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'Keeping Christmas' at Lea Hurst with the Tuesday Occasionals Choir

Imagine Florence Nightingale, back from the Crimea to nurse her ailing mother at their country home, sitting together with her, and friends, in their drawing room being entertained to wassailing by an itinerant choir.

Well that country home was Leahurst in Holloway Derbyshire, now owned and beautifully restored by Peter and Jenny Kay, who hosted an event reflecting that image.

The Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust invited ‘The Tuesday Occasionals,’ a choir specialising in Georgian and Victorian music, to wassail the Kay family and Friends of the Trust with carols and recitations of the period – resulting in a spine tingling and magically authentic occasion; a true way to experience any historic house!

Leahurst, recently loving restored to life since its interim use as a nursing home, was exquisitely decorated for Christmas. Peter explained to guests the history of the house and Florence’s love for it as well as showing some of the items of Florence memorabilia he has collected. The Trust served mulled wine accompanied by mince pies, Christmas cake and other seasonal fayre.

The event was one of a recently reintroduced series of social events for Friends of the Trust to enjoy in historic settings - the previous one having been at Haddon Hall with an autumnal supper in the Great Hall and renaissance music in the Long Gallery.

If you are interested in becoming a Friend of the Trust and participating in future events, find out more here


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