Saturday, 10 January 2009

The big kitchen garden at Rangemore Hall

These glass palaces, as some called them, were hideously expensive to run but they were a badge of presige. At Rangemore in Burton-on-Trent, which belonged to the brewers Bass, there were forty glasshouse, with three and a half miles of pipes, and three huge boilers. Inside, the work was hot and long and hard, a perpetual anxiety. The boilers called for hefty-armed stoking, and the complicated systems of pipes needed delicate regulation with the stopcock and valves. Too hot and the plants would fry; too cold and they would shrivel; too humid and they would rot. Without wind or bees, there were problems of pollinations and the gardeners had to run with the brushes from one flower to the next. But the glasshouse staff took great pride in displaying their wonderous produce.

Memories of Summer days on the Rough Slopes.

I have been reading a book entitled "A Little History of British Gardening" by Jenny Uglow. There was a reference to the Big Kitchen Garden and the Glasshouse at Rangemore Hall. This jogged my memory. Adjacent to the perimeter boundary walls were the Rough Slopes.

I remembered the times we spent here in the evening playing Cowboys & Indians, War Games, Hide & Seek etc, also our favourite pass time: building a den. We used planks of wood to build a roof over the hollowed ground onto the red brick wall.

After the summer holidays, back on the slope, we would find our den had been flattened. "Blamed it on the Rangemore boys!" We used to say. We would rebuild it, nip over the wall to pick some apples from the orchard. Then, enjoy our spoils back at the den! Bliss!

Can anybody recall their time on the Rough Slopes?


suziwong said...

Hi everybody,hope you like the needwood news that david has set up. I remember the rough slope well, us girls use to build dens aswell the boys use to think theirs were better. I DONT THINK SO HA HA. Also if any of us had boyfriends we use to snog if teachers housemothers were not around. dont tell them Oh too late now!!!!

sjbrown said...

Hello everbody, What a fuss and palaver of the snow we had in the last few weeks! What about the snow we had when we were at school 3ft high on the sides down country lanes.We use to go on the sledge down towards the lake.

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Halifax, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom