December 31, 2018|Reports

“A Butler’s Christmas” by Dr Bob France

The December 11th joint Christmas meeting with the Wickham Society took place in the Woodford Room in order to accommodate members and guests of both two societies. It was given by Dr Bob France, costumed as a Victorian butler, a role he takes on for visitors at both Petworth House and Uppark.

You may already know that the Victorians gave us our modern Christmas, but did you know that Boxing Day was the day tradesmen called round for their boxes (of tips) or that Father Christmas was originally clothed green? You thought Prince Albert invented the Christmas tree – think again! George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte first started the tradition using yew tree boughs.

Bob gave us some great insights into life above and below stairs and the evolution of our Christmases from the holly of the midwinter pagan festival to the Dickensian Christmas of the Victorians. The meeting concluded very cheerfully with Brian Edgeworth’s champagne cocktails and a great selection of snacks provided by members of both societies.

Do you have something to contribute to the society?