23 September 2013

Waterperry Gardens, Oxford.

The weather was quite kind to us on Saturday, most of us came prepared for rain, but thankfully, only a few spots fell. 
The sign at the entrance.
It was a most enjoyable day, Waterperry is famous for it's late summer borders and Asters. They were certainly spectacular, the colours were mainly lavender & purple because of the abundance of the Asters, but really bright yellow, statuesque plants had been added at the back of the borders to create contrast and height.

Part of the  colourful border.

There was a small museum in the grounds which contained many quirky things, from Ronny Barker's till,  through an antique tricycle, a model steam train  and a hammock and rubber wellies for sheep!
Loretta about to open the till.
The till opened, showing the very old cash inside.
It did indeed nearly take your fingers off when opened, as was famously shown in the T.V. series.
The back of the till with Ronnie Barker's picture.
Apparently, Ronnie Barker used to have a small garden centre, which was where the till came from. He sold it on for £50 (at least that was what the man in the museum told us, but he was a bit of a joker, so could have been making it up). The sheep's wellies however, were genuine,there was an advert. for them from Dunlop displayed. They were used to try to prevent foot rot.

What all the best dressed sheep were wearing!
Here are some other interesting items:

The ancient tricycle & part of the dolls pram.
The model train.
There were numerous old farm implements and lots of curious looking tools, it was a most interesting place. The sheep's hammock was used when they needed their feet attending to, not to have a rest in. They were put into it upside-down.
Outside there were plants for sale, also home-made preserves and gorgeous looking cakes. A tombola stall was raising funds. There was an old church in the grounds with some of the oldest stained glass in it's windows known in the U.K.
The cafe in the grounds was not to be recommended if you were in a hurry, it took nearly one & a half hours to get lunch. Although the lunch was very nice, the serving staff were all new and seemed to be either falling over themselves or staring into space while the queue became longer and longer.
Part of the grounds.
When we returned to the coach we headed for Bicester garden centre and shopping complex. Here it had Hobbycraft and Lakeland stores amongst others, and most of us seemed to purchase some things from there.
We returned to the coach at the allotted time and headed for home. Thankfully, there were no holdups and we returned safely.

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