September’s Letter From The Curator (2021)

Dear Friends,

That was some August, a month to remember in so many ways. All our events for the month have been really well attended, most particularly the concert with Silcone Taxis and the other bands, and the Fairytale bank holiday event which is always spectacular. There was a nine foot fairy on stilts with huge pink wings, lots of princesses and pirates making everyone laugh as well as music and singing. It was glorious, and the whole team here are most grateful to everyone who came to laugh with us again and make memories. I met four babies born during lockdown, out for their first proper outing !

There was not such a loud groan when the first week back to school was mentioned showing that many children now appreciate school and seeing their friends. We will be seeing quite a few schools on outings this autumn and we are offering some new talks. One of these features Olivia Sismey, performing as a slave in England in the years building up to the abolition of the slave trade. Olivia is a brilliant communicator, with plenty of experience working with children with special needs as well as in childrens’ entertainment.  Her performance provides a powerful approach to an emotive area of history, but should be interesting and engaging for pupils of all abilities. Our Tudor monarchs are still available and also King Richard III is a King worth seeing, as His Grace was at Tutbury castle staying for five nights, ten months before his death at Bosworth . Talks on Anglo Saxons and Vikings will appeal to some curriculums and are offered by Dr. Gareth Williams of the British Museum, who is a leading expert in the period. Find out more from or telephone 01283 812129.

“All Aboard Tutbury Castle!” On Sunday 5th. September we have an amazing model railways exhibition on in our marquee (so under cover), organised by Birmingham Model Railway Society. There is no extra charge on top of the entrance fee for this. It is a first for us to have model railways here but I have seen them on TV programmes and the creativity that goes into building the sets is remarkable. I do hope you come and support this event as it really is going to be worth seeing.

On 25th. September we have the Jacobites visiting us. Despite their best efforts, they didn’t win in 1745, but they are very welcome at this royal castle these days, along with their living history camp, costumes and weapons. No additional entrance fee.

Peggy Knight, one of Churchill’s brave SOE’s, can be seen on 30th September. After just under a month’s training this 24-year-old shorthand typist was dropped behind enemy lines in the south of France. Her story as it unfolds makes you wonder why you may not have heard of her before – and so I am here to tell her story for her. Be prepared, it is an extraordinary tale of courage. This presentation is followed by a  cream tea, served (with the central heating on!). Tickets are available on line or by telephone with a card payment. or 01283 812129.

Finally, calling all photographers both professionals and amateurs – we have photography day here at the Castle on October 10th with a number of costumed models in various settings . Most clubs can’t afford such models but want to hone their skills and so here is an opportunity. The tea room is offering hot drinks, cakes and snacks for our aspiring David Bailey’s. Tickets are £10.00 each.

Autumn is upon us and the fires are being lit here, warming the heart of the Castle as the mists creep in.

See you soon

Very best wishes

Lesley Smith