Saturday, 29 September 2012

Mind The Gap

I've had some lovely visits to WIs and groups in my monarchical guises. One of the many things I love about my work is that often, audiences share delightful snippets of information with me which I am able to use in talks later on.

North Elmham Wives club welcomed me recently, as Queen Elizabeth 1st, to their tiny but picturesquely located village hall. One lady told me she had worked at what is now my place of work, Gressenhall Museum, in the 1950s. Then, it was a 'Home for the Elderly'. Before that it had been a much-feared Workhouse or 'House of Industry' ever since it was built in  1774.

Because my talks are costume-based, knickers tend to form a good proportion of the discussions. Having established that as far as anyone knows, Queen Elizabeth 1st didn't wear any, the conversation moved on to the underwear of my other Queen: Victoria. I was describing the large bloomers worn by QV, with their two seperate legs attached to a drawstring around the waist (hence the terms 'drawers' and a 'pair' of knickers), when I was suddenly interrupted.

"Oh, I know what you mean!"exclaimed the lady from Gressenhall, "an old lady at the Home used to still wear them in the 1950s. She called them her 'Wide-Open Wednesdays'!!"

And there was I thinking Wednesday was for Early Closing...

'Wide Open Wednesdays' has now been included, with great success, in all subsequent QueenieLives talks.

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