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
Octavia Hill basecamp, Toys Hill This is where we stayed.
The 1940s dance Our group, ready to go into action During the event
Cleaning the ponds in Churchill's water gardens... The first pond, drained and ready for cleaning Fiona at work in the first pond Starting to drain the second pond (the one with the golden orfes - Churchill's favourite fish) Recovering coins for the gardeners' kitty John demonstrates his fishing skills Refilling the second pond after cleaning Gill and Elizabeth cleaning the filter bed - one of the muckiest jobs of all!
... and the swimming pool Before draining and cleaning Getting stuck in Cleaning in progress Our beautiful clean pool!
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 Posing with Winston... ... and with Gill's bottom A well-earned rest Bodiam Castle (on our day off) Gill and Clare at Bodiam Castle Gill does her yokel act Paddling in the swimming pool Barbecue on our last night - John blows out the candles on his birthday cake
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