Calendar of EventsInterviews Book ReviewsRobert Miles Taunton ThespiansScarlet von Teazel Taunton Choral SocietySteve Graham CinephiliaAndrew Davey Poetry CornerRachel Hartland Short Story My FavouriteWinter 2012/13 Free Shining a light on literature, art, music and performance in Taunton & West Somerset Winter Issue
Contents05 Introduction by Beth Webb The winter issue of LAMP06 Robert Miles covers the period from10 Scarlet von Teazel: Bohemian Artist14 Steve Graham: Classic Jazz the middle of November18 Book Review: Somerset Cricket: The Glory Years 2012 until the end of19 Book Review: Defence of Somerset February 2013. In this20 Book Review: Resolution by John Cole third issue we are delight-21 Book Review: The Quantocks ed to say that the length23 Book Gift Ideas33 Calendar of Events of the magazine has once37 The Art of Concealment: Artist, Andy Davey more been increased from 48 pages to 5640 TauntonThespians: Still Pulling it Off pages to accommodate further editorial.43 Accentuating the Positive: Rachel Hartland46 Taunton Choral Society: 100 Years of Music Making49 Cinephilia: The Rise of Film Clubs50 Poetry Corner: Samuel Taylor Coleridge53 Short Story: The Birdman of Farringdon Road55 My FavouriteEditorial Advertising Lionel WardCopy Editor: Jo Ward The views expressed in LampEvents Compiler: Julie Munckton are not necessarily those of theAll enquiries: editorial team. Copyright, firstname.lastname@example.org otherwise stated, is that of the01823 337742 magazine or the individual au- thors. We do not accept liabilityc/o Brendon Books, for the content or accuracy of theBath Place, Taunton magazine including that of theTA1 4ER advertisers.
Welcome to the third edition of LAMP. I must say I was really grateful for my copy over the last few months as I tried to keep up with everything that was going on, especially with the brilliant Taunton Literary Festival – also organised by Brendon Books and Somerset Arts Week, all running back to back. There are some first rate ‘what’s on’ internet sites, but nothing really covers every- thing – and it’s much cosier to sit down with a copy of LAMP, a coffee and my di- ary. That way I can organise my next few months’ arts activities from my armchair. I do have a laptop, but the cats like sitting on it and it’s not as friendly to use as a magazine. Paper feels good and I can scribble on it and find what I’m looking foragain – unlike websites that I think I’ve ‘bookmarked’ but are lost forever in cyberspace.That’s my Luddite rant over – now to business. In this excellent edition, you’ll read Robert Miles (of theBrewhouse) talking about his career, there’s Scarlet von Teazel on Bohemian Art and Steve Graham dis-cussing Classic Jazz. You’ll find some excellent book reviews with genuine local interest: amongst themI’d like to highlight Resolution by John Cole. Those of you who know John (he’s saved more than onelife in the Wellington area) will be thrilled his book is out. Congratulations to him.You’ll also read excellent articles on the Taunton Thespians, The Art of Concealment by Andy Davey,film clubs, Taunton Choral society, plenty of poetry including a feature on Samuel Taylor Coleridge andthe essential calendar of winter events.Whether you like going out or sitting in for a good read, here’s your checklist: coffee (or tea), diary, pen-cil, comfy chair by the fire and LAMP.Beth WebbAuthor and storyteller Beth Webb writes for children and teenagers. Stone Keeper, the last in the histori-cal fantasy Star Dancer quartet, is due out early 2013. For details of her books, storytelling and writingworkshops, go to: www.bethwebb.co.uk
Robert Miles he enjoyed the experience immensely - for now instead of just concentrating on one char- acter his focus could now become much wider.Robert Miles looks back on Further directing opportunities followed and he set up his own production company, Hun-his career and tenure at the gry Horse Productions, with writer and direc-Brewhouse and looks for- tor Will Scarnell. This meant that he could produce the kind of shows that he was inter-ward to the forthcoming pro- ested in. They aimed to appeal to the youngerduction of The Wind in the market and a new generation of theatre goers. With Lounge Lizards they enticed the audienceWillows. through a 20 minute slot in a comedy club with short pieces as a hook to bring the audience Stratford East was putting on another new mu- along to a full length show in the theatre. sical called The Big Life and it became the firstFrom the age of eight Robert Miles wanted to Building on their success they began taking Black British musical to transfer to the Westbe an actor and yet his family had no connec- up to three shows to the Edinburgh Festival. End with Robert producing in association withtion with the theatre and at first did not take While there a commission to produce an edgy Philip Hedley and West End producer Billhis ambition seriously. ‘I nagged and nagged political satire received the attention of Philip Kenwright.about going to drama lessons ‘ he recalls,’ Hedley who had taken over the running of the At about this time, Robert’s wife was preg-and after four years they gave in and I was Theatre Royal Stratford East from the legen- nant with their first child and they contemplat-taken along to a local theatre school.’ It was dary Joan Littlewood. Philip, who served an ed a move from London to bring up a family.over-subscribed and they said they would put ethnically mixed area with a large black and This was the summer of 2005 and it proved tohim on a waiting list. However, there was an Asian community was impressed by the suc- be an eventful time. The theatre at Stratfordaudition the following weekend at the Wind- cess they had in attracting a young diverse au- East had been involved with the Olympic bidsor Royal Theatre for Babes in the Wood. He dience to their play. As a consequence, Robert and on 6th July it was announced that Londonwent along – ‘too young to be scared’ – and was asked to work as a marketing associate had been successful. However, the followingwon a lead part. He found himself in the late at the Theatre Royal and began collaborating day tragedy struck with the London bombings70’s earning £35 a week as a boy actor. That on how to appeal to an audience comprising and Robert and his family narrowly escapedhe was a little shorter than the average boy of a number of different ethnic groups. They the carnage at Aldgate East tube station whenhis age was an advantage as he was able to discovered, for example, that one of the best they were running late to visit their dentist. inroads into the black community was to in- The following day Robert attended his inter- vite black hairdressers to their plays, for at that view for the directorship of The Brewhouse. time the hair fashions required spending some The trustees put their faith in him and offered hours in a hairdresser. The hairdressers talked him the job that evening. about their theatre experience and played a At The Brewhouse Robert found an organisa- key role in influencing other women to come tion which had just suffered funding cuts and to the theatre. Robert stayed at the Theatre was struggling with box office receipts. Moral Royal for 7 years and worked his way up to was understandably low and he had to deal associate producer. with a situation that meant every time they When Philip Hedley retired from running hired out the theatre they made a loss. One of the theatre after 25 years and Robert’s friend the main problems was - and still is – that the Kerry Michael took over, he felt the time was auditorium was too small to host the kind of right to move on. quality shows that made money, and yet theplay younger parts, yet was mature enough to However, the theatre were seeking to attract programme had to be commercial in order torespond to directions. He went on to play the a younger audience for musicals, which in make up for the lack of funding, and the ArtsArtful Dodger in Oliver in the West End with the West End had catered for an older audi- Council had disinvested because they wereHelen Shapiro as Nancy. When he reached 15 ence typically based on the music of Abba or not happy with the programme. Robert initi-he began to think more seriously about where Queen. At the time rap music was the larg- ated an attempt to drive up the quality of whathis future lay. Deciding to stick with his act- est selling musical form. To coincide with was on offer and make it more adventurous.ing career he landed a job in a Tom Stoppard the centenary of Rogers and Hart the Theatre There was also an increase in the theatre hir-play, Night and Day, at the Phoenix Theatre. Royal produced a musical based on the 1930’s ing rates. Community theatre groups could notHe played the boy role in this political drama musical The Boys From Syracuse (itself based always have the annual slots they were usedworking alongside John Thaw with Maggie on the Shakespeare play A Comedy of Er- to when a more commercial company such asSmith and then, later, Diana Rigg playing his rors), remixed with rap and urban music and Hampstead Theatre was available. He realisesmother. All this time he had no formal training renamed Da Boyz. It was a great success, with that he alienated some people including someas an actor but was able to ‘act as a sponge’ the teachers on the one hand because it was of the amateur theatrical community – whichlearning from the actors he was lucky enough using a Shakespeare storyline, and with the he particularly regrets as ‘they are usually theto associate with. His acting career continued. students as they were receiving it in a musical ones who are the most passionate about the-He toured throughout Europe with Hair, the form they could identify with. Unable to buy atre’ though he felt that he had no choice, ifhippy musical, and worked with various thea- the rights to film Da Boyz, Channel 4 opted the theatre was to survive. He had to - in thetre and education companies. instead to record a film of the musical theatre jargon - achieve full cost recovery. He regrets When in his late twenties he was offered the workshop process that had created the show, that they were not able to communicate morechance to direct a satirical review show in the and Robert was asked to act as the producer clearly the need to make the changes as well asLondon fringe at the Canal Cafe, he found that for the theatre. While this was happening he would have liked.
SAGT offers artists and art lovers alike an oppor-tunity to support the arts in Somerset while pursu- SCHOLARSHIPSing our long term goal of acquiring a high qualityPermanent Somerset Art Gallery Collection. Ifyou are inspired by, appreciate and value the arts,SAGT is for you – a community of like-minded artenthusiasts helping Taunton to be a true CulturalCentre! Our programme includes exhibitions, talks,workshops, cultural outings events.For membership information check out our website orcontact Jeremy Harvey (Chairman) on 01823 276421 13+ Scholarships: Academic, Music, Sport, Art, Drama Design TechnologyNext Event:“Talk on His Art” by Tim Martin Please contact: Barbara Lancey, Admissions Registrar, 01823 328204The Barn, Obridge Road, Taunton, TA2 7QA Application closing date: 1st FebruaryThursday, November 15, 2012 7:30 p.m www.kings-taunton.co.ukTo Book: 01823 276421 (admission: £5.00) New Programme in January!
