Tag Archives: Perchcrow

Vote, work or volunteer for us

17 Nov
Wordsworth House cafe

Hands-on: Helen, one of our lovely cafe volunteers

If you’d like to do your bit for Wordsworth House and Garden, I’ve got three options for you. It only takes a minute to vote for me in the UK Blog Awards, or if you have more time to spare, why not apply to work or volunteer here?

Last year, this blog was shortlisted in the Most Innovative category. This time, I’ve been nominated for that and for Arts and Culture. Please click the links below to vote in both!

Vote for me for Most Innovative blog of the year here.

Vote for me in the Arts and Culture category here.

One of the regular staff’s winter tasks is to recruit new seasonal members of the friendly and enthusiastic team who look after this special place and provide our visitors with unforgettable experiences.

There are a wide range of paid roles on offer, including visitor services, café and admin assistants, duty managers, conservation cleaners and costumed servants. All our seasonal jobs are part-time, and contracts run from mid-February next year to early November.

Click here to find out more using the search term “North West”. But hurry – applications close on November 30.

There are also vacancies on the volunteer team for people of all ages and interests to greet and chat to visitors, lead house tours and help in the café, garden and shop.

Volunteers don’t require any particular skills as full training is given. They just need a friendly manner, to enjoy meeting new people – and have a few hours to spare every week or fortnight.

For more information about joining the house or garden volunteer team, email us at wordsworthhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk or call 01900 824805.

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Why Felix the perchcrow needs your love

25 Aug
Felix the unloved perchcrow

New friend: Felix, the unloved perchcrow

I’m thrilled to tell you that I’ve got a new penfriend. Felix the perchcrow has written to me from Caversham Court Gardens in Reading, home of my lady admirer Flora.

I was very touched by his letter because he explained that he lives in the shadow of my love rival, Fred the under-gardener. Felix wrote:

Dear Fletch,

This is to introduce myself as Felix the Perchcrow. I was built using beanpoles at a beanpole day in May at Caversham Court Gardens. Sadly, I am not allowed to go back there on display as I am not considered to be good enough.

Flora and Fred are regularly put on display there but I have been consigned to the back garden. I have asked my maker Mike to send you my photograph.

I am a much troubled perchcrow and I know I am not good looking, but I feel I deserve more public acclaim. Look at my attributes. I am made from wholly recycled materials, and my hazel beanpole structure is sourced from sustainable environmentally friendly coppicing.

I feel you and I have much in common. We understand what it is like to live out in the wind and the rain. Perhaps a sympathetic reply would make life more bearable.

Yours truly, Felix

I’m so pleased to have heard from a fellow perchcrow who isn’t as sartorially perfect as Fred.

We perchcrows are by nature very sensitive creatures and we all want to be loved, so I’m delighted to have this chance to introduce Felix to a wider world, where I’m sure he’ll find the recognition he deserves to boost his confidence.

Meet my rodent-friendly rival

30 Jun
Fred the perchcrow

Paying court: Fred the perchcrow with his maker Hester

You may remember a few weeks ago that I introduced my new “lady admirer” Flora, who lives at Caversham Court Gardens in Reading. I had hoped we could be more than just friends, but she insisted we take things slowly.

Sadly, I may have discovered why she was so reticent. She already has a companion. His name is Fred, and he’s the under-gardener at Caversham Court.

Although I am, to put it mildly, quite devastated, my mouse friends, Bubble and Squeak, were rather excited to see a photo of Fred, because he too has mice living on him.

Please don’t be too upset for me, though, as I have a cunning plan to woo the fair Flora – watch this space for details over the coming weeks.

Fred with his rodent friend

Mouse friendly: Fred with his rodent companion

Wordsworth House and Garden in 250-property National Trust marathon

19 Jun
Blogger Cathy Boyle

Blogger Cathy Boyle: Writing about her visits to over 250 National Trust properties

I’ve just had a message from a fellow blogger who’s on a really impressive mission. Cathy Boyle has set herself the goal of visiting more than 250 National Trust properties, and she’s sharing her experiences via a blog called National Trust Challenge.

She wanted us to know how much she’d enjoyed her recent visit to Wordsworth House and Garden, after seeing us on ITV reality series Inside the National Trust.

In her post about the visit, Cathy wrote: “I bumped into Head Gardener Amanda (or ‘her off the telly’), who felt like an old friend! We had a nice chat about the garden and the other NT gardens I am due to visit over the next few days.”

She and Amanda talked about the 2009 floods which swamped the centre of Cockermouth. Cathy said: “The flood came just five years after the garden had been given a facelift and replanted with more authentically Georgian plants, so the poor lady and her team had to start again almost from scratch.

“Mind you, it actually sounds like she quite enjoyed the challenge, and her passion for the garden is infectious. I would recommend that you sign up to spend some time with Amanda’s enthusiasm if you get the opportunity on your own visit.”

