With this ring, I thee wed… The history of the wedding ring

Samantha PillingWeddings

Wedding Rings

Wedding rings are a traditional part of the modern wedding ceremony. They’re most often worn on the left ring finger to indicate that the wearer is married, although in some countries it’s worn on the right ring finger. For many couples, one or both partners have made the decision to not wear a ring at all, making it an optional, rather than … Read More

The Hooligan by W.S. Gilbert

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Pentonville

Produced just four months before W.S. Gilbert’s death, this one-act play was a grim, yet powerful play. It was a study of a young condemned murderer, waiting in a prison cell for his execution and was inspired by the celebrated Crippen murder trial of 1910. One of Gilbert’s most successful serious dramas Gilbert focused on showing sympathy for the villain, … Read More

Sir Edward Seymour Hicks

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

seymour hicks

Sir Edward Seymour Hick, better known as Seymour Hicks, was an actor, performer, playwright, screenwriter, actor-manager and producer – and frequent visitor to Grim’s Dyke. Both Hicks and his wife were friends of W.S. Gilbert and his wife, Lady Lucy, making them frequent visitors to Grim’s Dyke. Ironically, hicks first taste of acting was in a school play when, at … Read More

Ellaline Terriss – popular English actress and singer

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Ellaine Terriss

Born Mary Ellaline Lewin, in Stanley, Falkland Islands, Terriss came from a family of performers. Best known for her performances in Edwardian Theatre comedies, she had a career that spanned 52 years. Her father, William Lewin, (known by his stage name William Terriss), was a well-known actor in London. Her mother, Isabel Lewis, acted too, under her stage name Amy … Read More

How and where to spot Muntjac Deer in Harrow

Samantha PillingThe Gardens

Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

What are Muntjac Deer? Muntjac deer, also known as Mastreani deer and barking deer, (given their repeated loud bark) are exotic looking deer, that can grow up to 52cm at the shoulder and weigh up to 16kg. You can often hear the male buck deer giving a loud bark, the females and kids however, tend to let out squeaks. When … 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

W.S. Gilbert’s stage management methods

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

W.S._Gilbert's_burlesque_comedy,_Engaged

As illustrated in The Strand interview1, W.S. Gilbert was a thorough stage manager, who planned everything in great detail. His need for detail involved having exact replicas of the stage, actors and scenes created, so he could plan, in depth, exactly who should be on stage at any given time. This is possibly why he was revered so much, as … Read More

The lake at Grim’s Dyke

Samantha PillingHistory

Ducks

The artificial ornamental lake at Grim’s Dyke must have been one of the biggest gardens and grounds projects undertaken by Sir William and Lady Gilbert. The original lake was way beyond the house and ornamental gardens, so, under Sir William’s direct supervision, it was extended, firstly in 1899, then again in 1905, until it reached a surface area of 1.5 … Read More