by Chris Harrison
"Well, everyone seemed happy enough. Best to start and see what happened. Stan and peg were a cheerful starting point. Chris thought so too... The seat under the apple tree seemed a good place. Stan was a youthful 87. Youthful? Stan looked doubtful about this... Di and Gertie Wareham were happy enough to sit on the entrance hall stairs 'like naughty schoolgirls' as they said... Chris moved the hall table and the dried flower arrangement. Ethel came in and made an impromptu trio on the stairs. Later Ethel would sit in a downstairs room with the oak panelling, as if to distil the very spirit of the hospital."
"Another day. Bill coming up for 90 and originally from Wolverhampton. We thought of using the landing and incorporating the carved staircase posts, but in the end Chris went for the bedroom, Bill Iying on a colourful counterpane and talking about football. Not that Bill was one for Iying about, a more active man for his years you would have a job to find... Chris moved briefly from tripod to hand-held, something I hardly ever saw him do. It was like a boxer changing to a southpaw stance. Bill, I thought, would appreciate the simile. Sixty colour transparencies perhaps, probing for the one that was right, the one that had the differentia, and perhaps none of them would have it. That's what photography is about said Chris..."
Text taken from an essay entitled His Grace - and Lord Derby written by Peter Jerrome, the chairman of the Petworth Society. An unabridged version appears in the book Noblesse Obligé and was originally published in the Petworth Society Magazine.