Thursday, November 08, 2007
Fuff, Annette with Piers, Herry in the wheelbarrow at Danegate Summer 1949 . Photo by Horst
Following Patrick's pupillage at Headbourne Worthy and his first management job at Litchfield, the family moved to Eridge in 1946 - first to Crown House and then to Danegate on the Marquess of Abergavenny's estate. Danegate was an imposing crenellated house overlooking Eridge Park and we had a most happy time there as it was a perfect place for children. Herry remembers to this day the taste of the Michaelmas daisies he tried to eat in the border and his mother remembers finding him half-way up a huge ladder trying to see the moon better! He also used to ride his tricycle (and later an orange tractor) in the house's wide corridors. Later, having learned to ride a bicycle, he used to bike down the long drive to play with the little girl who lived in the lodge. Piers was born there in 1947 and Fuff started school at St Ronan's the same year.
The farm near the house (known as 'Sham Farm', as it too had crenellations on the farm buildings) housed a dairy where Herry learned to milk cows and the peculiar smell of the steam-cleaning equipment stays in his memory even now. There were also several breeding bulls, one of which unfortunately killed a man who unwisely entered its stall.
Valentine came and stayed often, sometimes with Horst, who took some marvellous family photos including the one at the top of this page. The huge American car which Valentine had been given by the Shah's sister, Puhran, when he was Charge d'Affairs in Tehran was garaged there for a while before being put to work on the farm!
Several pupils came to learn farming under Patrick; one of whom, Count Sandy Manassei, became a particular friend
Patrick rode to hounds with the Eridge Hunt and he and Annette became friends with the Abergavennys - John and Patricia - which continued after we had bought Stocks Farm and moved there in 1950.
Click on the heading to see more photos from Danegate
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