I would like to think that Eastnor Castle, our grounds and children’s playground were enough to keep our visitors happy and generally they are, but on the more popular days at Bank Holidays, we feel we should do more and so we hire the services of Jem Maynard Watts and his colleagues Thomas Trilby.
As the visitors arrive in the car park, Jem appears on stilts and in appropriate clothing to greet them. He may briefly convince children that he is a giant resident in the Castle, but mostly he chats to everyone and makes them laugh, important if there is a queue. As the day progresses, he comes down a peg and bicycles around on a penny farthing, of modern manufacture, unfortunately, but nevertheless impressive.
At the end of the day, when there has been a competition, Jem draws the prize, but not before he has had a good juggle with one of his colleagues, an unexpected bonus for the audience and some compensation for the competitors who did not win ie. all but one. He always gets a great round of applause, partly, of course, because he is a great entertainer. He has a great sense of humour and is keenly interested to know how he is being received by the crowd. He also tells us what the visitors tell him about their visit, where they have come from etc.. Jem helps create a party atmosphere around the castle, and we love having him.
JH-B 6th May ’14