Category Archives: Heritage

English Heritage reveals details of Queen Victoria’s final Christmases at Osborne House

She has long been known as one of the nation’s sternest monarchs – and perhaps not the first choice of a Christmas host – but this year English Heritage staff at her seaside retreat on the Isle of Wight will be showcasing a more surprising side to the royal’s Christmas celebrations, with grand dinners, family festivities and party games, including an early forerunner to the mannequin challenge.

Though the festive season was subdued in the years following Albert’s death, her later years at Osborne saw the traditions of Christmas and its festivities begin to reappear, particularly with the appearance of more and more grandchildren. Gifts would be exchanged between staff and family (on Christmas Eve, a tradition still believe to be observed by today’s Royal family) before the day itself was marked by an elaborate Christmas dinner.

Recently translated for the first time, the menu from Victoria’s final Christmas, 25 December 1900, shows items that might be recognised by modern diners, including turkey with chipolata sausages and plum pudding, but also a few things that might not make it onto the 21st Century dining table. These include a fish course, and also a starter of Turtle Consommé, or soup – a famous (but expensive!) Victorian delicacy. [see Appendix for full menu].

All Christmas gatherings need games too, and Queen Victoria’s festive celebrations were no exception. That Mannequin challenge entertainment? It was known as the ‘Tableau Vivant’, and Queen Victoria and her guests would gather in the Durbar Room at Osborne and watch, often for several hours, as family members donned costumes and posed against a backdrop to portray a scene from history or a famous painting.

The curtain would fall, participants would change position, before it rose again, with the tableau repeated several times if the Queen desired it, before different costumes and scenes were selected. Live music could even be performed from the gallery above to accompany the poses.

Like most family celebrations, some guests enjoyed the festivities more than others. The journal of a Lt Gen Calthorpe, a regular dining guest at Osborne, was recently acquired by English Heritage. Attending a festive-season dinner in January 1890, he can be found bemoaning one such experience of the ‘tableaux,’ that lasted until 22:30, complaining “along time we had to wait! About 25 minutes!” between changes of scenery and costumes.

By contrast, the Queen’s own journals from this same occasion record her enjoyment of the spectacle, stating “The Tableaux were really lovely & so well arranged.” and that “The music was excellent, & every one was delighted.” There’s always one who inflicts games on everyone else!

Michael Hunter, Collections Curator for English Heritage at Osborne, said “The common misconception of Queen Victoria as a dour monarch has prevailed for many years, but recently people have begun to challenge that. Our research shows that here at Osborne, particularly in her later years, she enjoyed Christmas festivities with her family filled with feasting and games.”

“Although it is doubtful she participated, she particularly enjoyed the Tableau Vivant, and who’s to say she wouldn’t have looked fondly upon the modern day mannequin challenge?!”

English Heritage offer Festive Guided Tours of Osborne every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until 22 December, telling stories of Queen Victoria’s Christmas and touring rooms decorated as they would have been during the royal reign.

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For further press information and images, please contact:

Phil Harper, National PR Manager, phil.harper@english-heritage.org.uk or 0207 973 3354

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year. www.english-heritage.org.uk Registered charity no. 1140351

OSBORNE

Tuesday 25th December 1900

Her Majesty’s Dinner

Soups

Turtle Consommé

American Cream of Barley Soup

Fish

Turbot with Mousseline (or Hollandaise) Sauce

Breaded Fillets of Sole with Sauce Ravigote

Entrée

Herbed Christmas Crêpes

 

Relevés (Separate Main Course)

Turkey Poult à la Chipolata

Chine of Pork

Roast Beef

Plum Pudding

 

Entremets (Dishes Served after main course)

Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

Mince Pies

Chocolate Éclairs

Visit Isle of Wight launches new Literary Heroes Trail

Following hard on the heels of the launch of its Victoria’s Island Trail to celebrate the appearance of the Victoria & Abdul movie, Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has now published a new Literary Heroes Trail which visitors to the Island can follow all-year-round.

One of the highlights of the Literary Heroes Trail is the newly re-opened Farringford in Freshwater, where the renowned poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson once lived (https://farringford.co.uk).

The dramatic Gothic house has been the subject of a meticulous five-year restoration project, and is decorated in a late 19th Century style that reflects Tennyson’s tastes and interests.  The grounds have also been returned to their authentic Tennyson-era appearance, complete with a full walled garden.

Other key locations on the Trail include the sailing village of Seaview, where author Enid Blyton was a regular visitor; and the traditional seaside resort of Ventnor, where Charles Dickens rented Winterbourne in Bonchurch – describing it to his wife as, “The prettiest place I ever saw in my life.”

Author Lynne Truss – a regular visitor to the Island – edited the new Literary Heroes Trail leaflet.  “I’m not the first writer to be inspired by this jewel of an island,” she says.  “Writers have breathed the air here, walked the cliffs and gazed at the glittering sea – and then dashed home to put pen to paper.”

