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  1. 1. sssss INSIDE THIS ISSUE Shakespeare on the Green Summer Art at Binham Grange Ten Parishes Festival Abundance (SAW) Nancy Farmer Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre The Quartz Festival Quartz Festival Calendar of Events Art in the Park Stogumber Festival Diana Pilcher Anne Leamon Chrissy Banks Taunton Through Time Poetry Corner Short Story My Favourite August/September 2013 Shining a light on literature, art, music and performance in Somerset
  2. 2. 05 Introduction: Two Steps Forward and One back 06 Open air Theatre at Castle Green 08 Ten parishes Festival 12 A Feast of Invention 19 Calendar of Events 24 Stogumber Festival 26 Summer Art at Binham Grange 27 Abundance 28 Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre 36 Quartz Festival 31 Art in the Park 32 Large Paintings for Small Place 33 The Oldest Longest Running Flower Show 34 Taunton Through Time 35 Poetry Corner: Chrissy Banks 36 Short Story: Blood-Feud of Toad-Water 38 My Favourite: Charlie Warren Contents LAMP Magazine has now been going for a full year and we are delighted with the response. We are now going to publish every 2 months. The current issue covers August and Septem- ber. Thank you to all those who have supported us with articles, distribution and advertising. Lionel Ward Stop Press An introduction by Max Hebditch follows in which he explains the latest position regarding the Brew- house Theatre as he sees it from the viewpoint of the Cultural Consortium. However, as we went to press, Val Hammond representing the Taunton Theatre Association and made the following state- ment: ‘The Taunton Theatre Association, the combined community group bidding to operate The Brew- house, welcomes the Council’s decision to buy out the lease so that live theatre is in the heart of our town. We thank all those who supported the campaign and volunteered their services. Please join us now at uk. Busy and exciting times are ahead!’ Editor: Lionel Ward Copy Editor: Jo Ward All enquiries: 01823 337742 c/o Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER The views expressed in Lamp are not necessarily those of the editorial team. Copyright, unless otherwise stated, is that of the magazine or the individual authors. We do not accept liability for the content or accuracy of the magazine including that of the advertisers.
  3. 3. G a l l e r y 4 A r t B i n h a m G r a n g e SUMMER ART EXHIBITION A BOX OF DELIGHTS 10:30am - 5pm Daily 10th August - 1st September Coffee, Lunch and Afternoon Tea in the Grange Restaurant. Painting, Sculpture, Cveramics, Photography, Prints, Poetry. Binham Grange, Old Cleeve, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 6HX For full details, please see
  4. 4. Two steps forward and one back The closure of the Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre earlier this year was a bit of a setback for Taunton’s growing reputation as a cultural centre. The Borough Council is buying back the lease from the administrator. This provides a building and site unencumbered by complexities of ownership while a viable future for a theatre and art gallery in the centre of the town is sorted out. Later this summer the Borough will have the report of the consultants, Quartet. They have a lot of experience in this field so their advice will be valuable. If the Brewhouse is to reopen quickly, this must not be in a way which stacks up problems for the future – we do not want another insol- vency. That is the one-step back. In many ways the picture for the arts and heritage in Taunton is much more encouraging. The Cultural Consortium came into existence in 2004 to set out a vision of what the cultural quarter in the centre of town might look like and then to act as critical friend for its development. This was seen as an important component in the regeneration of the town – Project Taunton. We recommended three immediate goals: a new Museum in Taunton Castle; the development of the Brewhouse, and redesign of the riverside and Castle Green to link them. In the longer term we said Taunton needed a concert hall and an art gallery. There were justifica- tions for all this in economic terms, and also in drawing on the creativity of the artists and curators who work here. The closure of the Brewhouse has demonstrated the latter very strongly, as do the articles in this edition of LAMP. Other spaces for art and performance have come into use in the schools and colleges, at CICCIC in Paul Street and The Tacchi-MorrisShakespeare. There will be Shakespeare in Castle Green and there is the great Literary Festival organised by Brendon Books which will take place at the beginning of November. The two steps forward are the creation of the Museum of Somerset (100,000 visitors a year) and the regeneration of Castle Green and the riverside. These were delivered just ahead of the reces- sion, thank goodness. So there is a great base on which to build the new Taunton. Max Hebditch Chair Taunton Cultural Consortium
