November 2011 - BBC Lincolnshire Pirate Gold Keyring

This month Susan participated in a three day art and craft show being held at Doddington Hall, an Elizabethan family owned home in Lincolnshire. Although in it's third year, this was the first occasion Susan had taken part. Timed to coincide with the highly popular Christmas season at Doddington, the event took place over the weekend of Friday 4th - Sunday 6th November 2011. This year it was held for the first time in the recently completed Coach House extension, a new events and wedding venue.

Over thirty local and regional arts and craft exhibitors, hand picked for quality and originality, were in attendance each day. A variety of jewellery, textiles, ceramics, stained glass and watercolours were amongst the items on display. Susan was one of several exhibitors demonstrating over the weekend. She also offered visitors the opportunity to try pyrography for themselves.

BBC Lincolnshire Pirate Gold KeyringShortly before the event was due to take place Susan was contacted by Amy Claridge, the PR representative for Doddington Hall. Discussions had taken place with the local radio station, BBC Lincolnshire, and part of the regular Sunday morning treasure hunt programme "Pirate Gold" was to be broadcast 'live' from the venue.

The unusual nature of Susan's particular art form had intrigued the programme makers and her stand had been chosen to form the first in a series of clues. The aim was to solve all the clues along the way in an attempt to reach the final destination and discover the 'gold' within the allotted time span. To assist the "hunter" in this quest, a specially designed keyring featuring a skull and crossbones and the BBC logo was commissioned ready to be hidden amongst Susan's pyrography display.

The four line clue given out on the morning of the broadcast read:-

"This pyrographer makes items of worth
Was she related to the pm of mirth?
At a fair of crafts and also art
A recorder had this as it's tudor start".

Having no internet access, email or map the radio presenter in the studio was reliant on information passed on via listeners to the show. In the meantime, a second presenter travelling around the county in a radio car with no navigational aids had only the information passed on by the studio.

It was soon deduced that the "pm of mirth" was George Robey (actually no relation to Susan!) an early English music hall comedian known as the "prime minister of mirth". Doddington Hall was the "tudor start" and the connection with a pyrography artist attending an event being held there that weekend was made.

BBC Lincolnshire's Amanda ThomsonWith the first clue solved the presenter in the car, Amanda Thomson, was able to make her way to Doddington to seek out the next one. Having eventually located Susan and the "Pirate Gold" keyring, Amanda had fun creating her own personalised keyring while attempts were being made to solve the second clue. In the meantime 'Driver Johnny' took several photographs to be posted on the programme's Facebook page.

It was all good publicity for the event which has proven very popular in the past and this year attracted a total of 3,300 visitors over the three days.

Doddington Hall & Gardens is open to the public throughout much of the year and is well worth a visit. Opening times can be found on the web site . It also has a very busy farm shop and cafe attached which is open seven days a week all year round.






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