Saturday, 15 December 2012

Loving 'em at Lavenham

                                the place to go to see pictures of the gorgeous Lavenham Guildhall, where I performed as Queen Elizabeth I for the Lavenham Society's Christmas get-together last week in Suffolk.

The building is a most picturesque Tudor hall situated in an equally picturesque Tudor market place, which also happened to feature in the Harry Potter films recently. When I arrived, it was after an hour and a half's drive through freezing fog and a long, cold day doing Victorian Christmas at Gressenhall. But I was instantly cheered by the sight of the Guildhall, which looked like an eccentric iced cake in the frosty square, sugar-tipped by white Christmas lights. Absolutely beautiful.

I was further warmed by the welcome I received from Lavenham Society members. This ancient building was cosy and well heated, so I did not have to endure the near-freezing village-hall toilet conditions I've come to expect as I got changed to give my talk. Who would have thought that a timber-framed building built in the 1530s would be so much warmer than a brick one built in the 1950s!!

After my talk- which, gratifyingly, the audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy- I was treated to delicious nibbles and a glass of wine. What a lovely evening, and a splendid way to round off the year.

My final talk for 2012 will be Queen Elizabeth I again, at Abbey Hall in Wymondham.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Award Winners Visit the Palace!

The Gressenhall Learning Team had a very proud day when we went to Blenheim Palace last Wednesday to receive the Sandford Award for our 'Outstanding Contribution to Heritage Education'.

"The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles.

More than 350 sites - including historic houses, museums, galleries, places of worship, gardens, landscapes and collections – have received an Award since the scheme began in 1978. They include Hampton Court Palace, Brunel’s ss Great Britain in Bristol, Fota Wildlife Park in Eire, Edinburgh Castle, and Big Pit - the National Mining Museum of Wales.

The Sandford Award represents a broad spectrum of heritage sector partners who recognise the importance of the continuing programme of quality assessment that they provide. English Heritage is our principal funder, and the Historic Houses Association also supports our work. Historic Royal Palaces, The National Trust, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland, The Royal Armouries and National Museums in England, Wales and Ireland all submit their properties for assessment, alongside local authorities, independent trusts and private owners.

The Awards focus on formal, curriculum-linked education opportunities offered to schools by heritage sites, although recognition is also made of informal learning such as family programmes."