On 27th April last year we visited Highgrove, the country home of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. A full coach left Bures and we reached Tetbury in time for lunch which was taken in several eateries. We arrived at Highgrove at the appointed time and having debussed we split into two groups. After watching a video of the development of the garden the first group set off with a very knowledgeable and amusing guide called Christy. The second group followed with Doreen as guide.
It is impossible not to be impressed by what has been created, although there are parts that may not be to everyone’s taste. Personally I found the whole garden invigorating, particularly the wild flowers including ox- eye daisies, yellow rattle, common spotted orchid, meadow crane’s bill and ragged robin, creating a rich tapestry of colour and diversity. One of the most abundant plants in the meadows were Camassias, also known as Quamash or Wild Hyacinth. These are deep blue/purple. After the tour we all settled down to tea in a room that doubles up as a concert hall. It was a long day but well worth it, judging by the comments emailed to me afterwards.
2012 Garden Visit Saturday 9th June
I am grateful to Tony Frost for suggesting that I contact Thenford House, the home of Lord and Lady Heseltine, to see if they would have us. The garden and arboretum are only open on four afternoons a year and only groups are accepted. We were accepted and have been given a date of Saturday 9th June.
This is what Tony Frost wrote about Thenford. About 70 acres of parkland, lakes, the famous arboretum, and gardens, all maintained to the highest standard by ten full time gardeners! Fabulous herbaceous borders within and without walled garden, formal walled garden, spectacular rill, statue garden in which many 20th century artists’ work and a monolithic bust of Lenin (who but MH would have the initiative and resource to snap up a bargain behind the Iron Curtain as the wall fell?) appear, a Quinlan Terry summer house, acres of shrubberies and much, much more. Not to be missed!
The house is near Banbury, which means a coach journey of about three hours. I have reserved a 53 seat coach from Kings whom we have used for the last two years. The coach has a loo on board and also a coffee machine. The cost of the coach is £25 per person. Entry to Thenford House is a further £12. The money is always given to a Charity.
I have not finalised timings but I would think we will need to leave Bures at about 10.00/11.00 and leave Thenford to return at about 17.00 getting back to Bures at about 20.00. I think it might be wise to bring sandwiches with you as I am not sure that we will be able to find somewhere suitable to eat.
Those of you with Internet access were contacted just prior to Christmas and so far the coach is over three quarters full. If you are hearing about this for the first time, I suggest you telephone me if you want to go. (01787 227088) I will then be able to tell you if there are any spaces available. Once the coach is full I will keep a waiting list. I will need immediate payment to confirm your place. There will be NO REFUNDS if you drop out, for whatever the reason.
One Member was rather peeved that I had not telephoned all Members without Internet/email. Whilst the majority of Members are now on the Internet, this would have involved about 150 telephone calls and I am afraid this is something I do not have time to do! No one is too old to learn how to use the Internet, and it is invaluable for researching holidays, flights and for some shopping to name but a few uses. You can order your weekly shop from Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Waitrose! They deliver.
Garden Visit 2013
David Morse suggested that we go to Hidcote Manor at Chipping Campden this year, but I had already had the acceptance of our group by Thenford House. However it is my present intention to make Hidcote Manor where we will go next year, if enough Members want to go, as it is quite a long way (168 miles) and we might need two drivers to avoid having to have a long break in the middle of the journey. This will of course increase cost. Members of The National Trust can look up the venue in the Handbook. I will send out an email to judge interest, later in the year.
I have run the CSCA website since it started in 2005 and ideally I would like to find someone to understudy me. Is there anyone out there who is suitably computer literate to volunteer? Initially, I would gradually introduce them to the system, with a view to handing over in a few years time.
When Simon Ward was Chairman, he asked me to supervise the printing of the Magazine in 2006. The role then evolved to my becoming Editor in 2008. Whilst I am happy to continue, it would be a good idea if someone were to understudy me, as it does involve a lot of work, particularly finding advertisers, which are vital if we are going to continue to produce a Magazine of quality. Do you fit the bill? Would you like to be Deputy Editor? Let me know.
Every year I have to write letters to about half a dozen people who have changed their e-mail address without telling me. Everyone, with e-mail, will know how frustrating it can be when a friend changes their e-mail address and fails to let you know. Imagine what it is like when I have e-mail addresses for over 300 CSCA Members! Please remember to let me know if you change your e-mail address! If you do not receive emails from me, then I do not have your email address! Please send it to me email@example.com Reply Form AGM and Summer Party
Those of you with Internet access can reply to the AGM invitation and the Summer Party invitation by going to the following link www.colnestour.org/eventssignup.aspx or you can go to the website and there is a new heading in the drop down menu on the Home Page “Events Signup” You will save me time, and you the cost of the stamp! You may ask “How will it save time?” The computer will send me your replies and produce an Excel spread-sheet listing responses. The Company, who host our website Web Management-UK, have a program that we are now logged into. What could be easier? With over 50% of the Membership using the Internet, next year we will no longer send out reply envelopes, but rely on Members to write out their own. After all, well over 50% are going to be wasted this year, if those of you with Internet access, use the above link.
Last year I stressed the importance of Members making use of advertisers wherever possible. Without advertisers we could not produce what I hope is an interesting Magazine. If you are involved with a company that might be willing to advertise please do get in touch with me.
Carter Jonas have been entrusted with selling our house!
Charles Stanley are my stockbrokers and continue to produce good results in what are challenging times.
A & G have once again come to the rescue when my garden machinery has gone wrong. They service my mowers. They will offer Members a special discount. Savills are well known both nationally and locally.
Adnams are very well known in East Anglia for their beer. However they are also excellent wine merchants, and are used by me. There is a branch in Hadleigh, 73/75 High Street, operating under the name Cellar & Kitchen.
Seago & Stopps continue as my accountants. They are also able to offer payroll services, something that may be of interest to small businesses, as well as farmers, where this work is a time consuming matter.
Ellisons, who are advertising for the first time, are a well- known firm of Solicitors in Colchester.
Claas produce those enormous green machines which plough, combine and bale for our farmers. They had pride of place on the front cover of last year’s Magazine.
Greene King are one of the largest brewers in the UK and you cannot go far without seeing a sign for one of their pubs!
Nethergate Wines is the wine merchant used by the CSCA for providing wines for the AGM and the Summer Party.
NFU are my insurers and continue to provide an excellent service. We unfortunately had one claim last year which was dealt with expeditiously and without a query. Premiums are competitive.
I would like to thank all contributors, both writers and advertisers without whom, this Magazine would be nothing.