After a year of careful planning and hard work, we did, indeed, put together a marvelous tour itinerary, revisiting some favorite spots from the 2012 tour and adding a new costumed event. But, due to a crazy change in immigration law where we live in Africa, my travel visa lapsed and could not be renewed until after the tour! Thankfully, my well-traveled and very gracious husband stepped in and lead my tour for me, and I chimed in on Skype now and again to chat with the group and see how things were going. It was a huge disappointment to miss my own trip, but I’m so glad it went off without a hitch and was a roaring success. Here are some photo highlights thanks to Cathy Hay of Your Wardrobe Unlock’d, who was a special speaker on this trip and took lots of pictures!
The collection at Platt Hall includes over 20,000 items of clothing, a huge array of buttons, and ephemera including fashion plates and magazines. The curator closed the museum in the morning to admit our group, which was lovely. Half of us wandered all over the former great house, enjoying the clothing on display, much of which was collected by the late Dr. C. Willett Cunnington.
Monday we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before journeying to nearby Styal for our tour of Quarry Bank Mill–a beautifully preserved cotton mill from the early 1840s, complete with the workers’ village, apprentice house, and gardens. If you’ve read Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South or watched the BBC film adaptation, you can imagine the setting perfectly.
It was quite an adventure getting from Kenya to Manchester, including the last-minute surprise of a child’s expired passport, a long walk through Dubai Airport, and a running dash for the train to Manchester, but we did manage to get here at last. We met up as a group Sunday night for our first get-together and a marvelous evening of Show and Tell, starring Suzi’s gorgeous collection of historical bodices and corsets and some added attractions brought in by special guest Cathy Hay of YourWardrobeUnlockd.com.