Of Kings, Elizabethans and Things

After a few lovely days with my descendants I headed to Leicester for the annual conference of the Guild of One-name Studies. This is always a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones, as well as to enjoy a range of presentations.

We found our way to the Leicester Marriott Hotel, where the early arrivals were gathering. There were some lovely compliments from people who had been reading Barefoot on the Cobbles. I was booked on to a visit to the Richard III centre. Shortly after the ‘king in the car park’ was discovered, I managed to get a photograph of the car park but now the area has been turned into an impressive visitors’ centre. It seems that there has been plenty of regeneration in Leicester as a result of the discovery of Richard III’s body. There was plenty of information to absorb and we had time to relax in the sunny courtyard, where I consumed honeycomb ice-cream and coffee.

DSCF1134We then had an excellent tour of the cathedral, dedicated St. Martin of Tours, which is very small and largely a Victorian restoration. The main focus is, inevitably, Richard’s tomb and the beautifully embroidered pall; I failed to photograph the latter. There was also some lovely modern stained glass.

Back to the hotel for a swift buffet meal. The food was good but it seemed strange to serve curry without rice, naan or any other suitable accompaniment. I am quite glad that I don’t drink as the bar prices are a bit steep. Even a canned soft drink is £3; I avoided purchasing one of those too. I am currently recouping my funds following my recent certificate buying fest and yes, for the benefit of regular readers, I have ordered three more in an attempt to crack the Mary Cardell impasse – fingers crossed.

Mistress Agnes was on duty in the evening, in order to introduce Maureen Taylor of Talking History, who entertained us with an account of the appropriate garb of an Elizabethan aristocrat. Mistress Agnes was pressed into service as a dresser and is very thankful that she is a mere peasant as the attire of the more affluent is significantly more restrictive and considerably heavier, one of Maureen’s outfits weighs four stone.

Inevitably, my descendants have been generous with their lurgies once again and my throat is resembling something that has had a rigorous going over with heavy-grade sandpaper, so, despite liking a good quiz, we retired to the van. It seems that the van’s supply of Strepsils has been depleted (there weren’t any). I should have realised that agreeing to do seven talks in nine days was bound to result in me contracting some sort of ailment that would affect my voice.

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