March 2016 – News Letter

Dear All,

This is a very special occasion!   Two wonderful pictures have come my way over the last few weeks – both from people I had never met or heard from before – and I thought they were both worthy of sharing with you in a special News Letter.

An Exciting New Discovery in S E London

The first one was from a lady in S E London, who sent me a picture of a magnificent Exhibition-quality Pulham fountain that she and her husband had just had restored.   They didn’t know of its provenance until they found my website, and I have devoted my ‘Site of the Month’ article for March to this remarkable story.   You can get an early Preview here.

 5-1-58-5 - Sydenham Barry - Fountain after restoration

 Fig 1  –  A previously unrecorded Pulham fountain

A Wonderful Picture of the Pulham Family

The second picture is a gem that I wish I could have seen in time to include in Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy’.   It was sent to me by Caroline Staines, who is directly descended from Herbert Pulham, one of James 4’s younger brothers.   It was taken during the celebration of George V’s Coronation in May, 1910, and shows James 3 and his wife, Martha, standing in the doorway of ‘Pulham House’, the family home in Station Road, Broxbourne.

 160200 - Pulham House and Family 1910 - Caroline Staines IMG_5303b

Fig 2  –  Celebrating the Coronation of George V outside ‘Pulham House’ in 1910

160200 - Pulham Family at Pulham House

Fig 3  –  A close-up of the family.   James 3 (65) and Martha (64) with James 4 (37) and Kate (37), and possibly Ernest (29), Dorothy (16), Jeanne (31) and Sydney (34)   (Photo provided by Caroline Staines)

James 3 looks as if he may be checking his watch or looking for his keys, and I imagine that the couple just below them are James 4 (with a moustache) and his wife, Kate.   The other young men are presumably James 4’s younger brothers – possibly Ernest and Sydney (or Herbert) – and sisters Dorothy and Jeanne.

The Heritage Lottery Fund Steps in Again

The Bolton News reporter in January that the beautiful terraced gardens at Rivington has been saved for future generations to enjoy thanks to a £3.4mil grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.   These unique gardens were designed by Thomas Mawson – with additions by James Pulham and Son – for millionaire soap magnate, Lord Leverhulme, between 1906-22, but had started to fall into disrepair.

 160200 - Lever Park, Rivington - Cascade - T Mawson

Fig 4  –   The Cascade in Rivington Gardens

Thanks to this funding, the buildings and landscapes will be repaired and protected as part of a three-year programme of work by heritage experts.   The Rivington Heritage Trust, working with Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside, led the successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery Fund for People grant programme.

A Return Booking for ‘The Pulhams of Broxbourne’

Projector Screen 4 - 750 x 900You could say that our recent presentation about ‘The Pulhams of Broxbourne’ was ‘a smash hit, but that would be unkind.   Just before we began, a lady on her way into the hall tripped and cut her head rather badly against the reinforced glass panel alongside the entrance door.   She was obviously shaken, but insisted on staying to hear the talk, and, thanks to some excellent care and attention provided by fellow guests, an ambulance crew and the local A & E Dept, it is good to be able to report that she is now fully recovered.

Despite – or could it have been ‘because of’ – the slight distraction, we understand that the audience enjoyed our talk so much that they have invited us back again next year so that they ‘can ensure that more of their members can come along to hear our story’.   That is absolutely great for us, and let’s hope that Marion will be able to enjoy it more next time . . .   Our next Presentation is for the Broxbourne U3A at the Civic Hall, Hoddesdon, on Thursday, 17th March, at 10.45 a.m., and we are also looking forward to visiting Hunsdon on 25th April, and Melton (Woodbridge) on 4th May.   Check out the full Presentation Diary here.

The Pulham Picture Puzzle

Button - Picture PuzzlesThere are now only a few ‘Sites of the Month’ to write about, and, as I said in my last News Letter, I shall be following them with a monthly Pulham Picture Puzzle.  My original puzzle – announced in my last News Letter – was based on a system of shuffling square picture segments around into correct positions, but my Test Panel considered this to be a little too complicated and time-confusing than it was intended to be.   I have now found a puzzle that works just like a conventional Jigsaw Puzzle, where you can move the pieces around, and click them into place to form the complete picture.   There are only 35 pieces in each picture, and the puzzles take about five minutes to complete.   The first three puzzles are already published, so why not click here, and see what you think of it?

‘A Wonderful Book to Own . . .’

1-5-01-01 - Book CoverDon’t forget that ‘Rock Landscapes: The Pulham Legacy’ is still available at a very special discount price from my website.   More than 40 of the Pulhams’ most prestigious creations are fully discussed and beautifully illustrated with some stunning photographs taken by Professional Gardens Photographer, Jenny Lilly.

Check out the CONTENTS’ Page here, and visit our ‘Book Shop’ Page, which provides a direct link to the publisher’s website, ACC Art Books.   All you have to do is follow the link and enter the ‘PL1’ Promotion Code in order to buy a copy at a massive 40% discount from the RRP of £35!

Yes, £21 (+ £4 P&P) = £25!  

The book has been critically acclaimed by all the major Professional Reviewers, whose comments can be summed up simply as:

‘A Wonderful Book to Own, and the Perfect Present for a Garden-Loving Friend’

Click on the Image now to go direct to the Book Shop.

Happy reading, and my Very Best Wishes to all my readers.

Yours Sincerely,



One thought on “March 2016 – News Letter

  1. You may like to know that we are having a Study Day at St Andrews Botanic Garden in Fife, called Building Arcadia:: From Pulham Rock to Pergolas. (five talks on garden constructions of various sorts). The Pulham Rock talk will be given by landscape historian Christopher Dingwall, who is about to refresh his memory by visiting various Scottish Pulham gardens which he will compare and contrast with some English ones for the Study Day on Sat 10t September 2016.

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