- Published: 25 February 2013 25 February 2013
Throughout the year of 1985, significant progress was made in making the connection of our two houses in Willow Close, Little Paxton, as well as acquiring adjacent riverside plots and so making extensive riverside moorings and gardens, which included the design of a full-sized games lawn for tennis, bowls and croquet. Continuing until the property's completion in 1986, these videos are referenced here together, apart from when there were films of the family made incidentally; which are either still included here or referenced elsewhere
Note The Hayling View Riverside Mansion
Created by joining together two former detached houses (Nos 6 and 7 Willow Close) this was located on the former historical site of 'Heddings Manor' (see my History of Little Paxton; a delightful location 'situated on a pleasant rise overlooking the Great Ouse', once at the riverside end of the old Little Paxton water lane).
At its height, The Hayling View riverside mansion was a magnificent family house, home to not only our own children, but those of the neighbourhood who would come as friends and use our swimming pool, house and rear gardens. It was host to my son Daniel's first wedding, Liberal Democrat political functions and press events (Where Paddy Ashdown amongst others visited) and various other charity receptions.
Its purpose-built office and library was the location for my early writings, the dual stairs, numerous balconies interlinking corridors and link building were the ideal location for games of 'hide and seek' and many rooms the facility for every family member to have privacy and guests staying. The large adjoining conservatory had a skylight lantern for ventilation and scale and its own Koi Carp pond in two sections with a bridge adjoining. In this tropical climate there were lemon and banana trees and many other exotic plants and a table and chairs for occasional parties and dining.
The riverside gardens were formed by buying about 5/6 former leisure plots known as The Haylings and incorporated a river-side patio and summer house, a children's 'Wendy House', a workshop and a full sized games lawn; optionally layed out for lawn bowls, tennis court or croquet lawn. Moorings of some 200ft of moorings on The River Great Ouse.
After the Broad family had grown up and left, and Diana and myself had been separated and subsequently divorced, it was impracticable for either of us to occupy it and it was sold as an entity; and then taken over by actor Melvyn Hayes (then retired from the 1970s BBC sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum and latterly featuring in East Enders) who housed a large family of children and step-children. Eventually occupied by one of them and somewhat run down, it was then bought by a developer and split up; the houses made single again and the gardens divided. The swimming pool and Koi Carp pond were filled in with rubble and its demise a rather sad event to those who had enjoyed many happy times living there.
Creation of The Hayling View (Part 1,) video4
Creation of The Hayling View (Part 5) (Feb 1986 to 17th July 1986) Video16