AFTER THE GARDENERS BOTHY

by Arthur Hooper

Publisher:  Malthouse Press (2004)

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Arthur Hooper was one of the last of the generation of gardeners that learnt their skills in the great Edwardian gardens of the early part of the last century.  He died in 2002 at the age of 93, but before he died, he was persuaded to share his memories so that they could be written down.  The result was two books; the first, Life in the Gardeners Bothy (reviewed in this Journal in 2002), and After the Gardeners Bothy, published in 2004.  The first volume was fascinating as it provided a picture of the sort of life that young journeyman gardeners led in a period very different from our own.  These huge, privately-owned estates had largely disappeared by the 1940s because of two world wars and the stock market crash of the 1930s.

The present book describes the period from the 1940s onward and follows Arthur’s progression in the gardening world with increasing responsibility for managing gardens but with insufficient labour and declining funds.  Some aspects of this are of interest, particularly the drive for food production during the war, and Arthur’s efforts to restore the garden at Tyntesfield (now acquired by the National Trust) after the war.  However, much of this volume is concerned with Arthur’s life at home with his wife, and as such is of lesser interest.

Alison A Newton

Request for information on Bothies

Some time ago I asked if anyone having knowledge of any bothies still remaining in Cornwall, could send me information about these buildings.  I only had one reply.  Bothies were an important feature of large Edwardian and Victorian gardens, but the memories of these buildings, as well as of their function, are fast disappearing.

I should like to establish some record of Cornish bothies, and so, I am repeating my request for information.  Please contact me at Alison A Newton, Rosemarsland, Gooseham, Bude, Cornwall  EX23 9PQ