GDBF | FUDC

Gardener Dave gave me a brief tutorial on how to grow my tomatoes this morning. He was ridiculously cautious in giving his advice until I told him I knew nothing. He then gave me the benefit of his years of tomato growing experience. I was very thankful.

He told me that his tomatoes are almost ready to pick but then, he did start growing them at the beginning of the season. My plants, on the other hand, had to wait for me to get garden centre access following Lockdown. Still, they are all looking good and Dave was confident they will produce…something.

Of course, I didn’t see Dave until after I’d been shopping. On the way I noticed the bin has attracted more stupidity.

I think the original pizza boxes have either been taken away or are squashed up at the bottom of the now expanding bin bag. I particularly like the dog poo bags on the ground. Why do these people think it’s acceptable for other people to pick up their dog poo?

I was also a bit annoyed at Waitrose.

I was chatting with the checkout operator – the only one without a mask. We were discussing how much we both hate wearing face coverings. A woman who was standing behind me joined in our discussion.

She said that she’d been talking to a woman in a small shop in East Street. This woman told her that their insurance company refused to pay out on thefts at the moment because no-one would be able to find the masked culprit.

Apart from the humour behind this, it just shows yet again why insurance companies are only there to fleece their clients because they can. I guess that’s how nasty people like Arron Banks make their millions.

Of course, the story is at least second if not third hand and may not be true. Though, personally, I wouldn’t put it past an insurance company to get out of paying out against a claim if they could.

That was but a minor nasty blip in my day. The rest was spent pottering around the house and in my office.

Late in the day I received an unexpected text from Neighbour Dave. He asked me if I could decipher a stone marker in Farnham Park. Mirinda had suggested he ask me because I’m very good at that sort of thing. Naturally my interest was instantly sparked and I leapt in.

For a librarian, I really have a rubbish system when it comes to my books. It took me an age to find my book on Farnham Park. Still, eventually I found it and I started searching.

Moving to a second book I soon had the initial mystery solved.

On the left of the photo above, the initials GDBF stand for Guildford Diocesan Board of Finance.

Back in 1927-ish, the park was looked after by the Diocese of Winchester but, when boundaries were moved about a bit, it fell under the jurisdiction of Guildford. Almost immediately the bods in charge at the GDBF decided it was all too much and decided to offer it for sale. This prompted a Farnham town meeting in March 1928.

Before the turn of the 20th century, there were two local authorities in Farnham. There was the Farnham Rural District Council and the Farnham Urban District Council. These merged into the FUDC who were responsible for the town and surrounding area. These are the initials on the right hand side of the photograph.

Further background: Eventually the FUDC was merged with a lot of other local authorities to form the Waverley Borough Council in 1974. Then, in 1984 the Farnham Parish Council was formed which was renamed the Farnham Town Council that we have today.

But back to the Park Purchase.

By 1930 the FUDC had managed to collect together enough donor contributions (plus money from the council coffers) to make the asking price and purchased the park for the town. And so it has been ever since.

I am still working on what the stone actually represents. My educated guess would be that it marks some sort of ceremony when the sale was completed.

I let Neighbour Dave know and he replied that I was a genius. Modestly I told him I was actually a librarian. But I guess that’s pretty much the same thing.

Then, after dinner, I attended a very interesting Zoom talk hosted by the Western Front Association. It was given by Fraser Skirrow and was titled “‘Fighting Spirit’ – Patrolling and Raiding with the West Yorks.

Fraser gave an excellent talk about how patrolling and raiding worked during the Great War from the beginning to the end.

Though, I have to say, my favourite bit was the general order given to soldiers that they should stop sending live ammunition home via the Royal Mail because it was dangerous.

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