Peter and Lizzie Cave to Take Part in Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race in Aid of the Mary Roxburghe Trust
A tenant of the one of the West Horsley Place cottages for many years, Peter Cave and his daughter Lizzie are taking part in the gruelling Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race this Easter weekend to raise funds for the Mary Roxburghe Trust.
Peter Cave talks about his connection to West Horsley Place, his memories of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe and why he is raising funds for the Mary Roxburghe Trust,
“I came to live on the West Horsley Place Estate with my family in 1993. My wife, Caroline, and I have now been here for 25 years and our children grew up here. We all have very many happy memories of our time here, not least of which was when Her Grace was a bit more sprightly, summoning us to accompany her on walks round her garden and being coerced into testing her knowledge on the plants (which was quite extensive in accordance with her interest in the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows.). Once, when we were chasing errant sheep down the driveway together, Her Grace announced that if they continued to be naughty she would have them expelled. She sounded like a formal headmistress (from somewhere like Roedean) scolding her pupils, but she was full of care and humour. Her Grace was always very enthusiastic when the snowdrops and bluebells first appeared in the copse in front of the Cottage and used to phone us in case we had not seen them. And, although she never joined in, she made it known that she approved of parties on the estate, a facility that our children fully embraced. It was a tradition that Bamber and Christina Gascoigne continued when they inherited the Estate and very kindly allowed my son and his new wife to celebrate their wedding in the walled garden.
As with many people in the village we were concerned that when Her Grace passed on the estate would be sold and would be developed in a manner to maximise profit to the detriment of its very rustic elegance. Fortunately that has not happened and Bamber and Christina have managed to steer a careful path that has breathed new life into the place whilst allowing it to retain much of its former character. From movies to opera and art centre to village fete, I think West Horsley Place is becoming a vibrant addition of the communities of East and West Horsley.
Caroline and I are pleased that all this is being done and will help in any small ways which present themselves to us in order to maintain and restore the historic buildings that make up the estate. The new arts centre will be an important addition to the Estate as it will add another dimension by attracting younger visitors and giving them the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of these surroundings.
Because of our long association with the estate we are more than happy to have the opportunity to contribute to the arts centre by paddling a canoe from Devizes to Westminster (125 miles). We are using a two-person racing kayak (K2) with me in the front seat and my daughter, Lizzie, behind. My son, Michael, is organising the support crew with my wife, whilst my other daughter, Clare, and her husband will probably spend their time trying to stop our grandchildren hurling themselves off the bank into the Thames. It should make a very good family outing over Easter weekend!”
Please encourage them in their great adventure and, with just three weeks to go, help them to reach and exceed their target of £1000.