Finery at Falstone

Last night we presented a ‘Tudor Talk’ for the Women’s Institute as part of their annual meeting.

The venue was Falstone Village Hall situated near Kielder in Northumberland.  The hall is a spacious and attractive building located in the centre of the village next to the pretty church.

Our talk included a brief introduction and a display of four costumed mannequins complete with headdresses, jewellery and fans.

Costumes included an Orange Silk Masquerade Gown which I removed  to reveal the foundations for 16th Century Clothes – a corset inspired by underwear worn by Elizabeth I, a Chemise, a Bumroll and a Spanish Farthingale. Also on display was a Blue Silk Anne Boleyn Gown, an Opulent Gold Elizabeth I Dress with elaborate ruff and a costume inspired by garments worn by Mary Queen of Scots for her execution at Fotheringay Castle in 1587 when Mary was just 42 years old.

I also presented a brief history of each historical character and a talk about the design/construction and inspiration for my costumes.

I mustn’t forget the Star of the Show King Henry VIII who made a very grand entrance indeed.  This infamous character is always well received by the ladies – I am not surprised he had six wives!

After the talk we presented a question and answer session which everyone really enjoyed.

This was followed by a sumptuous supper to which we kindly invited. The supper included mouth-watering WI specialities such as Victoria Sponge and home-made biscuits washed down by a lovely cup of fresh brewed tea.

It was also lovely to chat to an old friend who is a member of the WI.

The ladies at the WI made us extremely welcome and it was a pleasure to present our talk for such a lovely group. I would like to thank all the ladies particularly – Carol and Irene – for all their help in making the evening such a success.

I have just received a the comment below from Veronica –

Just to say how much I enjoyed your talk at Falstone WI yesterday, tudor elizabethan costume has long been a favourite of mine’.

and also from Irene who is the Secretary of North Tyne WI

‘ A big thank you to you and ‘King Henry’ for coming to our WI in Falstone last night and giving us such an entertaining evening!   Desire to see your beautiful costumes pulled in a great many more of our members than normal, and it was a delight to hear you tell us all about them. As you can imagine a great many of our ladies are interested in arts and crafts and to see your wonderful Tudor costumes up close and personal was a joy.   You have put so much work into them and they are indeed a work of art.   I hope you both enjoyed your evening as much as we did and we shall have no hesitation at all in recommending you to other WI’s!   It’s just the sort of evening we love!

Maggie sent me an email she wrote ‘Just to say how much we enjoyed the Falstone talk and hearing about the background to researching, designing and making the lovely Tudor costumes – a really entertaining evening!

Thank you very much for your kind comments, they are greatly appreciated – we really enjoyed the evening too and would really love to present more talks for the Women’s Institute in future.





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