An Apology

It’s more than likely that you received a Temporary Post from me on Thursday as a result of me changing the theme I use for Say It With A Camera. Regular readers will know that I use Windows Live Writer to write my blogs and when WLW adopts the new theme it sometimes sends out a temporary post. It’s almost like a spam message, because there are no photographs, just some text within the email, followed by a load of numbers.

This is a temporary post that was not deleted. Please delete this manually. (28833f2c-9186-4ba0-8af7-76e97ce3ff17 – 3bfe001a-32de-4114-a6b4-4005b770f6d7)

I can only apologise for this, we all lead busy lives, and an unwanted email in our inbox is all something we could do without.

I had some great news this week. Say It With A Camera has been awarded a place in the Top 100 Photography Blogs by Feedspot, a service that lets you read all your favourite blogs in one place. I must be doing something right.

And so to some photographs. I’ve just come back from Dunham Massey, another one of Britain’s Stately Homes that is managed by the National Trust. So here’s some photographs from inside the house.

Just before you go into the house proper, there’s a room with this nice old car.

Vintage Car

Not sure if it’s still being driven on the road but there is mud on the tires and the wheel arches, maybe it does. Once inside the house, like nearly all National Trust properties, you get the chance to wander around the state rooms and usually the servants quarters. It’s usually quite difficult to get a photograph because you’re not allowed to use flash (none on my camera, anyway), and tripods are also not allowed. Not only that, there’s always people walking around, looking at the rooms. So, as a photographer, if you want photographs with no one in sight, you have to be patient and ready to click that shutter as soon as a room becomes empty.

Dining Room

Just like in the photograph below, I waited ages and suddenly, an empty room. Maybe not the best angle but I’ve got a photograph I can use.

Green Settees

The next room is a bit of a strange one. I’m not quite sure what function it has. It looks more like a room a lady would use, but I was so intent on getting the photograph I forgot to look and see what it was used for. What do you think? A room for the lady of the house?

Room

Not too hard to know what the next one is used for. It’s a study and definitely a mans room.

Study

Right, let’s go below stairs now. Into the kitchen. Sometimes I think the National Trust over decorate rooms. Just too much on the tables and work surfaces. But it does give an insight to typical items used in a kitchen of a stately home.

Kitchen

Again another room I forgot to take a note of it’s use. It looks like the servants dining room. That’s another thing about the National trust, they leave signs and things explaining what is going on. As a visitor it’s great because it lets you know all about the room. As a photographer I hate them, much too hard to clone them out, but they ruin the aesthetic of the room.

Dining Room

On to the laundry now. The tubs on the floor are where items were washed, Those wooden objects with the funny legs were effectively the agitator for the wash tubs. All done by hand, real hard work. Then there’s the mangle in the forefront of the photograph, used to wring out the washing. No tumble dryers here……

Laundry Room

….and this was the drying room. Missing from this photograph is all the washing hanging from the ceiling.

Laundry

Well that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the photographs and once again my apologies for the spurious post you received yesterday – Mike

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Order, Order, Order

I was thinking about what to do with this weeks challenge, probably far too long, here we are Tuesday afternoon and I still haven’t written anything. But regular readers will know that I’m often on the last-minute.

Right now I’m starting to prepare for a talk I’m due to give next month about wildlife and aircraft I’ve photographed, entitled “Wings And Things”, my title not the clients.

I’m slowly working through a series of photographs, identifying ones that I could possibly use. Later on I will narrow it down and then start to build the presentation.

So to this weeks challenge….

The Kitchen

All those copper pans, that would be my idea of hell, trying to clean them after use. Imagine the poor scullery maid who would have to clean everything after a dinner party in the house.

Talking of dinner parties, everything neatly laid out on the table from cutlery, crockery, table decorations, even the chairs. Setting a formal table means that every place setting should be exactly the same. Butlers would often use a measuring device to ensure that everything on the table was in its exact place, to the millimetre. There is pride in getting it just right and rightly so.

Dining Room

Book after book, all neatly filed on the shelves. I sometimes wonder if they’ve all been read or where they just for show.

The Library

That’s it for this week. Here’s what other bloggers have to say about this weeks challenge.

Gwyncurbygodwin’s Blog LIBRARY
Pecking Order – Wind Kisses
Photography- Finding Beauty in the Order of Disorder – Sumyanna Writes
Order and Creativity – Susan Rushton
Pictures without film. Bobbins – Weekly Photo Challenge- Order
Life is for Living Every Day And you thought you had one up on this Granny … definitely not!
Made to order, made in order – The Chaos Within
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies WPC- Order
Photo Challenge- Order – Figments of a DuTchess
Neatly in Order – lifeofangela

Upstairs, Downstairs Part 2

Better late than never as they, although due to circumstances beyond my control I had to delay writing this post. Now that I’ve finished the unexpected re-decoration of our bedroom at home I can finally get around to writing this post. Sage green, nice colour, once you get used to it.

Continuing the story of Attingham Hall, In later years Attingham Hall was used as a hospital between 1914 and 1918 for wounded soldiers from World War 1. After the Second World War, Attingham was used as an Adult Education College for 23 years so not a lot remains of the downstairs furnishings. Room that you see are typical of the time but I’m not sure how accurately they reflect actual life below stairs. So let’s get started.

This is the kitchen and of all the rooms below stairs this is probably the most truest representation. The lady was actually putting together the ingredients for a carrot soup when we visited.

The Kitchen

The smell of fresh lemons permeated this room. Attingham has an education program for school children and it looked like they had just finished a lesson in cooking. Pancakes I think….

Training

This room could have been the scullery it’s very close to the kitchen and would be where the pots and pans would have been washed and cleaned. No modern aids in here. Hard work and elbow grease was the only way to get anything clean.

Scullery

This room was laid out as the staff dining room. The plates you see on the table explain who would sit where. For instance on the nearest plate is the inscription

Head Coachman Frederick Nash, the highest ranking servant wearing livery. Employed for his skill driving and caring for horses. 35 gns per year.

A guinea was worth 1 pound and 1 shilling in old UK currency before we became decimalised. Nowadays that would be 1 pound and 5 pence. So in todays currency GBP £36.75 (USD $46).as an annual salary.

Staff Dining Room

Just behind and to my left from where I was standing, there is a set of stairs that lead straight up to the front door of Attingham . The dining room windows also face the driveway and the front of the hall so staff would be able to see any callers to the great house.

Right that just leaves the Silver Room which has a large vault like door to secure the house silver which you can see in the cabinets

Silver Room

That’s it. The rooms are not as ornate or decorative. Plain and functional as you would expect for an downstairs in a great house.

Upstairs, Downstairs Part 1

The year is 1812, Thomas Noel Hill, 2nd Lord Berwick of Attingham, aged 42, has brought his new wife Sophia Dubochet, a courtesan, aged 18, to his stately home Attingham Park in Shropshire.

Attingham Hall

Like many large houses of the time there was a fashionable distinct split of the state rooms into male and female sides. In part 1 of Upstairs Downstairs I’ll show you how Thomas and his wife Sophia lived, followed by part 2 later this week, looking at life below stairs in the servants quarters and kitchens.

So lets begin with the lady of the house and her boudoir.

Attingham Hall - Boudior

The room is circular in shape, even the doors are cut and shaped so that they fit the round walls. Look at the bottom of the door on the left hand side, you can see the curve. The lady you see, dressed in period costume, is one of the many volunteer guides who help out at Attingham Hall.

Next to the Boudoir lies the Sultana Room. The room takes it name from the sofa or “sultane” which you can see in the alcove.

Attingham Hall - Sultana Room

The final room from the lady’s side of the house is the Drawing-Room which is situated between the Sultana Room and the Dining Room. Interestingly there are no State Bedrooms to view on the upper floor, at Attingham. The ground floor does have a huge collection of Regency furniture, paintings, textiles, porcelain and silver as you can see from the photographs in this post. Unfortunately, Thomas and his wife Sophia spent nearly all of the family fortune and ended up being bankrupt in 1827. The bankruptcy sale lasted 16 days and two years later there was a further sale.

In later years the 3rd Lord Berwick, who became Britain’s Ambassador to Italy, managed to re-furnish the house with French and Italian pieces which he acquired during his time as Ambassador. Much later the 8th Lord and his wife, who had no heirs, added to the collection before securing Attingham’s future with the National Trust.

Attingham Hall - Drawing Room

The Dining Room was more of a male preserve. After dinner the men would stay here drinking port and talking, whilst the ladies retired to the Drawing Room or the Sultana Room. As an aside. this room was so dark, illuminated only by those artificial candles, it was hard to photograph because I wasn’t allowed to use a tripod. But the Olympus Image Stabilisation performed well, allowing me to hand hold the camera at very slow shutter speeds.

Attingham Hall - Dining Room

Next door to the Dining Room is the Library. Just look at the furnishings and compare them to the Drawing Room.

Attingham Park - Inner Library

From the Library we pass through another small room, also was being used a library, and from there we reach the Octagonal Room, used as a study by the 2nd Lord Berwick.

The Octagonal Room

The last room I would like to show you from the Upstairs Tour is the Picture Gallery, or at least, one end of it.

Attingham Hall - Picture Gallery

Now you might be thinking “what has this got to do with this weeks challenge”. Think of it from the servants point of view. Wouldn’t you wish to live in opulence like this?

Each week I like to visit other bloggers and see what they are saying about this weeks challenge. If I find the subject interesting or I like the photographs then I’ll always leave at least a like. Here’s some that might be of interest to you.

Precious wish – Lipstick & Miracles
Weekly Photo Challenge- Wish – Novice Photographer
This is Another Story The Wishing Tree
J9 Pictures Life WPC – Wish
The Difference Between Wishing and Making It Happen – Nes Felicio Photography
Half a photograph Wishes and Wells
Getting the Picture Weekly Photo Challenge – Wish
WPC-WISH – Clicks ‘ n’ Arts
Do What You Wish Twinkle, twinkle
Alba10 I wish – Weekly Photograph Challenge