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Jane Austen Festival Promenade – Part Two

September 28, 2011

Promenaders in Royal Crescent

The promenaders arrived in Royal Crescent, and soon the whole place was full of Regency costumes.  If it wasn’t for the cars parked there, you could actually imagine yourself back in the Age of Elegance!

Crowded Royal Crescent


Scott and Joanna

Joanna, Aurora and friends

So many beautiful gowns, spencers, pelisses, and accessories, and it wasn’t just the ladies, even the gentlemen put on a show…

Although the weather was a bit cool and grey, the rain had held off, and we had actually seen a little bit of sunshine.  Then a few spots of rain turned into short, light showers, and umbrellas were required rather than parasols.

Most people had come to Bath equipped for the weather

An elegant lady and gentleman

After a while of walking, chatting, and watching the dancers (I was told that there was a different group of dancers this year, instead of Steps in Time, but I never got to see as there were far too many people…and I’m only little!), we began to wend our merry way back down the hill, via Gravel Walk.

It is usually when we get as far as Queen Square that people start breaking away to wander around town and do a bit of sight-seeing or shopping, as those with tickets head for the Guildhall for lunch.  Robert and I were with Scott and Joanna, and their friend Aurora, and they suggested going to a little place in Old King Street called Hall & Woodhouse ( http://www.hall-woodhousebath.co.uk ) for lunch.  And an excellent lunch it was, too!

We arrived at the Guildhall, and had our money ready to pay the £2 admittance, when the young lady asked if we had been in the Promenade earlier.  We replied that we had, and she let us in…no charge.  Bargain! 

A Guildhall chandelier

There was only one stall that I was desirous of seeing, and that was Nehelenia Patterns (www.neheleniapatterns.com ) as there was a spencer pattern that I wanted to buy.  I didn’t realise that Past Patterns were also going to be there, or I would have made sure I had more cash on me in case they had one that I wanted, too.  In fact, I totally forgot to peruse the items on display there!  😦

After leaving the Guildhall, we went with Scott and Jo to some vintage shops that they knew about…oh, boy! was I wishing for a BIG lottery or scratchcard win!!  So many beautiful items, including a fine corded Victorian child’s bonnet for £50! 

We were heading back up the hill with the intention of visiting the Fashion Museum, but a shortage of cash put paid to that idea for us…

Rummaging for NT cards

So, leaving Scott and Jo, we headed back down the hill.  As we emerged from a shopping mall opposite the Guildhall, we saw a couple of ladies in costume and got a photo of them…

Then we noticed the market…and decided to have a quick wander round.  Here we discovered more people in costume, and they seemed to be swarming around one stall in particular, so I had to go and investigate.  Pretty shiny things!!  Jewellery and tiaras…oh boy!  Again I wished for a big lottery or scratchcard win! 

It was here that we got talking to a couple of ladies in beautiful costumes, and I would have chatted forever had not Robert remined me that we had to get back to the car.  

We had parked in the cricket ground car park, and as we strolled across the bridge and along North Parade Road we were once again getting those quizzical looks from people.  🙂

Oh dear!  A brilliant day was about to go horribly wrong!  Robert had left the lights on and the battery was flat!  He had to find someone who could get us going, so jump-leads in hand he went in search.  One good samaritan tried to help, but it turned out those leads were next to useless!

A phonecall to Scott to find out if they had left Bath yet…no.  Phew!  They arrived and another attempt was made…still no joy.  Then someone came over with BIG jump-leads and ‘hey presto!’ the engine roared into life! 

We finally left Bath…but despite the weather, and this little incident…we had a brilliant day!!  😀

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2011 4:56 pm

    Its a goal of mine to finally get to the Jane Austen Festival…over past few years have been collecting little items to make up my outfit.
    It looks like a nice day from your blog.

    • September 28, 2011 10:34 pm

      On the whole, the festival week is usually a good one weather-wise, but this time it was cool with the odd shower. Brrr!
      Well, LadyD, you have plenty of time to make your outfit…see you there next year?

      • September 29, 2011 9:11 am

        I hope so even if its just for one day for the promenade.
        Trying to work out if its cheaper to stay in Bristol and travel in on train (might get a few odd looks from passengers. lol!) or stay in Bath but nearer the outskirts and walk in (I don’t drive).

      • November 21, 2011 12:03 pm

        I’m trying to decide whether to have short or longsleeves, pelisse or shawl.
        Drawn out a few designs….
        Probably gonna go for a turban, as if I make a bonnet I’ll not wear it again. But as long as I keep the scarfs whole I can just unpick stitching on the turban afterwards.

  2. September 29, 2011 8:22 am

    I have a feeling you are going to be very well prepared for next years event and will be the envy of many yourself!
    You have christmas and a birthday before then so get cracking and make a gift wish list for all those little must haves that you have done without so far : )

    • September 29, 2011 3:28 pm

      Thanks. I’m finding the bit at the time approach means I can get what I need when I see it rather than just having to take what is there at the time.
      Got my lacy gloves now. Still need to take apart cheap fan remove card and replace with nice lace. Also looking for a paisley shawl…but will go look down camden market for that.
      Going for a green & cream theme.

    • September 29, 2011 9:02 pm

      Anne, I now have more costumes to plan, as I am hoping that the Regency Festival in Horncastle in May is going to be a goer…as there is going to be a Wolds walk and picnic, a promenade round Horncastle, a ball, and various other events like talks, etc.

    • November 21, 2011 1:01 pm

      After this years cool wet weather, I’m of the opinion that a mixed Regency wardrobe is essential! Shawl, spencer, and pelisse! Lightweight dress and thicker cotton. Dainty pumps and sturdier boots or shoes. And of course fans, parasols AND umbrellas!

      As for headwear…hats, bonnets and turbans!

  3. September 29, 2011 2:10 pm

    Quite a few people arrive in costume on the bus or train, from Bristol, Cardiff and so on, so where ever you stayed, you’d be bound to meet with fellow promenaders.

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