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A Grand Day Out

October 23, 2010

Myself and Rachel in Royal Crescent


22/09/2009 18:45:42

The weekend was fast approaching, and I was sewing for dear life trying to get my costume finished! Cuffs of spencer to hem, lining to finish off, trim for bonnet to hide the shaft and wires of the feathers…and a reticule to make! Will I ever get finished in time?

Friday morning was a packing frenzy, trying not to forget anything…costume, sewing stuff, camera and charger among the usual stuff. Off we set, calling in at Asda, then Pennells Garden Centre to pick up Robert’s mum.

One quick stop at services, and just over four hours later we were in Trowbridge. That evening I managed to finish my bonnet, abandoned the lace around the neckline of the spencer idea that I’d decided on, and began running up a reticule….which was also abandoned due to lack of time to finish it.

Saturday morning, ran iron over costume and got ready. We walked down to Karen’s, as she had offered to take us to Bath, and I was getting funny looks from motorists and passers-by. In the car, on the way, I realised that I had left my fan on the table…oh, poo!! Never mind.

Park car in multi-storey…head for Abbey Churchyard. Again, funny looks from people. They obviously have no idea what is going on! I love it!!

Promenaders meeting outside the Pump Room

We arrived to find people in costume already milling about, and an announcement from John White, the MC, told us that the Promenade would begin at eleven…I thought it was supposed to be eleven-thirty! Anyway, I went in search of Rachel, Eileen and Natalia, and found Eileen sitting on a bench near the Abbey, and then we found Rachel and Natalia. Lots of hugging ensued, as this was the first time we’d all met up together.

While we were standing around chatting, one little person caught our attention. (When I say ‘little’, I mean
little…one year old Braden Sullenberger from Pennsylvania, USA, was dressed in costume, just like his parents, Lisa and Greg.) He looked so sweet, as he stood there while people came and took photos of him.

The Promenade began, and it felt strange being stared at by so many people who were crowding either side of the exit from the Abbey Churchyard onto Stall Street. Maybe they should set up barriers around this area, as we were stopped, after parading around The Colonnades/Bath Street and back round to Stall Street via Beau Street. Robert told me later that the tail-enders hadn’t even left the Abbey Churchyard as we made our way back up…I bet they weren’t expecting that!

Heading up Milsom Street, we turned right onto George Street and headed for the crossing, where a nice red-coat was holding up the traffic for us. One impatient motorist began tooting his horn, so I said we should all slow down, but the nice soldier let the traffic go.

This year, instead of taking the High Pavement to Gay Street and thence to The Circus, we went straight up a little lane to Alfred Street and joined the queue for the official count for the Guinness World Record attempt at the largest gathering of people in Regency costume:

Rachel and I are not in that picture, as it shows the other side of the ballroom! How dare they!! We were near the
fireplace on the right of the double doors, not the left…oh, well…!

Outside, Robert, Eileen and Natalia were waiting for us, expecting us to leave by the back door like everyone
else…but we had gone back to the bookshop to look at all those lovely costume books, so left by the front door. We were going to sneak up on them, but Natalia caught sight of Rachel’s pink dress and called her the Pink Panther.

On to the Royal Crescent via The Circus, where we found everyone lining the railings…all the way round. What a sight! It turned out that this was for a souvenir panoramic photograph, and the photographer and a cameraman were down on the grass. The other side of the ha-ha more photographers were clicking away, so some people stayed

Rachel, Natalia, and myself in the Royal Crescent

where they were, even after the official guys had left.

From the Royal Crescent, we headed down the Gravel Walk, and welcome shade, and on to Queen Square where a catering tent, stalls and entertainment had been laid on. Here, I took my Promenade ticket and collected my ‘Jane Austen Goody Bag’…containing a key ring, bent bookmark and a bottle of water…! Oh, joy!!

Promenading in the Royal Crescent


By this time, my feet were killing me, but it had all been worth it! I’d had a brilliant time, the weather had been
perfect and I’d finally met three wonderful friends…Eileen, Rachel and Natalia. Thank you for making it such a memorable day…XXX

Queen Square

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