Saturday, April 21, 2007

Upton Park

In the cause of making good use of our National Trust Family membership and allowing D to meet another lad with Tourettes we went to Upton House and Gardens for the afternoon. Upton Park is a largish country house last inhabited by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted, chairman of Shell. We spent a relaxing time walking around the gardens: nobody fell in any of the lakes or streams. We left half our party outside and went for a look inside the house, remodelled by the owner and filled with a large fine art collection with pictures by Stubbs and lots of English and French porcelain. Most striking was the recently restored art deco bathroom; covered inside almost entirely in aluminium foil which looks like the dull side of baking foil. A striking and surprisingly tasteful decorating medium. I didn't think taking as picture in the bathroom - I think I was a little overcome by all the shiny foil.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bekonscot (With Canals)

Not just a model village. A model village frozen in time in 1929 (the year it was opened).
We spent an intriguing afternoon wandering aroung a model of rural England of the 1930s. It's beautifully done and has it's imitators but I haven't seen a better one.

I'm sorry but I became quite excited by the model canal with its lock, narrowboats, wharf and tunnel.



Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

I delivered the contract to the Mill Wharf Boat Company yesterday. Everything starts at the beginning of June. The shell will be built by Tim Tyler in May and fitting out is due to start at the beginning of June with delivery on 31st December. During my visit to the boat yard I had a quick tour around the boat currently being fitted out - it's due to be completed to be exhibited at the Crick boat show. I also saw Jason's own current project, Columbia; a working boat he's restoring.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


The contract arrived from the boat fitters yesterday. I immediatley sat down and read it through. Then I read it again. Checked the list of extras - all present. The bottom line is one of those numbers that makes you feel a little faint. Still, we won't be spending it all in one go. There are stage payments. When I sign this we are committed. No backing out (not easily anyway).

Delivery date is 31 Dec 2007.

Must book tickets for the Crick boat show at the end of May.