Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Victorian Day Out

This weekend was a rather relaxing one to enjoy the summer. It was slightly overcast, but the weather was warm. I read in the TFL Magazine that there was to be a Victorian themed day up at Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath, and convinced Mark that we would go for a walk up there and have a look for a while.

It was actually quite interesting; firstly there was a military display with soldiers in uniform marching, then showing skills and techniques (bayonet usage, complete with appropriate grunting) that they used in the Victorian period. A compare explained exactly what they wore, about the guns they used (not nice they got really hot and burnt their fingers all the time), and about the wars they fought in.
Toast and Miss Holland over the table

Then there was a gymkhana display with two teams competing, each with a soldier and a lady riding side saddle in Victorian costume, was quite fun to watch especially the jumping. One of the ladies, Miss Holland, jumped a set dining table complete with candelabra (as you can see from the photos) with her horse Toast.
Miss Holland riding Toast...or rather jumping with him

They had a little filly called Frodo, who was quite funny, she ran up to the jumps then very ladylike, walked right around them. We were then allowed to have a chat to all the riders and pet the horses, before one of the ladies had a chat with the crowd about the intricacies of riding side saddle on her particularly expensive (£2,000) 150 year old saddle, which was in beautiful condition.

After that it was well after 4pm, so we had a quick game of quoits (Mark won….of course), a turn at croquet before heading (the wrong way – my fault) out the park. I should have known as all the paths looked too familiar; familiar to the direction I used to go when I lived in Hampstead. Oh well it meant we passed the ice cream man and had an ice cream on the way home.

View down the Kenwood House lake
Soldiers shooting
Soliders all lined up
Even Queen Victoria was there..she was a hit with the kids

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