period costume

A little something extra

A theatre in miniature

A theatre in miniature

I don’t suppose you were expecting this, and neither was I really!  My visit to Preston Park Museum was a series of lovely surprises.  I turned a corner to be greeted by a sign demanding CREATE!  Well, it’s not one of my strong suites, but I was quite happy to look.

Apparently Cleveland College of Art and Design had done some work for the reopening of the museum, and examples of this are on display.  A theatre made of cardboard cut outs was the chief exhibit.  My photos don’t do it justice but I thought it was enchanting.

The leading lady?

The leading lady?

Supporting act

Supporting act!

The full cast

The full ensemble

Aside from the theatre, there was costume, millinery and pure quirkiness on show.  Creative, for sure.  It made me want to see more of the students work.

A distinguished gentleman looks on

Feathers and curls!

The devil is in the detail

The devil is in the detail?

And lastly, six costumes designed for the Victorian Street.

Appropriately dressed for a trip to the ironmongers

Appropriately dressed for a trip to the Ironmongers

If you saw Gracious living, Victorian style earlier this week you’ll know how much I loved the museum.  My next destination will be the Victorian Street.  Hopefully it won’t disappoint.  I’ve already been asked if there will be cake.  What self-respecting Victorian Street doesn’t have cake?

To the Manor born


Thrumpton Hall, just south of Nottingham, returned to it’s glory days last weekend, when my daughter Lisa married Leonardo Lopez Wain.  I should have known that there was a Byron connection.  A more romantic setting it would be hard to imagine.  And indeed, a former owner of the Hall, Frederick the 10th Baron Byron, was married to Lady Anna Fitzroy, sister of the 10th Duke of Grafton, and a direct descendant of King Charles II.

An engraving of Thrumpton Hall by Wencelas Hollar in the 1600s

An engraving of Thrumpton Hall by Wencelas Hollar, 1600s (Creative Commons)

The Cavaliers would have felt quite at home at last Saturday’s reception.  My daughter loves period costume and the wedding guests were invited to indulge in the same.  Many of her friends are role players and were delighted to partake.  As one of the guests remarked to me “I just love dressing up, don’t you?”  I had to confess that it was my first time, but that, yes, it did feel good.

I had already survived the drama of arriving at the wrong church just 15 minutes before the ceremony was due to begin, and a panic stricken scurry through country lanes to collapse into my seat a bare 5 minutes before the bride.  My reading from Song of Solomon was delivered with an impassioned throb in my voice and knocking knees as I struggled to find my place in the bible.  After that, everything felt good.

The Hall was magnificent.  We gathered in the library, around an open fire.  The books and the furniture were from a bygone age.  The reception rooms were lavish, and the Jacobean cantilevered staircase, carved in wood from the estate, an object of real beauty.  The guests mingled as good guests should.  The atmosphere was as warm as the fire.

All too soon it was over, and Lisa and Leo stepped briefly out of character to fly BA to their honeymoon in Venice.  Costumes donned again, they were off to Carnaval and a masked ball.  May they always be as happy as they are today.

To see the dress and bouquet in more detail, please visit my Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post : On going.  You can click on any of these individual photos to see them in gallery form.  Happy Valentine’s Day everybody.