One of the more interesting themes running through our historic photographs collection is the love of both the 8th Lord and Lady Berwick for fancy dress and costume drama, an interest that predated their marriage but which continued after they moved to Attingham as husband and wife. I believe that these photographs give a hint of a more informal and fun loving couple than some of the other photographs in our archive and thought I would share some of them with you.
In the case of Teresa, the 8th Lady Berwick, evidence suggests that her interest began at an early age. My blog post of 14th March 2012 included a photo of her aged 12 in fancy dress and below is another from around the same time. Taken in Munich in 1905 when Teresa was 15 it again shows her in fancy dress costume, this time before a party to be held at ‘the Taylor’s’ who are assumed to have been neighbours or acquaintances of the Hulton’s.
Considering the artistic influence of both her mother and father, Teresa’s love of fancy dress is perhaps unsurprising. But what of Tom the 8th Lord Berwick? Below is a photo taken in 1910 at a ball held at The Royal Albert Hall with Tom in full Russian costume accompanied by The Honourable Mrs Diana Broughton. The photo is among my personal favourites in our collection, providing a completely different impression of the 8th Lord from that which we normally see.
Tom’s Russian costume remains part of our collection and is kept in store at Attingham. Further details of can be found here on our new National Trust Collections website.
Married life marked a move into fully fledged costume drama for Tom and Teresa. In May 1925 they appeared together in a revue performance entitled ‘Patchwork’ which played at the Royal County Theatre Shrewsbury. They even achieved some small national recognition for their performance as shown below. This is a photo of another item from our archive, an original press cutting taken from the Daily Mail dated May 16th 1925.
Teresa’s love of fancy dress continued and at Christmas 1929 she attended the Shrewsbury Women’s Institute party in the costume shown in the photo below, a picture that I think captures Teresa’s sense of fun and enjoyment of life.
In 1934, the couple returned to the stage, Tom as a Bishop and Teresa as Queen Ellinor in the open air Ludlow Pageant production. My final photo below shows Tom in costume during his performance which was reviewed in the June 30th 1934 edition of the Daily Mirror a copy of which is retained in our archive.
Sadly this is the last evidence we have in our photographic collection of a part of Tom and Teresa’s life that was clearly important to them and from which they gained enjoyment. I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing the couple in a slightly different light from that which you would normally expect.