Old gnomes, old games and Victorian shenanigans are on the menu at Woodlands Estate this week.
Gordonton’s Victorian homestead is hosting the inaugural Pioneer Fundays – an extravaganza of 19th Century delights and goings-on. Vintage machinery, games and pioneer refreshments will be on offer over the three days, and a new garden trail laid out to preambulate along.
Calls for garden gnomes have been answered and some of these little chaps and chappesses will be lurking in unusual places throughout the estate.
In addition, it will be the first outing of Lord & Lady Black’s Victorian Amusements – aka Annette Taylor (some relationship to the Annette who runs Number 8 Network) and husband David Riddell. Performers with Freelunch Street Theatre, the pair have created a special act for the Woodlands’ event, and promise it will be invigorating.
“And possibly prevent stagnation of the liver, or some other organ,” says Annette.
In addition to Spillikins (Pick-Up-Sticks, only more fun) and Skippity Rope, there will be a chance for young and old to try their hand at Empire Quoits – the game that could be the rage of the Dominion.
“To our knowledge this is the first quoits game ever inspired by the Union Jack. The aim is to throw a rope ring over a hob, mott or pin. It became very popular and competitive in the 19th century, and official rules were drawn up in 1881, by a body formed from pubs in Northern England. We won’t be referring to these, at all.”
Graeme Cairns of McGillicuddy Street Theatre will be performing his show Grave Era, a guided tour around a ‘Victorian cemetery’. Performances will be daily from 10 – 11am, 11.30am – 12.30pm and 1 – 2pm. “It will uncover the unusual lives and even more unusual deaths of six quirky personalities from that era.” Expect the unexpected, he says.
- The Woodlands Pioneer Fundays hit Gordonton this Tuesday 18 – Thursday 20 July, 10am to 2pm. For further information phone 07 824 3687 or email the office. See you there!
Number 8 Network’s Annette hangs out with Woodland’s Kate Wilson, left, and Kirstie Alley, middle.