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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 97 - April 2007

Ann Essen in Character

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Our visitors' experience is immeasurably enhanced if they can experience our exhibits in context, no more so than by having people in appropriate period costume whom they can talk to about the exhibits. No matter how good the interpretation displays are, there is no better way of getting our story over.

Ann Essen is a great example of how retired persons can pursue their interest and at the same time be a great asset to the Centre. Ann is a retired lecturer who lives in Winslow and joined the QRS in July 06. She is also a Steward at the National Trust's Claydon House in Middle Claydon. It is for this role that Ann made the Victorian (1855) costume she is wearing in the picture below. The costume fits in with the period of Florence Nightingale and adds interest for the many schools groups who visit Claydon House. The local connection is that Florence was the sister of Parthenope Verney, the second wife of Sir Harry Verney. Sir Harry, along with the Duke of Buckingham, were the entrepreneurs who built the Aylesbury to Verney Branch that opened in 1868, part of which the BRC now occupies.

Visitors to the 2006 Santa steamings would have seen Ann showing off the newly restored 1907 Edwardian Cornwall pram. The pram has been sympathetically restored and enhanced including the doll's outfit and pram cover by visitors Mr and Mrs Watson of Rickmansworth, who collect and restore prams. The work has been done to a very high standard, for which the BRC is very grateful. A photographic record of the restoration was produced and can be seen in our museum library collection.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2007 and so does not reflect events in the 7+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Ann Essen in Character - Quainton News No. 97 - April 2007

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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