We finished our visitor season in a puff of smoke, with 10 traction engines, steam rollers and wagons on parade and in steam, of course, in the Courtyard. It was a good display, and it was good to see a Herefordshire Council steam roller, which I remember working in the 1960s, in the line up.
Three engines were from the Eastnor collection, with the roller which we still use from time to time on the estate roads and the Foden steam tractor I restored in the 1970s. There was even a Foden wagon that had gone to repair roads behind the lines in the 1st World War and stayed on afterwards, with the convenience of having been built with left-hand drive.
The day before, the drivers lit their fires and had a road run to the Farmer’s Arms in Castlemorton, involving a challenging climb and descent over the Malvern Hills, but with more than adequate refreshment for the men at their destination-and water for the engines.
We had over 600 visitors on the Sunday, and everyone seemed to appreciate the friendly and informal atmosphere. A few years ago, we were lucky enough to get Fred Dibnah to meet the visitors, and there were long queues for his autograph and the chance to hear his inimitable tones first hand. He was a great enthusiast for old machines, steam and old houses, not to mention fine ale, and did much to explain to a wider audience the interest and appeal of this part of the heritage. He is much missed, but, of course, the TV programmes he made which included Eastnor keep his memory alive. JH-B
24th – 25th May
Over the Bank holiday weekend we welcomed 4 medieval groups, ‘The Levy’, ‘The Hartley Household’, ‘The Kynge’s Ordinaunce’ and the ‘Bowmen of Gwent’ to camp for two days on our valley lawn and show the public aspects of the medieval way of life.
We have hosted a medieval weekend for more than 3 years and it has always been a great success. In the event the public were shown re-enactments of medieval archery contests and sword-fighting, the art of the medieval pewter casting trade and the history and making of medieval battle and armour. Throughout the weekend, visitors enjoyed the activities produced which included trying on some authentic armour, an activity much loved by the younger children.
The Hog Roast went down well with everyone, with any scraps being tidied up by visiting and resident dogs, and although the forecast promised otherwise, the weather was good with only a few spatters of rain. Meanwhile down on the lawn, the four visiting groups ate a warming lamb stew with bread and cheese cooked simply over an open fire, without any of the electrical conveniences enjoyed by the public who were catered for in the courtyard.
All in all, the weekend was very successful; we are now open every Sunday until September with the near future events being:
* 6th & 7th June
Land Rover World Show – Deer Park
* Sunday 7th June
* Sunday 14th June
Gun Dogs & Ferret Racing
* 20th-21st June
Mountain Mayhem 24hr Bike Endurance Race – Deer Park
* Sunday 21st June
Pirate & Princess Day
We also welcome pre-booked guided tours on Mondays and Tuesdays.