Continuing the rich literary tradition of the island, the latest Isle of Wight Literary Festival (taking place from October 12 to 15) once again offers a diverse programme – with speakers ranging from poets, politicians, historians, biographers, journalists, fiction writers, award-winning authors, actors and scientists.  The event is mainly based at Northwood House, a Grade II* manor house set in 20 acres of parkland in the heart of Cowes.  (http://isleofwightliteraryfestival.com).

The launch of the trail follows the success of the Isle of Wight’s Victoria’s Island Trail, which was created specially to celebrate the release of major feature film ‘Victoria & Abdul’ in cinemas.  Victoria’s Island Trail includes well-known places the Queen loved as well as lesser known locations that reveal deep connections between the Royals and the Island.

Both Trails are designed for anyone with an interest in a bygone era – an era which proved to be especially golden for the Isle of Wight; and find out why the Island continues to influence a whole new generation of authors.

Visitors can use the Literary Heroes Trail to navigate their way around the Island using an interactive map, and pick-and-choose from a host of Island hotspots linked to the literary greats; from secluded villages and hamlets, to bustling seaside towns.

The trail also reveals some of its own, home-grown talent, including Oscar winning screenwriter Anthony Minghella who wrote The English Patient.

A video about the Isle of Wight Literary Heroes Trail featuring author, Lynne Truss, can be seen here: https://youtu.be/uNNhilWpJnI

For more information, including details of the full range of accommodation, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Visit Isle of Wight:

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight. As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

 

 

Dresses worn by Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria go on display at Osborne ahead of new film ‘Victoria & Abdul’

Costumes worn by Dame Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard and Ali Fazal in the forthcoming feature film ‘Victoria & Abdul’ will go on show for the first time at Osborne, Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight home on Monday 24 July, 2017.

The English Heritage property where much of the film was shot will present a stunning array of costumes worn by the principal characters: Dame Judi Dench as Queen Victoria, Eddie Izzard as Bertie, Prince of Wales, and Ali Fazal who plays Abdul Karim.

Designed by the Oscar nominated costume designer Consolata Boyle, the costumes pay meticulous attention to historical detail even down to the Queen’s V&A monogrammed shoes.  Formal and informal attire worn by Dame Judi can be seen including the black silk gown with gold front piece the Queen wears while waiting for Abdul’s return to Osborne after a long trip away.  Amongst Ali Fazal’s costumes is the faithfully recreated scarlet and gold livery, complete with peacock blue striped silk turban, which was designed for the Queen’s Indian servants who waited at table in her new Indian inspired dining room.

English Heritage Curator at Osborne, Michael Hunter says: “Osborne was Queen Victoria’s private family home which means visitors can step straight into Queen Victoria’s world when they get here.  Victoria & Abdul is the first film to ever use the interiors of Osborne as a location and these costumes add an extra layer to the rich experience of a visit here. We can’t wait to see it in all its glory on the big screen; in particular the story of how an Indian man servant won the Queen’s respect and trust.”

Costume Designer, Consolata Boyle said: “The thought that my costumes for Victoria & Abdul, through this Exhibition, and our imaginations, will inhabit the same rooms and gardens where Queen Victoria walked and lingered, makes it a particular honour and joy for me.”

The exhibition opening tomorrow (24 July) and set to run until the 30th September 2017 – is located in the Queen’s Indian inspired Durbar Room which itself features in the film, along with the newly renovated Lower Terrace, the Grand Corridor and the Queen’s sitting room.

Osborne is open daily from 10am – 5pm, and the costume exhibition is included in the standard admission ticket.  Further details are at www.english-heritage.org.uk/osborne

Victoria & Abdul is released in cinemas in the UK on 15 September 2017.

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IMAGES can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8eq6o4uex3jvlqs/AABDx_TBtYbHpk4hYDRDvWXea?dl=0 © English Heritage

For further information or images please contact:  Isobel Cooley PR Manager, South East on 01304 209891 or email Isobel.cooley@english-heritage.org.uk

Notes to editors:

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

Registered charity no. 1140351

Victoria & Abdul: From Working Title comes the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.  Victoria & Abdul is distributed by Universal Pictures International.

120th anniversary celebrations of first radio transmission is highlight of summer at The Needles Landmark Attraction, Isle of Wight

A day of celebrations to mark the 120th anniversary of the first radio transmission from The Needles is the highlight of five weeks of free summer fun at the Isle of Wight’s landmark attraction.

Marconi’s Day on Monday, August 14 will mark the achievement of Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi who successfully sent the first long-distance radio transmission from his base at The Needles more than a century ago.

To celebrate, staff at the attraction will be wearing clothing from the era with a Victorian theme throughout and live music from the award-winning Macclesfield Youth Brass Band.

There will be live theatrical re-enactments of Marconi’s feat, with the great man himself putting in an appearance, while expert marksmen will demonstrate a range of Victorian guns.

The IW Radio Society will also be setting up a station at the Landmark Attraction giving visitors the opportunity to gain an insight into how Marconi’s transmissions were really sent in the 19th Century.

And throughout the rest of the summer holidays there will be a party atmosphere at The Needles with stilt walkers, dancers, magicians, pirates and princesses greeting visitors along the main street

Marino Zanti, general manager at The Needles Landmark Attraction, said:  “We wanted to mark Marconi’s groundbreaking achievement as part of our five weeks of family fun for visitors to enjoy during the summer holidays.

