Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Kristine and Victoria, the No.1 London Ladies

 Through their Blog, No.1 LONDON, [ ] I take a keen  interest in following the adventures of 
Kristine and Victoria 
[variously together, alone or sometimes with their spouses]

[Picture courtesy of Candice Hern at ]

Their passion for for Regency England is entrancing. Their observations are sparkling, their adventures hair-raising, worthy of a novel in themselves. Everywhere they visit they take photos - not snaps but real, attractive pictures, inside and out, of the many country houses, monuments and the countryside they visit. It creates a most attractive record of their travels. I speak from experience, because Kristine and Victoria came to Reading, where I live. One sunny afternoon last September, we met at the George Hotel, an old coaching inn, dating back to 1423 and probably before that. It was an appropriate lodging for them, as they were leading The Wellington Tour, with a group of enthusiastic Regency and Victorian era fans.

After several days of travelling to places connected with the Duke of Wellington, these kind ladies still had energy and time to come on a tour of historic Reading. I showed them the traces that still exist of the once great abbey, the market places where produce from the abbey was sold, the Holy Brook where the monks had windmills to grind the grain for bread, and the Forbury Gardens, a well-tended park in the centre of town. Kristine's photos of the flowers in there are stunning. I see my town through new eyes after reading her blog post on Reading [sorry for pun]. 

One member of the group was Diane Gaston, whose novels I enjoy very much. This is my photo of Diane, Kristine and Victoria in front of the Abbey Gateway. This structure has been restored several times and is undergoing more repairs at present, as the scaffolding testifies. In this building was Mrs Latournelle's school. Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra attended this school from 1785 -86.

After our walk and lots of talk, we returned to The George for dinner and more conversation. A golden memory, and thanks to Kristine's photos, still vivid.