Guest Podcast Shelf Healing – Carriages & Costumes: Regency Replicated & Reimagined

Hosted by Rebecca Markwick, with guests Sarah Dance & Amy Bracey

Bringing Rotten Row and the Brummel Knot to life, Carriages of Britain meet Costumes in this lively podcast romping through the continuing romance of carriages and the thrall in which Regency dress hold us on stage on screen.

The Carriage Commentator’s founder and editor in chief Sarah Dance (Needham) is an authority on all areas of carriage driving having been involved in it all her life.  Raised on a farm in Aberdeenshire, she has always driven and ridden, and aged sixteen won the British Driving Society’s Harpers & Queen junior scholarship.  

She was also the Scottish Junior Whip champion on several occasions.  Her mother is senior judge Jane MacInnes LHHI and stepfather is Ewan MacInnes, who drives the ‘Royal Highlander’ coach.  On her father’s side, she is related the coaching legend, Sylvia Brocklebank. After working with coaching teams in Bavaria during her gap year, Sarah studied History of Art at London University then joined Christies in Glasgow. She approached Thimbleby & Shorland in Reading who run the world-famous carriage sales and suggested she take over from John Mauger when he retired – which she did.  She was in charge of the specialist auctions for sixteen years – their first female auctioneer, and the youngest partner of the firm – and studied again to become a chartered surveyor.

Having married her business partner Richard Dance in 2005, she had two daughters, Gabriella and Francesca, and withdrew from the day to day running of the sales in 2009, but remains as a consultant to T & S. In 2015 she went to Oxford and studied creative writing and has finished her first novel. She is a well known commentator on driving and coaching classes, occasional judge and a sponsor.  She is on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Farriers and their PR Steward, and Assistant District Commissioner to the Vine Pony Club.  In 2019 she competed her home produced tandem at the Indoor Driving finals at Keysoe.  Both her daughters drive and ride.  She lives in Hampshire with the family, ponies, dogs and many chickens.

Amy Bracey, Project Curator and Trustee

The Carriage Foundation’s major project is ‘Carriages of Britain’ (COB). Although launched just a few years ago, the project goes back a long way and has developed into something much greater than originally anticipated.

A few years prior to the carriage themed conference ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ at the Museum of London in 2009 a group of museum curators, conservators, historians and enthusiasts came together to discuss the plight of historic carriages. Through their research this group of people had recognised that there was very little information easily accessible or available on the world wide web. It had also been recognised that carriages within many museum collections were either misinterpreted or misunderstood. Another problem: when one wishes to compare and contrast features on two carriages that are at opposite ends of the country, numerous logistical challenges arise.

Something needed to be done about this in order to preserve an integral part of transport history. With the panel of experts being spurred on by a quote from 1877 by prominent coachmaker George Thrupp:

‘There may yet be in England, or abroad, some ancient carriages which deserve to be described and photographed before they perish’

Rebecca Markwick is currently studying for an MA in Publishing at UCL. Podcast Producer, Editor, and Host for Shelf Healing, the wellbeing podcast from UCL and also the Online Editor for ‘Interscript’ Journal. Run a successful equine freelance coaching and riding business. 

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