A Gilbert & Sullivan Christmas

Samantha PillingHistory

GandS Christmas

During their careers, both Gilbert and Sullivan contributed to Christmas entertainment in a variety of ways. Gilbert not only contributed through his written works, but his family also enjoyed spreading the Christmas spirit through their parties and pantomimes. Sullivan did not have a family, but he kept himself busy with his compositions, including four Christmas carols and opera collaborations with … Read More

Christmas cards – a very Victorian tradition

Samantha PillingHistory

Victorian Christmas Cards

Christmas is a time for giving and, for many households, Christmas cards are an essential part of that giving tradition, a way to spread the joy and cheer of happy holiday greetings. However, Christmas cards weren’t always cheerful or traditional! The first commercial Christmas cards were created by Sir Henry Cole in 1843. A senior civil servant, Cole wanted to … Read More

Top ten tips for organising your next conference

Samantha PillingLatest News

Delegates Networking During Conference Lunch Break

If you’re looking to organise a conference, you’ll no doubt be feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead. Organising your next conference is quite a large task but, if you follow these top ten tips, you’ll be able to lose some of the overwhelm and get on with the tasks! #1: Assign a team to help organise your next conference Don’t … Read More

Popular Victorian Parlour Games

Samantha PillingHistory

Victorian Parlour Games

Parlour games were incredibly popular during the Victorian era, as I’m sure Sir and Lady Gilbert would attest! They were played primarily by the middle and upper classes, as a means to entertain dinner party guests and small family gatherings. Parlour games were designed for indoor entertainment and were primarily played in the parlour; hence the name ‘parlour game’. They … Read More

5 Victorian inventions that inadvertently helped shape the British landscape

Samantha PillingHistory

Victorian Inventions

The Victorian era was a time of great inventions and discoveries. Numerous Victorian inventions have shaped how we live and work, but there are several that impacted on how the country looked too. Here are 5 of the best-loved ones. The postage stamp Sir Rowland Hill, an English teacher and social reformer, came up with the idea for the adhesive … Read More

How to make your garden winter wildlife-friendly

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Blue Tit

Wildlife-friendly gardening is something we all aspire to do, especially here at Grim’s Dyke. We like to think we’re doing what we can, to help preserve our wildlife friends – and many of you feel the same. The key to a wildlife-friendly garden is to provide plenty to eat and safe hiding places for all kinds of wildlife visitors to … Read More

Sir John Betjeman

Samantha PillingHistory

x1080-VRK

Sir John Betjeman CBE, was the writer and narrator behind the critically-acclaimed BBC documentary ‘Metro-land’. It celebrated suburban life in the northwest of London and featured Grim’s Dyke and Harrow Weald during the 50-minute, 1973 documentary. But what do we know about Sir John Betjeman? Born in London on 28th August 1906, Betjeman was born into a prosperous family. His … Read More

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

How to create a wildlife-friendly garden

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Wildlife Friendly Garden

We all understand the importance of protecting our wildlife. Many of us can easily do our part, by ensuring our gardens are wildlife friendly places. Of course, attracting the wildlife into your garden not only helps the wildlife populations, it also helps keep garden pests under control too. So, if you’re looking to create a wildlife friendly garden, here’s some … Read More

The Champions & Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingHistory

The Champions

British adventure TV series The Champions may only have had 30 episodes broadcast, but it was one of the many programmes that used Grim’s Dyke as a filming location. It starred Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo and William Gaunt as agents for a fictional United Nations Law Enforcement organisation called Nemesis, based in Geneva. The premise of the show was that the heroes had perfected human abilities, … Read More