22 December 2012


Hilda GOOBY has left a new comment on your post "response from Peter":

It is really good to have some feedback, otherwise Jeannette & I could be slaving away over our hot computers without knowing if anybody is appreciating it or not. Please keep it up.
Happy Christmas & a healthy New Year from Hilda.

20 December 2012

response from Peter

The feedback from Green Fingers Members was the trip was a wonderful climax to all the outings in 2012, so if some members missed The London Lights, especially the Fish Chip Meal don’t worry we have booked again next year.



18 December 2012

comment on london trip

sylview has left a new comment on your post "DIDN'T WE HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME":

Yes, wasn't it a wonderful trip. I thought we would have fish & chips and then just drive round a while. It was so much more than I expected. I've never been up London at Christmas time, in a coach before. It looks so different. Have to say, I was the other latecomer. We couldn't find the coach!

Thank you for you comment Sylvia, its nice to have feed back and get to know how members view  the outings and also club meetings, your input is most welcomed. Hope this  will encouraged  others to do so, just click on comment at the end of post have your say and we will print it.Thank you all Jeannette

17 December 2012






10 December 2012

November 2012 meeting.

In November, the club night is an opportunity for members to socialise and for Peter to let us all know what is happening for the following year. We have a buffet, provided by the members, and a singer to entertain us. The photo below shows the table groaning with a good selection of food:

The food table.
Peter gave everybody the 2013 programme of speakers and also told us about the winter visit to Anglesey Abbey Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridge. This is on Friday 15th February 2013. The cost is £22. Please see Kathy if you want to go & haven't informed her yet as seats are selling fast.
The caretaker was presented with a gift from us all, in recognition of all his help over the course of the year. There had also been a collection for Peter and Kathy, and they were presented with some biscuits and tokens from Tesco, to thank them for all their hard work.
Next on the agenda was Susie, (not the Susie from the club), who sang us a good selection of songs and encouraged everybody to sing along as well. Jeannette, the other Susie and Kathy even took to the floor and had a little dance. I did get a piece of video, but after the trouble we have had recently with getting photos onto the Blog, I thought it wise not to attempt to put it on here. During the course of the singing we all enjoyed food and drinks from the buffet.
Susie singing.
Kathy, Susie & Jeannette have a dance.
The "Top Table"

Everybody had a most enjoyable evening, the raffle was called and many prizes distributed. I had hoped that the cute little snowman on the counter was amongst them, but alas, he was part of the festive decorations. As none of my numbers came up, it was irrelevant, anyway. But he was rather gorgeous!
Hilda's favourite decoration.
My contribution to the buffet was the Ginger Biscuit Cake. In response to many requests, here is the recipe:

1 can mandarin oranges in light SYRUP (juice tastes bitter).
Half pint double cream
2 tops Jersey milk or single cream
1 teaspoon caster sugar
sherry or Madeira
8 ozs round ginger biscuits

Drain a small can of Mandarin oranges.
Add the tops of milk or single cream & a heaped teaspoon of caster sugar to the double cream & whip until it's very stiff.
Fill a small dish with Madeira if you're feeling extravagant or cheap British cream sherry if you're not.
Dip 2 biscuits into the booze, not long enough for them to get soggy,  and sandwich them together with the cream.
Stand them upright on the edge of an 8 inch plate. Quickly add another layer of cream and another dunked biscuit before they fall over. Do it again & again till you have formed a complete ring around the plate with a hollow in the centre - getting the last one in is less tricky than it sounds because it is easy to wiggle the whole thing.
Spread the top with the remaining cream and top that with the Mandarin oranges, outside up.
Chill in the fridge.
For the club, I made double the amount, so did not make them into a circle, just doing several lines.
The combination of flavours is delicious, even people who do not like ginger go for this.
A non alcoholic version can also be made, using the juice from the oranges instead of the booze, although the flavour is not so nice. 

