June 7 – A day out at Nyman’s historic house with David and Joan

Vivien Leigh exhibition

Hi from Gillian and Michael

Today David and Joan took us to a National Trust property – Nymans, near Haywards Heath. We had been trying to decide whether to join National Trust or English Heritage but today we realised that it would be in our best interests to join both as you only need to visit a few properties to repay the year’s subscription.  There was no problem paying on our NZ credit card. Our joint membership cost us £105 and we remained members for three years. There are National Trust properties all over England and membership gives you free entry to them all and also free parking at most of their coast and countryside car parks. They usually have very good cafes, shops and garden centres so are a great place to visit. Most also allow dogs in the gardens but not in the houses. The trust owns 248,000 hectares of land, 780 miles of coast and more than 500 historic houses, castle, ancient and industrial monuments, gardens, parks, and nature reserves.

We walked all around the gardens which were at their best as it was summer. The wording on the National Trust site says – “A garden lovers’ home for all seasons, with an extensive yet intimate garden set around a romantic house and ruins”.

Inside the house was an exhibition of Vivien Leigh with a timed entry. This was quite interesting and it was a bit of an eye-opener too. Mike’s Mum had always loved to dress in beautiful gowns and lovely hairdos. She always posed for photos too. When we saw this exhibition we realised that Vivien Leigh would have been one of Dorothy’s idols as she was an actress during Dorothy’s formative years. Vivien was married to Laurence Olivier which was a second marriage for them both. She was especially famous for playing the leading role of Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind” in 1939 and Blanche Du Bois in “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1951.

At All Saints Church in Handcross, near Nymans, we found our first in the church micros series of geocaching. This series became the main focus of our geocaching in the UK. We also found our first village sign cache and our first UK multi in Handcross. We found four geocaches today which was good considering my uncle and aunty thought that it was a very strange pastime and so we did not want to hold them up too long.

It was lovely to spend such a fine day together.