So, there I was languishing in my sick-bed with only a laptop and the Jack Russell for company, when I though I’d catch up on all those BBC programmes (on iPlayer) that are usually screened when the H&A production line is at full-throttle and we’re either chained to our desks or out shooting the lovely homes and antiques that we put between the covers of the magazine every month.
Anyway, how could I resist an episode of Cash in the Attic that featured a lady called Notty Hornblower? The answer is I couldn’t. Notty, as well as having possibly an even better name than Moon Unit Zappa has made it her life’s work to collect frocks, shoes and fripperies from the late 18th century to the 1970s to put into her unique museum of costume called the Hope House Museum near Matlock in Derbyshire.
What an extraordinary looking place it is – more than 600 pieces, gathered in a barn and displayed with some degree of eccentricity. The quest for Cash in the Attic was to raise enough money for Notty to reward her helpers at the museum with a trip to the Bath Fashion Museum with buckets of champagne thrown in.
What an admirable ambition - and next time I’m in Derbyshire I can’t wait to take a detour and visit Notty’s unique offering to the world of British fashion.
Angela Linforth, editor