How to organise a funeral

Samantha PillingUncategorised

White rose Funeral

Organising a funeral isn’t something we want to necessarily be prepared for, but it is something most of us will have to face, at some point in our lives. It can be incredibly difficult to get your head around what you need to organise, so here’s an overview of our top tips. Find out if there’s any guidance already in … Read More

Pen pals of W.S. Gilbert

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Calligraphy

W.S. Gilbert loved writing letters. From the short to long, plain to illustrated, he loved to put his thoughts and opinions down on paper to share with friends and confidants. He would always show a notable, if ironic, courtesy to the recipient of his words, regardless of whether they were friend or foe. His letters gave a glimpse into his … Read More

The Secret language of flower

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Known as floriography, the cryptic message of flowers has been used for thousands of years. The Victorians especially, loved how they could use flowers to send small bouquets (or nosegays) of coded messages to their loved ones. These flowers could be worn or carried as fashion statements, whilst the message itself could be decoded with a bit of patience and … Read More

Herbertina Compton Turner

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Herbetina Compton Turner

Herbertina Compton Turner was W.S. Gilbert’s mother-in-law. A frequent visitor to Grim’s Dyke, Herbertina got on very well with Gilbert. During her life, Herbertina witnessed her own share of heartache, something I’m sure she was able to draw upon, as she helped her daughter Lucy through the subsequent death of W.S. Gilbert. Herbertina’s early life Born on the 2nd July 1815, … Read More

The mighty English oak tree

Samantha PillingUncategorised

shutterstock_101169685

When it comes to instantly recognisable trees, the English oak has to be top of the tree. It’s one of the most common tree species in the UK and possibly one of the best-loved too. So, what makes the oak such a special tree? Here’s our compilation of the top ten facts about this wonderful tree. #1: It doesn’t produce … Read More

Squirrels at Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Squirrel

If you happened to be invited by Sir W.S. Gilbert, to a party at Grim’s Dyke during the Victorian era, you’d stand a good chance of seeing a squirrel or two, running around the grounds. Red squirrels were a common sight, in the 1800’s. Today, you will still see squirrels running around the grounds – but they’ll be of the grey variety. … Read More

Bushey Heath Cottage Hospital

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Bushey heath Hospital 3

  Both Sir W.S. Gilbert and his wife Lucy, were actively involved in local affairs and Bushey Heath Cottage Hospital was one of the benefactors. Sir William was Honorary Secretary there and would hold charity performances to raise funds for it. Lady Gilbert, would arrange Christmas entertainment and parties, usually involving conjurors, magic, tea and sandwiches.   The Bushey Heath Cottage … Read More

Wedding reception food and drink – what are your options?

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Wedding Food

The food and drink you have at your wedding reception, takes up a huge amount of your overall reception budget. Guests love to party and celebrate your wedding, but they also need to be adequately sustained during your day. This also gives you a perfect opportunity to share your personality and style, as well as tying everything into a set … Read More

Why do we throw confetti at a wedding?

Samantha PillingUncategorised

CONFETTI

There’s something special about confetti blowing in the breeze at a wedding. Confetti has long been a tradition at weddings and other celebratory occasions, but when did it start and why the tradition? Celebrating the union of a happy couple As early as the 14th Century, the most popular things thrown at celebratory events were flowers, rice, coins, seeds, fruit, … Read More

How to plan your wedding reception

Samantha PillingUncategorised

Wedding Header

Your wedding reception isn’t just a place for guests to go and celebrate your wedding, it’s also possibly the first chance the two families have had, to meet each other. This means it needs to have plenty of room for all your guests, as well as provide a suitable ambience for the two families, along with your friends, and of … Read More