Wakefield: Thrifty approach to festivities at Nostell Priory

Volunteer Barbara Bolton prepares the state dining room at Nostell Priory.
Volunteer Barbara Bolton prepares the state dining room at Nostell Priory.
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Decking the halls with shop-bought garlands might not break the bank when trimming up a three-bed semi ahead of the festive season.

But a thriftier approach is required when adding seasonal sparkle to a sprawling National Trust stately home.

A team of volunteers has set to work crafting home-made Edwardian style Christmas decorations to bring Nostell Priory, near Wakefield, to life in time for the holiday season.

Chris Blackburn, house and collections manager, said: “To invoke the spirit of Edwardian times, our team of volunteers has been busy making garlands, models and decorations as there would have been in the house at the turn of the century.

“Back then, shop-bought decorations were not as readily available as they are today, so the family and servants would usually make them from beads and paper.

“We need every penny for conservation, so this home-made approach is more affordable, it brings us together, and is much more fun than buying expensive items off-the-shelf.”

Around 20 volunteers have helped staff at the National Trust property to decorate the ground floor and state rooms at Nostell as it prepares to open in time for Christmas.

Visitors will be able to enjoy walking round the house, decorated in the spirit of an Edwardian house party.

All the decorations are being put up in time for the house opening from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday December 1. It will be closed on December 3 and 4 but will open again from 1pm to 4pm from December 5 to 9. There will be extra evening openings from 5pm to 8pm on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Nostell is also hosting a range of Christmas activities including a craft fair and second hand book fair on December 1 and 2 and family craft activities on December 6.

The park, gardens and stables courtyard, including shop and tearoom, will open daily throughout the Christmas holidays. For details of events taking place at Nostell during December, call 01924 863892 or visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nostell/

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