February 2019

8th February 2019

President Kate Dilks welcomed 53 members and 4 guests to the February meeting on a wet and blustery morning which was brightened up by Mary Hunter’s the lovely spring flowers arrangement for the President’s table.

Treasurer, Lynda Daly, presented the coming year’s budget and was thanked by Kay Hygate for the work Lynda does to keep us solvent.

As part of the NFWI’s Creativity Week Castle Green will be holding a Dabble Day on Friday 17th May in the Lads’ Club. Click here for more details.

After coffee, biscuits and chat we welcomed our speaker Andrew Ashton whose illustrated talk was about Goldenhurst where he had worked until last November restoring the gardens for the then owner Julian Clary.

He traced the history of the house back to the 16th century when Thomas Culpepper owned the house followed by Thomas Gold-Smyth of Aldington and in the 17th century Nathaniel Le Marchant. In the 19th century it was owned George and Rosa Wheatley who developed the farm and even had a Ford dealership in the early 20th century. George also added an extension which from the slides Andrew showed us was obviously before planning permission was required. In 1926 the house was bought by Noel Coward who lived there until 1956 and had the house updated including in 1927 putting in mains water and heating. During WW11 the house was taken over by the army and we saw a photo of Churchill and Montgomery meeting with army Generals. There were many famous visitors to the house whilst Noel Coward lived there.

In 2007 Julian Clary bought the house and set about restoring it. It was interesting to see photos of the interior of the house and to see how it was originally built using ships timbers, probably from wrecks on the local sea shore. Both Andrew and the garden were featured on Gardeners’ World.

Mary Hunter gave the vote of thanks for an interesting and informative talk.

The monthly competition for interesting foliage/flowers was won by Netta Marshall.