The History Interpreter goes back to the C17th to Recover

It has been quiet on the blogging front while I try to find time to sleep amongst the chaos of the last days of the Braund family reunion. In all, 101 people helped to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Braund Family History Society and I spoke to them all.

After our adventures on Lundy, Friday was comparatively peaceful. I say comparatively. The Chairman did fall down a cliff. This was probably as dramatic as it sounds. Best not to ask too many questions but no alcohol was involved. We spent Friday in Appledore, viewing the maritime museum and being entertained by Terry Bailey on one of his ghost walks.

On Saturday, we mounted an exhibition of Braund memorabilia and gave talks on the Braund family. I don’t think anyone noticed that we brought display boards but failed to bring the material to display on them, or that the talk I gave wasn’t quite the right one.

Our Sunday Church Service was followed by the AGM. Another slight hitch. Owing to his cliff descent, the Chairman failed to collect the signed accounts from the printers. The only signed copy is now irretrievable until after everyone has finished Jubileeing. We manage to talk our way out of this one. Lunch then and a heritage walk round Bideford to walk off all the food.

Braunds quizzing in the evening was an excercise in competitativeness. No one seemed to know what Patrick Clifton was famous for. Clue: not a suspension bridge or pottery. Answers on a postcard……

Monday was a chance to wear two hats. The Braunds visited us in the seventeenth century. Great to administer an enema and perform a lithotomy on ones friends! Once the laughter had subsided, the rest set off for Rosemore Gardens, whilst we tidied up. Then off to the local supermarket to buy supplies for the evening’s Barn Dance.  I am used to wandering round Torrington and my home village in C17th garb without even thinking about it but A**a (like the BBC – no advertising here) is another matter. Never mind says my colleague, I will be there too. So, 2 of us looking like idiots seemed ok. Then on the way he stops off to change in to ordinary clothes! I don’t think I needed to worry – people probably thought it was a Jubilee stunt.

Ok, I admit it (although I didn’t at the time) I seriously overcatered. Even by Braund standards there was too much food. And what possessed me to buy 4 bags of spinach? I blame the combination of  the fact that I was wearing contact lenses and no reading glasses at the time so thought it was watercress and that it was seriously reduced in price – always an eye for a bargain. 5 days on I am still eating bread rolls and spinach – yum.

In between all this I manage to join in the village Jubilee photograph. Then the Barn Dance. We have booked the hall from 5.30pm for the band (excellent band M’Larkey) to set up. 5.30, the band are there, we are present but no key. Half an hour later we stand on one leg to try and get a phone signal to ring one of the numbers displayed on the hall door. The hall has been booked for a year and we have recently confirmed. The hall chairman comes out – we are not booked. Yes she can let us in but there will be no bar. No bar! This sounds serious. She must have seen the look of horror as she relents and agrees to man the bar for us. It was a great evening in the end, including a performance of the can-can and the cutting of the Braund celebratory cake. Incidentally when the party arrived at Rosemore they were told they weren’t booked either. This is getting to be a bit of a theme – or has our reputation preceded us?

Tuesday was the only day that rain stopped play. Instead of a tour of Bucks Mills we had to have a film show instead and those in Victorian costume were unable to parade.

Someone was heard to ask if I was about to have a holiday to recover. No such luck. It was back to the C17th on Wednesday.


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