How many eggs does it take to make a cake the size of Wimpole?
Answer = 500! Not to mention (among other ingredients) 25kg caster sugar, 10kg chocolate, 10kg marzipan, 9kg cream, 5kg Morello cherries, 10 packs of wafers and three packs of giant marshmallows.
So impressive was the finished product that the actor playing Capability Brown, in whose honour it had been made, was at first reluctant to cut it. Fortunately he overcame his scruples, the crowd sang Happy Birthday, and a weekend of tercentenary celebrations was launched. Actors from the Pantaloons mingled with our visitors in the characters of Philip, Jemima and Amabel Yorke, as well as Mr Brown himself, and entertained them with short performances in the Saloon, the ORR garden, and outside the Georgian Tea Tent, where our costumed volunteers kept everyone suitably refreshed on what turned out to be two beautifully warm and sunny days.
The tent was decorated with bunting and ingenious floral arrangements in Georgian-style teacups, birdcages and teapots, all lovingly made by Wimpole volunteers using donated items – a wonderful, brightly coloured example of everyone working together. Part of Wimpole’s history was brought back to life with a Georgian rules cricket match on the South Avenue, on the very spot where the sport used to be played in days gone by; and quite a few members of staff and volunteers, as well as members of the public, will have a permanent souvenir of the weekend in the form of shadow portrait by silhouette artist Mark Conlin.
In all, 4229 people helped us celebrate the tercentenary of Lancelot Capability Brown and it was certainly a weekend to remember. Thanks to everyone who made it happen!
About the author: Anne French, Events Officer, Wimpole Estate, National Trust.