Upstairs, Downstairs – The Grove Gossip Tours

– Posted on Wednesday 20th April 2016

Manx National Heritage, the organization responsible for the promotion of the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture will host a new theatrical tour at the Grove Museum on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 May 2016, looking at Island life during the Edwardian period.

The guided tour provides a new dimension to a visit to The Grove in Ramsey and will take an entertaining look through the keyhole at Manx high society, and will contrast this with tales from life ‘below the stairs’ for those employed in service.

Island gossip and stories have been drawn from the Ramsey Courier newspaper and the Gibb family archives and will be brought to life by Labyrinth: History in Action Players in a walking theatrical production.

Katie King, event coordinator said,

“The historic Grove house is a great stage to bring to life local stories from the Edwardian era (1901-1910) and we have decided to focus purely on Ramsey tales. There is some fascinating source material in the newspapers, from the death of Queen Vitoria and the proclamation of King Edward VII, and the associated confusion about whether Ramsey was in mourning or should be celebrating – and just how much bunting was considered appropriate! We have uncovered scandalous tales of light fingered servants, social reformers, suffragettes being attacked in Ramsey swimming baths, a row with the Governor and much more!

We have decided to set the theatrical tour with the theme of ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ to contrast how the exciting and changing Edwardian period might have been viewed very differently depending on your social status. As is generally the case it has been much easier to uncover ‘high society’ views as broadcast in the local newspapers, but a much trickier challenge to understand what a life in service might have been like on the Island. This time period has also given us a wonderful opportunity to reveal more about the lives of Janet and Alice Gibb from the Grove.

The tours will be an interesting mix of guided tour and theatrical interpretation, which we think everyone will enjoy and we are delighted that our talented Labyrinth players will be bringing the stories to life.”

Tours will take place at 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm each day, and numbers are limited. Tickets cost £8 per person and are available in advance from the Manx Museum Gallery Shop and online at 10% discount is available for members.

Tours last 45 minutes and are followed by refreshments in the Grove Conservatory.


Image: Labyrinth History in Action Players at the Grove

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