The day after Festival day was Matilda’s first occasion as Festival Queen when she visited Bushell’s House on their Founder’s Day. After doing a reading at St. Mary’s Church infront of Bishop Dr. Gill Duff, Matilda was then invited, with the Bishop, to meet all the residents at the house and join them for a lunch. The residents were so interesting to talk to and seemed to be very happy at the house, she even met a Festival Queen from 1965 who was visiting her mum! The lunch spread was amazing with a full salmon and lots of fantastic sandwiches and delicious puddings and cakes.
Bushell House was built as a house in 1722 by William Bushell, Vicar of Heysham, but unfortunately he died in 1735 and his will stated that his daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1727, should have the house but if she died before the age of 21 without children the house and the estate should be given to the village for “maintaining, supporting or providing for decayed gentlemen or gentlewomen, or persons of the better rank…of the towns or townships of Preston, Euxton, Goosnargh, Whittingham, Fulwood and Elston….” Elizabeth unfortunately died on the 7th July 1743 at the age of 16 and so the house became a hospital for the village.
Here is Matilda pictured beside Elizabeth’s portrait hanging in the house painted by Hamlet Winstanley, a reputable painter and engraver from Warrington.
Matilda was presented with a glass plaque engraved with her name engraved on it from the trustees of Bushell’s House by Chairman of the Trustees, Mr. Ian Brown.