Journal of Loyal Johnson relating to his tour of gardens in Great Britain with Sam Brewster

Scope and Content

Summary of journal narrative, pages 21-154:

(8 Jun) Travel to Boston [United States of America] and purchase of tickets for passage on SS Laconia; baseball game at Braves Field

(9 Jun) Visit to Scollay Square Olympia

(10 Jun) Church service; departure; their cabin; other passengers

(11 Jun) Sightings of porpoise; the smoking room, the garden lounge and writing room; new acquaintances

(13 Jun) The tourist deck; the gymnasium; company; sunset

(14 Jun) Planning the garden tour itinerary

(15 Jun) Irish dancing

(16 Jun) Taking photographs; acquaintances; games; gathering information from an experienced British cyclist

(17 Jun) Photographing fellow travellers; climbing the look out; the Irish coast; falling out with a fellow passenger at dinner

(18 Jun) Docking at Liverpool; the St John’s Temperance Hotel; purchasing bicycles and equipment

(19 Jun) Purchasing photographic equipment; Liverpool Cathedral, construction half complete; Sefton Park, with palm house, aviary and lake

(20 Jun) Purchasing maps and guides; Greenbank Park, with Old English Garden

(21 Jun) Planning the itinerary; fellow guests’ attempts to persuade them against cycling; unsuccessful attempts to find a car

(22 Jun) Purchasing equipment at Woolworth’s; transporting luggage in two 12-inch cases; almost missing the train to Llandudno, Wales; to Conwy by bicycle and exploring the locality

(23 Jun) Conwy; Plas Mawr, Conwy; Conwy city walls; Conwy Castle; Alberconwy, Conwy; to Betws-y-Coed by bicycle; description of scenery; gnats

(24 Jun) A countryside walk; drinking tea; observation of the Sabbath

(25 Jun) Missing the bus to Llanberis; cycling 33 miles to Llangollen via Corwen in the rain; falling off

(26 Jun) The ‘Old Maids’ House’, Llangollen; the market; to Chester by bicycle

(27 Jun) The city walls, Chester; Eaton Hall; writing to ask permission to visit the gardens at Eaton Hall

(28 Jun) Chester Cathedral

(29 Jun) Shopping in the Chester Rows in the rain; Chester Castle, used as a marine barracks or similar; the public library and its dearth of books on gardens and gardening; Grosvenor Park and Queen’s Park, Chester

(30 Jun) A tour of Eaton Hall gardens (Mr Peters, head gardener), with greenhouses and fruit trees, perennial borders, Irish yew hedges, rose beds, lily pool, children’s play area, lake, woods, summer house and ancient trees; to Betley by bicycle via Crewe; description of the countryside and dearth of motor cars; Beeston Castle and views from it; Betley’s rural dwellings

(1 Jul) Weston Park (Crewe Hall), with 60 varieties of heather; a tour of the garden of Lord Crewe’s agent, with heathers he had bred; cycling through Weston Park, in poor condition; Betley Hall Hotel grounds, with lake, water lilies and rhododendrons

(2 Jul) A tour of Squire Tremlow’s gardens and stables (Mr Brown, gardener); a tour of Rode Hall, Cheshire, (Mr Billington, gardener), with monkey puzzle tree, Indian cedar from the Western Himalayas, wild glen, rockery, lake and ‘Atco’ motor mower; Astbury Church; New Morton Hall (Frank Kay, gardener), with rhododendron thickets, perennial beds and greenhouses; to Newcastle by bicycle; falling off

(3 Jul) History of Newcastle-under-Lyme and John o’ Gaunt; local potteries marring the landscape; Trentham Hall gardens, with chocolate and cigarette slot machines and cafe; Alton Towers and gardens, Staffordshire, with rhododendron banks, viewpoints, lake, fountains, bell tower and Chinese tower; mistaking a hilltop convent for Alton Towers; to Ashbourne by bicycle

(4 Jul) Absence of fireworks [American Independence Day]; Ashbourne Church; to Bakewell by bicycle; dry stone walls; ordering calling cards; 200 miles cycled to date

(5 Jul) The River Wye; a turn at a coconut shy

(6 Jul) To Sheffield by bus; description of the countryside; to York by train; York Cathedral; York city walls; the Yorkshire Philosophical Society grounds; losing his guidebook to the cathedrals of England; unusual observations made at York railway station

(7 Jul) Overnight train to Edinburgh, Scotland; sunrise over the North Sea; Edinburgh Castle; golf courses mown by sheep; Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, a disappointment

(8 Jul) Edinburgh Zoo and the Forth Bridge; aboard the USS Detroit; to Kirkcaldy by train

(9 Jul) Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy; to St Andrews by bus; St Andrews golf course; to Newport by bus; to Dundee by ferry; visit to a fellow passenger from the Laconia

