Men & Motors V Gardener's World
I have a
garden which I would describe as a controlled wildness. Nothing grows
in neat rows except a small patch of runner beans. I mow the grass but
it is not manicured and trees and shrubs are pruned as necessary for
their own good and not just to be kept tidy or to grow in an unnatural
way, or clipped within an inch of their life! Seeing a row of tulips or
delphiniums standing straight like Grenadier Guards is not for me.
So, on our AQSC outing I chose to go to the Kew Bridge
Steam Museum instead of the posh bits at Kew Gardens and I loved every
minute of it!
One of the many working steam engines
When I was growing up we had no car so family holidays
began with a train or boat journey. My father took me to see the steam
engines - does that date me?! We went down in to the engine room on the
ship too and all was explained to me and I have been interested in it
all since then.
The magnificent engines were working in turn, when one stopped another
was started up and you could walk right round them and watch their
minders adjusting valves and of course everything is in pristine
condition - not as you would see them working originally, covered with
oil and dust etc. I was amazed at how quiet they were, I remembered the
noise of a ship's engine room but Richard, Mike and I could talk to
each other and the mechanics without having to shout.
itself is fascinating too and as the original pumping station it has
been wonderfully adapted. Obviously the main accent is on water and
there is a collection of washing machines, water heaters and loos -
some really antique, along one huge wall. There is a hands-on
educational section for the children - I had a go at some of those too.
It is a very well set-out museum and well worth visiting.
for lunch beforehand was excellent. I had an ale steak pie made with
Old Speckled Hen ale. It was a proper pie with proper pastry and full
of meat... owzat!!