There’s so much planned, including live music from island artists like Groove Union, Brando and the legendary Derek Sandy.

“Marconi’s Day will be a fantastic party, transforming the Landmark Attraction for 24 hours, while our Thursday night fireworks spectacular promises a feast for the eyes and ears while supporting worthy causes.

“Visitors only have to pay for parking and any activities they want to enjoy – the entertainment itself is all free of charge.”

Needles’ Music & Magic in the Skies fireworks extravaganza, takes place every Thursday in August with each of the weekly pyrotechnic events supporting a different island charity.

This year, the evening will include entertainment from circus acts to live music and the fireworks show will finish with an unmissable trip down memory lane, featuring some favourite childhood memories from much-loved films.

The summer of free family fun at The Needles runs from Thursday, July 27 to Thursday, August 31.  Supersaver tickets to rides and attractions at The Needles are available online, giving a 25% discount.

For more information about The Needles Landmark Attraction visit the website: www.theneedles.co.uk, follow on Twitter @VisitTheNeedles or at facebook.com/visittheneedles

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For further information, please contact Paul Baker or Richard Clein on 0151 304 7017.

About Guglielmo Marconi

In early December 1897, to investigate and experiment with transmission to ships at sea, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi set up his revolutionary wireless equipment in the Royal Needles Hotel, above Alum Bay, and sent the very first wireless transmission.

Little now remains of Marconi’s experimental stations, as the hotel and masts have long since gone, however a monument to him stands on the cliff top within the park and information lecterns provide a detailed history of radio, Marconi and the role played by Alum Bay in this truly historic event.

About Summer 2017 at The Needles

The Isle of Wight’s world-famous landmark attraction has prepared five weeks of free family fun, kicking off on July 27 and running through to the end of August.

Music & Magic in the Skies fireworks events take place every Thursday throughout August.

The following Isle of Wight charities will be supported on these specific dates:

Thursday 3rd – Needles Coastguards

Thursday 10th – Challenge & Adventure

Thursday 17th – Ability Dogs for Young People

Thursday 24th – Beaulieu Respite

Thursday 31st – Earl Mountbatten Hospice

A timed schedule of summer events will be available from The Needles’ website, Facebook page and Twitter account. Southern Vectis will be putting on a special timetable for buses to and from the site during the summer holidays.

About The Needles Landmark Attraction

The Needles Landmark Attraction gives visitors access to wonderful views of The Needles, the Isle of Wight’s world famous chalk stacks.

Take an unforgettable chairlift ride from the cliff-tops to the multi-coloured sands of Alum Bay, where you can take a pleasure boat out to The Needles.

The Needles offers a range of attractions including a Sand Shop where visitors can make their own souvenir using the multi-coloured sands from Alum Bay, glassmaking at Alum Bay Glass, the Sweet Manufactory, 4D Cinema, Jurassic Golf, plus a range of children’s rides and amusements.

Refreshments are available at the 250-seat self-service Marconi’s Restaurant and fully-licenced Marconi’s Tea Rooms. These newly-refurbished eateries are named after the pioneering inventor who sent the very first wireless transmission from his base at Alum Bay.

 

Paul Baker
PR Account Manager

Boxed Off Communications Ltd
Box Studios, 17 Boundary Street,
Liverpool, L5 9UB

0151 304 7017 | 07757 943147
www.boxedoffcomms.co.uk
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Dame Judi Dench returns to Osborne to star in a new film about Queen Victoria

Osborne on the Isle of Wight, the seaside residence of Queen Victoria, is a location for a major feature film due to be released in 2017 directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dame Judi Dench entitled “Victoria and Abdul.”

Set to be the first time Osborne’s interiors have been seen in a feature film, this former royal residence will appear in a significant portion of the movie, and is the only one of Queen Victoria’s homes to be used as a location.  It marks the return of Judi Dench to Osborne in the role of Queen Victoria having previously played the monarch in the film Mrs Brown, certain exterior scenes of which were filmed at Osborne.

According to the film’s producers, Victoria and Abdul charts the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s remarkable rule.  When Abdul Karim (played by Indian actor Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself.  As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy.  The new film shows their friendship deepening and the Queen beginning to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaiming her humanity.

The influence of India on the Queen was nowhere more apparent than at Osborne, where a new ‘Indian’ wing was added to the main house..  The Indian inspired Durbar room with its elaborate ceiling designed by Lockwood Kipling is just one of the rooms set to appear on screen.  The opulent yellow drawing room with its luxurious upholstery and drapes and the stunning Grand Corridor will also feature.  The grand Italianate architecture of the house and its stunning grounds and views will be showcased.

Adam Richards Supervising Location Manager said, “It’s a tremendous thrill to film in the very rooms where the dramatic story of Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim played out in real life.”

English Heritage’s Rob Flower, General Manager at Osborne noted: “Osborne offers a unique insight into Victoria’s life – it was her family home and the only place she could really relax and be herself. The story of Victoria, Abdul and her Indian servants’ time at Osborne is a fascinating but little known one.  If you’re going to bring that story to life, where better place than where it actually happened?  We’re delighted to have welcomed Judi Dench, Stephen Frears, and the rest of the cast and crew  to Osborne and the Isle of Wight.  We’re looking forward to being part of a great British film.”

