Having merged two historical photos for the dinner plate, my next task was to find images for the four bread and butter plates. I have a collection of old cook books, which I hoped would inspire me, if not provide something ready made. I really like the line drawing style some of them used, but none of the images fitted with what I was looking for. So I had to do my own drawings…
Afternoon teas and suppers served in our Hall invariably include sandwiches, and often sausage rolls as well – that’s the savoury plate. Cream cakes are always popular, and Lamingtons are another favourite, so the sweet plate has Lamingtons, butterfly cakes and cream kisses.
For the third plate, I took my inspiration from the table settings we use for High Tea at the Moyston Hall. By scanning my drawings, I was able to clean them up a little digitally much more effectively than with any analogue methods.
I found an illustration on the correct serving of tea in one of my old books, but I didn’t really want the text. I’m no expert at digital manipulation, but I did manage to remove the unwanted words. I was left with a paler rectangle which refused to blend in, and solved the problem by giving it a purpose.
Now that I have all my images prepared, and photocopied, the next step is to apply them…
Having decided to decorate the old plates, the second task was to decide what to put on them. We had gathered some old photos of events in the Hall when we produced a history book for the Hall’s Centenary celebration in 2014, and I had one of those in mind – it was taken in the old supper room.
I was able to edit it a little to bring up the details of the the food on the table. Once a circle is cut to fit the old dinner plate, some of that will disappear, unfortunately. I wonder if the plate it will be applied to is there in the photo?!
I thought it might be interesting to superimpose the photo of inside with that of outside. It took some tweaking before I was really happy with the result. Aligning the window in both images was the key.
I made the party image slightly transparent, so that the outside wall is just visible behind the party goers. The occasion was a 21st birthday party – look at that cake! The plate held by the lady in the foreground (the birthday boy’s grandmother, I think) is similar to the bread and butter plates I have plans for…
Our local Hall in Moyston has had more than a hundred years of community social occasions, most of which would have been catered for by the ladies “bringing a plate”. We had fifty years of the Moyston Old Time Dance, held once a month in the Hall. It started out as a fundraiser to build the new supper room, and went on until 2016. Local clubs took turns to cater, making sandwiches on the night and “the ladies” donating cakes and slices. Moyston Hall was renowned throughout the district for the quality of the food.
When we moved here 34 years ago, there was the “new” supper room, with an old kitchen behind it. I remember it as being dark and dingy, with a copper in one corner that was used in days of yore to make bulk coffee on those social occasions. They enhanced the flavour with mustard, and who knows what else… I kid you not! Sadly, no one thought to take photos.
Assessing the crockery recently, some very old plates came to light, marked as belonging to the Hall, and judging from the style, dating from the 1930’s. I decided on the spot that we should do something to/with/on them, and an hour or two later, we had a plan to apply images relating to the history of the Hall to these plates, and to display them somehow.
The finished piece will be in celebration of all the plates of food served up and enjoyed over the years.