Why I live where I live
from Mail on Sunday, 12 Jan 2003
Kenney Jones, 54, veteran drummer with the
Small Faces and The Who, was born in London's East End but now lives in
Ewhurst, Surrey. Owner of the Hurtwood Park Polo Club, he is as passionate
about the English countryside and horses as he is about rock music.
When I was growing up in Stepney, East
London, we could not afford holidays.
So, like many other Londoners, our summer
breaks were spent hop- picking in Kent.
For three months every year until I was 13,
my mum and I went off to Tudeley, a little village outside Tonbridge, and
picked hops in exchange for our board and a bit of cash.
That's how I learned to love the countryside.
My dad, a lorry driver, used to come to see
us at weekends.
When I was 14, my mate Steve Marriott, who
founded the Small Faces with me, took me to his friend's stables in Epping -
and that was when I got on a horse for the first time.
Eastenders who make good usually end up
buying a Jag and moving to Epping, Essex. But I ended up moving out to
Surrey. After going there a few times, I fell in love with the wonderful
rolling hills and the stretches of flat land in between. I call the area
around Guildford the Beverly Hills of London.
I started looking for houses in Country Life
magazine. My wife Jayne and I first moved to a village called Liagh, where
her parents had come from, and in 1987 we moved up the road to Ewhurst - to
a house with 70 acres of woodland.
Eventually, I bought 200 adjoining acres and
built the polo club.
I love polo. It's football on horses.
I'm too old to play much now, but I did turn
out with my son Jay to play against Prince Charles and Prince Harry's team
in a charity match for the Prince's Trust at Hurtwood Park last year.
I wouldn't want to leave this area. I can
never wait to get back to Ewhurst.