I am an American, but back in the autumn of 1971 - during my 18 months of travel around Europe and North Africa - I spent three months working and living at Bassetts Farm, owned by the Pemble family. Thirty-eight years later it remains one of my most wonderful memories. Horsmonden was such a lovely place. At Bassetts Farm I was in charge of the oast house. I had never even heard of an oast house until I arrived there. I had found the job through friends at the New Zealand embassy in London, where they had a list of available jobs. The Pembles also owned another farm several miles away where the crops were apples and pears. When hop season was over, I would drive a tractor each morning from one farm to the other, and at the end of the day I drove it back to Horsmonden. What a beautiful drive that was, through rolling fields of green as the sun was setting. On weekends, we would go to the pub in Horsmonden, drink beer and watch 'The Game of The Week' on TV. Georgie Best was the big star back then, Mancester United the big team. The village of Horsmonden was like a picture postcard, with its village green. I was there for the gypsy horse auction, and that was a bit of an education too. The Pembles were a lovely family and I often wonder what has happened to the Pemble kids. Like me, they are kids no longer. I have never returned to Horsmonden, though I think of it often, and I know that one day I will return.
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