  5. 5. Open Air Theatre at Castle Green, Taunton GB Theatre will be holding two of its celebrated productions at Castle Green this summer marking the beginning of the use of ‘the green’ as a serious performance space. ‘Lord, what fools these mortals be?’ Puck Act 3, scene 2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings together several different styles of humour in the interaction between the main protagonists, the mechanicals hilarious play within a play and the machinations of Titania and Oberin and the other fairies. The use of magic to alter the perception of some of the main characters for each other produces high farce characterised by fine verbal jokes and visual humour. It is also one of Shakespeare’s most accessible plays. It is thought to have been written between 1590 and 1596, making it one of his earliest plays. Following the end of the reign of Queen Mary, and the introduction of Puritanism, all stage plays in theatres were outlawed. In 1644 the Globe Theatre was destroyed. Midsummer Night’s Dream, like other Shakespeare plays, was not performed, except as short playlets tagged on to other forms of entertainment. It was not until the restoration of King Charles II in 1660 that the theatres were reopened. However, a Midsummer Night’s Dream was only performed in an adapted form. It was not unitl the 1840’s that it began to be revived in its fuller form. Taunton Deane Borough Council, Pleased to welcome the Taunton Shakespeare Festival ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  6. 6. Barrie Palmer set up the GB Theatre Company in 2010 with business partner Gill Roca (hence the name GB), with the intention of bringing open air theatre productions to audiences around the UK and Europe. Barrie’s experience of acting Shakespeare came rather late in life, though his love of acting was present from an early age. Born in Bath, he remembers his first line in a play at Fosseway Primary School being: ‘Her Royal Highness the Princess of Spain.’At secondary school he played Bill Sykes. However, his career was with the police force which he joined in 1971. Initially stationed at Bridgwater, he moved to Taunton in 1972. In 1979 he saw an advert in the newspapers for ac- tors to audition for the Taunton Amateur Operatic Society who were performing Yeoman of the Guard. He also joined Taunton Thespians and the Wayfarers Pantomime Society and, over the years, played a number of leading roles in each. He gained his equity card while still in the police by doing stand-up comedy and walk-ons and small parts on TV. There was an example of early typecasting when Barrie played a policeman in the popular Wycliffe detective series which starred Jack Shepherd. It was in 2003 that he gained a place at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Within 6 months of leaving he had a 15 month contract with the RSC, performing in Stratford-upon- Avon, Newcastle and the West End. Little did he know that when he played policeman to Wycliffe all those years ago that he would employ Jack Shep- herd as the director of The Tempest for his own company. It has been a happy arrangement and Jack Shepherd, now a good friend, has also written a play on Edvard Munch which will be performed at a future date by the GB company. Talks began last year with councillor Mark Edwards about bringing quality open air theatre to the new open space at Castle Green. It is hoped that this will become an annual event. At the time of going to press, Midsummer Night’s ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed’ Shylock Act 3, scene 1 D escribed as a comedy in the First Folio, The Merchant of Venice, however, provoked much serious debate since it was written (it is be- lieved, between 1596 and 1598). There are several in- terwoven plots but at the heart is the deal between An- tonio, (the merchant of Venice of the title), who makes his money from trading fine goods carried in his sail- ing ships, and Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. The deal goes wrong when a number of Antonio’s ships perish at sea and threaten him with ruin. Shylock is determined to earn the pound of Antonio’s flesh that was promised him instead of interest when the loan was made. The Anti-semitism Debate There has been a long-running debate over whether The Merchant of Venice was intended to be an anti-semitic play. There was an unsympathetic attitude to Jews in Shake- speare’s day. It was not until the rule of Oliver Cromwell that English Jews were permitted to return to England following their expulsion by Edward I in 1290. In more recent times it has been used by the Nazis as part of their propaganda against Jews. The play was broadcast on