David Thomas showed me a fascinating collection of photographs today. David, who has owned The Oaks Hotel for 35 years, heard me talking on the weekend about the demise of the Garden Palace 127 years ago. As I explained here, the Palace was built in 1879 and burnt down in 1882.
The Oaks began as a pub in 1885 but was totally rebuilt in the 1930s in deco style. It's an intriguing building inside (with a spectacular oak in the court yard), particularly if you wind through the corridors to find the attic store room, as I did this morning.
Four weeks ago David and his son made a decision to remove 15 or so images of the Garden Palace - including its construction, destruction and interiors - from the walls of The Oak. These large (each a metre or more in width) framed prints will be very generously gifted to the Botanic Gardens if we can find a place to display them.
And a place we will find. They tell a fascinating story about the Garden Palace and the Gardens. We'll look into some suitable locations and get them over here and hung as soon as we can. Here's a sneak preview of one of the images - you can see that the displays were very like those in pictures we have of Joseph Maiden's Economic Botany Museum in the Maiden Theatre.