Forty Years in Chandler’s Ford – a Journal (Part 91)

Hudnut’s manufacturing unit; a journey to Oxford; a famous French artist; Britain wins the Wightman Cup; a unusual Bee Orchid; a setback for the Ospreys; Fairsky –  a ship with a previous life; at Wimbledon’s No 1 Courtroom; new flowers to color; a Wild Gladiolus hunt, and a letter from Mr Summerhayes.

On Might 10th 1958 Gran writes:

This afternoon I went with Jean Hockridge to the Open Day at Hudnut’s Manufacturing unit, the place Ken is Manufacturing Manager.  Though I do not use cosmetics myself, I found it very fascinating, and different medicine and liniments and such are also made there.  It was fascinating to see the varied machines turning out tablets, mixing powders and creams, mixing toothpaste and placing it into tubes, filling, corking and labelling bottles of shampoo, and liniments and lots of different things. A really good tea was offered and all visitors were given numerous samples of the productions.

She performs tennis that evening and ends her entry for the day: “Tomorrow I go to Oxford with the Fowler family to see Diana and, hopefully, to look for Fritillaries!”  It isn’t clear what Diana, Tommy and Bob’s younger daughter, is now doing in Oxford.  Is she on the University?  Gran describes the subsequent day at some length, including the journey to Oxford, and consists of this:

…by way of Newtown, Newbury, Beedon and East Ilsley to Harwell, the New City constructed around the Atomic Research Station, which, to my mind, ought to never have existed at all, and the sight of it was the one disquieting function in an otherwise pretty day.

The day is spent in and round Oxford with the Fowler family, and Gran finds her Fritillaries – in a Thames-side meadow, near where students are rehearsing Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Story.   She says, “…gentlemen in doublet and hose, and ladies in farthingales strolled everywhere”.

4 women demonstrating farthingales. Image by Jules and Jenny by way of Flickr.

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After giving what she calls “my regular pint of blood” in Eastleigh on Might 12th, Gran takes a bus to Bassett to satisfy, Gran says, “Hazel Bidmead and Mrs Eagle, the latter in her car, and she took us all to Chilworth, where we had a most enjoyable evening”.  In a Forestry Fee area there they hear Nightingale and Turtle Dove in track and investigate an lively Badger sett, promising themselves a moonlit visit in the close to future to attempt to see the occupants. Redstarts are current and Woodlarks are displaying, and the ladies, Gran data, “put up a Nightjar, which caused some speculation as to its identity until we located it again sitting in the characteristic Nightjar fashion along a branch of an oak tree instead of the more usual across attitude”.

A typical crepuscular view of a Nightjar, perched alongside a department slightly than across it. Image by bramblejungle by way of Flickr.

Gran is out once more on the next day, Jane’s birthday, describing her botanical finds whereas rambling by means of familiar countryside in “…the Hursley area with Betty Hoskins, whose family has been intimately connected with the village for many years”.  Perhaps of extra local interest, on this event, than the flowers and birds she data, are the individuals:

Subsequent we went to the farm which had been Betty’s Grandfather’s and which is now run by her Uncle and his two sons, and saw a variety of very younger Guernsey calves, certainly one of which was less than a week previous… We also visited their fathers – four bulls of varying tempers, all firmly shut in their stalls.  Continuing alongside Poles Lane in the direction of Hursley, we met certainly one of Betty’s cousins, Richard, on a tractor, so we stopped to speak to him for a few moments.  He advised us of a pheasant’s nest in a close by area with 4 eggs in it… we stopped once more, this time to talk with an previous neighbour of the Hoskins household, who obviously did not recognise Betty when she referred to as “Hallo”.  We have been sorry to hear that this previous woman was alone now, all her neighbours’ houses having been demolished to make means for street “improvements”.

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

A severe headache (these seemingly still as frequent as ever) lays Gran low on the following day.  She writes that she “stayed in bed until just after mid-day, by which time the tablets had cleared my head, though I felt decidedly top-heavy when standing up”.  I’ve included this little quote notably, because some forty years later and dealing with dementia, Gran, on being requested how she was, continually complained of feeling “top-heavy”.  I might never fairly work out what she meant, but now assume she was describing the consequences of her medicine.

“I went to spend the day with a very old friend at West Wellow”, she writes on June 3rd, and continues:

I discovered with curiosity, and for the primary time, though I’ve recognized Doreen [Peters] since we have been youngsters, that her Grandfather was Jules Chérét, the famous French artist, who painted the first posters in Paris and whose artistic endeavors have been removed from the Galleries to a place of security through the conflict.  Lots of them, owned now by Doreen’s sister in Geneva, are extraordinarily useful, especially these signed by the artist.  One in every of her uncles, his son, is a well-known sculptor.  He, the artist, died on the age of ninety-two, a fantastic previous man, who, although then blind, made his incapacity undetectable to others by his nice independence and braveness.

