Approx 1962 I had a weekend at Buckenhill Manor. I served with Ken Stewart at Boscombe Down when at week ends he was travelling around various book and agricultural fairs. As I remember it, his cousin and her husband founded Landsman Books. The husband died and Ken played a greater role in the business, becoming in effect a partner. The business expanded, Ken and his wife had a number of children as had his cousin and they decided to combine families and living accommodation. The availability of the manor house solved all domestic problems. It was purchased and 'tidying up' began. The clock from the tower was brought to the office for cleaning and servicing. A barn was built/restored to provide storage for the vast number of books the firm carried: it had its own separate heating/conditioning system. Inside the house the enormous kitchen was provided with shelves and cupboards - made on-site by Ken. Interior decoration was begun. The cold water supply, provided from a spring (located some distance from the bottom left-hand corner of the photograph) and pumped by a Blakes Ram, was serviced. I stayed in the bedroom on the first floor at the left end of the photograph with a 'breakfast bay'. The long blue curtains had been obtained from a recently closed local cinema. The Games Room was lined with fold-up seats from the same cinema. The hot water system was erratic and the water had cooled considerably by the time it reached the bathroom. I recall there was a lift not in use in the centre of the building.The Sitting Room had a curved wall at the end and was draughty. The week end I was there various outside tasks were underway. One such involved taking ivy from the front of the house; the trunk was cut close to the ground, attached to the tow bar of the Land Rover, and slowly pulled off the wall. At the rear of the house was a cobbled courtyard with, I feel sure, buildings used/inhabited by a farmer. Susequently I was appointed to a ship, left Boscombe Down and we went our separate ways. Overall, a good friendship, a pleasant and educational weekend and I have fond memories of this house and the families I knew who lived there.
A memory shared byon Dec 26th, 2010.
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