Great Bri­tish ec­centrics

Ger­ald Hugh Tyr­whitt-wil­son, 14th Baron Bern­ers (1883–1950)

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

AS a young boy, Lord Bern­ers heard that, if you threw a dog into water, it in­tu­itively learnt to swim. Ex­pand­ing on this the­ory, the boy lobbed his fam­ily dog out of the win­dow to teach it to fly. Hap­pily, the dog sur­vived. At his Far­ing­don House, Berk­shire (now Ox­ford­shire), life was cer­tainly colour­ful—par­tic­u­larly af­ter he had all the pi­geons on the es­tate dyed in pas­tel shades. Lord Bern­ers, in­spi­ra­tion for Lord Mer­lin in Nancy Mit­ford’s The Pur­suit of Love, once in­vited an Arab stal­lion into the draw­ing room to be painted, although his pet gi­raffe re­mained out­doors. His Rolls-royce was cus­tom-fit­ted with a clavi­chord and when he com­mis­sioned a 145ft tower—far­ing­don Folly—he placed a sign at the en­trance read­ing: ‘Mem­bers of the public com­mit­ting sui­cide from this tower do so at their own risk.’ Sid­ney His­cox

Il­lus­tra­tions by Emma Mccall

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