And the Chief Executive of Visit Isle of Wight, David Thornton, added that the filming of the movie of the Isle of Wight is likely to raise the profile of this popular holiday Island world-wide.

“Visiting film and TV locations has become a massive phenomenon in recent years, and we’ll be working very closely with Osborne, as well as VisitEngland and VisitBritain to make sure that everyone knows they can follow in the footsteps of some great historical figures, and movie stars here, on the Isle of Wight.”

The movie is expected to hit the screens on the 22nd  September, 2017.

For further details of Osborne, visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk//osborne; and for all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk

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For further information or images from Osborne, please contact:  Isobel Cooley PR Manager, South East on 01304 209891 or email Isobel.cooley@english-heritage.org.uk

Notes to editors:

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to Cold War bunkers. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

Registered charity no. 1140351

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight

07766 705672    sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors:

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.  As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org.

 

SHIPWRECK ISLE – A SAIL AWAY SUCCESS FOR VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT

It was anchors away last weekend (18/19 June) as Shipwreck Isle sailed into port and the golden sands of Ryde became a pirates’ paradise for two glorious days.

Hundreds of salty seadogs and buccaneers headed to Ryde for the free event, which is part of Visit Isle of Wight’s (VIOW) Festival of the Sea celebrations.

VIOW worked with Roger Crouch, the man behind the Hastings Pirate Day event – to make Shipwreck Isle even bigger and better than before.  Held for just one day in 2015, the hugely popular event was extended to two-days with events and activities that included a Pirates of the Caribbean Village, Blackbeard’s market, live stunt action and an evening of entertainment on the Saturday night.

Visit Isle of Wight believes Shipwreck Isle has a genuine potential to grow into a major, world-class event for the Island – and encourage more out of season visitors to its shores.

Katie Jones, Events Manager for Visit Isle of Wight, said: “This year’s Shipwreck Isle went extremely well and created a real buzz as local people and visitors interacted with pirates and the various pirate-themed events and activities.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roger and his team as well as Island businesses people like Airon Baker and Damien Walsh, who were involved in creating such a fabulous event”.

The Festival of the Sea runs from 18 June -3 July and during that period there are lots more sea-themed events and activities for visitors and local people to enjoy.

A new highlight this year, the world’s leading annual solo sailing race, the Solitaire Bompard – Le Figaro comes to Cowes from June 22 to 26.

The Solitaire Race Village in Cowes will be free to visit during five full days of fun, and will include food markets, a drinks bar, live music, plus an opportunity for those who want to try their hands at sailing on the Solent – courtesy of the sailing academy UKSA.  Alongside the live entertainment, there will be a host of interactive family-friendly stands and activities.

Other major events include the Shakespeare Mardi Gras on 25th June and the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on 2nd July.

For more information about these and other Festival of the Sea events, please go to www.visitisleofwight.org.

For further information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672, sue@visitwight.org

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Notes to Editors

Image of Shipwreck Isle attached.

Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT LAUNCHES CLASSIC BUSES, BEER AND WALKS WEEKEND

Beer and bus lovers are invited to join the perfect “pub crawl” as the Isle of Wight branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and the IW Bus Museum join forces again to host the Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend.

The Isle of Wight Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend takes place on 17th and 18th October and offers visitors and local people the opportunity to ride on vintage buses, combined with a good walk through the Island’s autumn landscape – and a pint or two of real cask ale at the end of it.

Vintage buses visiting the Island and from the IW Bus Museum collection will operate a regular hop-on, hop-off service to transport visitors to and from pubs located right across the Island.  All bus journeys will operate free of charge, but people are encouraged to support the event by purchasing a weekend programme, which costs just £6 and includes special offers, timetables and details of all bus routes.

The newly expanded event is supported by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) as part of their “Drive Less” and “See More” initiative.   As the organisation tasked with increasing visitor numbers to the Island, VIOW is keen to encourage people to leave their car at the hotel and explore the Island’s spectacular scenery from the seat of a bus.

Zoe Stroud, LSTF Project Manager, said “We are delighted to be able to work with the organisers on the Island’s Classic Bus, Beer and Walks Weekend.

“Classic buses are a real incentive for people to get to and from the pubs easily and we hope that the facility encourages people to consider public transport as a viable option for other journeys”

Ben Bartram, Event Co-ordinator said:  “Last year’s event was a great success, and with the increase in routes from 5 to 8, and the increase in the number of pubs involved and vehicles operating, we hope to build on the success of last year’s event and help to maintain the Isle of Wight’s position on the map as a great destination for a weekend break at any time of year”

“The IW Bus Museum have moved from Newport to Ryde this year, but we are operating the event at both sites to give greater coverage of the Island and give people even more choice when planning their weekend”.

For more information about the Isle of Wight Classic Bus, Beer and Walks Weekend, please go to www.iwbeerandbuses.co.uk.    The programme costs £6 and is available to purchase from The Guildhall or order direct from the event website.

