Posted 22 January 2019 by Andrew Gardner
For me it's often these personal touches that help bring a visitor attraction to life, especially if you have to look a little deeper to find them. If you want to find out more, book your Sussex cottage now and start exploring! The people behind the stories make such a difference – and in the same vein, I'd like to mention the wonderful owners whose holiday cottages, houses and apartments we look after, and all the helpers too. They make your holidays possible!
Winchester Cathedral – William Walker
More than 100 years ago, Winchester Cathedral was sinking. What to do? Trenches were dug to underpin it but they flooded, so a deep-sea diver named William Walker spent six years carrying 25,000 bags of concrete underwater, in total darkness, to shore it up with his bare hands. Boring job or extreme feat of endurance? And consider what diving suits were like back then! There's a small statue of him in the cathedral; there's also said to be a cushion in the choir that was embroidered as a tribute.
The Mary Rose – Margaret Rule
Archaeologist Margaret Rule led the project to raise the Mary Rose from its ocean grave. Her ideas came in for some criticism, especially from the leader of one of the diving teams that were instrumental in finding the wreck, but the mission was successful. A visit to the Mary Rose is a fascinating experience and one that, like many people, I found very moving. Do go – it's a lovely day out from your West Sussex holiday cottage!
Petworth Deer Park - Capability Brown
There are several Lancelot 'Capability' Brown landscapes in Sussex but the park at Petworth House is probably the most famous, and one of the most accessible and authentic. It's open to the public and is beautiful at any time of year.
Glyndebourne Festival – Audrey Mildmay
Right from the start, Audrey Mildmay was equally instrumental (or should I say a strong voice?) with her husband John Christie in starting the Festival. An acclaimed singer and performer herself, she was also tireless behind the scenes as hostess, fixer, diplomat, pep-talker, you name it – and hugely popular with the staff and helpers. Described as 'a real pro, with instinctive concern for other people's welfare and enjoyment'. Just like us!