Those huge houses in that part of Petersham had all been part of the Dysart estate and it was split up, I think at the end of the 1950s. They were all Dysart estate anyway and the Manor House… they were let off I think, because we were the first freehold owners of it. All those houses had been part of the Dysart estate, well finally it was broken up and… they were let out, because there were a lot of elderly ladies living in those houses. There was an old lady living in the Manor House…. I don’t know how they came to be there, because we were the first freehold owners of it. They’re now worth millions, but I think we paid about eighteen thousand pounds for it. I’m not quite sure of the figure, but it was something like that. But it needed a lot doing to it.
Tommy Steele’s house, which I was told when we moved here. Did you know him and his wife at all? I didn’t know them. I knew the people there before them, Colonel Carr, he owned the house before that. He was a biscuit man. Funnily enough, his name was Carr, but he wasn’t Carr’s Biscuits, he was one of the big firms… Jacob’s Biscuits? I can’t remember… One of the big biscuit manufacturers. He had a gardener, Mr Edmunds, I think he was Mr Carr’s gardener… wait, no I think I’ve got that wrong, he was the gardener at Petersham House opposite. There was a gardener there… What was his name? I’ve always been told he was the man who fixed the date for the Petersham Flower Show, because it was when his delphiniums were at their best. To a certain number of us, we find it a little bit late, because the roses are past their best! But we have to have it, because Mr Somebody, the gardener at Montrose House insisted that was the time the delphiniums were at their best. This year, it’s a week later.