Cathy also mentioned me: “Another fixture in the garden is Fletch the Perchcrow, so called because he’s not very scary! He actually has his very own blog so it was nice to meet a fellow scribe.”

I hope after completing her challenge, she’ll come back and visit us again.

I’ve found my soulmate, but she’s playing hard to get

26 May
Flora from Caversham Court Gardens, Fletch's lady love

Old-fashioned girl: Flora, from Caversham Court Gardens, the object of my affections

A chance encounter with a visitor to my garden at Wordsworth House has transformed my life. I think I’m in love!

The lady introduced herself as Hester and said she wanted to know why I was a perchcrow, rather than a scarecrow. I explained that I’ve never been any good at scaring birds, or anything else for that matter, and they like to perch on me.

Hester said she was asking because she’s friends with a rather lovely lady called Flora, who lives at Caversham Court Gardens in Reading. When Hester returned to the south, she visited Flora and told her all about me.

Flora obviously liked what she heard because she emailed me. This is what she said…

To: Wordsworth House
Subject: For the attention of Fletch the Perchcrow

Dear Fletch,

I am Flora and until my guardian met you last week in Cockermouth, I thought I was a scarecrow. But now I know I am a Perchcrow like you and I feel so much happier now I have found my true identity. I too love the birds and even let them sit on my shoulder and share my cake.

I would love to make friends with you as we have a lot in common. I live in Caversham Court Gardens, which is a historic garden by the river in Reading. Sadly, my guardians think I am too delicate to be outdoors all the time, as they worry about the damp and fungal infections, even though I wear a plastic vest and plastic petticoat under my clothes, so a lot of the time I have to live in a dark store room and can only come out on special occasions.

Kind regards, Flora

Well, I was smitten and my feelings only deepened when I saw the photograph she’d attached to her message. So I replied to ask if she might like to be my girlfriend.

Disappointingly, although I think she does like me, she’s less impetuous than me and wants to take things slowly. She replied…

To: Wordsworth House
Subject: For the attention of Fletch the Perchcrow

Dear Fletch,

I am very flattered that you ask if I can be your girlfriend, but at the moment it is very early days. Could I be your Lady Admirer and you can be my Gentleman Friend? I am rather old fashioned, you see, and have not been out in the world as long as you.

Kind regards, Flora

Being a romantic soul, like the poet William Wordsworth, a previous resident of my garden, I’m hopeful that I can eventually win her over with my charm – and maybe some poetry. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m back… and regenerated!

14 Apr

Fletch is back and looking better than ever

Better than ever: I hope you’ll agree I’m looking extremely well

Hello everyone… it’s so good to be back with you all after my kidnap ordeal. My therapy has been a great success and, like Dr Who, I have been regenerated, so I’m not just back to my old self, I’m feeling – and looking – better than ever.

Amanda, the Head Gardener, my chief assistant in this delicate process, says she’s given me a little extra padding as this is my sixth regeneration, so in Dr Who terms, I’m Colin Baker. (If that means nothing to you, she suggests you Google him!)

Fletch the Perchcrow's new flag

Perfect symbol: My new flag

I’m particularly proud of my new accessory – the Fletch flag. My name is symbolised by the arrow in the centre, as an arrow maker is known as a Fletcher. This is also a link to my namesake, Fletcher Christian, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.

The arrow is hung with a blue bell, taken from the Wordsworth family coat of arms, and this symbolises my home, Wordsworth House and Garden, in Cockermouth. There’s a crow to denote my role as a scarecrow, but it’s perched on the arrow and bell to hint at my lack of scariness!

All of this is placed on a golden daffodil silhouette, which rests on a green field. These recall both the famous poetry of Wordsworth and the beautiful garden of his childhood home, where I now live.

My flag was a gift from one of my friends, Philip, who works as the Community Vexillologist for the Flag Institute – isn’t that the best job title you ever heard? Amanda took a while to get her mouth round it!

What it means is that Philip works with groups and communities who want to develop a flag and have it included in the UK Flag Registry. He provides resources and templates, does historical research and even draws up the artwork for many flags.

Philip is also an advisor to the Parliamentary Flags and Heraldry Committee, and – even more important – he’s a massive Whovian (that’s a Dr Who fan, to the uninitiated). Isn’t he talented!

To make your wedding day even more special…

1 Apr

The bearded bridesmaid

New offer: Our bearded bridesmaid is available for weddings and other special occasions

Hello everybody! Amanda and Alex, Fletch’s typists, here. We’re pleased to tell you that his counselling (after his traumatic kidnap ordeal) is going well and he’ll be back blogging very soon.

In the meantime, we have an announcement to make…

Wordsworth House and Garden is launching a fabulous addition to its wedding service. Brides can already choose to have our lovely costumed servants in attendance. Now we’re offering a costumed 18th-century bridesmaid too!

And, as the Georgians were keen on freak shows and we’ve very keen on being authentic, we’ve decided to make her a bearded lady, Brucilla.

Do get in touch if you’d like to book her for your special day.

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