(10 Jul) To Perth by bus and on to Crieff, returning to look for a camera Sam left behind; refused entry to Drummond Castle

(11 Jul) Drummond Castle and garden, with garden ornaments, sundials and fountain; to Callander by bus; mountains, lochs and streams; missing the bus to the Trossachs; the Bracklinn Falls; the beautiful scenery failing to make an impression on his soul

(12 Jul) To Loch Lomond by steamer and horse and coach; to Ballock by side-wheeler craft; the rain and mist; to Glasgow by bus; Linn Park, Glasgow, with bandstand and concert

(13 Jul) Glasgow; the Art Gallery; Kelvingrove Park; Glasgow Botanic Garden; purchasing sporran and dirk; to Carlisle by train; Carlisle Cathedral

(14 Jul) To Windermere by train and to Ambleside by bus; to Kendal by bus; to Levens Hall by bus (Mr King, gardener, away playing cricket); attempts to gain entry to Levens Hall; to Kendal by bus and to Sheffield by train; first sunshine in ten days

(15 Jul) To Bakewell by bus; reunited with their bicycles; 3d bet as to who would have most letters waiting

(16 Jul) Reading their post; Castle Hill, Bakewell, and work there by Backhouse and Sons of York; Hulme Hall, with detailed description of sundial; Hassop Hall, Hassop (Mr Wrightson, gardener), with Italian garden; the Catholic church, Hassop; Thornbridge Hall, Longstone, with its dilapidated garden; Ashford Hall, Ashdale (Mr Weston, gardener); Churchdale, Ashdale (Joseph Oliver, gardener); a visit from Mormon missionaries from Salt Lake City

(17 Jul) To Chatsworth Hall in Walter Reynolds’ car; a prolonged tour of Chatsworth Hall and curtailed tour of the garden (Mr Weston, head gardener), with Italian garden, lake, fountain, trees planted by royalty and reference to reduced numbers of garden staff following the First World War; Brooklands, Bakewell; the Missess Mellonds’ [?Mellmonds'] place, Bakewell (Mr Thornhill, gardener), with pergolas, terraces and Italian columns; Lumberdale; Stanton Hall, Stanton-in-the-Peak, with fruiting citrus trees in the greenhouse; the drought; Sam and Reynolds out driving with some girls

(18 Jul) To Derby by bicycle; on the way, a visit to Lea Green and Lea Hurst, Holloway

(19 Jul) Melbourne Hall, Melbourne (Mr Creighton, gardener), laid out by Le Notre, with woodland, magnificent beech trees, water features, statuary, detailed description of sun chronometer and reference to reduced numbers of garden staff following the First World War

(20 Jul) To Grantham by train; Belton House (W. Emerton, gardener), with Dutch garden, fountains, rose arbour, informal areas and statuary; to Derby by train and to Burton-on-Trent by bicycle; the smell of brewing at Burton-on-Trent

(21 Jul) To Hoar Cross by bicycle, becoming separated and lost; Hoar Cross Hall (Mr Watts, gardener), with water garden and topiary; Hoar Cross Church; unable to take photographs

At front and rear of the volume are notes relating to the trip comprising:

Page 1: Index to the volume

Pages 3-8: Memorandum and notes

Pages 9-13 and 164: Garden names (a ‘wish list’)

Pages 14-20: Garden tour (Mrs Lawrence) (cuttings from a publication of a tour of UK gardens, including map)

Pages 156-155, 163-160 and 179-175: Picture memorandum (record of photographs taken)

Pages 159-157, 165 and 169-166: Expense account

Pages 174-170 and 180: Autographs

Page 181: St Andrews, plan of shelter house on golf course

Page 182: Laconia, record of trip (daily latitude, longitude and knots)

Lists of photographs identifying subject and date taken: A1-12, B1-12, C1-6, D1-6, E1-6, F1-6, G1-6, H1-6, I1-6, J1-6, K1-6, L1-6, M1-6, N1-6, O1-12, P1-12, Q1-12, R1-12, S1-12, T1-6, U1-6, V1-6, W1-6, X1-6, Y1-6, Z1-6

Enclosures were removed during cataloguing and stored in a separate folder for preservation purposes, reference LRJ/1/1 (2 of 2), and comprise:

Book plate of Loyal R. Johnson, undated, at page 1

Receipt for a Highland dress dirk for 10s, Jul 1928 at pages 122-123

181 numbered pages (recto and verso numbered)

Condition: Unfit for production: use surrogate. Sewing is coming loose and at least page 21-22 is detached; edges of paper are in fair condition; spine is beginning to split along outer spine cover; contents are written in pencil. Awaiting conservation

All pages of this journal are available on iBase, image numbers LIB0005000-LIB0005096