Volunteers, local traders and local groups bring an Edwardian Christmas to life at Kiplin Hall
December 1913, the last Christmas before the outbreak of the First World War. King George V was on the throne, but the gaiety of the reign of his father, Edward VII continued. As people danced to music and songs on their new gramophones, shopped for toys and other Christmas gifts, prepared plum puddings and Christmas decorations, no-one conceived that the next Christmas would be anything but the same.
In 1955 the Manchester Guardian looked back and questioned, was “1913 the merriest Christmas in memory”? The ‘veterans’ they asked recalled that “The standards of 1913 will take some reaching”. The article went on to discuss advertisements for cook-generals, parlour-maids, lady companions, valets, wines and spirits and recipes for oysters. Gifts for gentlemen, ladies and servants and toys for children were advertised in shopping guides – ideas from Gamages in London filled 500 pages in their catalogue.
This year, volunteers and local groups are adopting this style of opulence and plenty to decorate the rooms of historic Kiplin Hall. This brings to a conclusion the theme of this year’s exhibition, Kiplin Hall in Times of War, which commemorates the role of the house, its owners and local people in wars from the Civil War to the Second World War.
Real Christmas trees, fresh greenery and flowers will be used to adorn the rooms in the style of 1913, when the house was owned by Sarah Turnor. She had inherited it from her father, Admiral Carpenter, in 1904.
Local craftspeople and traders will have stalls at the Christmas Gift Fair in the Maryland Study Centre, offering cards, festive foods, tatting and lace knitting, sewing and crafts, sculpture, prints and paintings, silk handbags, jewellery, original artwork, hand painted china, walking sticks, bone handled cutlery and more. A relaxed and pleasant way to shop for original presents.
Christmas lunches and other festive treats will be served in the award-winning Tea Room, and if the weather is fine enjoy a winter stroll in the gardens.
An Edwardian Christmas takes place at Kiplin Hall, near Scorton, Richmond, DL10 6AT (off the B6271 Scorton – Northallerton road). The Hall, Tea Room and Gift Fair are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 28th November – 30th November, and 5th – 7th December, from 10am – 4pm. Admission to the Hall and decorations: Adult £8, Concession £7, Child £4 and Family (2+3) £23. Admission to the Gift Fair and Tea Room is free.