A visit to Winston Churchill's country home of Chartwell in the County of Kent provides the opportunity to visit the fish pond he created in his garden and the plaque which reads : 'Sir Winston Churchill often sat beside this pond to meditate and feed his golden orfe'.
It is a strangely humbling experience to be at the spot where he sat in a garden chair with a side table and maybe laid his newspaper and placed his glass of whiskey, perhaps thinking back to the momentous events he had taken part in during the Second World War. He was, after all, acknowledged as 'The Greatest Briton' of all-time in a 2002 poll, the most influential man in British history.
Apparently, his collection of golden orfe were his most cherished possession. He'd encountered and became entranced by them them in the 1930's and those which populate the pond today may even be descendants of his own stock.
What momentous occasions might he have remembered in that seat by his pond ? The meeting with President Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta in 1945, which decided the shape of the post-war world ?
Standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with the Royal Family on the occasion of the Victory Parade ?
My posting two years ago about Churchill's death in 1965, when I was called upon, at the age of 17, to read from one of his books to over a thousand pupils at the school assembly :
His funeral :
Pathe News on Chartwell