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Jane Austen Centre Gets Honoured!

Visit England Welcome Award for The Jane Austen Centre The hard-working staff at the Jane Austen Centre were really pleased to find out that they had been recognised for their contribution to tourism in the area. The Jane Austen Centre is honoured to receive the VisitEngland Welcome accolade which has been awarded as part of VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme. “I know that all our staff work hard to ensure they give the very best care and attention to our visitors, and it is fantastic that they have been recognised for their outstanding, warm and friendly customer service.” Said Paul Crossey, General Manager. The Jane Austen Centre is Bath’s only Accolade winner in 2015. These accolades are allocated through a scoring system based on an annual assessment by VisitEngland. They include the Welcome accolade, Hidden Gem, Best Told Story, Quality Food & Drink and the Gold accolade for top-scoring attractions. So, what are you waiting for? Come to Bath and say hello! The permanent Exhibition at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath was originally created with the guidance of local members of the Jane Austen Society and authorities on Jane Austen, Louise Ross and Maggie Lane. The Exhibition aims to be not only informative but exciting and illuminating. With knowledgeable staff, a lovely period atmosphere, exclusive film starring Adrian Lukis, costume, dressing up, contemporary exhibits, maps and books. We now have a beautiful waxwork of Jane Austen created by experts using forensic evidence. All in all the Centre is the perfect starting (more…)
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Jane Austen Waxwork now in Bath England

The Amazing Jane Austen Waxwork at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath Although not breaking news, we thought you’d be interested in this article about the Jane Austen Waxwork which has appeared in Wikipedia. It contains lots of background info on the waxwork creation and the development of the original portrait by Melissa Dring. For the full article in Wikipedia press here Based upon the 2002 portrait, the wax figure’s creation was undertaken by the internationally-renowned portrait sculptor Mark Richards, who had previously created busts of Eric Cantona and Sir Arthur Marshall, as well as a full-life bronze of The Queen and Prince Philip. He was also responsible for designing the 2011 Royal Wedding five pound coin. During the three year process it took to create the Jane Austen figure, Richards worked closely with Melissa Dring, along with hair and color artist Nell Clarke, formerly of Madame Tussaud’s, and BAFTA award-winning designer Andrea Galer. The latter, dressing the completed figure in authentic period costume. (more…)
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Guinness World Record

We Did It. Jane Austen Guinness World Record regained 550 inside Bath’s Assembly Rooms Actor Adrian Lukis (BBC’s Mr Wickham) and some of his friends The Jane Austen Festival in Bath, which began this weekend, has reclaimed the title of ‘Largest Gathering of People Dressed in Regency Costumes’. The Guinness World Record was originally set in 2009 by the festival itself, which is held each September and recognised as the biggest of its kind in the world, when 409 people gathered in the famous Assembly Rooms in the city. This July, however, that number was surpassed by 491 American Austen festival-goers in Greater Louisville, as part of an event organised by the Jane Austen Society of North America. Although this figure had yet to be officially recognised by Guinness, it was the one the UK Jane Austen Festival had set itself to beat. On Saturday (13 Sept), with 550 men, women and children, all suitably attired in Regency costumes, they did so. Adrian Lukis, who played George Wickham in the BBC’s celebrated 1995 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, opened proceedings. Adrian was guest of honour, having become the festival’s patron earlier in the year. The announcement of the new record was made by MC John White. The record attempt, which took place once again in the famous Assembly Rooms, is just one of the highlights of what organisers are calling the biggest festival yet in the event’s fourteen year history. After leaving the Assembly Rooms, participants then took part in (more…)
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Jane Austen Waxwork

Jane Austen Waxwork We had a great time unveiling our new Jane Austen waxwork to the assembled media folk on Wednesday 9th of July. L to R. Andrea Galer, Mark Richards, David Baldock, Jane Austen and Melissa Dring Reaction was overwhelmingly positive when the curtains were parted. The waxwork is now on public display. Developed from a forensic portrait of the author by Melissa Dring, the waxwork has been over 2 years in the making. Members of the team behind her creation, especially brought together for the project, were in attendance at the event, – the internationally-renowned sculptor, an FBI-trained forensic artist and a Bafta and Emmy award-winning costume designer. (See their biographies below) The novels of Jane Austen are known throughout the world, her heroes and heroines have been brought to life in many adaptations, and the industry which has built up around her name is significant. So whilst people happily associate Jane Austen’s characters with the actors who portray them, perhaps most famously Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, there remains a real desire to possess a likeness of the writer herself. Uncovering the Real Jane Austen (taster) from Grace Productions on Vimeo. The only verifiable image of Jane Austen is a small watercolour painted by her sister Cassandra but it has been acknowledged by experts as a poor attempt and was described by her niece as ‘hideously unlike’ her aunt Jane. However, there are many contemporary descriptions of her by friends and this is where the Jane Austen Centre enters (more…)
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Waxwork

