Yesterday we went back in time at White Lodge to co-host a sumptuous Victorian Tea Party for children with special educational needs from three local schools along with Richmond Park’s Holly Lodge Centre.
The event was one of two hosted in Richmond Park each year to teach children the history of White Lodge and its inhabitants.
Children from Strathmore School, Marjory Kinnon School and Linden Bridge School joined Royal Ballet School students, staff and volunteers, donning Victorian fancy dress and taking part in a number of activities.
First they were welcomed into the White Lodge Salon for an introduction to the ‘Duke and Duchess of Teck’ before heading down to the lawn to try their hand at traditional Victorian games and have their picture taken.
Then all the schools gathered to perform theatrical ‘sketches’, each enacting part of the history of White Lodge. The stories ranged from the 1860s right through to the present day, taking in famous future Queens and ballerinas.
All the children and volunteers were rewarded for their performances with lemonade, tea, cucumber sandwiches and cake.
Anna Meadmore, Curator of White Lodge Museum, said:
‘It was a fantastic day and all the children, no matter what their learning capacity, should now have an understanding of the story of White Lodge.
‘It works on a pastoral level for our students who become the hosts and get a unique perspective on what life is like for children with special educational needs.
‘It is also a fantastic opportunity for our volunteers to connect with volunteers at Holly Lodge, 13 of whom were here helping today.’
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