Last tour day today. We headed to Windsor Castle and although we made good time there were many tour groups in line before us and with the strict enter procedure it took a good twenty minutes before we gained entry. Glad we were not general public paying today as the queen was due back this pm and the palace closed at 12.00. We had a quick group photo before entry in and on advice from one of the guards saw the dolls house first well worth seeing. We then had an express tour thru the bulk of the castle and thanks to some serious pretty work from Trisha and David our tour guide we were allowed under the rope to view the casket up close. The palace guard turned the casket for us so all sides could be viewed which was brilliant. We had a speedy trip thru the rest of the castle and Cheryl adopted a corgi on the way out. We had an informative tour on the bus thru London getting to the Museum of London for our final casket viewing. Unfortunately for them living up to the Windsor casket was never going to happening but the curator had pulled some great samplers, an amazing nightcap, frog and walnut purse. He was very informative and loves his job. We wandered thru the remainder of the museum and took the bus back to the hotel with another informative tour. As Tricia wanted to download our photos spent some time chatting with her and other tour members before facing the horrendous packing task. A few sacrifices had to be made eg Maree's kilt but we won the battle. On the whole a fantastic trip and we look forward to boring you all with the details soon. As we check out in the morning this is our last blog post for this holiday. Hope you have ever enjoyed out travels. See you all soon.
Thursday, 22 October 2015
Today we headed to the storage facility of the Victoria and Albert The Clothworkers Center but as we were group 2 we had an aimless walk round for an hour then we were able to enter. It was hard core and we needed to sign in and show photo ID then we got a wrist band. On display here there were 6 caskets and they were some of the best we have seen. One even had a garden set under the lid. There were some smalls a swan a bag and some gorgeous wee boxes with a spiral or nue pattern. The curator had also pulled some other pieces including a septacular whitework sampler. It was a truly amazing hour. It was then onto Hand and Lock where we had another hour to kill so we had a quick trip to Liberty and then ate our sandwiches in an alley, classy! Hand and Lock was very interesting and they showed us the military badge side of things and then the design room. The head designer then spoke to us about gold work embroidery and although we didn't learn anything new was good to hear. He had a large box of purls that's Maree was jealous of. Then we went to the shop where we bought some reject samples. It was then back to the hotel where we took a quick trip to the V and A gift shop back to hotel to change shoes and off to Dressed by Angels. A lack of street signs meant Maree asked some nice police men for directions. Luckily as we got closer there were signs or we would never of found it. We were 10 min early but we're allowed in and we then discovered we were the only ones there....
It was an amazing exhibition featuring costumes from film TV and the stage. Ever turn bought up something amazing, highlights included Aiden Turner's Poldark uniform, a dress from the Young Victoria and dresses from Elizabeth 1. It was an amazing collection brilliantly set out and more folks should be going. Only one day to go....
Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Today our Tour Guides decided that due to some traffic issues we would leave 15 mins early so of course there was no traffic and we arrived at the Ashmolean way early and as is was raining we just waited to go inside. Had a wander around till it was our turn to enter the learning room. Today we saw 2 caskets, a sampler a small white needle weaving pic 3 pictures and a frog small. A great mix, well set out and all from the Feller Collection. After this the weather had fined up so we went for a last walk round Oxford. We stumbled upon Balliol college which was open - very stunning gardens so worth the trip. A final look at All Souls and it was on the bus to see Whitney Antiques. A shop that is over 3 rooms all crammed with antique samplers and pictures - bit out of our price range so left with nothing. On the trip home saw road kill deer - hitting that must of upset someone's day! This bus ride saw us get another kit this time to make a pansy out of braid. Due to worries about traffic wd had a comfort stop before hitting London so of course there was no traffic! London hotel is very nice but very small no real space for cases so one is jammed under the desk!
