It almost an Christmas tradition with us now...the visit to Upton Park very close to Christmas. Mr S itches to go every year after seeing the house decked out for visitors with lovely floral arrangements, glorious pictures, trees decorated, and a roaring fire in the grate with arm chairs around, several years ago.
We had lunch early on Saturday and set forth in eagerness...there was a break in the wind and rain, as we walked up to the house. However, I could feel an air of despondency fall from my dearly beloved, as he gazed over the sandbags and other items left about. He could see that they were holding the damp against the stone walls of the building and was not at all happy as to what that may be doing to the fabric of the building!
The House felt completely different to what it had done in previous visits with the house 'dressed down' giving a feeling of austerity and frugality but non the less giving out the feeling of defiance to help to uphold morale. Upton House became a bank during World War II and staff moved up from London leaving their families behind.
I had a go on one of the old type writers, similar to the very old ones we learnt to touch time on in the basement classroom at Claremont. I typed on old Headed Paper...but could not remember how to set the tabs...and its a good job I did not have to replace any ribbon!
The staff from the bank were put up in dormitories, and I enjoyed looking round one of the bedrooms. It reminded me of boarding school. There was some interesting knitted garments, and I really took a fancy to this lovely scarf. It is knitted in fine 4 ply wool and isn't the pleated effect just lovely.
I was soon having a very close up look and trying to figure out the pattern
Back home I did some research and found the pattern available of line from the Victoria and Albert Museum. The pattern was part of a leaflet of knitting: Pleated Scarf in Essentials for the Forces, produced by Jaegar. I shall certainly be having a go at this!
The handknits neatly stacked in the tallboy had me very nearly pulling them out to have a look...instead just this picture of beautifully folded garments.
On the bed there was a hank knit blanket , and in other places cushions covered in sewn up squares, but sadly some man made fibres squares spoilt the effect for me! But the blankets were sewn up from squares sent in to the NT by volunteer knitters, so I shall in the 'spirit of Christmas' step back and say that looking at the bigger picture the 'mis en scene' was worth while.
And just in case they run out of real mistletoe, there was a knitted version! This year Mr S and I have plenty of the real stuff, but we still had a kiss under this bunch!
As we left, I caught site of this banner!