radio and regularly performed on the stage in wartime Germany. Early perform- ances of the play in Britain often portrayed Shylock as a comical or monstrous character. However, Edmund Kean’s sympathetic portrayal at Drury Lane in 1814 was a great triumph and effectively launched his career. Most of the actors that followed him in the role chose his sympathetic approach, though it remains controversial and open to inter- pretation to this day. This may have been Shakepeare’s inten- tion. There is no doubt, however, that he gave the character of Shylock some of the most eloquent lines of all his works. Dream and The Merchant of Venice have already been playing to packed audiences in other parts of the coun- try. Barrie has also played another im- portant role in founding the S.U.R.E Charity in 2000, set up in order to end the need for cancer patients to Travel to Bristol for treatment. Performance Times Thursday 8th August 7.30pm: Midsummer Night’s Dream Friday 9th August 7.30pm: The Merchant of Venice Saturday 10th August 2.00pm: Midsummer Night’s Dream Saturday 10th August 7.00pm: The Merchant of Venice Tickets from: Tourist Information Centre, Paul Street, Taunton TA1 3XZ Telephone: 01823 336 344 Barrie Palmer Merchant of Venice being performed at Brandon Hill, Bristol
  7. 7. This year’s sixth biennial 10 Par- ishes Festival is from September 7 – 15 and will see over 100 artists, craftspeople and performers joining in a host of exhibitions and events at venues from pubs to schools to homes, along with a hugely popular day long Street Market and Wheel- barrow Carnival. People come together to celebrate the wonderful creativity that grows and flowers in villages and tucked away rural places all around the small town of Wiveliscombe, often inspired by a deep love of the landscape and the communities and animals that are part of it. Ashbrittle, Bathealton, Brompton Ralph, Chipstable with Waterrow, Clat- worthy, Fitzhead, Huish Champ- flower, Milverton, Stawley – little villages that are home to creative people working with glass, paint, ceramics, jewel- lery, photography, music and much more. From the work of 68-year-old artist John Abraham, returning to painting after fifty years, to chil- dren at Wiveliscombe Primary School making art work inspired by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy; from David Manners, Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, to international performer Yvette Staelens celebrating Somerset folk song, the creative offer is an uplifting mix of the amateur and the professional. Everyone is just part of the Festival community. Music plays its part too with perform- ances this year including a range from the popular Reed Rage Sax Octet to BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award win- ner James Findlay. Poetry and drama events, a French circus act, the variety is exciting, rich, and often unique – such as an exhibition of family memorabilia belonging to Susan Lady Lethbridge, including clothes worn by the beloved little granddaughter of Quaker reformer Elizabeth Fry and the baby bonnet of Admiral Noel, a former Admiral of the Fleet. The 10 Parishes Festival is led by founder and Director Pauline Home- shaw, recently awarded an MBE for her services to the community, including work she does for SSAFA the British Armed Forces charity. “We started the Festival with a real feeling that people wanted to look forward, to make something happen, and from the very start it has been an inclusive arts, crafts and community event that helps support artists who frequently work alone and often in rural The Ten Parishes Festival 2013 It started as a community drive to make something positive happen af- ter the devastation of Foot-and-Mouth disease in the area. Now the 10 Parish- es Festival - one of the most popular events in West Somerset – will soon celebrate again as the creative ener- gy for which the area is renowned, is channelled into eight days of inten- sive artistic activity. Wiveliscombe Festival Street Market A Party Waiting for People by Nick Bickford Penguin Books Supporting Literary Artistic Endeavour in Somerset --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  8. 8. quartz festival 2013 Wednesday 25 September to Saturday 5 October at Queen’s College, Taunton Rick Wakeman Maddy Prior John Archer Lost Dog Zen Hussies The Lord Chamberlain’s Men Alexandra Dariescu Film Nights Art Exhibition Workshops Book your tickets now! 01823 275715 The 10 Parishes Festival combines artistic and cultural excellence with community involvement at every level! Right across the 10 Parishes, centred on Wiveliscombe in beautiful West Somerset, almost 100 artists, craftspeople and performers will be exhibiting this September. There will be open studios where you can see artists at work, gallery exhibitions and workshops. PlanPlan to visit the 10 Parishes this September and enjoy everything that is on offer! 01984 624564 7th - 15th September 2013 The 10 Parishes Festival is operated by Wiveliscombe Area Partnership. Registered in England and Wales No. 4351175, Charity No. 1132983 a celebration of visual and performing arts 10parishesfestival