29 November 2012

Recommended Tradesman

Peter has recommended this man, his name is David, and he runs "Chiltern Computers" He is a computer repair expert and has recently moved into Harold Hill (Hilldene Avenue). 
He will also do home visits on a no fix, no fee basis. 
All the normal problems he can fix e.g. Virus / spyware removal, data recovery, speeding up PC's,  Internet / wireless connection problems, new computer / laptop setups. He also offers free advice.

Most PC's are returned in 48 hours.

His contact details are: Landline - 01708 347341.  Mobile - 07971 331 814

e-mail: david@chilterncomputers.net

7 November 2012


1 comment:

  1. Hi Hilda - I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and made particular note of Rosa Mundi and Rosa 'The Pilgrim' two beautiful flowers. Take care, Judyx

    Glad you all had a good day. Sorry I couldn't go. Very lucky it wasn't the day before. I had thought that the trees hadn't really started changing, but I've noticed that in one day, all the shrubs and trees around my garden are changing colour Sylvia Wilkinson on Sheffield Park outing. By Hilda.






30 October 2012

October 2012 meeting.

This month, the speaker was Harry Brickwood, speaking on "Gardens to visit". He is a well known gardener who lives in Rayleigh, Essex. He, and some friends,  have won a gold medal at Chelsea, after a few silvers, with his exhibit called "English Villa Town Garden". There were  250 Clematis plants in it, wound around several trellises. 
The first of his slides went through the months of the year, with spectacular flowers in bloom at that time. My favourite was the Horse Chestnut blossom. A branch had been blown down onto the ground, so he was able to get a close-up shot of it. His favourite flower are peonies, roses and lilies, which he has been growing for 10 years. 
Harry Brickwood with Peter.

The BBC payed a visit to his garden for "Gardeners World" last July. Monty Don interviewed him and it was fascinating to hear him speak of all the work involved in presenting the programme, even down to having to have a radio, a mug of tea and plate of biscuits on a small table for the photographer to film.  They asked him the same ten questions over & over again, so he would be word perfect when the actual clip was filmed.  His wife was also filmed helping out with the hanging baskets, but said there were a lot of tasks she was not allowed to do, especially around his lilies!  He spends about two hours a day, just dead heading them.
Some of his more atmospheric shots were due to some advice he had been given by a friend, and that was "always have a camera with you". He does guided tours, so some of the gardens he showed us were abroad. There were also many a lot closer to home, including Sheffield Park in the Autumn, which was where our last club visit was to (See previous article on this blog).
After his presentation he asked for questions, which he answered. The club will visit his garden sometime in the future.

One of our newer members is Carol Hudson, Peter and she recognised each other. Apparently, they used to work together about 20 years ago, from 1989 to 1993, in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Carol worked in Building Services. Isn't it a small world?
Carol Hudson and Peter.

Some of you may have noticed that Jeanette, the lady who collects the subs at the back of the hall near Kathy, was  AWOL during the meeting. It was for a very good reason, the day before she had been made a great grandmother to a beautiful baby girl, called Alexis. She weighed in at a healthy 7 and a half  pounds. Her Mum, Lisa, went to hospital just before 8am, and Alexis was born just before 12 midday.  Didn't she do well?  Needless to say, Jeanette couldn't wait for her first cuddle, so went to visit as soon as they were home from hospital, hence her absence from the club.

One of our members has a recommendation to make regarding a good tradesman, his name is Ray Bond, a qualified electrician. He is based in Havering.  His telephone numbers are:
 0208 599 1851.  Mobile no: 0770 8010 595.
e-mail: ray.bond58@hotmail.co.uk

It was a very busy club night, as well as everything else going on, a list was being passed around by Loretta, for everybody to note down what they will bring to next months "social" meeting. We have a buffet and Peter has booked a singer to entertain us. So as to get a good mix of food, and not end up with all crisps and mince pies, the list was created and members asked to tick off what they would bring. If you could not attend this meeting but will be coming next month, and would like to contribute to the goodies, please contact Kathy . She has the list & will be able to tell you if anything specific is needed.
At the November meeting, the 2013 programme will be distributed.

21 October 2012

Sheffield Park outing. By Hilda.

