David Winter 1997 Carnival Report

 

David Winter Cottages Group | David Winter Cottages Forum
Discuss, Buy and Trade David Winter Cottages with other collectors

 

After months of hard work, doubt, soul searching etc: the Carnival weekend arrived. Someone upstairs was watching and was obviously pleased with all the effort, the temperature climbed into the high 80’s, although under canvas it felt more like 180 at times, the sun shone and we had a great crowd of attendees.

 

The attendance was, as expected, not as high as Ian and I had hoped. The confusion over the dissolution of John Hine Limited, the inability to reach all collectors to notify them of the changes and, for our American friends, the high cost of air fares being the main reasons for this.

 

Our hotel gave us all a wonderful service, nothing was too much trouble (they even sent me flowers and a birthday card), the breakfast was buffet style and offered a full English breakfast, Omelettes, Waffles, Muffins and Danish pastries – everyone could eat as much as they wanted.

 

Many of our American friends checked into the hotel on Thursday and so we had arranged for a Dinner at “The Old Fourpenny Shop” Hotel just outside the main entrance gates to the Racecourse. Thirty of us, enjoyed a three course meal and spent the evening renewing friendships and making new ones.

 

Friday was hectic, the day was spent in one of the Marquee’s siting tables for the various activities associated with Carnival. Tombola, Cottage Hoopla, Lucky Dip, Grand Charity Raffle and the Goody Bags. There were also tables for Carnival Merchandise (Golf Shirts, Pens and Sweat Shirts plus all the new releases by David, from Enesco), The Cottage Exchange had lots of cottages for sale and we had a small Craft Fayre. Paint your Own tables were sited in the other marquee, plus the signing area for David and the famous “Audrey’s Tea Shop” banner was taken out of moth balls and given an airing for the Food Sale areas. The DWCC’s were represented by two of the UK Clubs and Five or six Clubs from the US. Susan Bradley represented the Guild under Enesco and Dawn Wylie, Assistant Production Manager from Enesco was on hand to record the sales of the Carnival Pieces.

 

Later in the afternoon Phil and I together with Ian and the Curator of the Lord Leycester Hospital went up to the Grand Hall in the Hospital to decorate, put out the “Mouse” prizes and hide all the clues for “The Great Mouse Hunt II” Competition. Ian had devised the competition. We had twenty four chocolate mice and each mouse had a letter attached to it’s body, entrants to the competition had to collect all the letters and then place them in the correct order – thus spelling out “King Richard Third’s Castle” the correct winner having the apostrophe and the “s” in the right order. The prize was a one of a kind “Jockey Mouse” in a bronze/resin casting mounted on a plinth which had been designed and donated by Alice Winter, David’s sister. Little did we know that this special donation would be won by a twelve year old!!

 

As we had been given so many “mouse” prizes, we also did a fifteen question quiz, which had collectors puzzling for a while.

 

The evening was warm and still sunny as the invited guests began to arrive. Each person was handed a glass of sparkling wine as they entered the Grand Hall and after admiring the old and very impressive surroundings including the very colourful stained glass windows began the task of hunting for the clues. A buffet was offered during the course of the evening as well as a Bar – which had, at times, quite long queues due to the heat of day.

 

Saturday morning arrived very early for us, we had had about five hours sleep, the boxes were loaded and transported to the Marquee and then the fun began, unpacking, siting, distributing, making sure that the helpers knew what they were doing and where they were supposed to be – even after all the planning there was still a lot to do. The crowd began to gather outside the Marquee about 9.30.a.m. – the Grand Opening was due to take place at 10.am. and this year, we did not have the usual fan fare and or local dignatory to perform the ceremony. Business for the Cottage Sales ticked, but there was a noticable shortage of collectors spending anything like the large sums of money that had changed hands at Rochester. We did sell a Chichester Cross within ten minutes of it being placed in the cabinet though !!