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 Notes to Editors:

The “drive less” and “see more” initiative was launched by Visit Isle of Wight in July 2015. Developed as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project, a newly-trained team of Travel Ambassadors has been appointed to welcome visitors and encourage them to consider using sustainable transport options during their stay on the Island.

Based at the new Guildhall Visitor Centre in Newport – which forms part of VIOW’s new headquarters since it relocated to the heart of the Island last month – the four travel ambassadors are also be available at locations across the Island to help anyone who needs travel advice.   These include the ferry ports, attractions, key transport hubs and events both on and off the Island.

The Isle of Wight Bus Museum moved in early 2015 from Newport Quay to the old bus garage in Park Road, Ryde and has enjoyed good visitor numbers and positive feedback in their first season of operations there.

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwightpro.com

Our Wightpress site brings you all the latest news and views from the Isle of Wight: http://visitwightpress.com/

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

 

Natalie Dormer to star in BBC’s factual drama telling the story of the Isle of Wight’s “Scandalous Lady W”

Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer is to star in a BBC2 factual drama on August 20th, re-telling the tale of the Isle of Wight’s “scandalous” Lady in Red.

Natalie Dormer will star as Lady Seymour Worsley who, aged 17, married Sir Richard Worsley the 7th Baronet of Appuldurcombe House on the Isle of Wight, on September 20th 1775.

Badly suited to one another, the couple’s marriage began to fall apart shortly after it began.  Lady Worsley was rumoured to have had 27 lovers, one of whom was Captain George Bissett – Sir Richard’s best friend.

The BBC TV drama – titled The Scandalous Lady W – will recount the 18th century scandal on the Isle of Wight, which shocked the British upper classes.  Natalie Dormer (Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, The Tudors) leads a cast of British actors in the gripping 18th century factual drama produced by Wall to Wall Media and directed by Sheree Folkson for BBC Two.  The untold true story of Lady Worsley is brought to life by award-winning writer David Eldridge.

Eldridge based his screenplay on author Hallie Rubenhold’s book Lady Worsley’s Whim.  The book is inspired by the full length oil painting of Lady Worsley that hangs in Harewood House in Yorkshire.  She is depicted wearing a bright red riding habit.

Dormer plays Seymour Worsley, a passionate, courageous woman at the centre of a very public trial brought by her powerful husband Sir Richard Worsley, played by Shaun Evans (Endeavour, The Lost Weekend).  The one-off ninety-minute factual drama is currently scheduled to appear on BBC2 on August 20th.

Located near to Wroxall on the Isle of Wight, Appuldurcombe House today is the shell of a large 18th-century baroque house, cared for by English Heritage.It stands in Capability Brown designed grounds where there is also an Owl & Falconry Centre.

Sir Richard Worsley became the seventh baronet in 1768 and took up residence at Appuldurcombe in 1772.  He represented the peak of the Worsleys wealth and influence, becoming a privy councillor and “comptroller of George III’s household”.  By 1782, he had completed the rebuilding of Appuldurcombe in the Palladian style. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, meanwhile, was hired to redesign a huge ornamental park around the house.

The ‘new’ Appuldurcombe was a wonder to behold: a gem of Georgian architecture situated in landscaped grounds set in beautiful countryside.  However, Richard was disastrously unsuccessful in his marriage to the heiress Seymour Dorothy Fleming, which lasted from 1775 to1782.  The proceedings of their scandalous divorce case ruined his public reputation and the failure of the marriage doomed the Worsley dynasty.

For further details of Appuldurcombe House, visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/appuldurcombe-house/.

All other tourist information about the Isle of Wight can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

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For further information, please contact:
Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer
Tel: 07766 705672
E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

The Isle of Wight, V&A Museum and Science Museum mark major bicentenary

What’s “the best kept secret on the Isle of Wight”?

It would be interesting to see just how many hidden gems there are left to be unearthed on an Island that has been a hub of UK tourism ever since Queen Victoria first planted her summer home, Osborne House, there in 1845.  But here’s one to consider…

 Julia Margaret Cameron: one of the greatest portraitists in the history of photography; a member of a Freshwater Circle of glittering literati which gives the world famous Bloomsbury Group a run for their money; last year the subject of an exhibition in Gallery 852 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; and soon-to-be-featured in special exhibitions at the V&A in London and on the Isle of Wight – to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth, in 2015.

—o0o—

Dimbola Lodge, at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight, was the home and workplace of this celebrated Victorian photographer.  It’s now a Museum and Gallery dedicated to her life and work, as well as a showcase for contemporary exhibitions from photographers around the globe.

This – according to the home page of the website – is the best kept secret on the Isle of Wight.

New research also shows that the pioneering Victorian Isle of Wight photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron (born June 11th, 1815), was even the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s White Queen in Through the Looking-glass.  And a recent book, The Freshwater Circle Through The Looking-glass, by Gail Downey Middleton illustrates the connections between the bohemian Freshwater circle on the Isle of Wight, and Lewis Carroll’s famous stories.

