he went into the opening, the place I noticed his back shifting as if he have been scrabbling about, and then turned spherical and, together with his entrance paws, drew in the herbage he had collected together.

Gran continues the apparently ill-advised nightly follow of placing out bread and milk for the native hedgehogs, which she started several years in the past, and naturally, the backyard’s birds anticipate to be fed daily, as she notes on the eighth:

A Green Woodpecker yaffled loudly down the garden early and a Robin got here into the kitchen throughout breakfast.  The clatter of spoons or teacups is all the time a sign for the birds to crowd round the kitchen window – they assume it’s time their meals was served also!

“A Robin came into the kitchen” – Picture by Mark Robinson by way of Flickr.

On August 14th, “Barry’s twenty-seventh birthday, God bless him”, she writes, Gran finishes a portray of Wooden Sage, and, counting via her albums she is pleased to seek out her work now number 2 hundred and seven.

She receives a long and fascinating letter from Barry round this time, partly in response to her asking him to determine a caterpillar she had discovered at Hatchet Pond a few days earlier. This, she learns:

…was that of a Broom Moth, which is widespread on heathland.  The boys at Haberdashers call it the “Bournemouth Belle” because of its brown and yellow stripes.

A Broom moth caterpillar – a comparable color scheme to that of the carriages of the Bournemouth Belle. Image by Paul Seligman by way of Flickr.

Dad’s letter particulars a highly profitable mothing expedition to Romney Marsh in search of the larvae and pupae of a moth, Hydraecia lucherardi, just lately found for the primary time in England, and as but without an English identify. It feeds on the roots of Marsh Mallow.

Joan Adelaide Goater - her journal about Chandler's Ford.

“On Monday”, Gran recounts:

…he went with one Laurie Christie, who was at Watkins and Doncaster [the famous London-based supplier of entomological equipment], and discovered a big subject of Marsh Mallow, which was in itself a tremendous sight… While on the marsh, Barry made a pleasant new pal – to quote his own phrases – Michael Tweedie, who has simply retired from the directorship of the Raffles Museum in Singapore. He is an skilled on Crabs, Snakes and other things, and does probably the most incredible drawings, via dots, of Lepidoptera in pure surroundings.  As an example, he has one in every of Ivy blossom on which are two Angle Shades, a Widespread Sallow and a Barred Sallow.  He builds them up from flash photographs, scored into small squares they usually take as much as a yr to do.  His associates name them “Tweedie’s Tapestries”.

I quote this excerpt of Gran’s journal for my own nostalgic reasons; these two “grown-ups” have been a part of a cohort of Dad’s entomological buddies who shaped a backdrop to my younger life. Laurie Christie and I, together on a Winter’s morning, appeared for a Water Rail at one of the Tring Reservoirs in my early birding days, and there he introduced me to Mulligatawny Soup! Michael Tweedie, I discovered, had had a dangerous time beneath the Japanese over the past struggle, although, while their prisoner, was allowed beneath guard to forage beyond the security fence for additional food.  To me, he never seemed nicely, was all the time painfully thin, and, using the palm of his hand, might make his ear squeak like a mouse!  Adults, I’m positive, are sometimes unaware of the legacy they could depart to younger minds!

“Moths congregating at sugar” by Michael Tweedie. Courtesy of Barry Goater.

On August 20th, at Southampton’s Civic Centre, Gran meets some buddies, from the Midlands and holidaying in Bournemouth, who need to see over the “Queen Elizabeth”.  They:

…proceeded to the Docks, the place they have been amazed at the measurement of the ship – a quarter of a mile long and eighty-five ft broad!  She appeared monumental and to people who had never seen our bigger Service provider Navy ships, she was magnificent.  I loved seeing over her once more myself, particularly with a information, and the woodwork and common craftsmanship delighted us all.  Particularly I admired the fantastic inlaid wall image of the Canterbury Pilgrims, in which over a thousand items of hand-carved wooden of different hues have been used.

Gran is a little inaccurate in giving the ship’s dimensions, the vessel being a little shorter and considerably wider than she says, however it’s still mightily spectacular.  After the two-hour tour, they are glad to take a seat with coffee and biscuits in the First Class dining-room, and later they take pleasure in and wonderful lunch in the Dolphin Lodge, where they’re joined by Jane.

The mighty RMS Queen Elizabeth. Image by DJ Berson by way of Flickr.

Jane also accompanies Gran on a go to to Barry, Jock and the boys at Mill Hill on the 23rd, before Gran goes on to Kingston for a day, while Jane returns to Chandler’s Ford:

Jane was quickly involved in a recreation of cricket with the little boys, which gave Barry and me a probability to talk about crops, birds, bugs and such…  There was fairly a plague of Crickets spherical Mill Hill, where they’ve been breeding on scorching ash deposited there.  They have been coming into the houses in numbers.  It was good to see Barry and the youngsters once more and, although Barry has grown his horrid beard once more through the Summer time holidays, he was, however, simply the identical underneath…

The top of the month brings blackberrying time, and mother and daughter, over the late summer time period, decide almost fifty kilos, bottling some, making jam and jelly with others, and giving some as presents.  On one journey to Farley Mount right now they’re:

…saddened to see a lovely Barn Owl lying lifeless in the street – sufferer of a automotive final night time, I assume.  Its plumage was pretty, tender golden-yellow with mottled markings on the ideas of the feathers, and a pure white face and legs.  A wonderful creature indeed!

