Berrington Hall event with National Trust, Toni Cook and SHYPP, Toni Cook and the National Trust

For the last 9 weeks (three hours every Wednesday afternoon), the National Trust team at Berrington Hall has been working on a project led by Toni Cook to involve local young people introduced by SHYPP-Supported Housing for Young People Project to tell the stories of Berrington Hall in poetry and prose. Last night, they performed at four strategic sites around the house, including on the front steps below the impressive portico, in front of a crowd of local guests. It was an impressive production, and smoothly delivered on a beautiful evening.

Toni Cook had encouraged and led the performers in researching and the writing about the characters and some of the objects, notably a gold dress, that were preserved in the collection After the final act, as it were, we were shown an atmospheric video of the house and park.

Ana Vaughan, the manager of Berrington Hall, said the project had been very worthwhile and had resulted in better engagement with local people who might not otherwise have come to Berrington and appreciated its beauty and interest-a great result, and great for the performers too.

James Hervey-Bathurst