So…Party Like It’s 1926!
by Cate Murway
Most people still look at traveling as being very costly, but time travel on Saturday June 4, 2016 can happen quite inexpensively, right here in historic Bristol on the Delaware.
The 'Walker Abbey' estate is set to be a virtual feast for the senses by the ‘decorologists’ with period-appropriate attention to detail and a tablescape perfect for the guests, virtually recreating this marvelous elegance. The classic Invitation cover depicting the 922 Radcliffe Street home of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Walker was designed by Centre for the Arts Hall of Fame Inductee, Bucks County artist, Rose Marie Stripolli.
Hurry! Make your reservations now for this special Downton Abbey-themed dinner.
So, exactly what was happening almost a century ago?
The Ford Motor Company announced the creation of a 40-hour work week for factory workers in 1926 and the famous magician and escape artist Harry Houdini [1874-1926] couldn’t escape his demise when he died at the age of only 52.
The first SAT [Scholastic Aptitude Test] college admissions test created by psychologist Carl Brigham was administered to high school students in June of that year and Winnie-the-Pooh was published by Author A. A. Milne.
Interesting…. Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner were both born in 1926.
Local legend has it, that while visiting Philadelphia, Lady Mary Crawley purchased a summer home in Bristol at 922 Radcliffe Street. You are cordially invited to this 1926 celebration to welcome the Crawley family and staff to Bristol, Pennsylvania.
The world has changed drastically since the end of WWI. Automobiles and textiles have intrigued the Crawley family and they hope to meet Senator Joseph R. Grundy.
Some 1926 enthusiasts may opt to party in opulent period garb, dressing the part with clothing and stunningly symmetrical and smooth finger waves hairstyles in keeping with the 1920’s. Delightful frocks of fine, sheer, fancy Voile with hair bobbed and a rolled brim cloche hat, gams covered in beige stockings and Mary Jane ankle strap button shoes bedecked the ladies, and wide shoulder jackets tapering at the waist with peak lapels and wide straight hanging trousers adorned the gents that Spring. Formal dinner parties necessitated full evening attire and for the ladies, that meant white gloves that stayed on until seated. Men would don dinner coats [akin to modern-day tuxedos] with matching trousers, and a white waistcoat.
But wait…. that was 90 years ago! You are invited to come in comfortable evening attire and low heeled shoes for this lawn party.
Join your friends and neighbors for an incredible “Downton Abbey Continues” evening, a social function — with a focus on conversation, filled with music, friendship, food and fun while you help support Bristol’s “Raising the Bar” activities. “Downton Abbey Continues” will emulate the show and that time period as much as possible with dedicated servants, maids, footman and a head butler much like the Roaring Twenties dinner parties.
The spring gala is always a first class affair.
This 2016 affair will take place along the Delaware River in the historic Borough estate of ‘Walker Abbey’ and be assured; the great food has a history. Dinner is catered by Historic King George II Inn. There is a lot in store for the dinner guests with a Raw Bar of fresh oysters, shrimp cocktail and Maryland Crab Claws, a Fruit and Cheese Station, a Beef Slider Station and Ahi Tuna and Chorizo Chicken Meatballs.
The Butlered Hors d’Oeuvre selections include Bacon Wrapped BBQ shrimp, Mini Lobster Rolls and assorted Hummus. Their Chafing Dishes will provide Grilled Chicken Penne, Blackened Mahi Mahi, New Orleans Seafood Gumbo, Mashed Potato Bar, and Farmers Market Vegetables. The Carving Station will offer Prime Rib of Beef and the desserts… you’ll find room…. boast a Chef’s Assortment of Gourmet Petit Fours and Cookies.
Coffee, Tea, Iced Tea and Soda are included.
Herman C. Mihalich’s “Dad’s Hat Rye Whisky” makes it the right way, in small batches, using only natural, local ingredients and the most careful methods. Herman, wearing his dad’s hat, will be providing the signature drink, perfect for the occasion. You can’t fake quality!
Amid the allure of this post Victorian charm, prepare to embrace a whirlwind of people and excitement while you listen and dance your way through time with the tri-state’s hottest ‘Monday Blues Big Band’, a 21 piece orchestra comprised of some of the top instrumentalists and vocalists in the region.
Special surprise entertainment will be an original performance by celebrated actress Jo Twiss in her rendition of “Tea For Two” from the 1925 musical 'No, No, Nanette', one of the most frequently recorded tunes ever written.
…. hmmmmmm, wonder who will be the “Two”??.
“Darling, this place is lovely oasis
Where life's weary taste is unknown” “Tea For Two”, lyricist Irving Caesar [1895-1996]
A most sincere Thank You is extended to the Bristol High School Prom Committee for graciously partnering in on the table centerpieces with Mycle James Gorman, proprietor of the award winning Design Works and the eclectic Spice & Co. Floral arrangements are provided by the “Downton Abbey Continues” committee and Bristol Borough Business Person of the Year, James Edward “Jimmy” Bason, Jr.’s Bird of Paradise Flowers.
Tickets are just $100.00 per person and can be purchased from the Bristol Borough Tax Office, Great I.D.’s by Anne and Spice and Company.
Seating will be assigned and tables may be reserved for parties of 10. Come with old friends and meet some new ones!
Enjoy Cocktails from 6:00-7:30PM. Dinner will be served from 7:30-10:30PM.
There is ample parking in St. Mark’s School lot and a convenient drop off area for the guests.
Many local businesses have benevolently made major contributions and Corporate sponsorship opportunities are still available. $10,000 Giveaway Raffle tickets were limited to 200 tickets and have been sold out at $100.00 each. The drawing will be held at the June 4th event but you need not be present to win.
Support your town. This elegant theme is sure to make this enchanting evening even more memorable. All who attend this soiree will wish this night could have gone on forever.
It is guaranteed to be over the top delightful!
For Information, call either of the Committee co- chairs, VP of ‘Raising the Bar’/ Rotary Club member, JoAnna Schneyder 215.788.0520, or Bristol Lions member, Ron Walker 215.785.6200
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"Been there and in fact in my youth I made weekly visit to that era of the 1920’s. My great grandparents arrived from Ireland and settled in a large three-story home in Germantown and raised eight kids in a section of Germantown that was known as Irish town. They were dead before I was born as well as my grandmother but four of her siblings stilled lived in the home with the last dying after I was married. My cousin Ronald, one of my aunts’ sons lived there too. He died in 1929 from the effects of being gassed and from 1929 onward the house was frozen in time. My father would cut their grass in the summer and being the youngest I was dad’s grunt. I love the house and my aunts who always had snacks for me. It was like visiting a please touch museum with the old victrolas, they had three of them with a large collection of records. My cousin Ronald must had been big into that new fangled voice box called the radio. He had a large collection of them both table tops and consoles that were more then five feet long. You almost had to be an engineer to play them with all the dials they held. The furniture was made of mohair and when you sat down you almost disappear from sight. Hidden treasures in the closets upstairs where you could go in one bedroom closet and reappear in the closet of another bedroom. The bedroom closets was where they kept the iron toys and trucks. Yup I’ve been there!"
Bill Slack, Hudson, FL