Monday, 14 July 2014

RNA and Blists Hill

What a fabulous Romantic Novelists' Association weekend conference at the Harper Adams University Campus near Telford! I was lucky enough to take part in the historical authors event at the Blists Hill Victorian Town at Ironbridge on the Friday morning, a wonderful recreation of Victorian times. We were given the Goods Shed in which to set up our displays and books and most of us had dressed in some kind of costume according to the period in which we write. Some were stunning and very authentic (like Christina's) and it all added to the fun and interest for visitors.



Victorian clothes

Draper's Shop

Christina Courtenay
I adapted a dress and various items from home and brought my parasol and fan. A friend, Myra Duffy, had kindly allowed me to display her fold-out Victorian Dolls' House which attracted some admiring views and I had a wooden cup and ball game to keep any children amused. The displays were all so attractive and conveyed a lot about different historical periods. I also made sure to see some of the Victorian town while there and wasn't disappointed!
Dentist's Chair

Baker's Shop
Friday afternoon saw the official beginning of the conference and from then on, it was a whirl of interesting talks, chatting, eating, drinking and much fun and laughter, plus receiving the famous goody bag filled with books, promotional material and chocolate! A highlight for me this year was to meet up with lots of online friends in person at last and they did indeed feel like friends. I also made some new ones this year. On Saturday evening, we were treated to a wonderful gala dinner and, as always, all the glam outfits and gorgeous shoes attracted lots of attention. 


There's nothing like a gathering of like-minded people and professionally delivered talks to send us home inspired to get on with writing - once we recover from the lack of sleep and the travel home. I now have pages of notes to absorb and lots of ideas to develop or finish, plus a renewed sense of what is possible for authors these days. Roll on next year in London!

Rosemary

15 comments:

Gill Stewart said...

I loved the whole weekend too, Rosemary. I almost wish I was still there - except I'd be too exhausted to think by this time!

Julia said...

Sounds like an excellent weekend. Blist Hill is on my list of places to visit.

Wendy's Writing said...

Part of me thinks it sounds wonderful and the other part thinks it sounds scary (I'm not good with huge groups of people.

Patsy said...

Seems like it was a lot of fun.

Joanna said...

These are gorgeous pictures, Rosemary, and the event sounds fantastic and very well organised. I love all the Victoriana. I'm so glad you enjoyed it - it must have been lovely to meet online friends in person. x

Frances Evesham said...

I'm so envious, but I plan to be there next year.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I know exactly what you mean, Gill!

It's an excellent place, Julia, and a good pre-conference event.

I think you'd love it, Wendy - not scary at all!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It was indeed, Patsy!

The whole weekend was excellent, Joanna, and the conference full of inspiration.

That would be great, Frances - I'm sure you'd find it invaluable, and fun!

Joan Fleming said...

I was sorry to miss Blists Hill, Rosemary, but I can only echo what you've said about the conference - it was brilliant!

Anita Chapman said...

The Blists Hill event sounds wonderful-great photos! It was such a good conference Rosemary and lovely to meet you.x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It was indeed, Joan - sorry you missed the Friday morning.

You too, Anita! The Victorian Town was excellent and a good chance to see it.

Jean Bull said...

Wish I'd gone to Blists Hill! You all look fabulous!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

You would have loved it, Jean!

Vikki said...

Love the costumes and photos! The weekend sounds like it was great

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Vikki - it was a brilliant weekend!