In trying to achieve his aim he used the ex- Christmas pantomime performed by The Way- opportunity for the local schools to get involvedperience and techniques that he developed in farers in place. The Christmas show is pro- and Robert has no praise too high for the contri-Stratford East and Edinburgh, albeit to a very duced by The Brewhouse using professional bution of The Brewhouse staff and volunteers.different, though still diverse, Somerset com- actors with an local community chorus, quite ‘You could not ask for anything better than themunity – following in the footsteps of the leg- high in risk because of the long run, but satis- team that is here,’ he says. ‘ They are absolutelyendary Joan Littlewood and applying the same fying and profitable when it is got right. They passionate about what we do here, why we do itlessons about how to make inroads into the had successes with The Snow Queen and A and how we do it. Doing it to a really high qualitylocal community through theatre, believing Christmas Carol. Then they delivered a Chi- and serving the community, they are aware that’sthat if you put the stories of your community nese version of Cinderella. Robert admits that what we’re here to do and they really genuinelyon stage they will come and see those stories this was a mistake. ‘We have to hold up believe in that. The amount of hours they put inand bring more stories so a circle is formed be- our hands and say that we did not get that one above and beyond the call of duty is amazing.’tween the community and the theatre. ‘That isthe basis of my belief in running a venue,’ saysRobert with feeling, ‘it is what we have triedto do here with shows like Comfort me withApples and The Summer Set trying to replicatewhat we did in the East End by doing Somer-set stories.’ For the evidence of his success hepoints to the fact that box office sales went upby 40% between 2006 and 2009. Though he feels that his responsibility wasto get the economics right he is also passion-ate about giving opportunities for students toprogress drawing on the excellent local schoolsand colleges in Taunton, for example, in givingthem the opportunity to perform in The Studiowhich was converted from a rehearsal room toa small auditorium. And he sees collaborationwith schools and other institutions as a key way right.’ The show felt really innovative and ex- As chief executive, director and writer he is aforward. ‘We do not want these young people citing in rehearsal but when the audience saw very busy man and one wonders at the extent ofto disappear until they are 40 and then return to it he could see immediately that it was not the workload and the pressure of always beingsettle down. We want there to be enough going what they were expecting- a good lesson to in the spotlight and inevitably not being able toon in Taunton to attract them back while they him about what the Taunton audience would please everybody all of the time and always inare still young and help develop and contribute like to come and see. ‘The important thing,’ the critical eye.to a vibrant cultural community.’ He believes he says, ‘is that you learn from your mistakes.’ ‘It is one of those jobs that looks really greatthat there is a critical mass at which we can Successful Christmas shows followed includ- from the outside,’ he explains, ‘but it isn’t al-transform the culture in Taunton to a level ing the Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe and ways easy - sometimes it is a bit of a slog - but itwhere it becomes natural to engage with the Alice in Wonderland. is always a kind of a privilege. I get to work witharts and, when once engaged, it is natural to Part of the concept has always been that the really nice people - not just the staff but also thewant more. Christmas show has been reflected outside the acts that come in – some of them young artists He is also optimistic about the future, includ- auditorium and this year is no exception when who walk onto our stage for the first time. It re-ing dealing with that old chestnut of not having the theme of the river bank will pervade the minds me of me when I was 12. It is a great joba large enough main auditorium. A feasibility whole of the building with the production of and a great county to do that job in.’study has been carried out where 5 options The Wind in the Willows. It also provides anwere considered for the future of The Brew-house including a new site and a completely Rather than use the Alan Bennett version of The Wind in the Willows, pre-new building. They have decided on a more ferred in recent years or to the A.A. Milne version, Toad of Toad Hall, Rob-practical but less costly option to expand on ert has adapted it himself. He prefers it this way because as he is also thethe existing site. £10 million will secure an ad-ditional 750 seat auditorium, a full size gallery, director he can then write it in the way he wants it performed.workshop space and a rooftop restaurant. He ‘I try and use as much dialogue from the book as possible,’ he comments.believes there is there is the necessary support ‘I firmly believe that if you cut things out of the original you have to have aform the Arts Council and the local authorities really good reason for doing it.’ It is a play with songs written by Wellingtonfor it will ‘take us to new level and make us based Nick Brace – though of course there are one or two songs alreadyfinancially secure.’ He is confident of successas he rationalises that ‘there are 3 large cultural included in the book including the infamous self-congratulatory songs ofhubs in the region, Bristol, Plymouth and the Toad.Bournemouth/Poole conurbation, and that inthe middle of the triangle you have Taunton,perfectly placed to serve a more rural audience Wind in the Willows at The Brewhousealong the M5 corridor and to invest in on a re- Friday 7 December to Saturday 5 Januarygional basis.’ When Robert came to The Brewhouse the 10.15am 2pm 7pm Check individual days for timesChristmas show was aimed at adults and wastypically a whodunit or musical. They decided Box Office: 01823 283244 www.thebrewhouse.netto make it a family show, but keep the after
