In 1970s, Bessingham Manor was bought by Robert Gamble, a WWII fighter pilot and his glamourous Swedish wife, Mary. They lavishly decorated the manor, introducing beauty and splendor into the grand building. Serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces had required Robert to train pilots in the Middle East.
Mary was an artist, under the name Mary l’Anson, she held local exhibitions of her paintings. She also played the organ, this was one of her favourite things to entertain guests. Mary died in 1980 and Robert became increasingly eccentric in his grief. He left their home exactly how it had been whilst his wife was alive, keeping each room as it had been and losing any real interest in maintaining the house. A poor quality roof repair which failed, led to significant water damage to part of the house which in time caused the partial collapse of the second floor.