Curiouser and curiouser, however, last year’s exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was the first devoted to Cameron’s work in nearly a generation, and the first ever at The Met.

The Museum’s website tells the story well: “When she received her first camera in December 1863 as a gift from her daughter and son-in-law, Cameron was forty-eight, a mother of six, and a deeply religious, well-read, somewhat eccentric friend of many notable Victorian artists, poets, and thinkers.  ‘From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardour,’ she wrote, ‘and it has become to me as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigour.’  Condemned by some contemporaries for sloppy craftsmanship, she purposely avoided the perfect resolution and minute detail that glass negatives permitted, opting instead for carefully directed light, soft focus, and long exposures that allowed the sitters’ slight movement to register in her pictures, instilling them with an uncommon sense of breath and life.”

Dimbola was Cameron’s home, salon and studio for 15 years between 1860 and 1875 and was where, at the age of 48, she learned the new technology of photography and produced some of the masterpieces of 19th Century photography.  These included portraits of many of the leading figures of the Victorian age who lived in or visited Freshwater Bay, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin.

A V&A exhibition is touring internationally before and after its presentation at the V&A in London.  On show atGhentMuseum of Fine Artsuntil June 14th, it will head to the SydneyArt Gallery of New South Wales from August 14th to October 25th.  After returning to the V&A Museum in London from November 2015, to February 2016, it will then go on show at the MadridFundacion Mapfre from March 8th to May 8th, and the TokyoMitsubishi Ichigokan Museumfrom June 29th to September 25th 2016.

The nearby Science Museum in London is also set to stage its own exhibition to commemorate the bicentenary from November 2015, until Spring 2016.

On the Isle of Wight, as well as being able to follow in the footsteps of Cameron, Dimbola Museum & Galleries is planning on a full year of special exhibitions and events to give visitors a full insight into her life and work.

Exhibitions during the bicentenary year will include four, seasonal displays which – drawing on the collections of the National Media Museum in Bradford – will present images taken by Cameron at Dimbola but never before exhibited at the Museum.  The exhibitions, held in a suit of newly refurbished galleries, will explore her career from her early photographic experiments, through her famous images of the bohemian ‘Freshwater Circle’ to her late imaginative illustrations and will particularly focus on her life at Dimbola and how this shaped her work.

Alongside these new presentations work will be a series of quarterly contemporary photography exhibitions which respond to and resonate with her artistic legacy. Those remining include:

*Annie Leibovitz – Pilgrimage (25/04/15-12/07/15)

One of America’s best-known living photographers, Leibovitz images speak in a commonplace language to the photographer’s curiosity about the world she inherited, spanning landscapes both dramatic and quiet, interiors of living rooms and bedrooms, and objects that are talismans of past lives. This exhibition has been specially selected for the exhibition at Dimbola.

*Portrait of an Island: Steve Blamire and Julian Winslow (18/07/15-04/10/15)

A contemporary collection of photographic portraits that captures the Isle of Wight community at a certain point in time, which will ultimately sit as an historic documentation of the people, ideas and work of that community.

*Sunara Begum, Retracing the Eye: Journeys of Migration (10/10/15-03/01/16)

“Art for me is the thread with which we sew together our collective memories. In all my work I try to tell the story of our forever evolving identities. How we came from the root and branched out is always different….Our connection is how we go back.”  Sunara Begum is a visual artist and filmmaker whose work is perfectly placed between East and West. She uses installation, film, photography and text, and has already created her own distinct visual language and aesthetic which is imprinted in all her work.

There will also be bimonthly exhibitions of the work of local schools and community groups who will be exploring and being inspired by Julia’s work.

Further details will be found at www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.

What’s “the best kept secret on the Isle of Wight”?

 

It would be interesting to see just how many hidden gems there are left to be unearthed on an Island that has been a hub of UK tourism ever since Queen Victoria first planted her summer home, Osborne House, there in 1845.  But here’s one to consider…

 

Julia Margaret Cameron: one of the greatest portraitists in the history of photography; a member of a Freshwater Circle of glittering literati which gives the world famous Bloomsbury Group a run for their money; last year the subject of an exhibition in Gallery 852 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; and soon-to-be-featured in special exhibitions at the V&A in London and on the Isle of Wight – to mark the 200th anniversary of her birth, in 2015.

—o0o—

 

Dimbola Lodge, at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight, was the home and workplace of this celebrated Victorian photographer.  It’s now a Museum and Gallery dedicated to her life and work, as well as a showcase for contemporary exhibitions from photographers around the globe.

 

This – according to the home page of the website – is the best kept secret on the Isle of Wight.

 

New research also shows that the pioneering Victorian Isle of Wight photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron (born June 11th, 1815), was even the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s White Queen in Through the Looking-glass.  And a recent book, The Freshwater Circle Through The Looking-glass, by Gail Downey Middleton illustrates the connections between the bohemian Freshwater circle on the Isle of Wight, and Lewis Carroll’s famous stories.

 

Curiouser and curiouser, however, last year’s exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was the first devoted to Cameron’s work in nearly a generation, and the first ever at The Met.