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
Sorry guys but Cheryl is writing the blog tonight! Today started early as we were going to Bath. At breakfast we discovered the bed situation seemed to be universal. We were luckier than some as our beds were at least singles. Anyway onto Bath and the Holburn museum we were group one and got to see one casket a large tent stitch picture, two 1920 pieces and lots of beaded bags. After our alloted time we walked around the museum while we waited for out guide to bring our museum of fashion tickets. It was a long wait as she had to go to the museum and not the Roman baths like she thought
Once we had them off to the Roman Baths where every school child on Bath was there not great for the express visit but we got through! Tasted the water did not do much for us obviously did not drink enough! The abbey was beautiful as once again Maree made a friend who wanted to talk about the church, again not great for the express visit. Pasties for lunch and then to the museum of fashion for our next group session this involved five pairs of gloves, two jackets, night cap a pocket and a piece of blackwork. Went thru the museum and had a spot of fun dressing up as Victorians but Maree was way too little for the costumes. Still fun though. Had a walk around the circus and saw the Royal Crescent which was made cooler by the fact a hot air balloon took off behind the crescent and flew over us. We waited for the bus to come back for thirty five minutes evidently he got stuck in traffic! Anyway last day on the bus tomorrow and back to London but first off to the Ashmolean.
Monday, 19 October 2015
Today has been a long day of travel. We left York and headed for Port Sunshine, a created model village outside of Liverpool. It was built by Lord Lever to house the workforce for Sunlight soap and is an amazing place with 900 grade 2 listed buildings - don't panic we didn't photograph them all. They got nearly 30 different architects so the buildings are an interesting mix. The reason for this diversion was to visit the Lady Lever Gallery, an added bonus for us was they house a Pre Raphaelite collection so Maree got to see The Scapegoat and Cheryl a collection of Burne Jones paintings. There are about 6 embroideries stuck in a dark corner of one room so viewing these was a challenge but we both got a good look. We then had behind the scenes with 3 caskets 6 pictures a bible and a small oval box. One of the pictures was amazing and Maree took way too many pics of it. Grover start worrying about what will be needed! Tricia then presented us all with a mixed blessing of a book of embroideries from the Lady Lever, it's nearly an inch thick just what we needed! Back on the bus for the next long drive to Oxford. Got to hotel and here the day gets interesting. The hotel doesn't have a lift we are on the second floor to get to room we walk down a long corridor turn left down another long corridor out a fire door and up some stairs feels like boarding school. On entering the room found the twin beds pushed together so a wee rearrangement of furniture was needed. To say it is a 4 star is stretching things. We headed to the bar to get dinner and sat with some people on the tour who after looking slightly sour at us asked if we were on tour, like you can miss Maree's hair! We then headed back to the room to find only 1 suitcase had made it up so had to find tour leader and get that sorted. Tomorrow must go better, off to Bath.
Sunday, 18 October 2015
Today dawned a tad damp we off we headed to find the location of our class and talk. We got a tad lost found the group who had come by coach and the tour leader then got us more lost. But in the end we found it. Tricia had put together a great wee project to make a peacock! We got some of 1 feather done.... Mary Brooks then spoke to us about 17th embroidery the women who stitched it and the possible reasons they stitched what they did. A very interesting talk and was interesting to learn how many pre drawn patterns were about. We then headed to the Jorvick Viking Centre hoping to book late afternoon tix but as this was too difficult we queued and went in. A very well set up place and we got a capsule to our selves to view the town. It was very well done sometimes you forget the figures are fake but the smell part of the ride stays with you for a long time.... never fear the guide book carries the fragrance. We then headed off to find The Imaginarium a shop Maree wanted to visit and though small was fantastic the staff were friendly and there were many great things to purchase but space and breakability were considered so not much was purchased. Next on the list was York Minster an amazing building but undergoing some refurbishment so some of the stained glass was not visible. We climbed the tower 257 more steps - so over steps but some good views. Back to the pastie shop for some food and then we once again struggled to find our way round but stumbled across some cool buildings. Then back to hotel to attempt to pack as off to Oxford via Liverpool tomorrow.