Garden day at Winchelsea Beach

Had a nice outing on Saturday to visit a selection of gardens at Winchelsea Beach, open in aid of St Michael’s Hospice. Philosopher and I have walked there many times and admired the houses, and this was our chance to get beyond the garden gates…

Ferryman’s Cottage – Rye

     We went with friends Jan and Tom – we drove Tom to a boatyard in Rye first, because he wanted to do something or other on his boat – varnish? Scranlet…..?  Do you remember last summer we took a boat trip from Bodiam along the River Rother with Jan and Tom as a birthday treat – and Tom saw this boat for sale?  Well, readers, he bought it.  It spent the winter in the boatyard, had things done to its bottom and so forth, and then sadly, Tom knackered up his hip and had to have a big operation so it has not yet been out on the river. The boatyard was interesting – that’s the old Ferryman’s cottage above, here’s a good view of masts etc., and then the boat itself….

Boatyard in Rye
The boat….

    However, it transpired that the boatyard bloke was not there so Tom waited for us in the garden of the Ship pub – Philosopher started off looking at gardens, but of course he has bad hip too, so both men ended up in the pub…..
     The houses at Winchelsea Beach, tucked away down unmade tracks radiating inland from the sea, are interesting.  Like Dungeness along the coast, they were first built on the shingle in the inter-war period, often as holiday homes. Many used old railway carriages. Sadly, many of the quaint old wooden buildings are being demolished and being replaced by modern constructions.  See the old and new below.

Old railway carriage – we did look at this garden
Another railway carriage



     Apparently, the gardens are very rarely open…
     The first was artistic – the lady was a potter and jewellery maker. I could do this with my huge collection of stones with holes….


Talented potter…

   The remaining gardens were all closer to the sea, on the shingle. One was a wonderful jungly tropical oasis – the bloke had painstakingly created it over thirty years..


Amazing jungle on shingle
Hard to believe this is on shingle….

   The others were more conventional shingle gardens – my phone battery was running out, so not many pictures.  The garden trail was 2.5 miles long, so when we eventually returned to the Ship for a late lunch we found two hot, bored and hungry men….

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