You could imagine being on the set of a TV production if you enter the historic walled garden at Lydiard Park this weekend to enjoy the first ever craft fair.
As well as professional craft makers selling a wide variety of items, volunteers and a number of actors will be dressed up in Georgian costumes enacting stories from Lydiard’s past.
Volunteers have given up their spare time over the past few months to painstakingly make costumes for the event. Val Stuyvesant, from Wootton Bassett, is a curtain maker by trade but has turned her hand to making costumes for the re-enactments.
“I always wanted to do some volunteering and although I don’t come to Lydiard a lot I heard about this project and how they needed people to make costumes – it seemed ideal,” explained Val. “Making the costumes and finding out a bit about their history has been really interesting. I have been doing lots of research into the period and it has been great to go along to various charity shops and pick up bits for the costumes. Seeing the costumes come together and then to see people trying them on is brilliant.”
Fellow volunteer Sarah Wicks from Old Town has been lending a hand since last November. “I sew but I’m also helping to organise the craft fair,” explained Sarah. “It has been great fun, but being involved in the project has inspired me to do some research on the [Lydiard] House and to find out more about the period. Poldark has been a great source of information.”
One of the volunteer actors Sam Vaughan, 27, was keen to support his local park having been a frequent visitor since he was a boy. “I come up here all the time,” he said. “I saw a poster and it said they were looking for actors so I gave them a call. I have been acting for two or three years. I don’t know too much about the history of Lydiard House, but there is so much historical drama on TV like Poldark, which is from a similar time so you can draw bits and pieces from those.”
In addition to the live acting, the craft fair will also feature demonstrations throughout the day from members of the North Wiltshire Woodturning Association and a wide variety of traders showcasing their craft products. There will also be a barbecue in the Rickyard next to the restored horse stalls and stable buildings.
Visitors will also be able to try Georgian games on one of the lawns in the Walled Garden, while there will also be the chance for people to meet characters from years gone by such as the Lady of the House wandering around the grounds or the Head Cook collecting fish from the Ice House.
Entrance to the Love Lydiard Craft Fair on both days is 50p. The event takes place from 10am until 4pm on both days
For further information about the Lydiard Craft Fair visit: www.lydiardpark.org.uk