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Talk, Fri 10 Mar 2017

The Victorian Head Gardener

The Victorian Head Gardener


Hill Road,
Lyme Regis,


Francis's father started his career in Horticulture as gardener's boy on a large estate just before the First World War. Hear about the fascinating life of the Victorian country estate, which has now entirely vanished. Learn the correct way of mowing a lawn with a horse-drawn mower, how to grow grapes, pineapples and cucumbers, and why and when William Robinson's butler had to serve his master with a pear on a silver tray. You will also discover why the Ministry of Defence issued thousands of stirrup pumps to the Home Guard in the Second World War.

A man of many parts – expert on the history of glass, travelling church organist, leading light in amateur dramatics, local historian, gardener, plant enthusiast … – Francis has many years experience as a public speaker. He is always complimented on the fact that he is clearly heard at the back of a large hall, even without a microphone, despite the audience's (appropriate) laughter!

Event details

Dates Times
Fri 10 Mar 2017 11:00 to 12:00


Free to U3A members; suggested donation of £2 for non members



See location of Woodmead Halls on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: ND 340233  Lat: 50.72691 Long: -2.93636