Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Westfield Invaded Over Holiday Weekend   

The village was bustling this Victoria Day weekend as nearly 150 re-enactors, camp followers and merchants moved in and set up camp for a new programme - Life in 1812 Upper Canada.  Visitors on Sunday and Monday were treated to a glimpse of what life was like in Upper Canada during this time of military conflict, rapid social change, and a growing sense of national identity.

Throughout the weekend, there were opportunities for visitors to watch troop inspections, participate in "mini militia" training, survey campsites and chat with soldiers and their families in their authentic camps.  Daily skirmishes filled the air with shouts, smoke and the boom of musket fire, as officers barked orders and troops marched and fired on command. 

Quiter moments could also be enjoyed, tasting bread fresh out of the bake oven, visiting the more than thirty-five historic buildings on site, or listening to the gorgeous sounds of the Rosewood Consort, who entertained visitors in the church with their Early and Baroque music.  Historian John Bryden also presented a lecture each day in the Mountsberg Church, speaking about Brock's travels throughout Upper Canada.  All in all, a terrific, bustling weekend!

Lights, camera... sheep?   

The Ontario Visual Heritage Project was back at Westfield again this weekend, continuing work on their War of 1812 film.  The Lockhart Farmstead became the setting for the story of a family whose farm was one of the many ordered to be pillaged and burned during the war.  Thankfully, our lovely log cabin was spared!

In addition to several talented and authentically dressed actors, and 1812 re-enactors representing American troops, a number of Westfield's regular four-footed and feathered volunteers were on hand for the filming.  The good nature of the lambs and chicks was appreciated by all, as they patiently submitted to being stolen over and over during several takes.  We think they enjoyed all the attention.

Green Thumbs All Around    

On May 19th, the Friends of Westfield held their annual Plant Sale, and it was, once again, a huge success.  There were many special items for sale, including a good selection of robust Carolinian trees, a corkscrew willow and some lovely ferns.  Old favourites were also on hand, including peonies, hostas, columbine and several varieties of iris and lilies.  An inspiration for us all to get out those shovels!