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A Childhood Holiday

A Memory of Bromyard.

My family spent a very happy holiday as guests of the Barnaby famly who owned the castle. About 6 years old, I recall being transported from the station in a Trojan estate car - a most innovative design at the time with its unique diesel engine. Mr Barnaby, a botanist who wrote on Alpine flora, also owned a wonderful long-nosed Allard sports car with a dickie seat formed by opening the boot in which I rode in the open air with much glee. During our stay we rode ponies and followed a rabbit shoot on the estate, but most vivid is the time when the Barnaby children together with my older sisters and I ascended one of the turrets and emerged into a swarm of bees. Screaming with hysteria and with bees crawling in my hair I was rescued in the kitchen by Mrs Barnaby and my mum who administered blue bags and calmed me. I wasn't actually stung but my elder sister was, under the eyes, and her face swelled up so much she looked Mongolian.

Later I learned that the Barnabys moved to Lostwithiel, taking a couple of stone lions with them as memories of the castle which was, I understand, torn down... a fact that caused me some sadness as I had enjoyed my time there (bees excepted) so much. Molly Barnaby, in later life, gained a considerable following as a poetess and had several volumes of her poetry published.

With thanks to Bob Perkins for this memory of Bromyard

Added 15 February 2012


Comments & Feedback

Hello Bob Perkins , I am David Barneby , I recall your stay at Saltmarshe and the day I took you all for a tour of the castellated roof . Unfortunately as swarm of bees returned from the kitchen garden and caught us just outside a tower . i pushed you all inside again , but not before some of us were stung , your sister Bunty in particular . I recall that you had curly hair and if not stung had lots of bees in your hair . My father forbade us to go on the roof by ourselves , but he was out that day .
Those were very happy holidays when you came to stay and our mums were very good friends too . Thank you for writing your memory of Saltmarshe Castle . We were all very sad to leave , my father was very old fashioned an autocratic , the tennants used to still call him Master Tom and he felt he couldn't do the drastic things necessary to make the place pay . He inherited as the eldest male heir , but no money came with the bequest .
We were the Lavenders at the Old Rectory at Edvin Loach. Until you left Saltmarshe we were regulars - I hope you get in touch. I am now in Cambridge.

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