Monday 8 June 2015

Breaking News

Today has been an exciting day for me. It is the 150th anniversary of the death of Sir Joseph Paxton and I have been to St Peter’s Church at Edensor on the Chatsworth Estate for a Commemoration Service. I talked at length with John Greatrex, Fellow of the RSA, who organized the event. I spoke with Canon Dave Perkins who conducted the service. I was introduced to the Duke of Devonshire. A film crew interviewed me. I bet you’re wondering why. I shall explain all.

Sir Joseph Paxton was a gardener, an architect and a Member of Parliament, but he is best known for designing the Crystal Palace, which was erected in Hyde Park in 1851 for the Great Exhibition... 

Here comes the really exciting bit... 

I have been commissioned to write The Children’s Book of The Crystal Palace. It’s going to be in the same format as The Children’s Book of Richard III and I can’t wait to get started on the research.

You’re going to be hearing a lot about Paxton and the Crystal Palace over this next year. It’s a fascinating subject and I will definitely be sharing with you glimpses of the book as it emerges, but for now I’ll share with you some photos of my day.

Inside St Peter's Church just before the service began. The children from Pilsley School took part of the service and you could feel their enthusiasm. 

Joseph Paxton's grave. The children had made flower baskets that they placed in front of the grave.

The cameraman from Sort of Films who interviewed me. He seemed to need a rest after the interview. Was I really that difficult a subject!

And last but not least, John Greatrex wearing his Joseph Paxton hat and declaring the start of his campaign to rebuild the Crystal Palace. The site has yet to be named so watch this space.