Ragtime and royalty at Jenolan Caves

Relive the day the Duke and Duchess of York visited Jenolan Caves.

Relive the day the Duke and Duchess of York visited Jenolan Caves.

By Jenolan Caves

Relive the era of the Great Gatsby, ragtime music, flappers and royalty as part of the Roaring 20s Festival and all that Jazz at Jenolan Caves on Sunday, February 16.

Visitors to one of the most magnificent cave systems in the world can step back to the day the Duke and Duchess of York, (later King George VI and the late Queen Mother) visited Jenolan Caves and stayed the night at Caves House – March 31, 1927.

The caves will celebrate the royal visit with an historic cave tour, traditional high tea and a tour of Caves House.

Retrace the steps the royal party took through the very cave they visited, the Left Imperial, exploring sections they would have seen but not generally open to the public today.

In fact, browse the www.jenolancaves.org.au website and you won’t find the Left Imperial Cave. It was renamed the Chifley Cave in 1952 after former Australian Prime Minister and good friend of Jenolan Caves Ben Chifley.

This cave boasts two firsts: in 1880 it was the first cave to be lit by electric light and was the first one anywhere in the world to be visited by the future king and queen.

Your guide for the day will be George Brown, one of the longest serving guides at Jenolan (he is listed on the honour board in the Guides Office).

The 1.5-hour cave tour will begin at 11.30am. Tickets: $37 adults, $27 concession/children and $90 families.

Following their evening inspection of the cave, the royal couple sat down to a sumptuous 15-course banquet in the grand dining room at Caves House. A momento of their visit, a signed copy of the menu hangs in the room today.

Relive that time at 1pm by sitting down in the timeless elegance of the House to a sumptuous traditional high tea with musical entertainment by the fabulous New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra. The orchestra will play in the authentic tradition of the hot dance orchestras which sprang to prominence after World War I with tunes such as the Black and White Rag and Yes Sir that’s My Baby. Unlike some councils in the 1920s which tried to ban the Charleston because it was “danced by scallywags”, no such discouragement will be made to any dancers on the day in 2014.

Tickets: $50pp.

Then at 3pm, take a behind-the-scenes tour of heritage listed Caves House, built between 1898 and 1923. Designed by the Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon, it is one of the finest examples of his work. The one-hour tour will be free with your traditional high tea.

To book the cave tour and traditional high tea phone 1300 076 3311 or (02) 6359 3911 then follow the prompts for “cave tours” or ; phone Ticketmaster on 136100 or go to www.ticketmaster.com.au to book the traditional high tea only.

The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra will perform at Ragtime and Royalty at Jenolan Caves on February 16.

The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra will perform at Ragtime and Royalty at Jenolan Caves on February 16.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: