JUNE 1999

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From 18th to 25th June 1999 I led a working holiday at Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill's former home in Kent. (Click here to see the National Trust website's entry on Chartwell.) It was an Events Holiday, the event in question being an open-air 1940s dance at which the Herb Miller Orchestra was playing. We helped prepare for the event, acted as car park marshalls and cleared up afterwards. During the rest of the week we cleaned the ponds in Churchill's water garden and also Churchill's swimming pool. We also managed to fit in visits to Emmetts Garden, Bodiam Castle and the mediaeval town of Rye.

I think it's true to say that a good time was had by all!

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Views of the house at Chartwell
Chartwell - front Chartwell - from gardens

Octavia Hill basecamp, Toys Hill
Octavia Hill basecampThis is where we stayed.

The 1940s dance
Before the eventOur group, ready to go into action
The dance During the event

Cleaning the ponds in Churchill's water gardens...
Pond 1 - beforeThe first pond, drained and ready for cleaning
FionaFiona at work in the first pond
Pond 2Starting to drain the second pond (the one with the golden orfes - Churchill's favourite fish)
Pond 2Recovering coins for the gardeners' kitty
Pond 2John demonstrates his fishing skills
Pond 2Refilling the second pond after cleaning
Filter bedGill and Elizabeth cleaning the filter bed - one of the muckiest jobs of all!

... and the swimming pool
Swimming pool - beforeBefore draining and cleaning
Starting on the swimming poolGetting stuck in
Swimming pool - duringCleaning in progress
Swimming pool - afterOur beautiful clean pool!

Raking grass
Raking grass
It was time to cut the long grass that had been left to grow where there had been daffodils, so this was what we were raking up.

Volunteers at rest and play
With statuePosing with Winston...
Statue + Gill's bottom... and with Gill's bottom
Break timeA well-earned rest
Bodiam CastleBodiam Castle (on our day off)
At BodiamGill and Clare at Bodiam Castle
GillGill does her yokel act
PaddlingPaddling in the swimming pool
John's birthdayBarbecue on our last night - John blows out the candles on his birthday cake

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© Lynne Donaldson
This page last edited 18th October 2002