Visit to a Hindu Temple & Syon House (1996)

Having settled down from our tours of Elveden Forest and the Welsh countryside, Ron and Maureen took me to view the Hindu Mandir Temple in Neasden. It is a magnificent structure, and stands majestically against the skyline. No steel was used in the building, the principal materials were tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and tonnes of Italian marble.

London Temple

Most of the framing of the temple was done in India, and shipped to London for assembling, and within three years the whole building was erected like a giant jigsaw.

Apart from the photographs of this building (on opposite page), here are some of the comments made by leading London newspapers:-

  • "Gateway to Heaven" - Sunday Times.
  • "It is hallucinatory, a cathedral of our time." The Guardian.

The temple is on several levels, and loaded with intricate carvings. We had to remove our shoes before entering, and it took 11/2 hours to view this magnificent building.

The time for returning to Canada was fast approaching, so on the following day, we took a tour of 'Syon House'. This stately home of the Duke of Northumberland is a great tourist attraction. It is in Brentford, Middlesex, not far from Ron and Maureen's home, and just across the river Thames, from Kew Gardens.

800px Syon House West Aspect

Syon House has to be seen to be believed.... It has 55 acres of parkland, which is nothing short of a gardeners paradise. The Rose garden, (6 acres) is a wonderful display of exotic horticulture.

There are many special events ever month such as Classic Car Rallies, Antique Fairs, Flower Shows, Craft Shows, a Motor Museum, a Health Food Shop, an Art Gallery etc. etc. After looking through this stately home, viewing the lavish furnishings, and pictures of the various members of this noble house, we went to visit the Butterfly House', which is really a part of Syon House.

800px Syon House Conservatory London

This was an exciting experience inside a large, undercover tropical garden, set with pools of water cascades, and filled with colourful flowers and hundreds of free-flying butterflies. At any time of the year, in any weather, it is possible to observe butterflies from all over the world, going about their daily business of flying, feeding, courting, laying eggs, or simply basking in the sun from the glass topped enclosure of their home. Facilities at the Butterfly House include a separate display of exotic insects and spiders, and a gift shop. It is open all year round except on Christmas Day.

Rapidly running out of time in which to enjoy my UK holiday, Maureen and I were taken to the Wembley Town Hall by our friend Lynn Williams, and we enjoyed a delightful 2 hour spell of dancing. Our friend also returned us home around 5p.m. that evening, Wednesday, 4th September.

The rest of the week was spent getting ready to return to Canada, so I concentrated on packing my suitcase, and making sure that all preparations were carefully made.

And so, after a glorious holiday of two months with my family in England, I once more left for home in Canada, with Maureen and Ron seeing me safely enplaned on Sunday, September 8th 1996.

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