Posted by: marymarthatours | September 28, 2012

England in Miniature Tour – A Great Success

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Our tour gals waiting for Miniatura to open

Judging from the number of packages that were coming out of this fall’s Birmingham Miniatura Show in the hands of group members from the M&M England in Miniature Tour, I’d say that the tour was a great success — especially for the British economy.

The travelers not only enjoyed the opportunity to shop at Miniatura and various miniature shops along the way, but loved seeing the amazing miniatures and rooms at A World in Miniature in Carlisle and at Nunnington Hall in Yorkshire. And in addition to venues featuring miniatures, we visited historical sites that gave participants a chance to see Architectural styles from the Norman period through the 20th century.

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Martha at Nunnington Hall

I’m sure that these stops inspired the travelers and that a number of new roomboxes and dollhouses are being considered for building and furnishing. One tour member discovered and loved the Georgian period; another wants to make a miniature Victorian chemist’s shop.

Our group members were not the only ones who splurged at Miniatura. So did I. Mostly I purchased small half-scale items to go in the Barley Hall buttery and pantry which will be part of the next phase of Barley Hall that I will build. (click here to see previous blog postings about building Barley Hall in miniature) I couldn’t resist the dusty bags of parsnips, beans and carrots, the basket of mushrooms, or the water butt, broom and mop from Mags-Nificent Miniatures.

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Half-scale items for the Barley Hall pantry

But my major purchase came at the K Designs booth where I found the perfect family of half-scale Tudor dolls to inhabit the Hall. I had met Kate Pinsent at the Chicago International Show in April 2011. I loved her period dolls, which was something new for me, as I have never considered dolls in any of my mini scenes before. Not only are Kate’s dolls beautiful, but they are made of metal and are completely posable which appeals to me. I didn’t make a purchase in Chicago, but I told Kate that I would be seeing her at the fall Miniatura Show in England.

Sure enough, there was her booth just inside the doors of Hall 11 at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre). After greeting Kate and chatting a bit about the tour, I checked out the Tudor dolls. She had several in early Tudor attire and several in the costumes of the later Tudor period. We agreed that the earlier period was more correct for Barley Hall. I told her that I would like to purchase the Tudor gentleman, and she laughed and said, “I made that one just for you”. He, of course, would be named William Snawsell after the York goldsmith and Mayor who inhabited Barley Hall in the late 1400’s.

And after buying Mr. Snawsell, it was just like the very English saying, “in for a penny, in for a pound”. I decided that William would certainly need his wife Joan, son Seth, and daughter Alice to join him in my ‘small hall’. So I got them all, and here they are outside their home…

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The half-scale Snawsell family at Barley Hall

(by Mary)

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