CORNWALL.- After weeks of anticipation the infamous britches and boots of Ross Poldark alias Robin Ellis - have arrived at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Cornwall in preparation for the upcoming exhibition Poldark The Life and Times of Winston Graham which celebrates the authors centenary.
Not just the britches, of course, but Rosss entire riding ensemble together with a demure silk day dress worn by Angharad Rees in her role as Demelza. Both costumes are particularly memorable from the series of the 70s TV classic, Poldark, which chronicled the tempestuous and passionate lives of Cornish mining families.
The costumes arrived at the museum with John Bloomfield who, as costume designer for the first series, played a major role in its success. John, with his wife Ann who also helped with costume design for the first Poldark series - have been helping to assemble the exhibits.
John was invited to assist by the exhibitions curator, Jo Mattingly. Offering his services for free he searched through his own archives to find original drawings of the costumes he designed along with two sheets of the original TV script with sketches of initial costume ideas. John also scoured through thousands of costumes at Angels, the London-based costumier that now owns the majority of the BBCs former Costume Department, to find the original Ross and Demelza outfits.
John said: I had a really good time doing the Poldark series and part of that was enjoying Cornwall. I was intrigued when Jo emailed me asking for help. Ann and I visit museums a lot as part of our job so we understand their importance and were pleased to help.
It was Director of RCM, Hilary Bracegirdle, who originally had the idea to organise the exhibition. She was an avid viewer of the TV series and images of Ross Poldark have remained with her ever since.
She said: I cant believe weve actually got the britches that Robin Ellis wore here! I was at a very impressionable age when the Poldark series came on TV and Im sorry but nobody has ever lived up to Robin Ellis. Ross Poldark Ive been looking for him all my life and I still go completely to pieces when I see a man with a ponytail.
The drawings, script and costumes will be displayed alongside copies of all Winston Grahams published books, a range of artefacts from 18th and 19th century Cornwall and video clips of the Poldark TV series throughout the exhibition, which runs from June 14th until September 13th. Admission is free.