A poster by Jules Chérét.  Image from the MCAD Library by way of Flickr.

Gran completes the flower painting, depicting many sometimes English woodland species, for Main Brewster by late Might, and she or he sends it to him in Canada.  Second submit on June 4th brings a grateful letter from the recipient:

…to say that his image had arrived safely and the way delighted he was with it.  He charmingly thanked me for serving to him and Mrs Brewster to have a pretty residence, and to have the ability to return in thought to the days of his childhood and wander in the woodlands of England.  A very kindly praise to my art!

She now has to start out another image, this one a current for Diana Fowler’s subsequent birthday, and she or he gathers a number of downland species at Compton and Shawford for this process and begins the image on June eighth.  The afternoon of the subsequent day is spent completely on this work, from 1 o’clock till half-past six, Gran writing that she “added Sainfoin, Salad Burnet, Silverweed, Bird’s-foot-trefoil, Wild Thyme and Milkwort”, adding, “It begins to take shape”.

Jane is residence for half-term in mid-June, spending much of her time horse-riding and tending The Ridge backyard with Gran, and there’s additionally tennis to observe:

This afternoon we divided between gardening and dashing in subsequent door to see part of the play in the Wightman Cup tennis match between England and America… Christine Truman, aged seventeen, scored a exceptional and splendid victory over the reigning Wimbledon Champion, Althea Gibson, and Ann Haydon beat Mimi Arnold, giving England a profitable lead and securing for her the Wightman Cup after a lapse of about twenty-three years!  A high quality thing for British tennis status.  Gardening was a relaxation after the tense excitement of watching and hearing such play.

That night, Gran is in Bassett helping Diana and Tommy with preparations for Tommy and Bob’s Silver Wedding ceremony get together, the event itself being described as, “an enjoyable little affair in which old acquaintances were renewed and old memories stirred…”

Information of grandson Julian arrives by postcard from Jock on June 17th:

…Julian had his tonsils and adenoids eliminated yesterday afternoon in St Andrew’s hospital, however he is alright after the operation.  Happily she had left him there on Sunday afternoon without tears, and he shall be so a lot better now that it’s completed.  Pricey little boy.

Later in the month Gran leads a Natural Historical past Society outing to Cheesefoot Head, and she or he returns with a Bee Orchid, picked to color for Diana’s image.  It raises some questions as to its true id although, Gran writing:

…and once I reached house and put it in water, I observed directly that there was something odd about it.  The lip, in contrast to that of a typical Bee Orchid, was pointed, and the tip not turned underneath; also there was very little dark colouring on it, and the whole flower was absolutely open but inverted.  Briefly, it was precisely just like the photograph in V.S. Summerhayes’ guide, of the Wasp Orchid (Ophrys var. trollii),  I hurriedly painted the one open flower…and wrote to Barry about it earlier than retiring early to bed.

Examples of the “Wasp Orchid” an uncommon variety of the Bee Orchid.  Picture by nz_willowherb by way of Flickr.

The following morning, she writes that “to her chagrin”, it had developed in the course of the night time into a “perfect Bee”, increasing “as a moth does after emergence from the chrysalis, but I felt certain this is not the usual procedure for I have often seen a Bee Orchid open from the bud before”.  She plans to put in writing to Mr Summerhayes about it.

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A lot of the flower deliveries that Gran makes to the docks at Southampton are to a restricted vary of ships – principally Cunard liners and vessels of the Union Fort Line, but on June 26th, there’s a new ship, with an fascinating history having been a warship since 1941 and recently refurbished as a passenger vessel to take emigrants, the “ten pound poms” on the Assisted Passage Scheme to new lives in Australia.

This afternoon I went to the docks to assist ship on the “Fairsky” making her maiden voyage to Australia.  She was a little ship belonging to an Italian Line, and a most troublesome one in which to seek out one’s method.  To make matters worse, a lot of the stewards have been unable to direct us for they knew their method about no higher than we, and most might solely converse Italian. The stairs have been very steep and, amongst different issues, a passenger fell down one flight and I used to be obliged to assist her again to her cabin and to comfort a very frightened little daughter.

“Being quite alone this weekend”, Gran writes on the 29th:

I enjoyed a really leisurely breakfast, and skim the newspaper, or part of it, with it. I used to be very sorry to study that when again the eggs of an Osprey have been taken and once more this uncommon fowl has been thwarted in its try and nest once more in Britain after a lapse of a few years.  Oh, the short-sightedness and selfish greed of egg-collectors!

