Archive | September, 2013

We’re all reality TV stars at Wordsworth House and Garden!

25 Sep
Ready for work: Michael Buerk flanked by the maid and manservant

Ready for work: Presenter Michael Buerk flanked by the maid and manservant

At last I can tell you our big secret – Wordsworth House and Garden is one of the stars of a major new behind-the-scenes ITV series showing over the autumn and winter.

The 20-part programme, Inside the National Trust, presented by Michael Buerk and featuring six National Trust properties, will be on ITV1 every Sunday at 12.25pm from October 6.

In each episode, Michael uncovers hidden secrets about the places he visits and learns new skills.

At Wordsworth House and Garden, he experiences late 18th-century life at first hand, spending time as an apprentice manservant, with my friends the costumed servants, and with my boss, Amanda, as a trainee gardener.

The tasks he tackles include preparing strawberry fritters in front of dozens of people in the working kitchen, making liquid soap with soapwort from the garden, giving an impromptu garden tour, taking part in a “jingling match”, and getting wigged and made up as a Georgian dandy.

The results caused much hilarity among visitors, staff and volunteers – why not tune in and see for yourself?

On camera: Filming in the small walled garden

On camera: Filming in the small walled garden with Arnold, the molecatcher


Browned off over the Bake Off

12 Sep
012 Wordsworth House - Michael Buerk

Mystery guests: Filming for the new autumn ITV series

I may have mentioned before how much I adore the delicious cakes and scones in our café here at Wordsworth House and Garden, so it’ll be no surprise when I tell you that, like head gardener Amanda, I’m a big fan of The Great British Bake Off.

Frankly, who wouldn’t love watching people create amazing cakes and puddings? As a viewer, you don’t get the joy of eating them, but it’s the next best thing!

So we were very excited when the Bake Off team got in touch recently to say they would like to film the making of a historic baked pudding in our working 18th-century kitchen.

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood weren’t going to be involved, but it was still a thrill to be playing a small but important part in the latest series of such an iconic BBC TV programme.

On the day, the crew and historic food expert Ivan Day arrived, and Rachel, our house steward, helped ensure everything went smoothly for them.

And then came the bad news: we received a very nice email from the production manager, thanking us for allowing them to use our splendid kitchen and explaining that “with so much happening in the tent” they hadn’t been able to include us in the programme.

We were so disappointed. But all was not lost, as we now have an ever bigger slice of TV coverage to look forward to!

Wordsworth House and Garden, along with the North Lakes National Trust ranger team, will be among the stars of a very special new 20-part ITV series to be screened later this autumn.

The exact details are still under wraps, but I’ll tell you more as soon as I can!

All dressed up for an animal hunt

2 Sep
Grace Horner

In costume: Grace Horner

Our visitors have lots of fun trying on our replica 18th-century clothes. Seven-year-old Grace, pictured above, visited from Northern Ireland recently, with her four-year-old sister Cherith. Doesn’t she look splendid?

The girls’ mum, Laura, says they enjoyed everything about the time they spent at Wordsworth House and Garden.

Grace especially liked dressing up in the children’s bedroom, and arranging the words into sentences and stories on our magnetic blackboard in the Wordsworth room. She also had fun exploring the rest of the house to find the hidden wooden animals that make up one of our children’s trails.

Cherith’s favourite things were playing with the doll’s house and doing the treasure hunt in the garden.

Thank you, girls, for sharing your experiences with me – and sending such a lovely picture! I hope you’ll come back and visit again soon.

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