My mother once told me that while on a holiday in Switzerland, having walked for 20 minutes from a nearby town and ascended the funicular to take her up to view the Reichenbach Falls without encountering hardly a soul. But there standing alone on the viewing platform was one of her work colleagues.
A similar, if less than dramatic incident, occurred to me on Saturday.
[T]aking a welcome break from driving a cab around London we went to Hatfield House. This superb Jacobean property is easily accessible from London having as a main line railway station outside its front door.
The BBC are running a Tudor season and as Hatfield House is one of the finest architectural examples from that time, and as one might expect visitor number could rise, that coupled with a recently open children’s’ zoo and sculpture park.
Situated not far from where I grew up it’s a place we return to time and again, but this time we were there to see their garden show and look around at their beautiful gardens and sculpture trail.
One of the first exhibitors we encountered was Fiona Rule, an author I’ve featured in my Radio Taxi blog whom I’ve only corresponded by email, having first listened to her being interviewed on the Robert Elms show on BBC’s Radio London.
A London historian promoting her books, hardly the sort of enterprise you would have thought would be featured at a gardening show. Even though Hatfield House is one of the finest Tudor houses in England it seemed to me a little incongruous until Fiona told me of her other venture.
As well as looking into one’s family tree those lucky enough to live in a house with some character now often want to know their home’s history and this is where House Histories comes in.
Your House History is reproduced in either a small book for a coffee table format and additional copies can also be printed. Each averages around 70 pages with numerous illustrations. Taking a few weeks to complete research is available for properties in any London or Hertfordshire postcode.
I doubt if the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury whose family have lived at Hatfield for 400 years will feel the need to commission a history of his house.