The October visit to Sheffield Park in Sussex was a great success. The weather was dull but not too cold, and, most importantly,  dry. The day before had been dreadful, pouring with rain all day. The roads were quite misty at first, but we arrived safely.
On route to Sheffield Park we called into Haskins garden centre for refreshments and shopping. The many displays reminded us that the year was drawing to a close, with Halloween and Christmas decorations and items for sale. There was also a Hobbycraft shop in the grounds and several of us spent some of our time in there. 
I thought this sign was quite appropriate:
I thought this was a very appropriate sign.
There were plants galore to purchase, plus all the usual gardening sundries. The cafe was open for refreshments. Here is one of the Christmas displays:
Father Christmas is making an early start!

The gardens, but not the house, at Sheffield Park are owned by the National Trust. Capability Brown designed them, and later, Humphrey Repton was involved in the design, concentrating on trees that showed beautiful Autumn colours around the four lakes. There are 300 acres of parkland to explore. The colours of the trees are spectacular, here are some:
A beautiful red tree.
Around the lakes they were especially spectacular, being reflected in the water:
A double collection of colourful trees.

The view of the massive house across the lakes makes it even more imposing. This was a former Tudor Manor house, built on medieval foundations. It was privately owned until the late 1980's,when it was turned into private apartments.  In addition, some new houses were built to form a courtyard. I wonder how much it costs to live there? I dread to think!
The very imposing house from across a lake. 
There were some of the largest mushrooms (or were they toadstools?) anybody had ever see under the trees all around the garden. Some were bright red, but most were the normal colour. Here is the largest one:
One of many very large mushrooms / toadstools.

As usual, the day passed quickly and it was soon time to wend our way back to the coach. The journey was uneventful until we were on the M25, when traffic slowed to a crawl and one lane was blocked. When we were near to the cause of the problem, it looked as though a herd of cows were making a bid for freedom out of their field. Three huge lorries had pulled up near them, so slowing traffic to protect them, as the consequences would have been catastrophic, both for them and the vehicles on the motorway, had they managed to escape onto the motorway. Men were trying to repair the fence to stop any further escape bids. Here is the scene:
A mass break-out attempt foiled.
After that, the journey went smoothly and we arrived back at Dagenham without further incident. Just as I arrived indoors it started drizzling with rain, so we were really lucky.

16 September 2012

Hever Castle outing.

We had  lovely weather for the trip, dry and sunny with an occasional gentle breeze. On the way to Hever, we stopped off at Polhill Garden Centre, where several people purchased plants to brighten up their autumn and winter gardens. Most of us took the opportunity to have some refreshments as well.
When we arrived at the castle Peter collected the tickets and Kathy distributed them.

Waiting for the tickets.

There were notices around advertising the various events that were happening that weekend. There was a lot going on, as you can see:

Poster advertising events at the castle.
Talented craftspeople and producers had set up stalls on Half Moon Pond Lawn, demonstrating country crafts ranging from  wood turning and wood carving to ceramics & felt making. Spinners, weavers and dyers were there to explain how to produce textiles, plus advice on keeping hens and bees from the experts, and local produce stalls. Besides learning a new skill, there were plenty of opportunities for visitors to ask questions while they had fun discovering age-old techniques.
The event incorporates the popular annual Hever Castle Patchwork and Quilting Exhibition. Members of The Quilters’ Guild from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex had  showcased their talent with a display of patchwork quilts and wall hangings. The "crafty" members in the club had a field day amongst all these things!
Throughout the weekend there was to be a full programme of demonstrations on patchwork and quilting techniques, lace making, and a selection of trade stalls selling designs, equipment, fabrics and haberdashery. East Grinstead Photography and Sevenoaks Art Clubs were there to  display their talents. 

An old-fashioned wood turning lathe.
Spinning wheel.
Basket weaving.
We went around the castle, which was splendid. It was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. There was a lot of history explained in the displays, portraits and models within the castle, including beautifully dressed models of King Henry 8th, his wives, and how they met their demise. Photography was not allowed inside, so I was unable to get any photos from the interior, but here is the very imposing outside:
Hever Castle.

