Garden Notebook, January:
'In the workshop several pairs of secateurs lie in pieces on a bench, being cleaned and repaired... Garden tools must be looked over, new handles fixed onto worn-down forks or spades which often feel so much better than brand new ones... The tractor and dumper truck, our two most valued 'old horses', have been waiting for this weather to be taken into care. Keith and David... treat these old faithfuls as though they were priceless antiques, reassuring me they will last forever!..There is scarcely a day when Keith's wide-ranging expertise, coupled with good humour, are not required by someone on the nursery.'
Gerard Page, Estate and Facilities Director and the son of Keith Page who is mentioned in the book:
'January is our [the estate team's] busiest month, getting the infrastructure ready for all the other departments, when their season starts in earnest from March. When Beth was writing the book in the eighties, there was no tearoom or proper shop, just a counter to buy plants from. We rarely get snow like Beth describes, though last year we did. In the old days, my dad would have had to thaw all the outside taps, to stop them bursting...'
All the photos are from Beth's collection of slides, even the image of the tools, one of which we think is still in service... The second picture is of Keith and a very young Gerard, laying a mains water pipe. The third image shows Beth talking to a neighbour. The final picture is of David Plummer, who only retired from Beth' s a few years ago, and still pops in to visit us.
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