‘A Book for Those Who Keep the Spirit of Youth Alivein Them’ (Kenneth Grahame)The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)The story grew out of letters which Graham wrote to his son Alistair.Graham had enjoyed critical success with The Golden Age (1895) and Dream Days (1899), but he had difficultyfinding a publisher for The Wind in the Willows. Methuen finally agreed to publish it on the understanding thatthere would be no advance. When it was published in 1908, he received poor reviews, (with the notable excep-tions of Arnold Bennett and Richard Middleton). Most of the reviewers could not appreciate the idea that theprincipal characters were animals. However, President Roosevelt, who had enjoyed his earlier work and hadreceived a complimentary copy from Graham, was full of praise and more-or-less demanded that the Americanpublishers Scribners should publish it (after they had initially rejected it). Sales began to rise, it reprinted manytimes and it remains a popular title to this day. Counselling for Toads Bizarre IncidentRobert de Board used the characters in the Wind in the Willows, and About 11am on the 24 November 1903 a respect-in particular Toad, to create a modern counselling classic, Counsel- able looking man who gave his name as Georgeling for Toads. Written as an extension of the original story we find Robinson, entered the Bank of England asking toToad in a depressed state with his friends Mole, Rat and Badger, see the governor of the bank. Grahame, as thefearful that he will ‘do something silly’. After alternately encourag- Bank Secretary, was the next in command anding and then attempting to force him to change his behaviour, they agreed to see him instead. When Graham refuseddetermine there is only one thing left, ‘You must have counselling!’ to read some documents that the man thrust to-announces Badger. Over the next ten chapters (or sessions), Toad has wards him, the man pulled out a gun. The quickcounselling with the Heron using the transactional analysis method, thinking Grahame ran out of the room, slamminglearning how to analyse his own feelings and develop his emotional the door behind him. Robinson fired three shotsintelligence. then ran into the Director’s Library. A porter Grahame and his wife, Elspeth, may have benefited from some form had the presence of mind to lock him in. He wasof counselling with regard to their son Alistair and their own relation- eventually captured with the intervention of theship.They lived in a kind of fantasy world as far as he and their mar- fire brigade who used a hose to knock him to theriage was concerned. Their only child, Alistair was a sickly infant, ground. He was later incarcerated in Broadmoor.handicapped by blindness in one eye and poor sight in the other. He It is not known what long term effect this incidentwas excessively indulged in by his parents and proved to be a difficult had on Grahame. However, he became increas-child who would sometimes fly into rages. However, for Elspeth and ingly disenchanted with his work at the bank. HeKenneth, he was ‘loveable and unusually gifted’. He was a misfit at would leave the bank early in the afternoon andschool and struggled to achieve the high academic expectations they was often absent. He experienced ill health as anhad for him. Through Grahame’s influence he was found a place at adult, probably a legacy of the scarlet fever heOxford (a thwarted ambition of his own). Alistair could not find a suffered as a child. This was not tolerated by thecourse that suited him, was socially awkward and underwent a spir- a new Governor of the Bank of England, Williamitual crisis. On the evening of the 7 May, 1920, he took a walk from Campbell Middleton, who was appointed in thehis college to a level crossing on the railway line from Oxford to Wol- spring of 1907. Grahame resigned in June 1908vercote. He was found dead even though The Wind in the Willows was notacross the tracks in the morn- to be pub-ing a little way along from the lished untilcrossing. Though the official the autumnverdict was accidental death, and, at thisthe position of his body across time, he hadthe tracks suggested otherwise. no reason toThe Grahame’s were devas- believe thattated and spent most of the it would be a Elspeth Grahamnext four years abroad, mostly Portrait by Sir Frank Alistair Graham success.in Italy. Dicksee The Bank of England
...and butterflies and bugs and other beautiful things... Help us celebrate the 5th birthday of ginger fig gallery Our ‘birds and bees’ exhibition in January 2013 is open to all local individuals and organisations, artists, schools and community groups. When we celebrated our 3rd birthday with the ‘Gingerbread Man’ exhibition we had HUNDREDS of entries - and we’d really like to beat that We will welcome entries in any media, so take up your paint brushes, cameras and knitting needles; oil your printing presses or potters wheels; get your sewing machines whirring and put your imagination to work For more information either pop into ginger fig, call, email, tweetor facebook us as soon as possible, ideally by 14th December 2012 ginger fig, 1b Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER, 01823 326798 10