One of many saddest sights – a Barn Owl, widespread victim of collisions with visitors. It’s a widespread species: this one is American. Picture by Allen Gathman by way of Flickr.

Barry drops in for a few days previous to a Haberdashers’ camp at Beaulieu Street, and he and Gran handle to fit in some local moth-hunting expeditions, and botanising in the New Forest. At Hatchet Pond, with Brigadier Venning, they affirm the id of a plant that had puzzled Gran on an earlier B.E.N.A. visit to the location. It was Shoreweed Littorella uniflora.  They discover a variety of different unusual and uncommon wetland crops there, together with Hampshire Purslane Ludwigia palustris, and there too they meet one of many nice names of British botany.  Gran explains:

As we have been about to go away the world, two extra botanists arrived and waded into the pond to take a look at the Ludwigia.  Brigadier Venning acknowledged the woman and she or he introduced her companion to all of us. He was none aside from J.E. Lousley, writer of “Wild Flowers of Chalk and Limestone” – it was a privilege to satisfy him.  He didn’t know that the Lavatory Orchid grows at Hatchet, so we returned there to point out it to him.  He was delighted with it!

Gran’s copy of Lousley’s Wild Flowers of Chalk and Limestone, certainly her favourite guide, and another pretty cover by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis.

September third brings the long-awaited marriage of Jill Fowler and Dennis Brewster, the end result of a lot planning by the Fowler family, which has also concerned each Gran and Jane. The latter has had fittings and ultimate adjustments to her bridesmaid’s gown, and she or he lately attended a full rehearsal, while Gran has been concerned with planning the seating arrangements for the reception, and has had a hand in designing flower arrangements and in adorning the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Bassett, where the wedding is to happen.

Gran describes the flowers in nice detail, and in addition the ceremony itself, elements of which comply with:

I meant to be strong-minded on this occasion and to not be overwhelmed with a want to weep, but a lump rose in my throat for a start, when my Godson John, who is a Server, appeared in his surplice to carry out his preliminary duties. The sight of Dennis, who lost one leg when he was a naval cadet and now, with a man-made one, walks with a pronounced limp, walking as much as take his place to await his Bride’s arrival, virtually overwhelmed me, as did Tommy’s arrival on John’s arm a little later.

There was a breathless hush, for she [the bride] was somewhat late but what a imaginative and prescient of loveliness when she arrived.  So truthful is she, very tall and slim, with a splendid carriage, and she or he came, veiled, on her Father’s arm, wanting calm and wonderful in her robe of white lace and tulle with a brief lace practice and her veil held in place by a uniquely-shaped coronet of Carnation petals.  The three Bridesmaids, Diana, her married school-friend Elizabeth Lewis, and Jane, all dark in distinction to Jill’s personal equity, seemed quite lovely in their gowns of white sprigged nylon over inexperienced taffeta, so sensible that the overall effect was turquoise blue, with the tiny green, yellow and white daisies on the nylon displaying as much as perfection.

Jill’s bouquet, which she made herself, was all white and composed of Odontoglossum Orchids, Stephanotis and Lilies-of-the-Valley, and the Bridesmaids carried crescents of flame-coloured Madame Hoffmann Roses, yellow and deep flame Gerberas and Asparagus Fern and inexperienced leaves splashed with orange and yellow.

Gran has stored one, pressed and pale, between the pages of her journal.  She continues:

They wore gold brooches on the left aspect of their clothes, four Canadian maple leaves in graduated sizes, barely tinted with the green and yellow in their clothes. These have been the present of the Bridegroom. The Ceremony was pretty, as Wedding ceremony Ceremonies must be, and relatively unusually, Jill and Dennis had memorized their vows and stated them with out following the Vicar.  As Jill turned in the direction of Dennis to pledge herself, the solar streamed by way of the window on to her truthful head and down one aspect of her gown. A moment later it had gone and didn’t seem again all day.

The reception is held in a giant marquee outdoors the corridor, after which, as Gran relates, ”came the somewhat unhappy second of farewell, for they sail for Canada on Friday and this is the last time many people would see them, at the least for a yr or two”.  “Jill”, she writes, “went away in a saxe-blue suit and small close-fitting crimson hat, and looked charming”.

Jane returns to The Ridge late that night time, having joined the opposite Bridesmaids and the 4 Ushers for a dinner-party at the Rose and Crown in Brockenhurst – arranged for them by the Greatest Man, at Dennis’ request.

She cycles with Gran to the Romsey Show on the afternoon of the next day.  It is wet, however they take pleasure in especially, the show-jumping, Gran writing:

In the Open event the famous rider Alan Oliver was competing and in addition his Father, who gained it, Alan being, moderately surprisingly, third.  His younger brother Paul, gained the Junior occasion, but this well-known family certainly not had it all their very own approach.

Subsequent day, September fifth, is ok and sunny:

After a busy morning Jane and I went to Potters Heron Lodge at Ampfield for lunch – a deal with we had long been promised by Mom – and this appeared a pretty day for it.  We walked residence along Gipsy Lane and across the edge of the Forestry Fee Hursley Forest, from which there’s a really fantastic view, by way of the beechwoods of Hook and Hocombe Roads and into the Chestnut Woods, rising via Queen’s Street, now renamed Gordon Street for some obscure cause, and so residence.  It was a good day for a walk…


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