Arrive as a stranger, leave as a friend

Peter & Lyndsay Walker, Simone & Ken King

“Arrive as a stranger, leave as a friend” – well that is how the saying goes but at Maple Grove you arrive as a stranger, and leave as family, and that is why I love what I do!

When our guests of the past weekend messaged to say that they were leaving Adelaide we knew that we could expect them in about an hour and a half’s time. (BTW we really appreciate it when guests give an ETA, as I’m sure all owners of accommodation establishments do also).

The Kings duly arrived as expected and while I welcomed them and we introduced ourselves to each other, Ken and Simone mentioned that they actually were not from Adelaide but from Bedford – bells started ringing !!!! I had often heard my hubby Peter and his sister Janet talk about happy holidays spent with their parents on a farm just outside of Bedford about 60 years ago.

In fact about 3 or 4 years ago we had come across a painting at one of the Bedford flower shows. Pete immediately picked up on the title of the painting that was of the barn at Kingsvale Farm – the farm of his youthful adventures of milking cows, watching the sheep being dipped in the narrow dipping trough, feeding chickens, learning stick-fighting and of playing in that very same hay-filled barn.

Well by now Peter had joined us and after much excitement it was established that Ken and Simone are the new inhabitants of Kingsvale that has been in their family for many generations. Ken’s father, Gray King, lives on an adjoining farm. Pete was able to tell Ken the layout of the house that the Kings  now live in and they laughed about how Pete remembered a step down into what used to be the dining room from the passage that led from the front door and of the bathroom that was added to the back of the original homestead in the early 1960s.

Pete was so excited to tell his sister Janet who immediately got onto Geni, the Family Tree website, so that she could send screen-grabs, for Pete to show to Ken, of the Walker connection to the King family and why the Walkers used to frequent Kingsvale 60 years ago to stay with brother and sister Glanville and Winnie King who were the owners of Kingsvale at the time.

Pete’s great grandmother, Annie Alicia Pettman (nee Glanville) was the sister of Wilmot King (nee Glanville) who was the great great grandmother of Ken, making Ken third cousin once removed to Peter and Janet.

Annie and Wilmot’s father was Thomas Burt Glanville who spent 9 years in India in the early 1840s as a missionary and teacher. (Annie was born in India in 1852, Wilmot in the Cape in 1857). Thomas Burt arrived in the Cape in 1855 and served as an ordained minister in the Methodist church of Grahamstown. He also served as a Member of Parliament in Grahamstown and, interested in writing and journalism, also helped to establish the first newspaper in Kimberley in 1870. In 1875 he published one of the first guide books to South Africa and about the same time retired back to England where he served as Immigration Commissioner for the Cape Government. He died in 1878 in Surrey in England.

So there you have it! – our little bit of family history and connection, an exciting and serendipitous experience given that it was a completely unexpected crossing of paths.

We have been invited to visit Kingsvale and hope to plan a trip soon so that we can catch up with other relatives who still live and farm in the Bedford area. Watch this space.

Attached pic L to R:  Peter & Lyndsay Walker, Simone & Ken King

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