Buckler’s Hard – disappointingly changed; “I am to be a Great Grandmother”; painting for others; The Queen on Burmese; impressive eyesight at seventy-five; some entertaining Blackbirds; a death at Wimbledon; a 10,000m at Crystal Palace, and Robin comes of his bike.
Gran’s albums of newspaper and magazine cuttings about her twenty-six year old grandson Julian’s athletics career are getting thicker and thicker. She writes with considerable pride that he has quite a following amongst her aquaintances in Chandler’s Ford. On May 9th 1979, she says:
I scurried round this morning to get the new stamps for the election to the European Parliament and to take my “Julian” albums for Mr Biddle to see before Sheila came for me at half past ten. We went to Buckler’s Hard, via Ibsley, where we saw a Brimstone and the first foal of the season.
Buckler’s Hard, alas, is almost completely spoiled, being completely commercialized and only the little main street just about its old self. To begin with we had to pay 40p each to leave the car in the car park. There is a new, modern restaurant with concrete forecourt and iron tables and chairs and a new, large museum, and one cannot walk down the old street from the top but has to go between these new buildings and enter the street halfway down, thus losing the old, familiar, breathtaking views from the top. The waterside has become a marina, full of yachts and after passing my “dream cottage” one cannot follow the track by the river because a huge boatyard has been built.