Midsummer garden party at the Old Vicarage

Old Vicarage

Old Vicarage

Summer solstice, the sun is at the highest point of the sky, the longest day. What a lovely day to hold a garden party.

I walked along the river, through Gostrey Meadow, up Downing Street, and down a little lane to the Old Vicarage.

The garden party was already in full swing when I arrived.

After a little wander around the garden and grounds, it was eat, as I was starving.

Food was supplied by an Indian family, fresh home-cooked Indian food, not the rubbish you get in an Indian restaurant, and certainly not the rubbish served in Wetherspoon.

I was surprised, some of the food had already gone. I had chickpea curry and rice, plus two onion bhajis. It was delicious.

Some time after nine o’clock, I decided to have a second helping. All the food had gone, but they went home and returned with more food. Onion bhajis, I did not know what the other snacks were.

Maybe too late for this year, I suggested to Curries from Home, who provided the excellent food, they be at Staycation Live in Godalming, and to contact Godalming Town Hall.

I also told others, Staycation Live was a worthwhile festival to go to.

Washed down with Ringwood Brewery Forty Niner which I did not like. It had a strange taste, but it may have been the curry giving it the strange taste.

What was annoying about this beer, it was Marston masquerading as quality beer from an indie brewery. But I did not appreciate this until I read the label.

Live music all afternoon and evening, until late.

Musicians had a half hour slot, then it changed. A rap poet, followed by a more professional group who did a much longer session.

No Dylan ice cream this year. He was not at Guildford farmers market either. I inquired, apparently booked and very busy.

Last year almost like Mad hatter’s Tea Party, an amazing assortment of cups and tea pots. If there was this year, I did not notice.

Quite amusing, a group of girls and boys playing a mix of football and rugby. And a black dog, who had his own football, running up and down.

Across the pitch a zip wire. If anyone traversed across, those on the pitch had to duck.

A tree house in one of the trees.

Two bonfires, which were lit as it was getting dark.

I was horrified to learn, an area of Bishop’s Meadow has been ploughed, then seeded. I have not walked around the field this year, but disturbed land would introduce weedy species, and the introduction of alien plants a very bad idea. Seeding with a hay meadow mix, ok for a domestic garden, but not for a well established meadow.

If to be seeded, then in the existing grassland. Apparently not possible as a thick mat of grass, due to three decades of not cutting the grass. Though when I have walked the field, I have seen plenty of bare patches, where seeds would grow. It is best to be patient, mow end of June, and see what develops.

Ideally they need cattle introduced, after the grass is cut, but the area is not secure, and would cost around £30,000 to fence.

Read Feral is a must, and on re-wilding.

A must to secure the future and protect from development, is designation as a village green. It is used as community space, and has been as far back as anyone can remember. Engage Richard Buxton in Cambridge if hit problems.

As thank you for the last garden party, I gave our lovely host Lou, a copy of The Alchemist.

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5 Responses to “Midsummer garden party at the Old Vicarage”

  1. Tony Lea Says:

    Yes Marstons do now own Ringwood Brewery but the good news is they only keep a watching brief and let the brewery carry on pretty mush as before. They help the brewery in that they provide a sound financial safety net if anything was to go wrong. I learnt all this whilst on a tour around the superb historic brewery last year. Well worth a visit. Shame the founder Peter Austin died only a couple of months ago. He was pretty much the founder of the great micro brewing scene we now have today with nearly 1300 breweries in the country, Fantastic.

  2. r2 Says:

    Thank you for sharing. This is how we do it in Sweden.

    With sun, Arto

  3. keithpp Says:

    Explains a lot. I thought it was an indie brewery, I remember when it was. But on principle I would not touch if owned by Marstons (or any big corporate). There are plenty of decent indie breweries around.

    And as I said, it was not good. later I had Hogsback Tea,. It was fine.

    Saturday I had an an excellent beer in The Keystone in Guildford, but cannot remember what it was.


  4. Tony Lea Says:

    I agree Keith there are plenty of great local microbrewers around that do far better beers. Thurstons of Horsell are one of the latest ones. A great pub in Farnham now to maybe get their beers is the Jolly Sailor at the far end of Farnham about 400 yards further on from the Barn on the same side of the road. Also they have their pub the Crown at Horsell.
    Hogs Back are doing great things and they are even going to plant a hop field in the land across the road from their brewery.

  5. keithpp Says:

    There used to be lots of hop fields in the area.

    You may like to note there is a microbrewery in Guildford. I have not tried,and the only place I have seen on sale is in Joint, the butcher in Jeffries Passage at the top of the High Street. They do not supply pubs.


    As a community organisation, Bishop’s Meadow Trust need to be more selective from where they get their beer. Support local breweries, not Big Business.

    The Barn has sadly closed.

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