Late last spring I visited John Michael GIbson at his home in Angmering to sort through 110 boxes of book, papers and correspondence of the late Michael Harrison (d. 1991). On the Sunday prior to my departure, John, his wife Brienne and I traveled to the Churchyard cemetery in Brightling to find the grave of Michael Harrison — unsuccessfully I might add, and tramped though the cemetery in the rain for longer than we cared to. Siimultaneously the Queen was sailing down the Thames with a substanital flotilla in the rain. We also visited Brian Pugh in Crowborough to view view Arthur Conan Doyle’s home there, which has been convert to a Home for Long Term care of the elederly. John and I were very impressed with the life size statue of ACD on a pedestal on a downtown corner, located outside a public house wehre everybody was watching the Queen.
We also planned to visit Rudyard Kipling’s home in Burwash, just north of the cemetery, but did not, because of the latest of the hour, and we didn’t want to keep Brian waiting. Kipling’s Home has been presersed as a Museum by the National Trust. It is on my list of places to visit on my t=next trip to England. And here comes the reason for this post: —
In a conversation with my friend John Robert Colombo recently he recounts that he toured Bateman’s with his wife Ruth on a trip through the south of England by car a couple of years ago now. In an alcove behind Kipling’s study he saw a substantial object — an eightsided, Canadian Nickle. John is always on the lookout for anything Canadian, and he iinquired from whence it had come. The curator did not know; John was unable to handle it to learn whether it was made of wood, or nickel. John did and does not know! I do not know, and certainly Michael Harrison no longer knows. Does any reader of this blog, or facebook friend know? Certainly the Canadian nickle is no longer made with nickel, but that’s another story.
If I were to venture a out-of-the-blue guess: Kipling received this as a gift, perhaps from the International Nickle Cmpany on one of his visits to Canada as a thank you for an appearance, speech or dinner engagement. Google and the internet have not been helpul on this occasion. But then, does it really matter. Of course not.