Sunday, 9 October 2011

A Review from a Customer (well, kind of)...



"Our October meeting was one of our biennial Ladies Lunches, to which we welcomed as our guest Rachel Duffield, who is one of the “Learning Team” at Gressenhall Rural Life Museum (and also my daughter, just to declare my interest at the outset of this report!). 

She vanished from the room during the after-lunch coffee, and, a few minutes later, we were intrigued to see the famous 19th century monarch appear, dressed only in her shift!  This was the start of a fascinating presentation in which she produced one by one all the layers of clothes and accoutrements Victoria would have worn in the mid-1860s while in mourning for Albert three years after his death.  As it was donned, each one had its own story wittily and informatively told, until there in front of us stood the veiled Widow of Windsor as portrayed in the well-known pictures. To finish off she paraded round among her subjects and graciously answered the many questions they had.

This portrayal of Victoria is a recent development of Rachel’s freelance work and builds on a similar demonstration of Good Queen Bess which a number of members and guests had previously seen. The making and assembly of the Victoria outfit has formed a summer-long project for Rachel and her mother, involving sweat, tears and frustration as well as faltering sewing machines, deciphering old patterns, scouring charity shops and delving into family collections of lace and jewellery! 

Much appreciation was expressed for an entertaining afternoon.  Next month’s guest is Chris Alcross telling us about Norfolk Wherries. 

Membership enquiries always welcome!  We meet at 12.15 for lunch around  12.45, followed by a speaker, on the first Thursday of every month at the Costessey Park Golf Club, off West End, Old Costessey. If you’re interested in what we do, please contact our Secretary, Dan Gentle on 01603 866441 or email

Chris Hurst"

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