1940s and further back in time | Kentwell Hall

1940s and further back in time

We celebrated the jubilee in true old-fashioned glory this weekend. And from the 1940s we now roll back another four hundred years for three weeks from 17th June for the ultimate experiential event that is Tudor Kentwell.

A beacon shining in the dark

We lit our beacon on Monday evening, as an unofficial contribution to the wave of beacons for the Queen's Jubilee. We tried to keep to the timings for "private beacons" of 10.26pm but though we started lightlng it on time, we finished lighting it about an hour later. A great advert for why straw houses aren't in danger of burning down!

We were treated to a fantastic firework display over Lavenham via a very handy gap between the trees while we waited. The harvest moon was full behind the avenue and we watched the beacon splutter into life as no doubt hundreds were doing across the country. Standing there in the dark, a glass of champagne in hand, with a small group of the Kentwell team, was an understated but magical moment.

Tripping the light fantastic and splatting the rat

Our annual 1940s event brought some energetic (learning the charleston) and less energetic (waltzes and foxtrots) dancing at our tea-dance and testing of rat-splatting, ball-rolling and other lesser-known skills at our fete. Visitors learned how to make cakes without egg in our wartime kitchen and about the difficulties of life in wartime when soldiers requisition your home. Educational sure, but most of all lots of fun.

Tipping our mad-hats to the Queen

On Tuesday we rolled out the bunting, plenty of colourful home-made hats, lashings of tea, cakes and sandwiches and a huge dollop of crazy traditional games for our Jubilee Mad Hatter's Tea Party for children of all sizes. We were extremely lucky with the weather, after having decided to risk the entire event being outside we were blessed to not have a single drop of rain until just after the last bunting line was packed away! It was also great to have live music from a barrel organ and accordian, courtesy of a group of amateur organ makers stationed in Lavenham for the weekend. They enjoyed playing to people having such fun and we enjoyed the perfect three-legged egg-and-spoon and pass-the-parcel racing music!

Rolling back the years

We shortly go back in time another four hundred years for the start of our huge Tudor Kentwell event, with around 250 Tudors living and breathing Tudor England with all its associated activities. This year we will be going back to 1556 and will have special events happening each weekend throughout the duration. On the first full weekend (23rd and 24th June) see the Tudors celebrate midsummer with the burning of a wicker man. The second weekend (30 June-1st July) will hold a Pageant; expect lots of flags, floats and pagentry. The last weekend (Friday 6th-8th July) sees a Tudor Fair with games, challenges, plays, performances, music and dancing.

Anglian Business Green 100

All images and text © Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA