This weekend we’re hosting Hopeful and Glorious’ Winter Art Fair, with embroidery workshops in the historic Gillows dining room, which we promise to heat for the occasion. Embroidery was in fact a real hobby of Violet Clifton’s, the last Clifton to live at Lytham Hall. We suspect that the Jacobean crewel work on the bed which was made for Violet and John Talbot, could well have been embroidered by her. But a bigger hobby was writing, both non-fiction, poetry and plays; of which more in a later diary item.
The dining room offers some fantastic Gillows of Lancaster furniture which was fortunately never sold. One is a very large curtain rail covering the entire length of the dining room, which was able to hold the heaviest of curtains, made of damask or leather. The other, more noticeable piece of furniture is the serving table in the semi-circular apse. This serving table was specially created to fit the apse. The front legs are newer additions, very bold and over-the-top in Victorian fashion. If you peer at the back, you can still see the original Georgian, elegant and spindly legs. It’s not every day you get to do embroidery in a setting like that.