The castle has a moat around it with huge gold fish swimming about. The portcullis was over the huge doorway and arrow slits set into the walls, you could almost imagine the knights coming to attack it! Speaking of which, there were to be jousting displays in the grounds, together with archery practise.
The gardens surrounding the castle were huge, with several different sorts of planting. There was an Italian sunken garden,  dahlia  displays and a lot of topiary, set in extensive rolling green lawns. Several ponds and fountains, with a lot of wildlife around them, were there too. Here is the Jubilee flower bed, made out of succulent plants:
Jubilee display made of succulents.

A topiary pig.

There was a lot happening to keep the child visitors amused too, including a normal maze and a "water maze". This sounded intriguing, but unfortunately, time ran out before I could investigate it. However, while I was heading in this direction, I came across the very spooky ghost of Anne Boleyn!  Here is the photo to prove it:
Anne Boleyn's ghost.

The time passed very quickly, and it was soon time to head back to the coach. We all plodded back up the hill to the coach park & gratefully took our seats, it had been a very interesting and enjoyable day. Most of us snoozed on the way back, being woken up when the coach stopped moving. There had been an accident on the road through Romford involving several cars. The police and emergency services were there. We had to creep past it on the pavement, this delayed us by about thirty minutes, but once we were past that, the road was clear and we made it back to Dagenham without incident, disembarking and going our various ways home.

2 September 2012


  THOSE WHO HAVE ATTENDED PETER AND KATHYS  ALSO RICHARD AND SUSIES  OPEN GARDENS,WOULD HAVE TRIED KATHYS CARROT CAKE, WHICH IS VERY POPULAR ,NOW HERE BY SPECIAL REQUEST IS KATHYS RECIPE FOR YOU ALL TO SHARE  THANKS KATHY ,                                                                                                                                                                      Kathy’s Carrot Cake
The source of the recipe/ Over the last couple of year one of the Clubs favourite Gardens to visit is Daphne Foulsham lovely Garden in Surrey. We remembered having this lovely carrot cake there and Daphne kindly passed this recipe on to Kathy we are planning to visit Daphne’s Garden in 2013

12 fluid ozs sunflower oil
 1 tsp salt
 11 ozs plain flour
 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
 1 tsp spice
 6 ozs chopped walnuts
 13 ozs Castor sugar
 5 eggs
 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
 2 pints grated carrots
 6 ozs sultanas or mixed fruit.

Line a 10 by 10-square tin greased and line. Mix the oil sugar and mix for 10 minutes

With electric mixer and gradually add all the ingredients and mix together till its all mix in put into the tin and cook for 60 minutes. Fan oven 160 60 minutes electric main 180 60 minutes gas 4 60 minutes test with a skewer and if it comes out clean leave in tin for 15 minutes and turn out on a piece of greaseproof paper will freeze well for 3 weeks wrapped up in grease proof paper.




2 Ozs icing sugar sieved

4ozs flora margarine

1-teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix the cheese icing sugar marg and vanilla essence and spread evenly over the cake


31 August 2012


                                         GROSVENOR MOWER SERVICES,
                                                74 HORCHURCH ROAD,
                                   PHONE 01708 440453 MOBIL 07837442046
                                     EMAIL GROSVENORSTORES@BTCONNECT.COM


30 August 2012

August 2012 meeting.

In August, the meeting is always a bit informal, having no outside speaker, and the judging of the fuchsia competition. It is an opportunity for Peter to speak to everybody all together for once. He welcomed the new members and also gave a short talk on products for the gardener, especially weed killers for problem areas. He explained about the newsletter, the first edition which was on sale that night. It is mainly for the members who do not have computers or Internet access, and luckily was very successful, it quickly sold out. We will do more copies for the next issue.
Earlier in the year, most of us purchased a small fuchsia plant, this time the variety was "Waltz Jubelteen", a pretty, upward facing upright variety, with instructions to bring it back "dead or alive" in August. Luckily, most of the plants came back very much alive. Here is the table with some of the plants on:

