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In Anne Boleyn's steps...

PUBLISHED: 13:37 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 13 July 2010

A PLEA last week from the Blickling Sewing Group for more mannequins raised a smile.

They've been creating period dresses, which are on display in the rooms at Blickling Hall, and need more dummies to show them off.

A PLEA last week from the Blickling Sewing Group for more mannequins raised a smile.

They've been creating period dresses, which are on display in the rooms at Blickling Hall, and need more dummies to show them off.

A spokeswoman said: “If anyone in Norfolk has any lady mannequins, preferably with heads, that they do not want we would be very grateful if they could contact the hall.”

I would have thought a mannequin, preferably without a head, is exactly what the group needs to display one of its gowns.

Among their stunning costumes is a Tudor dress based on one worn by the hall's most famous ex-resident, Queen Anne Boleyn, who is believed to have been born there.

Poor Anne's block was chopped off by her husband Henry V111 on May 19 1536 (in his defence, Relate wasn't around then) and a ghostly figure with her head on its knees is said to appear at Blickling in a phantom coach on the anniversary of her death.

There's a lovely music hall song I always find myself singing whenever Anne's name is mentioned. It includes the verse:

“She walks the endless corridors, for miles and miles she goes,

She often catches cold, poor dear, it's drafty when it blows,

And it's awfully, awfully awkward for the queen to blow her nose,

With her head tucked underneath her arm.”

On second thoughts, perhaps Anne's ghost could be persuaded to return and model her gown in person, so it wouldn't need a mannequin, headless or otherwise.

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