Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kenneth Grahame & Mr. Toad.

Colonel Francis Ricardo.
Still keeping the Herries theme in mind I now switch back to when it was known as Mayfield and Kenneth Grahame was still living there and his connection with another notable village resident in the person of Colonel Francis Ricardo who lived at The Elms, sometime it was referred to as Lullebrook Manor, and better known today as the main building of The Odney Club.

Rolls "Silver Ghost."

According to historical accounts that I have been reading Colonel Ricardo was the first resident in the village to own a motorcar. A yellow Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, which is the model in the photo above. He use to love driving his car around the village and toot tooting on the horn, also stopping to give various villagers a lift as well.

It was due to the fact that this was happening that it was thought by many that Grahame used Col. Ricardo as a base for his character of Toad who lived in Toad Hall. As well as the car the Colonel was quite an oarsman during his lifetime. Once again Grahame had Toad mentioned as sculling on the river.

As a little boy I can remember older people in the village talking about Colonel Ricardo with great affection. Today there is still a Ricardo living in the village in his great nephew Councilor David Ricardo.

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