Brrrrrr! Not so much “Gunpowder, Treason and Plot..” and more “Horlicks, Chapsticks and Ice !!!!
But before that, it was a perfect excuse to drop into nearby(ish) The Red Lion in Cranford for a spot of nosebag. Yummy!
Starters at The Red Lion
...but back to the plot! We not been to Boughton House’s 5th November event and we’d heard mixed reviews. The first challenge was actually getting to the event itself! Local signposts counter-intuitively pointed us in the opposite direction to when we last visited the House with NIcki back in the Summer, but we dutifully followed all of them. After some hairy moments along a road better suited for testing car suspension (and avoiding cars heading towards us on the single track road) we ended up not far from Boughton’s normal parking area!
The temperature was dropping rapidly but we were feeling smug as we’d wrapped-up accordingly - or so we thought!
It was well-supported as there must have been two hundred people there. After getting our tickets checked we headed for the courtyard where there was a fire-eater entertaining the crowds. Food was in plentiful supply and we could see neighbours, David and Valerie queuing for food. Pork-in-a-roll, burgers, hot-dogs and a tea and coffee stand was on the menu - and the vendors were busy! I was tempted, especially after seeing the size of David’s sausage (ooo err missus!) but Ann’s firm grip and my ever-increasing waistline dissuaded me!
By now, we were slowly starting to freeze, in spite of our layers, but we soldiered on. We then noticed girls in red monk-like outfits wandering around amongst the crowd - at that point we hadn’t realised they were part of the event, else they was a part of Red Riding Hood’s supporters on a night out!
Eventually, we were let in to the inner courtyard. In the absence of any instructions or information, we just followed everyone else and we ended up congregating around a makeshift stage - below - it seemed to have nothing to do with November 5th but we could hear some drummers on the opposite side of the courtyard doing their thing.
After an extended period of standing around wondering what was going on, three males and alone female appeared on stage and performed a sort of love-dance for around 20 minutes. If we were cold, we certainly felt for them who were dressed in minimal attire. At the end of their performance, everyone clapped politely, but I’m not sure if any of us really understood what we had just seen. Top marks though for them coping with the now-freezing temperatures.
They left the stage and the drummers appeared. After their short performance, we enjoyed another period of inactivity before were let through to take up our positions in front of the side of Boughton House - that’s more like it!
The Gunpowder Plot begins
By now, the priority was to keep, warm, and we were failing miserably! Then the show began. It was a sort of son et lumiere affair - and was actually pretty good. Supplemented with the now familiar drummers and performers (and the lost Red Riding Hood Appreciation Society from earlier) it all came together really well. The only issue was again, the plummeting temperature - and more specifically, my frozen fingers! (hence the shaky photos). The evening finished with an impressive firework display which lasted around 10 minutes.
..and just when we thought we knew all we needed to know about the Gunpowder Plot, we learned was that as a result of the Plot, and more specifically Edward Montagu, who lived at Boughton House, Parliament passed an Act called Observance of 5th November Act 1605.
And then it was all over, and I think at that point all 200+ of us had the same idea - how quickly can we get back to our car and put the heating on full!
Janet retraced the route back to the main road and were soon home - and fiddling with the central heating.
So, all-in-all, it was an enjoyable evening, but the freezing temperature and the hanging around between events might make us think twice about going again next year.