Scarlet Von Teazel: Bohemian ArtistScarlet Von Teazel re-flects on her formativeyears in Prague and ac-knowledges its influenceon her recent artwork.One of the most influential people in Scar-let’s early life was her maternal grandmoth-er with whom she developed a strong bond.She was a gentle warm-hearted person, fullof love and wisdom who was the first to spotScarlet’s natural curiosity and creativity. Sheinspired and encouraged her. She looked af-ter Scarlet and her younger sister as bothparents worked. She was fond of her oldergranddaughter who reminded her of her be-loved but complicated father, blacksmith by opted the civil service structure and its em- to work in the hotel industry. As her coursetrade, who was able to turn his hand to any- ployees, including her grandfather. Follow- allowed only for the further study of eco-thing. She can remember how Scarlet was ing the war, the communist regime labelled nomics, she went to university and gradu-interested in understanding how things were all civil servants collaborators and put them ated with a degree in finance and credit.made: she could dismantle an old clock and on trial. She remembers finding in one of Despite this diversion she stayed faithfulthen put it back together. the drawers in her grandparents house old to her artistic side through part time study It was old things that took her interest most. handwritten letters from different people at an art college where she specialized inScarlet remembers being ill and going to testifying as to how he had risked his life ceramics, photography and creative writ-stay at her grandparents home, so as not to using his position by smuggling in letters to ing. And she feels Prague, with its vibrantpass on her germs to her younger sister, who their relatives imprisoned by the Nazis. He cultural scenes, both official and under-had a weak constitution. She found the best was,as a result, acquitted through the testi- ground, together with its visual beauty,part of staying there was looking through mony of those who he had helped during the was influential in her development as athe drawers and discovering old books, Nazi occupation. ‘I realised how powerful person and an artist.newspapers, family photographs and docu- letters can be,’ explains Scarlet, ‘they can At that time most banks in Czechoslo- free you but they can also put you in prison. vakia functioned like credit unions. How- Someone’s life could be decided by pieces ever, there was one commercial bank in of paper.’ Prague and through a chance meeting with Another testimony to the importance of let- a friend’s mother who was manager there, ters in Scarlet’s life was the discovery of a she applied for and was given a job there. document stating that her father, whose af- Initially she found the work interesting in fections were always directed towards her its complexity. However, once the chal- younger sister, was in fact her stepfather. lenge was mastered she became bored and After her grandfather’s retirement, he start- eventually after a good deal of persistence ed to work as light operator at the prestig- made her way into the most prestigious de- Herbal ious Shakespearean “Vinohradske Divadlo” partment of the bank – the dealing room theatre in Prague. From the age of 8-12 (till – normally the preserve of men and Com-ments. She recalls being enchanted by the her grandfather’s death) Scarlet had the munist Party members (of which she waswarn leather and the scent of the old pages, unrivalled experience of watching Shake- neither).fascinated by the gently fading colours and speare’s plays performed from her grandfa- As part of her training she was sent tobeautiful lettering of yellowing newsprint. ther’s lighting box. This gave her an early London, where she met the future father Her Grandfather was a well read man with exposure to the world of theatre and her of her first child. A year later her son Tho-many interests. He taught her to play chess already strong love of books and literature mas was born. A move to Shipley nearwhen she was five. His intelligence and gained a new dimension. Bradford followed. Here she discoveredabilities weren’t reflected in the menial jobs Her parents decided that she should attend the Kirkgate Studios and Workshops. Forhe had. As she grew up she became aware a ‘sensible’ college specialising in econom- Scarlet this became a haven to practice artof her grandfather’s past. Several years after ics, hotel and leisure studies rather than fol- while at the same time she was able to behis death she discovered that he had once low her heart and study art, languages and near her son who was looked after by twoheld a respected position in the civil service. the humanities. She eventually gave in to marvellous women who ran a crèche onWhen Germany invaded Bohemia and took family persuasion but very soon discovered the same site. She was able to take advan-over the state, the Nazi administration co- this to be a mistake and that she did not want tage of the facilities for ceramics, weaving, 11
screen printing, stained glass, batique, pho- a foundation degree in fine art at Somersettography and film making. Then pregnant College. Even though she had been prac-with her second child, she and another art- tising successfully as an artist, in her ownist were awarded National Lottery funding mind she needed the validation of a higherfor their photographic project ‘Hidden in qualification in art. In the second year of herPlain View’, culminating in an exhibition in degree she began to develop work using pa-Lister’s Mill in Bradford in 2000. per, glue and a coffee solution. Her tutors From Kirkgate she then moved on to Brad- were unsure of the initial direction of herford and Ilkley College and followed sculp- work (early experiments included strings ofture and life drawing courses. She was to washing lines of crushed envelopes drippingadd further to her skills with a course for with coffee!), but as the project developedcommunity arts workers. After the birth of it began to bear fruit. Around this time sheher daughter Aninka the head of a Primary was also invited to work with other artistsSchool in Leeds offered her an artist resi- alongside the German artist Anselm Keiferdency. He asked her to make a list of poten- on his installation at London’s White Cubetial projects that she was interested in doing. Gallery. Later she was invited to visit himHe chose concrete sculpture from the list, in his Paris studio to interview him for herthe one thing she had no practical experi- thesis.ence in. To test her theory she quickly made An exhibition of her new work Retro-a sculpture of a tortoise that to this day lives flexions followed at Cream, Leo Davey’sin her garden. The school wanted the older cafe showing