Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Candidate's World Tour - Second Leg.

Following a sumptuous breakfast on day two of the candidate's break, we played the Montgomerie Course at Celtic Manor Resort. Rather less forgiving than the 2010 Course. I do like to finish a round with more balls than I started, but no-one does that on the Montgomerie. I preferred the 2010, but Mrs D had them down as on a par (so to speak). Lunch in the fabulous 2010 clubhouse. And then we drove off to England, the second country on the Candidate's World Tour. As rejoining the M4, we wondered wistfully whether we would again ever play these fabulous courses. Because it was a gift, I don't know the cost. I fancy it was a lot. But I don't begrudge contributing to the millions that the enterprise must have cost Terry Mathews. A man who started up in Newport and made a fortune. Never forgot where he started - so he gave a fortune back. Next year, thanks to this great man, Wales will be on the map of the world like never before. Then we drove to Basingstoke.

Audley's Wood, near Basingstoke was mentioned in the Doomsday Book, where it was referred to as Oddele. The present mansion was built in the 1880s by Sir George Bradshaw, who acquired his fame and fortune from the Railway Guide that carries his name. In 1889 a famous local brewer named Simmonds bought it from George Bradshaw, and it remained in the Simmonds family until 1950. During the Second World War the Simmonds family moved out to allow Lord Camrose, the editor and proprietor of the Daily Telegraph to move in. The latter had given up his home to be a Canadian military hospital during the war - and all the great statesmen visited on a regular basis. Eventually Lord Camrose bought it. In 1989 Audley House was converted into a quite splendid hotel. In recognition of its interesting history, there are piles of free Daily Telegraphs left all around the hotel to this day - which represented a saving of 90p for us. Very nice place. Not a single Guardian to be seen.

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