 

On the Goody Bag tables we had donations which totalled approximately 140 items over the two day period. Enesco had donated a Haunted House, a Quindene Manor, a Golf Club House and a Barnacle Theatre which were used as two prizes per day for the Grand Charity Raffle as well as a large quantity of Christmas Miniatures which had all been gift wrapped and used in the Lucky Dip Tub. Tombola was another high spot of the weekend – again Enesco had donated many of the cottage prizes, with other donations, not all associated with Cottages, being given by varying individuals. The most successful charity fund raiser over the entire weekend had to be the Cottage Hoopla – and why not ? Where else would any collector be given the chance to own a David Winter Cottage for £2. 00. ? The queues to participate in this event stretched, at one point, out the door and into the other Marquee. This area was also the noisiest as the participants shouted with glee as their hoop landed correctly over their chosen cottage. We had only three complaints – shame they could and would not accept the judge’s decision as final, especially as all the monies raised were for children who needed the £2. 00. more than they did!! – What the hell, there always has to be someone ! This event was so successful, we had to run round and find more prizes – thanks to Ian for stepping in.

 

The Racing was also successful for many of the collectors who chose to place their bets. The favourite of the evening had to be a horse named “Mouse Hole” – pure fluke that the animal had this name and be running at a Race Evening where David Winter Cottage Collectors were in attendance. Sadly David and Ian chose not to back this horse and were subsequently speechless when it passed the winning post giving those who had backed it a good retrn for their stake money.

 

The “Name the Race” suggestions proved to be winners for friends of ours – Michael Denouter, President of DWCC-Washington/Baltimore Chapter won with his title “The David Winter International Mouse Stakes” amd Richard and Lydia Kyle from Colorado were successful with “The David Winter Fairytale Challange”. Other winner’s suggestions were “The King of Cottages Stakes”, “The Richard III Classic” and “The Classic Cottage Carnival Handicap Stakes” – all these winners had the added privilage of entering the winners enclosure to present the prizes to the owners of the horses who actually won the races after which they were named.

 

The Racegoers Supper was the final event for the Saturday – as it was also going to be the venue for my !!**!! birthday celebrations, Phil and I together with friends gathered in the Supper Marquee prior to a private Champagne Reception to decorate the area. We used gold and silver balloons, flowers, table decorations and !!**!! confettii – music was organised by Ian and played softly in the background. Collectors trickled in after the racing was over and dinner was served to all at about 9.30.p.m. Many photographs were taken, David was included in all-and Ian made a very amusing speech about the Race evening and the fact, in case attendee’s were wondering about the !!**!! numbers on the balloons, they were an indication as to the years I had been collecting David’s cottages !!

 

Sunday was another warm and sunny day – we were all very busy even though there were less collectors present. We had time to chat and catch up with old friends and catch our breathe ! It was also the time to notice what was happening – and to hear of events that had perhaps bypassed us during the weekend. For instance, some of the Carnival pieces had arrived broken and or damaged – I had already mentioned to John Hammond about two weeks previously that the packing that Enesco was using was not going to be suitable – once the carnival piece is out of its box, it takes ages to arrange the “little blue bags filled with polysterene” back into the box (already they are reports coming in from the UK/USA that shipments of Hereward the Wake are arriving broken and or damaged) Also the box label was used, in some instances, to secure the box lid, not a very good idea as anyone wishing to open the box has to destroy the label ! It has also been noticed that the Certificate of Authen good idea as anyone wishing to open the box has to destroy the label !

 

Various pieces of memorabelia that are still available include:

Sport of King’s, Carnival 97 Warwick, A New Beginning” The Golf ($27) and Sweat Shirts($35) are grey with red lettering again “Carnival 97 – A Sport of Kings etc:” and Pen’s $2. 00. – the last three items are exclusive of postage and the dollar rate quoted is approxiamte. If you would like to place an order, please do so via e-mail or telephone us with your requirements.

 

As an added incentive to collectors attending the event, each castle purchased included a pen, a special carnival button and a Parchment Scroll bearing the picture of the piece and a brief statement re: the piece. David signed all the scrolls for the attendees and wrote the number of the pice purchased in the allocated space. The piece is signed AND dated by David but any piece bought via mail order of through any other source will not or SHOULD NOT be dated.

 

My overall comment on the event is one of thankfulness that the weather was kind to us, sadness that it was not well attended, but generally pleased that the event went well and was enjoyed by all who did attend. Enesco has already announced that there will not be an event in 1998 and there has been no comment from them with regard to an event in 1999 – only time will tell.