Day three and a slightly more leisurely day is in store. The first two hours I got to sit down, as I did my ‘being an expert’ stint. I fielded queries about non-conformists, about lost relatives, who seem to have been incarcerated in asylums and someone who went to school before they were born! Then there was the Waterloo veteran who wasn’t and the inevitable Smith family member, lost in Birmingham. Said Mr Smith was a sausage skin manufacturer – got to be today’s favourite occupation! I even found a missing marriage where one of the witnesses was a member of my one-name study.
Next, good to catch up with one-place studiers – more sitting down – this can’t be right. Then it was Mistress Agnes time again. Today she was jilted by Master Christopher and went alone to help on the Unlock the Past stall. Finally Master Christopher, in C21st guise, accompanied Mistress A. round the arena to get photographs with Captain James Braund. Captain James is about six inches tall and is a travelling ‘person’ (I daren’t use the word ‘doll’) who has been round the world several times and crops up here and there to encourage members of our one name study. He even has his own blog.
At the time, it seemed a good idea to photograph Captain James with antiques’ expert Eric Knowles in the background. Much to Mistress Agnes’ mortification, Master Christopher decided that it would be a better course of action to approach the great man himself (that would be Eric Knowles not Captain James) and get a proper photo. Eric Knowles then proceeded to ‘date’ Mistress Agnes. For the sake of clarity, it should be explained that this means he gave an assessment of the era from which she came. He was absolutely spot on, which says much for his knowledge and for the authenticity of Mistress A’s garb! Embarrassing though this may have been, I guess it would have been worse if Master Christopher had asked for a valuation!
Grateful thanks to Mr Eric Knowles – what a gentleman!