I adore this wedding photograph of my Grannie,taken in Paris in the1930s
Big Grannie, or Grannie and Grandpa Bunch as we knew them, (Bunch being the name of their dog) lived in a beautiful stone manor house, with large formal gardens ,a paddock, a rotating Victorian summer house and resident ghostie, who searched at night for her string of pearls that had broken and dropped to the floor. An old house that was slightly frightening with its creeking and dark corridoors but also overwhelmingly pretty.
I was only young but I remember this house so well, the smell, the flowery curtains, window shutters, the dark wooden paneling on the walls and the pretty pale blue painted windows. I also loved the gardens, the willow tree,box hedging and endless flowerbeds of roses..how English can you get!
I was doing a bit of research to find a photo of what the house looks like today and found to my surprise their house was up for sale again. After my grandparents moved away to a more practical bungalow in the 1970s, it was sold at auction and later became one of the Daily Mail dream homes in the 1980s....you used to have to save tokens out of the newspaper to enter the prize draw to win a 'dream house'.. The Manor house as it is today
The house and 3 acres of land was divided up by the new owners and the outbuildings sold off and re-developed into barn convertions...it was such a shame and although the front is still the same thanks to a grade II listing, if you've clicked on the link,you'll see that the inside really isn't!
For some reason I'm now the keeper of the old sales brochure from that auction (Oh how I wish the photos were in colour and there were more interior pictures!) I love the descriptions of the rooms which sound vintage even for the mid 70s....'wash house','garden room','pantry' and'dressing room' all conjure up images of English country living to me and the description of the formal gardens and paddock bring summer memories flooding back. I also have the pink striped rosy curtains that hung in the front bedroom..I had them in my first rented house along with the matching fitted bedspreads, they are still as bright as they were in the 1940s. my grandpa
There is a story as to how my grandparents came to live in this wonderful house,having fled from occupied Paris with nothing but a suitcase and with my mother as a French speaking 5 year old, they came to England and lived in the tiny cottage along the road eventually inheriting the beautiful Manor house that belonged to an Aunt, from the Wicksteed family..my great grandfather was Charles Wicksteed...inventor, founder of the first public leisure park in England that was over in the next field from this house of which many a fun afternoon was spent during a visit to Grannie and Grandpas.
Charles was maker of swings and slides and playground equiptment..If you take a look at the swing seats you may be pushing your little ones on at the park...they might just say 'Wicksteed'!