Some of the competition plants
There was a fair amount of difference in the sizes of the plants, as can be seen.
The winners were: First, Pauline Lee:
 Pauline Lee with Peter & David.
Second prize to Kath Dawes:
 Kath Dawes.
Third place to Betty Dean:
 Betty Dean.
The first place was easy to select, but David Bendall and his wife Gwen, the judges, nearly came to blows over the second and third places.
I spoke to the winners afterwards, asking what they had done to the plants in order to make them winners. Apart from feeding them a lot, there was nothing remarkable. In fact, Betty did say she kept hers in the sun most of the time, whereas  fuchsias are said to like shade. She was a bit embarrassed at winning, and had put a plant label in hers with "Grown for pleasure not prizes" on it.
The fuchsia flower in close-up.
After the excitement of the judging, Peter showed us some photos of members' gardens. This was most interesting. Gwen & Davids' garden was all in pots, others had huge plants, some had little delicate flowers, but all were beautiful in their different ways. The diversity was amazing.

 Just to go over a few points that PETER mentioned:
 Outings: Next year we will be using Chiltern coaches when avaliable for our trips, they are the  to be found to be comfortable and reliable, the coaches are 49 seater, so we will only be able to accommodate 25 members from Dagenham Greenfingers and 24 from Harold Hill Garden Friends, on a first come first served basis.

Next outing:
Our next trip will be to Hever Castle on the 15th Sept. Coach pickup times, Kidd house, Dagenham at 9am and at Harold hill at 9.20am prompt.

 Subs: If you want to send a cheque for your subs please address to Kathy 6, ELMS GARDENS, DAGENHAM, RM9 5TX, or you can give when due to Jeannette on club nights . If  you are paying yearly or half yearly subs by cash Jeannette will issue you with a reciept for payment. Cheques, your stub will be your proof of payment. 

Teatime at club
Teatime at the club falls on just two people, Richard and Andrew. They are quite happy making the teas at every meeting, and as we all know they make a jolly good cuppa !! but can we have some volunteers to give them a break so they can sit and enjoy the talks now and then?, they would be very grateful. Thank you. See Kathy if you want to help.

Trusted Tradesmen
If anybody wants to recommend trades people they have used and are known to be reliable, reasonably priced and do a good job, please contact Jeannette on club nights.

Gardening shop:
For sale, wanted, or free items
If anybody wants to sell,  give or is looking for items to do with gardening, you can advertise on the blog or in news letter. See Jeannette. 

Gardening quiz
On a lighter note, here is the quiz that was published in the August newsletter.  Answers will be provided at  next meeting:

Ten Questions about Gardening
1) By what name is Lancelot Brown more usually known?
2) Name the world famous gardens sited ten miles outside of London, close to the River Thames.
3) Which popular gardener created Barnsdale Gardens, and was the author of many books such as The Ornamental Kitchen Garden, Gardeners World, Practical Gardening Course and Paradise Gardens?
4) Which garden is considered to be among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?
5)  What colour is a Welsh poppy?
6)  What colour is a Himalayan poppy?
7) Name the organic gardener, almost as famous for his long blond plait as he is for his books such as Going Organic and The Gourmet Gardener, and his regular appearances on the BBC radio's Gardener's Question Time.
 8)  Give the alternative name for a Mountain Ash tree.
9)  Which kind of bulbs were once exchanged as a form of currency?
10) By which Latin name was Rosa Gallica previously known?.

Answers will be given at the next meeting.

29 August 2012

jean marshall commented

Hi Kath and Peter,very impressed with your garden,we saw the trumpet vine in many places in France,but think it would'nt grow here as its cooler,than Essex.??? Gt.you have got in the yellow book,well done. xx on Peter's Open Garden.

20 August 2012

Peter's Open Garden.

Peter Railton, the founder of Greenfingers Garden Club in Dagenham, opened his garden to visitors on Friday 17th August 2012. The day dawned rather dull, but became beautifully hot and clear in the afternoon. It was a great success, raising £620 to be shared between the Salvation Army and the gardening club. There were plants for sale and  refreshments, as well as the beautiful garden to enjoy.

