Lots to do!
Running two busy auction houses and dashing around the country for television make Charles Hanson’s family and his Derbyshire roots even more precious
Family and my Derbyshire home are all I need to relax and take my mind off the 24/7 whirlwind that is the auction business. My wife, Rebecca, and children, Freddie and Matilda, mean the world to me and no matter how busy I am I do my utmost to make the most of our weekends together in God’s own country.
We have many favourite places including Calke Abbey, a National Trust property at Ticknall, the Peak District villages of Hartington and Ilam and the bustling town of Belper, which is close to where I was born at Holbrook.
But often the call from my children is, ‘Can we go to the park?’ They mean Derby’s Markeaton Park. Being four and two respectively, you can’t blame them. While they play on the swings, what rocks my historical boat is the thought of the Mundy family, who used to own the estate, looking out from the Orangery, which is all that remains of the original Markeaton Hall.
One weekend pastime I’m hoping to pass on to my children is my love of metal detecting. My passion for antiques was born while metal detecting on my parents’ farm as a boy. I found a Charles I penny dating back to 1633 and the rest, as they say, is history. Growing up on a farm also established a love of nature. I enjoy the simple pleasure of a countryside walk and watch as my children discover the animals, birds, plants and flowers that shaped my childhood.
Having said that, we recently headed off to the Peak District not to explore nature’s delights but for thrill-seeking rides. Alton Towers was our destination and what a great day we had. The children were enthralled by Cbeebies Land while I found time to enjoy the biggest and scariest rides the park could throw at me. Oblivion, Wicker Man, the hairier the better as far as I was concerned.
But not all weekends are so busy. Sometimes I hardly venture further than my kitchen. It’s a little-known fact that I can bake a half-decent Victoria Sponge when assisted by Matilda. With Christmas approaching, we’ll be turning our attention to mince pies.
And while festive smells fill the air, you can be sure the radio will be on if Derby County are playing. I grew up listening to Radio Derby Rams commentator Graham Richards and any weekend is enhanced by a DCFC victory.
As Christmas draws near, I’m looking forward to taking the children to see Santa, dressing the tree and searching out dazzling festive light displays. As their excitement grows, I can’t think of anything better than spending my weekends making the festive season extra special for them.