art in Minehead. She was(year 6) children to create something for the then invited to join ‘The Recessionists’, areception class and they chose the characters group of Somerset artists and exhibited bothof A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. Working paintings and sculpture at Pylle Emporiumsimultaneouslywith 36 children, split into 6 Gallery near Glastonbury, Wiveliscombeteams, each responsible for one sculpture, Town Hall and at The Quartz Festival. Inshe completed the project from beginning May 2011 she put on a well attended soloto end in two days. Despite having lost her exhibition Exposed at the Pear tree Galleryvoice and falling ill with exhaustion, as well in East Reach. In 2011 and 2012 she shared Silenceas realizing for the future that project of that a studio with another artist in Paris where insect, a beehive. Her Sun and Moon has amagnitude should require perhaps 2 weeks they began a joint body of work and which primeval quality. Her work on shoes is at is ongoing. They exhibited together in a Pa- once haunting and provocative and shows risian gallery in the Marais. A selection of her skill as a seamstress (from the age of 15 her work along with one or two new pieces she made her own clothes). will appear at Brendon Books in November There is a profound sadness running and December. through some of her work and an attempt Her reverence for and recognition of the to create what she describes as a ‘dialogue power of books is reflected in their repre- with the unconscious through following sentation in varied dimensions and forms, instincts and distant echoes.’ There are ref- the surface of some transformed into an erences to her growing up in Prague, the extraordinary leather-like texture so they letters and unjust persecution of her grand- take on the guise and presence of ancient father — she draws deeply upon her child- manuscripts. Her powerful piece Silence is hood. ‘ I believe our perception of the world dominated by the image of a mother lying as as children, when we were so much closer it were within a grave symbolising the death and more open to the beauty of the ordinary, of a child, perhaps a miscarriage: as though to be something that we should try to re- with the child’s death part of the mother member,’ she explains. All in all there is an also dies and a clock symbolises an un- intricate craft and distinct quality about her One of several representations of Oranges timely death. Oranges are transformed and work whose surfaces invite one to touch and woven into shapes reminiscent of a skull, an feel their resonance.rather than 2 days…this initial project hadbeen a great success. She became registered See Scarlet’s Workon the ‘Northern Artists into Schools’ data- Scarlet Von Teazel’s art will be on display at Brendon Books, Bath Place,base as a sculptor and mosaic muralist and Taunton TA1 4ERover the next 5 years a further 19 projectsacross a variety of themes and with different from 12 November 2012 to 12 January 2013degrees of complexity followed. 01823 337742 Following her move to Somerset she took www.scarletvonteazel.com 12
Classic Jazz Man: Steve GrahamClassic Jazz is aseven-piece bandformed with theoriginal sounds ofNew Orleans jazz inm i n d . B a n d l e a d e rand trumpeter SteveGraham offers an in-sight into the band’sinfluences prior to aperformance at Ilm-inster Arts Centre. collaborations he met people interested in al reputation as a trumpet player inOriginally from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, traditional jazz and eventually formed the the New Orleans and Classic styles.Steve Graham moved to Taunton in 1975, Downtown Galmington Syncopa- Steve had learnt to play very basicinitially to work as a classical guitar tutor tors. With Steve on trumpet, the group trumpet while still at school, putting hisbut soon became known as a lute player, soon became a popular local band, and newly-found skills to the test in a jazzperforming with several West Country with a renewed focus on the instru- band during his last couple of yearsearly music ensembles. Through such ment, Steve gradually gained a nation- there. He continued to fit in playing while studying maths at the University of East Anglia, and recalls, ‘I learnt mandolin when a girl friend gave me one to take on a New Year holiday in the Scilly Isles, to pass time in the evenings playing folk tunes with companions.’ Initially inspired by the music of Louis Armstrong, which Steve admits is formi- dably difficult to emulate, he eventually found his way in the jazz world when in- troduced to and influenced by New Orle- ans trumpeters Avery “kid” Howard, De De Pierce, Kid Thomas Valentine and Bunk Johnson, not to mention Britain’s own New Orleans-styled trumpeter Ken Colyer, who was a leading light on the English scene during the 1950s and 60’s. Classic Jazz was formed around 2006, following Steve’s long-term stint in the group Original Rags, a duo formed with Mike Denham in 1999 to play ragtime and 14
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classic jazz of the 1920s. ‘We thoughtit would be good to have a full bandplaying that repertoire for festivals andconcert venues’, explains Steve, ‘andby that time I had met several top mu-sicians who were skilled in this music’. The Classic Jazz repertoire encom-passes many artists from the hot jazzera of the 1920s such as Jelly RollMorton, and ragtime pieces from theprevious decade by pioneers suchas Scott Joplin. Mainly the band fo-cus on the recordings of King Oliv-er’s Creole Jazz Band, which wasthe most influential band recorded inChicago back in 1923 (with a line-up featuring the cream of New Orle-ans jazz musicians; Louis Armstrong,Baby Dodds, Honore Dutrey, Bill been with pianist Mike Denham, with and Malc Murphy on drums. The bandJohnson, Johnny Dodds, Lil Hardin- whom I have been able to develop both do not seek to reproduce slavish cop-Armstrong and King Oliver himself). my trumpet and mandolin playing.’ ies of the original recordings, prefer- ‘This music is predominantly of an Joining Steve, John and Mike for the ring to create their own distinctiveensemble style’ explains Steve, ‘but Ilminster concert will be Dave Martin sound of driving, swinging ensemblewe do have an outstanding soloist on cornet. Dave has been active on the jazz, using music from which the im-in John Wurr.’ John Wurr is one of Devon music scene since the mid-1980s mensely popular “Trad” bands of thethe UK’s most versatile reed play- and runs the City Steam Jazz Band in 1950s and 60s developed their styles. ers (on clarinet and saxophone) and Exeter. Somerset audiences may be Steve works throughout the countryhas performed previously with Steve familiar with him through Bob Rey- with a number of other jazz bands, andGraham and Mike Denham at Ilm- nolds’ New Society Jazz Band and he has recently decided to devote his studyinster Arts Centre, both with Classic will soon be appearing with his own time to the lute once more. ‘HavingJazz and at Mike Denham’s ‘Speak- Jabbo Five at IAC in April. Complet- spent a lot of time in the past playingEasy’ nights that have become a ing the line-up for Classic Jazz will renaissance music and accompanyingregular fixture at the arts centre. All be Tom Wittingham, who is a natural singers, I am returning to this but am alsothree have become great favourites musician on trombone and has an in- embarking on a study of the wonderfulthere and Steve says, ‘I have had the stinctive feel for the jazz music of the music of the 13-course baroque lute.’pleasure of working with several top period, plus Sarah Thatcher on banjo,British musicians but, undoubtedly By Sara Loveridgethe most fruitful collaboration has Hear Steve Graham perform with Classic Jazz featuring Mike Denham and John Wurr Friday 30th November Ilminster Arts Centre at The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster. TA19 0AN. At 8pm. Tickets: £15. Pre-Show Supper at 7pm (must be pre-booked). Box Office: 01460 54973. Website: www.themeetinghouse.org.uk. 16
We are committed to providing honest food and drink, locally sourced, skillfully prepared and reasonably priced. Our main menu changes with the seasons and we have a great range of daily specials on offer using the best of South West produce. We also offer bespoke and budgeted catering for businesses and private events.19b Bath Place, Taunton, Tel 01823 337234Somerset, TA1 4EP Email email@example.com Back in Bath Place for the winter season 17
Somerset Cricket :The Glory Years 1973-1987 In 2010 Somerset Cricket Museum but devotees of the summer game as a acquired a unique archive of images whole. relating to the history of the club. Accompanying the pictures is an Taken by Taunton-based photogra- informative text by County Museum pher Alain Lockyer, they chronicle Trustee and journalist Richard Walsh some of the years of the County’s to complete this remarkable visual his- greatest success, including the tory, packed with classic memories. period known as the Glory Years Alain Lockyer is a professional pho- during which Somerset won five one tographer who has run the Taunton- day trophies in as many seasons. based Somerset Photo News agency between 1973 and 1990.Garner, for more than four decades covering Richards, Botham, Rose and a host National news and pictures and who of fine players feature in this superb has captured the activity of Somerset collection. County Cricket Club assiduously in However, it not only highlights that time. exciting action from classic matches, Richard Walsh lives in Taunton and but candid behind-the-scenes shots is a freelance journalist who has been of the players both at rest and at following the fortunes of Somerset play. CCC for over 40 years. He regularly Together the pictures are an irre- writes for the Western Morning News, placeable document of the Country’s the Somerset County Gazette, and the greatest cricket team at the height Sunday Independent, in addition to of its powers, and this book which which he has been the editor of the is the first publication to feature official Somerset CCC website since it Somerset Cricket: The Glory Years, the collection widely, will be read was first established in 2001. 1973-1987 Hardback; H:297; W:210; eagerly not only by fans of Somerset 160p.; black and white illustrations Halsgrove £19.99 Talk Booksigning at Brendon Books on Tuesday 13 November. Both Alain Lockyear and Richard Walsh will be present Please R.S.V.P. Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Joel Garner, Ian Botham and Vivienne Richards 18
Somerset and the Defence of the Bristol Channel in the Second World WarThe aim of the book is to fill a gap inthe literature by explaining the strategicconcepts underpinning military activityin Somerset in the Second World War.The work addresses naval activities, bothenemy and friendly in the Bristol Chan-nel, the coastal anti-invasion defencesincluding coast artillery and also coversthe air defence activities including radar,fighter control and the revolutionaryelectronic warfare directed against theLuftwaffe bombers navigation aids; to-gether with searchlights, barrage balloons,Observer Corps, AA guns and rockets.The surprising plethora of naval, army,RAF and other activities in the Somersetcoastal area, many of which were secret, Section post at Blue Anchor Photo: David Huntare explained. understanding of what we can still see in Hunt as a Somerset man who knows the All sources of historical data identified our hedgerows and on our beaches in the county well and sees it through the eyesso far, including surviving archaeological context of both defending one of Britain’s a senior Army officer. This collaborationevidence, have been examined, evaluated of expert enthusiasts brings archaeology,and cross-referenced. Many little known archives and military experience togetherbut key activities like police wartime to effectively complement each other inroles, fuel denial measures, patrols against this fascinating book intended for the waragents landing on the coast are covered enthusiast, local historian and the generalfor the