Visitors flocked to Tadworth Court during this year’s Heritage Day to learn more about the historic mansion and for one visitor, it was a particularly poignant occasion.
It was the first time that Greg Bratza, great grandson of Lord and Lady Russell of Killowen, who owned the mansion from 1885 to 1906, visited the magnificent residence - which is now home to The Children’s Trust.
Greg and his wife, Jenny were accompanied by their friends Nicholas Owen, Vice-President of The Children’s Trust, and his wife Brenda.
The group enjoyed hearing about the history of the building from John and Doreen Buckoke, who dress as Lord and Lady Russell and conduct the tours at the annual Heritage Open Day.
Greg took along his great grandfather’s large leather bound visitors’ book from the Russell tenure, which contained signatures of many famous names of the era, including Herbert Asquith (later Prime Minister), Arthur Sullivan (Gilbert and Sullivan) and Harry Furniss (caricaturist), who embellished his entries with humorous sketches.
Greg said: "The visit was incredibly moving, knowing so much about the Russell history of Tadworth Court through letters and photographs, but visiting the building for first time was very special.
"I was so pleased that the Trust, quite apart from their wonderful work with children with disabilities, found the time to care for the building and allow us to share its history with the help of Lord and Lady Russell’s stand-ins!"
Rachel Turner, Voluntary Services Manager at the Trust and organiser of Heritage Open Day at Tadworth Court, added: "We had 120 visitors on Sunday, which was a wonderful turnout. We were delighted that Nicholas Owen and his wife Brenda, and Greg and Jenny Bratza joined one of the tours and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to see the amazing visitors’ book owned by Lord Russell."
The Children's Trust, Tadworth, is a national charity that provides care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs, and rehabilitation to children with an acquired brain injury.
Article from The Children’s Trust
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