 

The Museum’s website tells the story well: “When she received her first camera in December 1863 as a gift from her daughter and son-in-law, Cameron was forty-eight, a mother of six, and a deeply religious, well-read, somewhat eccentric friend of many notable Victorian artists, poets, and thinkers.  ‘From the first moment I handled my lens with a tender ardour,’ she wrote, ‘and it has become to me as a living thing, with voice and memory and creative vigour.’  Condemned by some contemporaries for sloppy craftsmanship, she purposely avoided the perfect resolution and minute detail that glass negatives permitted, opting instead for carefully directed light, soft focus, and long exposures that allowed the sitters’ slight movement to register in her pictures, instilling them with an uncommon sense of breath and life.”

 

Dimbola was Cameron’s home, salon and studio for 15 years between 1860 and 1875 and was where, at the age of 48, she learned the new technology of photography and produced some of the masterpieces of 19th Century photography.  These included portraits of many of the leading figures of the Victorian age who lived in or visited Freshwater Bay, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin.

 

A V&A exhibition is touring internationally before and after its presentation at the V&A in London.  On show atGhentMuseum of Fine Artsuntil June 14th, it will head to the SydneyArt Gallery of New South Wales from August 14th to October 25th.  After returning to the V&A Museum in London from November 2015, to February 2016, it will then go on show at the MadridFundacion Mapfre from March 8th to May 8th, and the TokyoMitsubishi Ichigokan Museumfrom June 29th to September 25th 2016.

 

The nearby Science Museum in London is also set to stage its own exhibition to commemorate the bicentenary from November 2015, until Spring 2016.

 

On the Isle of Wight, as well as being able to follow in the footsteps of Cameron, Dimbola Museum & Galleries is planning on a full year of special exhibitions and events to give visitors a full insight into her life and work.

 

Exhibitions during the bicentenary year will include four, seasonal displays which – drawing on the collections of the National Media Museum in Bradford – will present images taken by Cameron at Dimbola but never before exhibited at the Museum.  The exhibitions, held in a suit of newly refurbished galleries, will explore her career from her early photographic experiments, through her famous images of the bohemian ‘Freshwater Circle’ to her late imaginative illustrations and will particularly focus on her life at Dimbola and how this shaped her work.

 

Alongside these new presentations work will be a series of quarterly contemporary photography exhibitions which respond to and resonate with her artistic legacy. Those remining include:

*Annie Leibovitz – Pilgrimage (25/04/15-12/07/15)

One of America’s best-known living photographers, Leibovitz images speak in a commonplace language to the photographer’s curiosity about the world she inherited, spanning landscapes both dramatic and quiet, interiors of living rooms and bedrooms, and objects that are talismans of past lives. This exhibition has been specially selected for the exhibition at Dimbola.

*Portrait of an Island: Steve Blamire and Julian Winslow (18/07/15-04/10/15)

A contemporary collection of photographic portraits that captures the Isle of Wight community at a certain point in time, which will ultimately sit as an historic documentation of the people, ideas and work of that community.

*Sunara Begum, Retracing the Eye: Journeys of Migration (10/10/15-03/01/16)

“Art for me is the thread with which we sew together our collective memories. In all my work I try to tell the story of our forever evolving identities. How we came from the root and branched out is always different….Our connection is how we go back.”  Sunara Begum is a visual artist and filmmaker whose work is perfectly placed between East and West. She uses installation, film, photography and text, and has already created her own distinct visual language and aesthetic which is imprinted in all her work.

 

There will also be bimonthly exhibitions of the work of local schools and community groups who will be exploring and being inspired by Julia’s work.

  1. Dimbola Museum and Galleries (exterior), © Jake Priddle

 

The bicentenary of Julia Margaret Cameron

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Julia Margaret Cameron…..

A sample itinerary for any media visiting The Isle of Wight who might like to “follow in the footsteps” of this famous Victorian pioneer photographer who lived and worked at Dimbola Lodge,

Freshwater became ‘home’ to a host of artists, writers, and intellectuals who regularly visited the Tennyson and the Cameron residences on the Isle of Wight.  The photographer Reginald Southey visited in 1857, followed by Charles Dodson (Lewis Carroll) in 1862, and Oscar Rejlander in 1863, who photographed both families and probably also worked on compositions with Cameron.

In her 15 years of work after the acquisition of her own camera, she would discuss practical and artistic matters pertaining to her photographic career with her friends from these circles – including the painter/photographer David Wynfield Wilkie, the sculptor and painter G.F. Watts, Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson, Herschel, Taylor and Cole.

Other famous Victorians who lived nearby or made visits to Dimbola or Farringford include the Pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt and the English stage actress and wife of Watts, Ellen Terry.

Pioneer photographer Julia Margaret Cameron made figure studies of Pre-Raphaelite types – girls in flowing dresses with long hair, looking melancholy.  Her photographs of Ellen Terry can be viewed at Dimbola Lodge photographic museum at Freshwater Bay.

Today’s visitors to the Isle of Wight can also see some of the works and influences of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood at churches and other buildings across the Island.

Itinerary:

Day 1

Travel from Lymington to Yarmouth (or from Southampton/Portsmouth).  Return car ferry provided by either Wightlink or Red Funnel.

