Thank you to everyone who came to Highclere on Sunday 3rd August. We have had such lovely e-mails, letters and reports from the charities of generosity from the guests who came.
It was the following day, August 4th, 100 years ago that we declared we were at war with Germany. The peacemakers of Europe had lost their battle and somehow thousands of similar men who might have played in concerts, travelled together and of course played football together were stuck in opposing trenches. The football match here was a draw and the footballers were excellent sports to play on an imperfect pitch. They were also very supportive of the whole idea, so thank you.
The photo of Highclere below was taken by my husband, as we too turned off all the lights on August 4th. He stood on the lawn whilst I climbed the Red Stairs in the Castle holding a storm lantern and wondering whether I would meet the odd ghost. It seemed a dark and shadowy world inside, but our predecessors must have lived in a world with more shadows just as I was in then. Looking out across the dark landscape from high up it still seems so beautiful. Opening the bedroom shutters here in the morning is still a privilege and peaceful. The soldiers who came back here from the trenches to heal and get better wrote in the letters of Highclere as a paradise.
Our last fund raising plan to mark the First World War is to auction ‘money cannot buy’ lots with the help of Christies. It is simply to see if we can raise a little bit more money to help those who are struggling to survive or seek medical care in war zones today and to help veteran charities.
These are one off lots…fun and for good causes so please have a look and bid, see if you think it is a little bit of paradise.