Tag: Chartwell

Churchill’s Christmas, 1882-1947: Halcyon and Sterner Days

Churchill’s Christmas, 1882-1947: Halcyon and Sterner Days

At Christmas 1932, Churchill received as a present “a huge bottle of brandy, and decided to paint it, accompanied by lesser bottles," Johnnie Churchill remembered. "He sent us children scurrying around Chartwell to find them: 'Fetch me associate and fraternal bottles to form a bodyguard to this majestic container.'"

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Churchillisms: Twelve Million Feathers on a Butterfly’s Wings

Churchillisms: Twelve Million Feathers on a Butterfly’s Wings

Churchill was a keen collector of butterflies in India, but in later life he couldn't bear to kill them or even keep them captive in his chrysalis house at Chartwell. Strolling by the cage on one of his walks, he left the screening open. Secretary Grace Hamblin asked, did he do that on purpose. Churchill replied, "I can't bear this captivity any longer."

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What Happened to the Library at Chartwell?

What Happened to the Library at Chartwell?

In 1992 Michael Wybrow and I spent a day in the Chartwell library. Security was less of a concern then, and the administrator, Jeane Broome, kindly let us examine books closely. We were able to survey all the shelves and even to open (very carefully!) the odd volume. We did not attempt an inventory, but did learn the fate of many volumes.

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“Stalin never broke his word to me.” Were these Churchill’s words?

“Stalin never broke his word to me.” Were these Churchill’s words?

A mag­a­zine fact check­er writes ask­ing if Churchill ever said, “Stal­in nev­er broke his word to me.” The short answer is yes. The long answer shows how care­ful we should be when quot­ing Churchill.

The source of this quote is the jour­nal­ist C.L. Sulzberg­er (1912-1993), in his 1970 book, The Last of the Giants, page 304. In it Sulzberg­er reports his “five hours with old Win­ston Churchill” at Chartwell on 10 July 1956.

Churchill, wrote Sulzberg­er, thought Stal­in “a great man, above all com­pared to Khr­uschev and Bul­ganin,” and quot­ed Churchill as follows:

Stal­in nev­er broke his word to me.…

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Churchill’s Daily Routine (Or: You Can’t Get Good Help Anymore…)

Churchill’s Daily Routine (Or: You Can’t Get Good Help Anymore…)

Q: When help was cheap

Mov­ing right along, the 1911 Cen­sus was recent­ly released in Eng­land. No address was “ex-direc­to­ry” in those days. Win­ston Churchill is list­ed at 33 Eccle­ston Square, Lon­don (sev­en­teen rooms) with wife Clemen­tine, daugh­ter Diana and eight ser­vants. The help com­prised a cook, nurse, lady’s maid, house­maid, par­lor maid, under-par­lor maid, kitchen maid and hall boy). Can this be so? —A.J., NSW, Australia

A: Absolutely.

By the 1920s and 1930s, when the Churchills were ensconced at Chartwell, the help had grown to fif­teen or more, count­ing gar­den­ers, handy­men, sec­re­taries and house­hold staff.…

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Present at the Creation: Randolph Churchill and the Official Biography (1)

Present at the Creation: Randolph Churchill and the Official Biography (1)

“Ran­dolph Churchill: Present at the Cre­ation,” is tak­en from a lec­ture aboard the Regent Sev­en Seas Explor­er on the 2019 Hills­dale Col­lege Cruise around Britain, 8 June 2019.

Most every­body has an inkling of who Win­ston Churchill was. But how many know of his son Ran­dolph? How many British school­child­ren do you think have heard of him? Do they know that Arthur Conan Doyle cre­at­ed Sher­lock Holmes, who some think was a real per­son? They should, Sir Arthur was a great writer. Like Ran­dolph Churchill, who found­ed the longest biog­ra­phy ever writ­ten. In the words of Dean Ache­son, he was “present at the creation.”…

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Lectures at Sea (1): Churchill and the Myths of D-Day

Lectures at Sea (1): Churchill and the Myths of D-Day

“Churchill and the Myths of D-Day is excerpt­ed from a lec­ture on the 2019 Hills­dale Col­lege Round-Britain cruise. Hills­dale cruis­es with “lec­tures at sea” are an annu­al event, usu­al­ly occur­ring in May or June. For infor­ma­tion on the 2020 cruise to Jerusalem and Athens, click here.

I’m here to talk about Win­ston Churchill. I know this audi­ence knows who he was! Did you know a sur­vey of British school­child­ren reveals that one in five think he was a fic­tion­al char­ac­ter? And bet­ter than half think Sher­lock Holmes was a real person?

My book is about the non-fic­tion­al Churchill.…

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Churchill’s Butterflies Continue to Flourish at Chartwell

Churchill’s Butterflies Continue to Flourish at Chartwell

But­ter­flies are back in force at Sir Win­ston Churchill’s Chartwell. In 2009, the Nation­al Trust rebuilt the but­ter­fly hut and gar­den­er Stephen Humphrey took charge of rais­ing but­ter­flies. Nigel Guest, a Chartwell vol­un­teer, imme­di­ate­ly report­ed “a ter­rif­ic year for but­ter­flies.” For his report and col­or pho­tos of Churchill’s favorite species see BBC Radio Kent, “Churchill’s But­ter­fly House at Chartwell.”

David Rid­dle, a Nation­al Trust vol­un­teer at Chartwell, gave me the back­ground of the “But­ter­fly House” Churchill estab­lished to prop­a­gate the insects on the grounds of his home:

The But­ter­fly House was first used as a game larder between 1869 and 1889 by the Colquhoun fam­i­ly, who owned Chartwell between 1830 and 1922, when Churchill bought the estate.…

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Winston Churchill and Polo, Part 2, by Barbara Langworth

Winston Churchill and Polo, Part 2, by Barbara Langworth

“Win­ston Churchill and Polo” was first pub­lished in 1991. It is now updat­ed and amend­ed, thanks to the rich store of mate­r­i­al avail­able in The Churchill Doc­u­ments pub­lished by Hills­dale Col­lege Press. This arti­cle is abridged with­out foot­notes from the Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project. For the com­plete text and foot­notes, click here.

============== Con­tin­ued from Part 1…

Part 2: Dislocations

On 18 Decem­ber 1898 Win­ston Churchill wrote to his friend Aylmer Hal­dane. “I am leav­ing the army in April. I have come back mere­ly for the Polo Tour­na­ments.”  He told his moth­er he would stay at Gov­ern­ment House.…

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Cars & Churchill: Blood, Sweat & Gears (2) Daimlers…

Cars & Churchill: Blood, Sweat & Gears (2) Daimlers…

Hav­ing writ­ten about cars and Win­ston Churchill for fifty years, I final­ly pro­duced a piece on them both. From exot­i­ca like Daim­ler, Napi­er and Rolls-Royce to more pro­sa­ic makes like Austin, Hum­ber and Wolse­ley, the sto­ry was three decades in com­ing. I am sat­is­fied that it is now complete.

Part 2, con­tin­ued from Part 1: Excerpt only. For foot­notes,  all illus­tra­tions and a ros­ter of Churchill’s cars, see The Auto­mo­bile, (UK), August 2016. A pdf of the arti­cle is avail­able upon request: click here.

Wolseley to Austin

In the ear­ly 1930s Churchill switched from Wolse­ley to Austin cars: small fours and big six­es.…

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