You Will See Jane Austen The Jane Austen Centre will be closed on the morning of Wednesday 9th July for the official unveiling of the Jane Austen waxwork. The Centre will open at 12.30pm, at which time the waxwork will be on show to visitors for the first time. The waxwork has been created by a specialist team using forensic techniques which draw on contemporary eye-witness accounts. Specially invited guests and the press will be allowed in before 12.30pm Sorry, no pictures until the unveiling. More posts to follow. (more…)
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The Dandy Chargers

The Dandy Chargers

dandy chargers

In 1817 Baron Karl von Drais created the Lauf-maschine (running machine) / Draisienne / Mechanical Horse, the first human powered land vehicle to mount a serious bid for public acceptance. Satirically named the Dandy Charger.
Then in 1818 Dennis Johnson, a coachmaker, of London developed an improved model that he called the Pedestrian Curricle / Hobby Horse / Velocipede / Dandy Horse / Accelerator / Swift Walker. Both of these contraptions were wooden, with two wheels that were pushed along with the feet. The activity of riding was not confined just to gentlemen as a model for the ladies was also said to be available.
The Dandy Chargers at the Jane Austen Festival.
This group made their first appearance at the Jane Austen Festival in 2009, the year of the world record ‘Regency Dress’ bid. They made quite a stir with their brightly coloured vehicles and costumes. They were a hit with the crowd and put on a demonstration ride as part of the Grand Promenade around the streets of Bath.

Take a look at this lovely little video of part of the ride of the Dandy Chargers during the Festival

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Adrian Lukis Interview

Adrian Lukis

Elle Interviews Adrian Lukis

On a lovely sunny day, we were making the new Jane Austen Centre film with Adrian when during a break we took the opportunity to grab a few minutes to interview the ex Mr. Wickham.
You will see for yourself that Adrian is such a charming gentleman.

“I love playing cads. They’re more interesting and so many of them seem to have a special kind of power and aura about them.”
Adrian Lukis ought to know. With his dark good looks and easy charm, he has often been cast in the role of attractive rogue or upper-class bounder. “He has charm in spades,” wrote Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph in a 2000 review of Lukis’s performance of Beach Wedding at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton.

 

Mr Wickham

Adrian Lukis, born in 28th March 1957 in Birmingham, is an actor who has appeared regularly in British television drama since the late 1980s. He trained at Drama Studio London. His most recent notable appearances have been as Sergeant Douglas ‘Doug’ Wright in the Police drama series The Bill, and as Marc Thompson in the BBC legal drama Judge John Deed.

He was a regular, playing Dr David Shearer, in Peak Practice between 1997-99. He also played Mr. George Wickham in the BBC’s 1995 adaption of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Adrian had appeared in the ITV1 one-off drama Back Home and in the BBC rural drama series Down to Earth.
He had previously appeared in The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (as Bennett in The Creeping Man), Maigret, Miss Marple and Prime Suspect. Adrian Lukis played Simon Avery in Silent Witness Series 15 Episode 2, Death Has No Dominion.

He is currently appearing as Carter in Bull at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Lukis is descended from the Channel Islands archaeologist Frederick Lukis.

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Happy Birthday Martin

The Jane Austen News is: Martin SalterMartin Salter Meeter Greeter Martin Salter, the meeter and greeter at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath and officially recognised as ‘England’s Most Photographed Man’, celebrated his fiftieth birthday in style at the weekend. The celebrations included a surprise carriage ride around the city, organised by the Jane Austen Centre and provided courtesy of Courtyard Carriages, who arrived replete with a bottle of champagne. Martin was then whisked away for a twenty-five minute trip around Bath, passing many of the landmarks and buildings connected with Jane Austen and her time in Bath, as well as numerous visitors and residents alike who waved him on his way. Tracy from Courtyard Carriages said: “When we were contacted by the Jane Austen Centre about this surprise for Martin we immediately said yes. It was an honour to do this for him, as he is always doing so much for the city and its community.” Martin can be seen outside the Jane Austen Centre in Gay Street Bath, every day throughout the year. Come and say hello and have your photograph taken with him. (more…)