The front garden path.
The front garden gave a clue as to what was to come, there were vibrant colours and different textures everywhere and the most had been made of all available space, even the fence.

Interesting use of drainpipes on the fence.
Peter had grown some plants for sale and also purchased others, they were arranged along the side entrance. Richard was seated at the end, collecting the entrance money.

Ann and Janette, with list of plants.

Richard ready to collect entrance fees.
The garden was splendid, below are some parts of it:

Pretty planting.

The fish pond.

Trumpet Vine.

Original use of a "Henry" vacuum cleaner.

A huge Magnolia Grandiflora.
The people from the National Garden Scheme, aka the "Yellow Book", were especially interested in the magnolia tree, as not many people grow them. Next year, Peter's garden will be included in that famous little book. This is the letter he received from them:

Letter confirming entrance to the NGS.
I spoke to Nigel Schultz, the CO at Barking Salvation Army, as half of the monies raised will go to them. He was really delighted with the garden, but as a Christian, says he does not covet it. 
The church needs to raise £6000 a month to keep going. They do a lot of youth work, and although the young people raise some money themselves, also paying a nominal subscription, it is not enough to provide everything needed. Therefore, all donations are extremely welcomed.  Judith, his wife, is a member of the gardening club. She visited the garden too. Here is a photo of them with Kathy & Peter:
Nigel, Judith, Kathy and Peter.
Kathy had been really busy baking her delicious cakes for the occasion, and they were much appreciated by everybody. There was a real hive of activity in the kitchen where the tea and coffee, cold drinks and cakes were being served.

Carrot cake, Madeira cake, coffee & walnut, Victoria sponge, coconut & lemon, banana  & walnut, fruit cake & lavender scones. Yum Yum!
There were shady, as well as sunny spots in the garden. Here are some visitors enjoying the shade:

Happy visitors.
There was also another sort of visitor to the garden, a winged variety:

A visiting butterfly enjoying a flower.
At 5pm people started taking their leave and Peter and helpers  relaxed in the cool of the house when they had all gone. Everybody eventually left, leaving Kathy & Peter to reflect on the day (after counting the takings).

17 August 2012

Jeanette's new craft club. By Hilda.

Jeanette, the lady who takes the subs at Greenfingers Garden Club, has just started a craft club (she has hidden talents). The first meeting was on Thursday 16th August.  Six of us met up for craft, tea and a chat, it was a very pleasant afternoon. Here is the poster advertising it, notice all the different arts covered.

Poster advertising the club.
I took along my knitting, but all the other ladies were doing card making, scrapbooking and  embroidery. There was a great pool of talent there, ready to share their expertise with others. Next week I am going to try quilling, it looks fascinating.

Crafters busy at work.
In case you didn't see all the details from the poster, here they are again:
The club meets every Thursday, from 12.30 to 2.30pm, at Fanshawe Community Centre, Halbutt Street, Dagenham. RM9 5AR.  

The cost is £3.00 including refreshments.  New members welcome. 

Some of the other crafts covered are crochet, teabag folding, embossing, stamping, decoupage, altered art and beading, amongst others. It's even worth coming along just to see what some of these mean.
Jeanette's contact number is: 0788 2034 795.

31 July 2012

                          JULY MEETING 2012      
A very interesting evening - unfortunately, I do not have any plants to prune so - you might see me on the front page of the Barking & Dagenham Post having been arrested for loitering in other people's gardens waiting for the opportunity to prune!! :)) on
thank you judith we will look forward to reading about your pruning adventures in future editions!!!
                                     July 2012 meeting
This month, the speaker was Geoff Hodge, writer and broadcaster. He gave us a most entertaining and informative talk on "Pruning for All". After telling us about his career path, which involved him being made redundant from his post as a Web Editor by the RHS, then asking him to write a book for them, he followed the path of a free lance writer, broadcaster, and lecturer, contributing to radio programmes for Radio Essex, gardening magazines and many television programmes. He brought four books with him and offered to sign them for anybody purchasing them (at a discounted rate).