Arrive Isle of Wight.

Visit Dimbola Museum & Galleries, Freshwater Bay.

The former home of the pioneering Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron now houses the largest public collection in the UK of Cameron’s photographs and an historic camera collection.  As well as hosting a programme of regularly changing contemporary photography and art exhibitions Dimbola is also home to a permanent display on the history of the Isle of Wight Festival.

Light lunch offers at Sam’s Piano Bar, Freshwater Bay.

Walk part of Tennyson Trail, a 15-mile walk from Carisbrooke Castle to The Needles, http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dbimgs/10.Tennyson%20Trail.pdf

Overnight stay and evening meal in Ventnor, provided by Visit Isle of Wight.

Day 2

Explore the Victorian culture around St Lawrence, Ventnor and Bonchurch – a small village to the east of Ventnor.

Algernon Charles Swinburne grew up at Bonchurch, and said in a letter that he had climbed Culver Cliff at 17.[1] He is buried at Bonchurch Church.  Charles Dickens rented a house for the summer of 1845 at what is now the Winterbourne Country House in Bonchurch. He adored the views from St Boniface Downs, northwest of Bonchurch itself. It is believed that one of his most famous novels, ‘David Copperfield’, was written during his stay on the Island.

Visit Osborne, East Cowes.

The Beloved’ (1898) a painting of Christ by William Holman Hunt is on public display at Osborne House, East Cowes.  After seeing his work, Queen Victoria commissioned the painting for the Royal Collection.  Using vivid colours, Hunt depicts Christ staring skyward holding a scroll.  Inscribed on the frame is a biblical text:  “Lo, I come, in the volume of the Book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will O God.”.

Lunch at the Terrace Restaurant, Osborne.

Depart Isle of Wight.

Please include www.visitisleofwight.co.uk in your factbox

For further information, please contact:  Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer, Tel: 07766 705672      E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Image:    Julia Margaret Cameron, © Julia Margaret Cameron Trust

Editor’s Notes to Julia Margaret Cameron links with the Island

West Wight

Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater Bay, http://www.dimbola.co.uk/

The Tennyson Trail, a 15-mile walk from Carisbrooke Castle to The Needles,

http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dbimgs/10.Tennyson%20Trail.pdf

George Frederick Watts had a home on the Island, just outside Freshwater where he lived and worked for a number of years with his pupil the Pre-Raphaelite painter, Val Princep, whose family Watts had been close friends with in London.  There is a stained glass window in St Mary’s Church, Freshwater, depicting Sir Galahad based on a painting by Watts of his then wife, the actress Ellen Terry.

Farringford, home of Alfred Lord Tennyson http://farringford.co.uk/    (The house is private but there are 10 self-catering properties in the grounds and a licensed café in the grounds.   http://farringford.co.uk/tennyson)

South Wight

Explore the Victorian culture around St Lawrence, Ventnor and Bonchurch – a small village to the east of Ventnor.

Algernon Charles Swinburne grew up at Bonchurch, and said in a letter that he had climbed Culver Cliff at 17.[1] He is buried at Bonchurch Church.

Charles Dickens rented a house for the summer of 1845 at what is now the Winterbourne Country House in Bonchurch. He adored the views from St Boniface Downs, northwest of Bonchurch itself. It is believed that one of his most famous novels, ‘David Copperfield’, was written during his stay on the Island.

Central Wight

The stained glass windows at St Olave’s Church, Gatcombe, near Newport, are the work of William Morris and his Pre-Raphaelite Group dating from 1865 and 1866.

North Wight

The Beloved’ (1898) a painting of Christ by William Holman Hunt is on public display at Osborne House, East Cowes.  After seeing his work, Queen Victoria commissioned the painting for the Royal Collection.  Using vivid colours, Hunt depicts Christ staring skyward holding a scroll.  Inscribed on the frame is a biblical text:  “Lo, I come, in the volume of the Book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will O God.”.

East Wight

Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, Queen Victoria’s daughter and a talented artist was a student of Richard Burchett, a British artist and educator on the fringes of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.   His View across Sandown Bay, Isle of Wight (1855) at the Victoria & Albert Museum is seen by modern historians as his best work.      Another Pre-Raphaelite artist, John Brett (1831-1902) also visited the Island where he painted landscapes.

Information on Dimbola Museum and Galleries

The former home of the pioneering Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron now houses the largest public collection in the UK of Cameron’s photographs and an historic camera collection.  As well as hosting a programme of regularly changing contemporary photography and art exhibitions Dimbola is also home to a permanent display on the history of the Isle of Wight Festival.

For further information, please contact the Exhibitions & Collections Coordinator Dr Rachel Flynn on: 01983 756 814 / rachel.flynn@dimbola.co.uk / www.dimbola.co.uk

Galleries, Museum and Tearooms Open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am-4pm, October to March, and 7 Days a week from 10am-5pm, April to September.

Adults £5; Concessions (Seniors, Students) £4.50; Families (2 Adults, 2 Children) £12; Under 18s £2; Under 5s Free; Art Fund, Friends of the JMCT, Museums Association Free.