Throughout the year Attingham plays host to a number of special events and shows. The Walled Garden Spring fair has just taken place and the Frost Fair held at the start of December each year is always a favourite event for the local community.
These shows are just the latest in a long line of similar events that have been held at Attingham, notably during the time when the 8th Lord and Lady Berwick were in residence at the mansion. Our archives contain a variety of material relating to these events and I have chosen some of the best examples to share with you.
In May 1924, a Garden Fete was held at Attingham and one of the highlights of the day was a display of Maypole dancing, held on a very crowded East Portico lawn as shown in the photograph below.
Lady Berwick was among those who had a stall at the fete and she is shown below at her bric- a-brac stall.
Lord Berwick took time to browse the goods on offer and is shown below, wearing the white hat, with his friend Lady Leighton.
Crowds enjoying the event are shown below.
Another Garden Fete was held at Attingham in July 1926 and we retain a copy of the programme for the afternoons events in our archive.
A varied afternoon of sporting challenges included traditional events such as the Tug of War and Obstacle Race, but also the ‘Ladies Ankle Display’ and the ‘Men’s Tilting The Bucket’ contest. Stalls included ‘Lady Berwick’s Venetian Stall’ and there was an exhibition of dancing held in The Picture Gallery.
June 1933 saw a third fete held at Attingham and we again have a copy of the programme for the afternoon’s events.
Highlights on the entertainment programme that year included ‘Pillion Musical Chairs’ and ‘Wrestling On Horseback’ with the day concluding with dancing from 10PM – 2AM.
The final programme that we have in our archive is for the 1937 Atiingham Fete. That year saw a Baby Show being held in The Orangry and the intriguingly named ‘Ladies and Mens Freak Push Bike Races.’ If anyone can enlighten me as to what these events were then I would be most interested to know. Lady Berwick gave out the prizes for the day at 9PM and this was again followed by the Gala Dance held at the Atcham Malt House from 10PM – 2AM.
Another special event that was held three times at Attingham will feature in our upcoming exhibition that I mentioned in my last post. The event occurred in 1925, 1930 and 1935 and was closely connected to Lord Berwick. An image from the event in 1930 is shown below and more will be included in the exhibition. Can you guess what this event was?
For another clue, something worn by Lady Berwick in the earlier picture from the 1924 Garden Fete will also feature in the exhibition. I will let you know more in my future posts.