Geoff Hodge.

He had bought a lot of suitable equipment with him, also some twigs and branches to demonstrate with. The problems involved with incorrect cutting, or pruning at the wrong time of the year were explained.

An impressive array of pruning tools.
A generous donation was made to the raffle, and there were a lot of seeds, both flowers and vegetable, for us to help ourselves to.

He stressed the importance of using sharp and clean tools, to minimize the chance of causing an infection to the shrub or tree being pruned, which could potentially prove fatal. Feeding after pruning was also advised, to help the shrub or tree to gain strength.

Some of the books co-written by Geoff.
After the tea interval and the raffle being called, he answered some questions and continued with his demonstrations of correct pruning. We all came away much more knowledgeable than when we arrived.

Peter had some important things to tell us about activities within the club. Firstly, his garden has been accepted by the National Garden Scheme, or "The Yellow Book", as it is commonly known, to be open to visitors from next year. Congratulations to him. What a great achievement!

Being the glutton for punishment that he is, he and Kathy are opening their garden this year, on Friday August 17th, from 2pm to 5pm, to raise funds for both the Greenfingers Club and the Salvation Army.
In case you have forgotten, their address is 6, Elms Gardens, Dagenham, Essex. RM9 5TX.
Kathy will start baking her famous, delicious cakes again, and tea and coffee will be available. Everybody is welcome to attend, the more the merrier. It is only a few weeks away, so put it in your diary.

He also informed everybody about the newsletter that Jeanette and I, (Hilda), will be producing from next month. We felt that many of the members without computers and internet access were missing out, so this is in an effort to address that problem. It will consist of the things that are on the blog, news and snippets of items of interest, also a puzzle or quiz of some sort. We have yet to decide how frequently it will be published. That will rather depend on how well, or not, it is received, and feedback from members. A small charge of 20p is envisaged, to cover the cost of paper and ink.

30 July 2012

jeangenie has left a new comment on your post "Visit to Chenies Manor.":

oh! what a beautiful house and garden. so sad had to miss this outing, thank for the report Hilda and wonderful photos Jeannette

28 July 2012

Visit to Chenies Manor.

Chenies manor is near Amersham, Buckinghamshire. It is a 14th & 15th century manor house, rich in history. Henry V111 and Elizabeth 1st have visited and affairs of State were carried out from there.
The weather was lovely, hot and sunny, the temperature reaching 32degrees c. , in contrast to the other visits so far this year. The only problem was the coach, the air conditioning had broken down, and it was just like a mobile sauna. The windows couldn't be opened, which made things even hotter.

A very imposing Chenies Manor.

The manor is surrounded by five acres of gardens, sub divided into different types of garden. There is a lot of topiary, lawns and a display of many varieties of Dahlias. Large mixed borders abound. There is a pump house sited over a well, the water is used on the garden. It was visited by a very young John Noakes for "Blue Peter", also the Time Team, and all the interesting things they found there are displayed inside.
The BBC have used the house and gardens for several of their series, Morse being one of them. They left this gorgeous gazebo after filming there:

Outside on the lawn is a huge old oak tree, thought to be over 1000 years old. It is known as "Elizabeth's oak", because Queen Elizabeth 1st  is said to have sat under its' shade to read. It is completely hollow inside, how it still stands is a mystery!

Elizabeth's Oak.                   

We had a guided tour of the house, which was very interesting. There is supposed to be a headless ghost  which stomps around, but we never saw him. The house is still lived in by the owners, the Macleod Matthews, and we were able to have a peek into Elizabeth's (the house's owner), bedroom. Further along  there was a room devoted to her collection of dolls.

Here are some of the garden photos:

A bird topiary.
Beautiful flowers.  

Nearly time to go home!  Brenda & Jill have a rest.
Most of us had refreshments in the tea room at some point, it was lovely to be able to sit in the sunshine for a change. The time passed so quickly, it was soon time to go back to the coach. Before we did so,  the raffle was called and then we boarded, ready to do battle with the traffic on the M25.