This has been a fantastic day! It was a relatively early start for the drive over to Barrington and my day with the children of the school in the village at Barrington Court, a wonderful old Tudor house. The hardest part of the day was lugging all my props up the main staircase and then the spiral staircase up to the long gallery on the top floor. They should definitely have had Stannah Stairlifts in Tudor times. I got some lovely help from Matthew Applegate who works for the National Trust on site - a genuinely nice guy. After I had got over several heart attacks, it was time to get changed and await the arrival of the children. It was very exciting as Alison Tulloch (the teacher from the school) hadn't told them I was going to be there - they thought it was just going to be a normal day up at the old house! I could hear all the children coming up the stairs. I had primed Matthew to warn them about possible "ghosts". They spilled out on to the main gallery, but at the far end from where I had set up. I stood stock still - like a waxwork, and was treated with some marvellous comments as the children walked down towards me.
"Hi Henry!" and "It's Henry!" etc. Suddenly, I moved.
"AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGH!" The children all screamed and ran back down the gallery! Wonderful! We had a fantastic day, only 15 children but they were really up for it. A lady came along to study me from Montacute House near Yeovil, so you never know, she might want to book me.
Out of the group of 15, only 3 were boys, but believe it or not, during the jousting session, the boys not only won their heat, they also won the final and picked up their certificates full of the joys of life! Another amazing thing today was that the children loved their teacher Mrs Tulloch so much, they refused the opportunity to put her in the stocks! Another first!
At the end of the day, after another exhausting movement of props up and down the grand stairs, I had a chat with Matthew Applegate again. He was very keen on the idea of getting me into Barrington Court for some summer Tudor feasts. I am all for this and think it will be a wonderful idea. I must pre-warn Tris from Bilby's.
When I got home, there were several enquiries about Henry from a variety of schools in the area. Things are starting to hot up. This has been a wonderful day and I wouldn't change a thing. Tomorrow? Dunster near Minehead. A return visit after I went to see them last December. A good school, so I am looking forward to it. Night night!