Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A Harvest Ball at Osterley Park House and Gardens

From tomorrow - Wednesday 29/09 - to this Sunday 03/10, Osterley Park House and Gardens is holding A Harvest Ball.

I always thought that the origin of the event, which celebrates the forthcoming harvest, was upon the sighting of the Harvest Moon. For those not in the know, the Harvest Moon is the last Full Moon before the Autumnal Equinox, which for this year would be the last Full Moon before 23/09. This indicated that there was no longer any darkness between the rising of the Moon and the setting of the Sun, thus historically farmers could continue working/harvesting (the harvest was brought in during Autumn) by the light of the Moon.

However, doing some reading on the subject, it seems that while one could celebrate the harvest, traditionally parties were held around the time of the Hunter's Moon - the first Full Moon after the Autumnal Equinox. Seeing as I'm pretty stumped by this, you'll probably see me on one of the days quizzing the staff.

Visitors are admitted from 12.00pm to 4.30pm each day, and are invited to see some of the main show rooms 'dressed and decorated' for an 18th Century Harvest Ball. To add to the atmosphere, the decorations include stunning flower arrangements, music and costumed 'guests'.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Infernal Combustion at the Kew Bridge Steam Museum!

This weekend sees the launch of the first ever Infernal Combustion! event at the Kew Bridge Steam Museum.

The event runs from 11.00am to 5.00pm on both Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September. It marks the return of the Museum’s World War II Sulzer mobile emergency pumping unit, which has been fully restored in the Musuem's workshops over the last 8 months.

Visitors will have the opportunity to watch live demonstrations of the power this pumping unit holds. Also in operation will be the resident collection of internal combustions engines, such as the 1933 Allen Diesel pumping plant, as well as a variety of visiting engines, related artefacts and photographic displays sourced from their archive.

With restoration being a key element in keeping these mighty engines running, museum volunteers will be working in full view of the public, over the weekend, on restoring a 1943 Dennis No. 2 fire fighting pump set, which has been out of action for the last 30 years. This offers visitors the opportunity to witness the amount of work that goes into restoring and maintaining these relics.

Admission charges are £9.50 per adult and £8.50 for OAP's and students, for an annual ticket. Children under 16 years will be admitted FREE, though proof of age may be required.

Other events to look forward to on the weekend are:
  • Help for Heroes Concert at Twickenham Rugby Stadium
  • Middlesex Sevens Rugby match at Twickenham Rugby Stadium
  • London Welsh vs Birmingham and Solihull Rugby match at Old Deer Park
  • Hunt Kendall Trophy Polo match at Ham Polo Club

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Day at Kew Gardens

Monday was Bank Holiday, and unlike our previous Bank Holidays we actually had good weather - something I was a little uncertain of as due to the unpredictable nature of English weather (of which it is famous for), we've had a few days dotted with sunshine only to pull a 180 and turn into a torrential downpour! Despite this grace of the heavens, the plan for the day was fixed - nothing was going to put me off (though saying that, I did forget to take my umbrella just in case...)

I had been planning to go to Kew Gardens for the Butterflies, Bugs and Beasties exhibition and what with the Drop-in Art Classto work on a collaborative artwork inspired by Bulbmania on that day, I thought it was the perfect time to go. So I did...dragging my brother along with me.