Ospreys have now been nesting there, at Loch Garten, virtually all the time efficiently, for about 60 years. Picture by ShinyPhotoScotland by way of Flickr.

She lunches with the Hockridges subsequent door, they having invited her as a result of she is alone, and Gran also takes the opportunity to scrub her hair and dry it in the nice and cozy sunshine, before persevering with so as to add flowers to Diana’s picture; Squinnancy-wort, Silverweed and Fragrant Orchid.

Subsequent day, July 1st, buddies, Kenneth Chalk and his spouse, take Gran to the Tennis Championships at Wimbledon:

We have been lucky in acquiring seats on No 1 Courtroom for the Championships and saw what I’m positive will show to be the best match of them all – Britain’s Robert Wilson towards Australia’s Ashley Cooper, who’s seeded No 1.  Wilson misplaced, but only after pulling up from a deficit of two units to take the favorite to a five set match in which the difficulty was in doubt until the last level had been performed.

She appears to have been on her own until the evening of July sixth, clearly having fun with a sense of freedom.  Not only does she get to the tennis at Wimbledon; she watches the Men’s Last next door (as she predicted, not such a good match because the one she attended, she says); plays some tennis herself; joins a social gathering of naturalists from the Salisbury Subject Club in the Broad Chalke space the place, she writes, “Sir Anthony Eden now lives”; and paints many more flowers for her assortment every time the sunshine indoors is sweet sufficient.   She concludes this era with: “Another sunny interval enabled me to finish the Restharrow before my solitude was ended”.

“A sunny interval enabled me to finish the Restharrow…”.  The plant is so-named as a result of, when an ample arable weed, its dense root system would “arrest” horse-drawn harrows.

July 7th: “A truly wonderful day!” enthuses Gran.  She catches the half-past nine bus for Southampton, thence making her approach to New Milton by practice to satisfy her pal Mrs Method, “…for a day in the New Forest, specially to seek the Wild Gladiolus which I was most anxious to paint”.  Mrs Method drives, and Gran writes:

We stopped only to buy some lime and pineapple squash with which to quench our ensuing thirsts after which set out for Holmsley, where we parked the automotive beneath two pine timber on the sting of the previous aerodrome.

They spend time exploring “an extensive and wonderfully interesting bog” before leaving it:

…to look amongst the bracken on rising floor for the Gladiolus.  To do this it was essential to stoop down and peer among the many bracken stems, for this enchanting and very uncommon plant hides its magnificence, thankfully for its survival, underneath the spreading fronds, and so escapes notice.  For a while we have been unsuccessful, and, as the world had clearly been burnt earlier in the yr, we have been ready for disappointment.  Then I found a sensible fallen petal and there was the primary of those treasures and we discovered a goodly quantity, which enabled me to deliver one residence to color.  This was not the primary time I had seen Gladiolus – a cottager showed me them at Bank in 1950, however I had long wished to seek out it again…

After lunch they make their option to Wooton Heath and Marlborough Deep, in the Forest south-east of Holmsley, to seek Marsh Helleborine, recognized to happen there, and Gran is nervous, but relieved, since:

The Deep was marred by the laying of the Fawley pipeline right via it, however, mercifully the Marsh Helleborine patch has escaped, though draining might destroy some, a minimum of, of its marsh-loving crops.

They find numbers of flowers, principally very small ones, new to Gran, including Brookweed Samolus valerandi, Allseed Radiola linoides, Chaffweed Centunculus minimus and Bushy Chook’s-foot-trefoil Lotus hispidus.  No marvel Gran deemed it a fantastic day!  On the following afternoon, having “scrambled with the washing” in order to shortly get painting, it takes Gran two and a half hours to do the Gladiolus, but, she says, “I discovered it inconceivable to reproduce satisfactorily the sensible magenta of the petals – the finished flower was slightly darker than the unique. Nevertheless it made a lovely image, although I used to be not wholly glad.

“A beautiful picture” but Gran was not wholly glad with it. And she or he provides it an incorrect Scientific identify

On July 13th:

A letter from Kew, from Mr Summerhayes, introduced comment on my “Wasp” Orchid discovered at Cheesefoot Head last month.  To cite:- “I do not remember seeing a Bee Orchid open in the way described and painted by you.  My recollection is in agreement with yours, that they open straight from the bud into normal Bee Orchids without any wasp-like stage.  It seems further evidence that the so-called Wasp Orchid is really only an abnormal or special form of the Bee Orchid.”

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