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CETG trip to Hemingford Manor 1st June 2019 (more photos of our day below - we were not allowed to take any photos of Lucy Boston's quilts)


It was a beautiful day, forecast to be 26 degrees by 4pm! 


Our first stop was at the Tudor Rose Patchwork shop in Oakley near Bedford. Having spotted the shop my heart was in my mouth, it looked tiny and there were 27 of us. How on earth were we all going to fit in! I was the last to enter and found a number of ladies already seated in the café area with a lot of activity behind the café counter and what looked a wonderful display of very large cakes! I wandered into the shop and very quickly saw why it had been recommended to us. It had everything you could need and more. Iron on sparkly ‘stuff’ that would not shed its glitter. Iron on glow in the dark ‘stuff’ .....that would come in handy thought I! There was wonderful selection of trinkets perfect for goodness knows what, but still irresistible, as I bought a handful of metal flower basket trinkets! After we had all eaten cake and spent money, it was time to press on to the Manor.


The drive was through English countryside at its best, over the Ouse with quaint bridges and waterfalls. Finally we reached the village of Hemingford, where the roads were very narrow and lined with parked cars. The bus driver was amazing as he reversed down impossibly tight gaps to get to us our destination. What a place -  picture postcard! It certainly wasn’t obvious where the house, was but a very kind local told us where the coach driver could park, and pointed out the path to the house.


The house itself was set in beautiful gardens with abundant iris of many colours, roses and many other flowers. I am not a gardener but the scents of the flowers and the colours were evocative of an English summer. The house looked old and higgledy piggledy on the outside and proved to be the same inside. It is one of the oldest continually occupied house in the UK and was built in 1130. It is most famous as the home of Lucy Boston and the setting of her Green Knowe series of books for children. We were there, however, for the wonderful patchwork quilts Lucy made right up until the age of 92!

Dianna Boston, the owner of the house, gave us a guided tour and showed us the quilts made by her mother in law - Lucy Boston. Dianna gets visitors from all over the world to see these quilts and I felt very privileged to have seen them. We all bought things from the wonderful little shop before exploring the gardens in the glorious sunshine and grabbing an ice cream at a conveniently placed ice cream van - parked next to the coach - and heading home. A lovely day was had by all.

A special thanks to Jackie - although she didn't join us on the trip, she came to see us off and made sure that everything was in place to make sure our day went smoothly!

text © Liz Smith and Helen Jenkins photos © Liz Smith and Fiona Brown

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