first time along with the perceived public.threats and the coastal defence plansincluding the roles of the Army, HomeGuard and the secret Auxiliary Units withsaboteurs, spies and hidden wireless sta-tions. The account presented will contain manysurprises which challenge commonly-heldbeliefs. For instance, the elaborate coastal Doniford AA range before the war;defences were primarily intended to guard photo Hole collection.against air-borne not sea-borne invasion.It contradicts fondly held folk memories most vital waterways and the industrialsuch as the ineffectiveness of the Mine- heartlands dependent on it but also of thehead emergency battery. It adds to our ways in which war was brought to the enemy and ultimately led to their defeat. David Hunt has done the bulk of the work searching out and sifting the records in The National Archives and Somerset Record Office. All three authors have Somerset and the Defence of the Bristol shared in its interpretation in the light of Channel in the Second World War. David their extensive knowledge of Somerset: Dawson, David Huntand Chris Webster. David Dawson and Chris Webster as Published by the Somerset Archaeological archaeologists who have worked in the and Natural History Society, Taunton, 112 county for twenty years or so and David pages, 64 maps and illustrations. Talk Booksigning at Brendon BooksDoniford AA range before the war; the on Thursday 29 November.Queen Bee, a radio controlled target plane is Please R.S.V.P. Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ERlaunched; photo Hole collection 19
Resolution by John ColeIn describing his new novel, “Reso-lution”, as the book of a lifetime,John Cole is not exaggerating, forthe book tells the stories of the livesof three modern women living inthe twentieth century and up to thepresent time. “I worked as a family doctorthroughout the greatest period ofsocial change for womankind in his-tory. The social upheaval was enor-mous and its effects profound” said77 year old John. The novel had beengestating for more than 35 years, buta busy life in medicine as well as be-ing a dedicated professional musi-cian meant that he began writing itonly two years ago. When Taunton-born John startedwork as a house physician and sur-geon in Cirencester back in the career are widely referenced in the cert at which Brahms’ Requiem will1950s, fewer than 10% of married novel, from cadavers to choirs. It’s be performed by the Amici Choir andwomen were in paid employment. entirely appropriate, then, that the Orchestra West. He was until recent-By the time he retired from gen- launch of “Resolution” coincides ly conductor of both organisations.eral practice in 2000, that figure had with John’s musical retirement con-grown to 88%. “Resolution”, published in early No-vember, is set against the backdropof national and international politi-cal and historical events. It exploresattitudes to woman’s place in soci-ety, gender roles, careers and fami-lies. Societal changes are reflectedthrough three women; Maria, Debo-rah and Ruth. Maria is a first genera-tion immigrant, Deborah a productof the “swinging sixties” and Ruth amodern girl born and brought up inadversity. Their very different livesand fortunes touch at various points,leading to what John describes asResolution. The twin passions of medicine andmusic that have characterised John’s Resolution retails at £9.99 and is available from Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 email: email@example.com or www.johncoleresolution.com 20
The QuantocksA new book on the Quantocks has beenpublished this autumn by long-standingSomerset resident, Peter Haggett. The book is arranged on historical linesand paints a biographical picture, not ofan individual but of a region. The open-ing chapter identifies the unique charac-ter of the Quantocks and identifies sevenreasons why the area is of exceptionalinterest. The next six chapters takesthe reader through the evolution of theregion; from its deep geological roots(Chap. 2), through its occupation by ear-ly settlers (Chap, 3), to the evolution ofits separate villages and parish churchesduring the medieval period (Chap.4) tothe evolution of its great country housesand estates in the early-modern period Bench Ends Peter Haggett was born, bred and with the AONB service, local landown- schooled in Somerset. A former Cam- ers, and the Quantock Commoners to bridge don and Bristol University pro- safeguard the region. It is currently ap- fessor, he returned to his roots to write pealing for funds to acquire and conserve this affectionate tribute to this gentle, a major area of heathland (previously unpretentious and often overlooked part owned by Somerset County Council) to of his home county. The many maps look after in perpetuity for the people of and diagrams have been especially Somerset. drawn for this volume and he teamed up with his daughter (an Intensive Care nurse at a local hospital) to richly illustrate the text with over a hundred photographs, a third in colour. Peter has held university research and teaching posts around the world for half-a-cen- tury and in 1997 was awarded the CBE for services to geographical scholar- ship. Profits from the sale of the volume(Chap. 5) The revolution wrought by are being donated to a leading localthe railways is a theme of the Victorian conservation charity, the Friends ofQuantocks (Chap. 6) while even more Quantock. This was founded in 1949rapid change and the impact of two with the object of safeguarding theWorld Wars dominates the chapter on landscape and natural environment ofthe 20thC (Chap. 7). The last chapter the Quantock Hills. It works closelyidentifies five current problems in theregion (ranging from maintaining its The Quantocks: Biography of an English Region, it is 240 pages longfragile heather moors to the challenge ofnuclear and tidal power) and debates the with 120 figures, a third in colour. pbfuture of the Quantocks. ISBN 978-0-9573352-0-2 Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 email: firstname.lastname@example.org 21