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Gingerbread replica of Rainham Hall serves up taste of history

PUBLISHED: 19:00 13 December 2015

Volunteers at Rainham Hall Sue Chilvers and Robert Daintree and Cafe Superviser Emma Champness have made a model of Rainham Hall out of gingerbread

Volunteers at Rainham Hall Sue Chilvers and Robert Daintree and Cafe Superviser Emma Champness have made a model of Rainham Hall out of gingerbread

Archant

Hansel and Gretel will feel at home if they visit Rainham Hall this Christmas.

Volunteers at the hall, in Broadway, have baked a 32cm high gingerbread replica of the 18th century house.

The sweet piece of real estate was created after the team decided they wanted to celebrate Christmas with a National Trust twist.

Volunteer Sue Chilvers, 56, said it was the first gingerbread house she had baked.

She said: “We’re all really pleased with how it turned out.

“We only came up with the idea about two weeks ago.

“At first, we were only going to make a normal gingerbread house, but once somebody suggested recreating the hall, I couldn’t resist.

“I thought it was really original until someone told us lots of National Trust properties have done it before.”

Sue said she was keen to make sure the house was as accurate as possible.

She said: “One of the volunteers made me some plans of the building and I made sure the model was exactly identical.

“We even made the roof detachable so tea lights can be put inside so it’s all lit up.”

The tasty treat was built to mirror the Georgian design, with windows made of boiled sweets and iced white frames.

Sue had to bake the parts at home after realising the oven at the hall would be too small.

She said: “It took me two days to make all the gingerbread and bake it in my oven.

“When I transported it to the hall, I wrapped each wall in bubble wrap and put it in a cardboard box – it was like I was travelling with precious cargo!”

After it was baked, volunteers spent an afternoon assembling the hall, during which one of the walls was broken.

Following the initial mishap the team was able to begin the fun job of decorating.

She said: “We wanted to decorate it with lace, but unfortunately my equipment broke.

Sue said she is already thinking of ideas to celebrate the hall’s one year anniversary, next year.

She said:“One man suggested that I make the entire village next.

“Maybe if I get some volunteers, I’ll consider it!”

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