It’s been a busy few months…

Since last writing something all the way back in August we’ve had some busy Costume Days, preparing for Halloween, the Christmas craft fair and even having a few days of holiday and life in the real world!

Halloween was rather crazy and very very busy. The plague came again to Trerice but this time it opened a portal to the Underworld and unleashed characters from Cornish folklore. There were lots of screams heard in the house, so goal achieved! There were about 400 people through in the first hour which must be a record for the place – I’ve never seen such queues! Thanks for everyone’s patience.

Halloween took place on the last weekend of the season, and we’ve now moved to winter opening at weekends only. As part of this a craft fair with items made by volunteers and staff at Trerice has been organised in November. In anticipation of this we started making dolls, generally inspired by our Tudor costumes, and made from the bags and bags of scrap material left over from making full-size outfits.

In addition to that we’ve made Tudor hats – Henry VII and Henry VIII styles – as well as French hoods, and Christmas decorations from used cotton reels (we’ve got through a lot this year!), ribbon and beads.

Next up is helping with decorations and things for Christmas needed for the first weekend in December. Then there’s always the ‘big list’ of items for next year to be going on with.

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I said we could dress anyone…

Another busy costume day and luckily the forecast rain stayed away. We had a lovely lot of visitors in, of all ages. We found an outfit for everyone, including someone with their arm in a sling, and even a teddy bear got the Tudor treatment (which was a first!) Unfortunately there were a couple of people who came late, when we were packing up, but hopefully they'll come back next week, as the wardrobe doors will be open again next Monday 11-1 and 2-4. For now, it's time to put our feet up!

First costume day of the summer holidays

Yesterday was an enjoyable costume day, relatively busy with steady numbers, and not too crazy. It was great to gave some new volunteers giving a hand and to be able to show them what we do. It's certainly true – the more the merrier – it's nice to be have time for a cuppa and keep up with demand from visitors. Hopefully we haven't scared them off!

Again, we had some lovely comments from visitors:

'Amazing. A real laugh and made me stand up taller…'

'Wonderful – great work to create the collection. Great fun had by all, many thanks!'

'I liked feeling like I'm really important.'

'…Thank you for volunteering your time for families to have a lovely experience making memories.'

We also used the occasion to showcase some of the work we've been doing in recent weeks, including the wall hanging inspired by the knot garden and Tudor-dressed rag dolls made from scraps, or cabbage, left over from making our full-sized outfits.

The doll in the blue and red uses up scraps from a similar outfit made for school groups, which is loosely based on a portrait of Mary FitzAlan, step-daughter of Mary Arundell of Lanherne.


The pattern for this doll comes from The Tudor Child, and the clothes are enlarged versions of patterns in the book. Each layer of clothing can be removed. The outfit is made up of a smock, petticoat, kirtle, gown, fore-sleeves, partlet, French hood and girdle.


The other two dolls were more informally made, more guess work than with a pattern. Each has various layers, which are also removable. The Elizabethan gent wears doublet and trunkhose, with a jerkin, ruff, cloak, shoes and a tall hat. Underneath he has hose and a shirt.

The Elizabethan lady wears a smock, stays, bum roll and farthingale, with a kirtle and partlet with a ruff over the top. On top of this is a gown with hanging sleeves. She has black velvet cap decorated with gold and pearl beads, and also has black velvet shoes over stockings tied up with ribbon garters. (She's gained facial features since this photo was taken)

Another busy week…

We’re looking forward to seeing the new wall hanging in Reception. Hopefully it will be on the wall soon.

 
Final adjustments were made to the Poldark-esque clothes for the murder mystery that took place on Saturday night, and we got ready for the second May Bank Holiday Costume Day.

                                                                               ~~~~~~
Today we had another Costume Day, which turned out to be a record breaker for us – 165 visitors dressed in 4 hours. Time to put our feet up for a bit! 

                A few of the visitors’ comments:

“A fantastic experience that was entertaining and informative. A huge thank you to all involved”.

         “Great idea! My 2 yr old didn’t want to take it off!”

“Amazing costumes. Came back twice! A great experience. Thank you”.

          “A lovely, fun and informative activity. We all enjoyed dressing up in the beautiful costumes. Thank you!”

May Day costume day

Today was a lot quieter than Easter Monday, which was just as well, since I wasn’t the only one suffering from a cold among the volunteers. It was also raining for most of the day, but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits. We had some lovely visitors stop by. Some even left a photo or two on the NT and NT Trerice Facebook sites which were lovely to see.

Hopefully the costume day at the end of the month will be a little less wet.

Now off to dig out the dancing shoes and hire a minstrel to practise for a school visit next week.

Easter Monday costume day

Today was the first costume day of 2017. It lived up to our expectations of a busy day, with over 500 visitors, a 120 of whom dressed up. Apparently this was actually relatively quiet because since Thursday there’s been (possibly) a record 700+ visitors each day, with more than 980 (!) on Good Friday, which is probably a record for Trerice.

Anyway, we had some lovely visitors today who were willing to dress up, and we even managed to persuade some less so, but everyone appeared to have a good time. New outfits got tried out, and proved mostly successful; I think there might even be one still untested, which will have to wait for next time, in a fortnight on Monday 1 May. 

Now back to the workroom for repairs and alterations, and to see what we can come up with next. 

First Costume Day of 2017 approaches! 

The first Costume Day of 2017 is on Easter Monday, 17 April. 

The other dates for this year’s costume days are: 

  • 1 May, Bank Holiday Monday
  • 29 May, Bank Holiday Monday
  • Monday 29 July
  • Manday 7 August
  • Monday 14 August
  • Monday 21 August
  • Monday 28 August

We have a few new items already for this year, with some more in the pipeline, including dresses for 3 year old and 5 year old girls. 

Winter project continued

The wall hanging is finished! After just over 4 months of work. 


The window was finished off with piping inside the grey material – it now has a certain wonky charm. 


The gables were picked out in brown wool, with lucetted cord for the details. The top windows are woven panels.


The whole thing was put onto blue wool background to make it easier to hang. Blue back lining for extra firmness and thickness, since it’s supposed to deaden sound in reception. It’s attached to the wall with a strip of Velcro at the top on the back and stick on velcro on a batten fixed to the wall. We wait to see if it’s still up next week or a mess on the floor!