Posted in Event

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 2011

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 2011, 3rd Place in pairs category, one half of 'This is better than gardening'.

Last month we were out for a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive in the New Forest National Park.   Although the area is familiar territory to us, we managed to get a little bit lost after taking a wrong turn down a narrow country lane.   Unfortunately, going ‘off piste’ in the middle of a National Park is never a good idea, petrol stations are few and far between.  Eventually we found civilisation and a garage, which was situated on the edge of the lovely little village of Bisterne.  Bisterne also happened to be hosting its Annual Scarecrow Festival.  Verges, greens and front gardens were strewn with tableaux vivants made-up of assorted straw/papier mâché figures wearing clothing sourced from attic trunks. Here are a selection of my photos from this year’s entrants.  


Entrant 'That's Another Fine Miss'. Winning the group category and becoming overall champion.
Entrant 'Ladies Day has gone GaGa!'. Winning 3rd place in the group category.
Entrant 'Rockers' by Bisterne Rock and Roll Club.

One of the exhibits from entrant 'Wind in the Willows' which won 2nd place in the group category.

The Festival began in 2002 and has gone from strength to strength with visitors coming from far and wide to experience the quirky happening.  This year the event ran from the 21st August until  the 4th September.  All proceeds from entrants’ fees and collection buckets are put to good use in the local community.  Proceeds are also put towards the restoration and upkeep of the Village Hall.

Bisterne Village Hall.

In Britain during the Middle Ages children were often employed to chase crows away from the farmer’s crops.  They would charge around the field banging blocks of wood together.   In 1348 the Black Death swept across Europe decimating the population and consequently the number of children dwindled dramatically.    Enterprising farmers came-up with an alternative,  they stuffed clothes with straw, used a turnip for a head and positioned these rudimentary ‘crowscarers’  in their crop fields.  This proved a highly successful solution.

Homage in papier mâché to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Bisterne Scarecrow Festival 2011.


Posted in Event, Museum

Tudor House & Garden Southampton Opens After Restoration And Refurbishment – Saturday 30th July

Tudor House and Gardens, Southampton, Hampshire

After being closed for nearly 10 years and the benefit of £3.5 million of Heritage Lottery Fund grants, the restoration and refurbishment of the Tudor House and Gardens in Southampton Hampshire, is finally complete.   This much-loved Museum re-opens its doors to the public this Saturday (30th).  The House has been one of Southampton’s most important and much-loved historic buildings, since its construction at the end of the 15th century. 

One of its many unique features is the symmetrical French ‘knot’ garden at the rear of the building.   Knot gardens were a popular addition to many fine houses,  palaces and country mansions during the Tudor period.  This style of garden tended to be quite small, rectangular, edged with box, lavender, rosemary, germander or similar evergreen, tamed into stunning patterns.  Gravel was often used to fill-in the gaps between the hedges.   The knot garden would have provided a charming spectacle, especially when viewed from above.  Garden designer Dr. Sylvia Landsberg re-planned the garden in the 1980s, to show what it may have looked like in the 1500s.

Karen Wardley, Collections Manager of Southampton City Council, discusses some of the hidden secrets revealed during the House’s restoration.  Click Here for AV slideshow.

Knot Garden Tudor House Southampton
Posted in Event, Vintage, Vintage Retail

Vintage Festival South Bank 29th-31st July

This weekend, as part of the ongoing celebrations on the South Bank London, a Vintage Festival is taking place.  The event promises music, film, fashion, art and design from the 1920s to 1980s.  Highlights include:

  • The Vintage Marketplace
  • Pop-up catwalk shows and ‘Best in Show’ parades
  • Daily decade-specific revue shows in the Royal Festival Hall auditorium
  • 10 night clubs including Vintage favourites the Torch Club, Let it Rock and Soul Casino, plus new clubs The Studio and The Penthouse
  • Themed restaurants and bars

Jo Wood and Pearl and Daisy Lowe will be storming the runway in exclusive catwalk shows.  If you want to enter into the spirit of the occasion, then why not treat yourself to one of the decade specific make-overs.  The only question is, which decade will you choose?  I’m a Victory roll and Make Do and Mend kind of girl, I’ll make mine the 1940s I think.  

Souvenir powder compact from the 1951 Festival of Britain