Monday, 30 March 2015

Manor Cottages

I got disproportionately excited yesterday when we left the house in the pouring rain, got slightly lost, walked across farmland and ended up at a new heritage initiative on the Manor Lodge site. I mean I'll be honest it's early days. There is a cottage which has been made safe and is being kitted out to look like a 1940s home. They are missing some key things, like a kitchen range and a mattress amongst other things, but you can see what an important place this will be.

I flipping love living history. Ever since watching "How we used to Live" at junior school. There is no museum I like better than one where people are dressed up and making scones.  And this one will be in Sheffield. I already have a real soft spot for Manor Lodge despite it's limited opening hours (down to funding). It's an important place (where Mary Queen of Scots was held captive no less) and every time we go back it's different. The gardens, landscaping and signage are better. The flowers are stunning in the summer. I love Tudor history. It deserves to be visited.

But 20th century history is where my inner child gets excited. Anything involving butter making, ration books, open fires, gramophones or rag rugs makes me very happy.


The even better news it that they have inherited loads of the exhibits from the Heritage Museum on Ecclesall Road - I was wondering where all that went - and are planning to open Victorian shops in a barn on site which will make it even more of an interesting place to visit. Plus there is Rhubarb Shed cafe where had the biggest sausage sandwiches in a world and lovely service.

So they need support. Financial, voluntary (to help fix things up and dress up on event days) and they are also in need of some big pieces of furniture that would really help finish the cottage interior.

Clearly we don't have a Victorian chest of drawers kicking about but someone might and I can't think of a better place to put it if you have found somewhere else to put your socks. Apologies for the terrible photo but I stuffed the paperwork in my pocket due to torrential rain.

In the mean time please go and visit. I'd recommend you check the website for open days for the discovery centre, lodge and cottages before turning up and expect to see a work in progress - but they need our support and it's a great day out. Oh and check if you've got a 3/4 mattress to spare please because the bed looks mighty uncomfortable at the moment.

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