  10. 10. 11 isolation,” she explains. The Festival not only offers a vital chance to be seen but is an important economic benefit – at the 2011 Festi- val sales amounted to almost £30,000 while local charities benefited by £3,500 from refreshment sales and other opportunities, and local trad- ers enjoyed increased footfall and the promotion of Wiveliscombe on Market and Carnival Day. The non-motorised Carnival is hugely popular and visitors also throng to the day long Festival Street Market where over 70 carefully selected stall holders sell everything from local cheeses to sourdough bread; locally sourced beef and venison burgers to organic vegeta- bles and local ales. For some people the Festival means the difference between an income or none, the chance to continue being creative, or not. “As a self-employed artist living in a remote village, the 10 Parishes Fes- tival has brought to my studio people from all over the South West. The opportunity to exhibit my work from home has, as a lone parent, proved in- valuable economically, allowing me to build a network of clients in the area,” says painter Tilly Willis. Textile artist Trish Perrin is equally positive. “The Festival certainly con- tributes to my sales, not just during the event but afterwards with repeat customers. Showcasing my work also led to it now being sold through a craft co-op shop in Bampton. Without the Festival I would probably now be working in an office, with my artwork being a mere hobby.” Grants from Taunton Deane Borough Council, Wiveliscombe Town Council and The Jim Laker Fund help towards the total Festival cost of over £12,000, which includes a beautifully printed free Festival Guide, distributed all around Somerset and east Devon. Since 2012, the Festival has been taken under the wing of The Wiveliscombe Area Partnership (WAP), a registered charity. It provides a number of services to the local community, such as the Community Office in Wiveliscombe, and Wivey Link, which runs community transport in the area. Its oversight of the Festival ensures legal and financial functions are taken care of, and allows the working group to continue building on the artistic and community events that make the Festival so special. The creative people of the 10 Parishes are getting ready to celebrate, and invit- ing visitors from around the county and beyond to come and join them. Visit for full details. Taunton by Claire Rice. Tilly Willis - Fire Pauline Homeshaw And Did Those Feet by Jim Munnion . ‘Supporting Creativity, Enterprise and Culture in Somerset through Workshops, Exhibitions, Talks Performances’ Paul St,Taunton ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  11. 11. 12 ‘I was always more of a fan of the very sharp pencil than the fuzzy stick of charcoal’ explains Nancy, who de- spite having had no formal training in painting, has become renowned for her stunning paintings that depict a confection of extraor- dinary creatures, drawn from myth and reality. Originally from Guildford, but now living in Moorlinch, Bridgwater, Nancy is part of the Spring Farm Arts group, a collective of artists who work together to hold regular open studio events, as well as taking part in Somerset Art Weeks. Herloveofprecisionandwell-crafted work has been with her since school, after which she went onto study Jew- ellery at the Glasgow School of Art and Conservation of Metalwork at the Royal College of Art and VA Mu- seum. These experiences have fuelled her attraction to highly-finished art- works, and to pictorial images which tell a story. ‘My paintings are essentially col- oured-in drawings’explains Nancy, ‘I remember being quite good at draw- ing at school but I lacked a subject that inspired me other than the illus- tration of other people’s stories, so I A Feast of Invention: Nancy Farmer Artist Nancy Farmer returns to Ilminster Arts Centre to serve up an exciting solo exhibition of paintings, draw- ings and etchings that are both humorous and decadent. A Murder of Crows veered off into metalwork.’ Meeting her partner - who shares a similar sense of humour - proved to be the turning point that led her back to drawing. With his encouragement Nancy began creating amusing Christ- mas cards which they would send out to friends each year. This annual draw- ing/painting exercise soon became a tradition that started Nancy’s satirical take on devils and angels that now ap- pear frequently in her work. ‘In one job after another I worked with a couple of remarkably religious people, who used to expound ideas at me, so painting the devils was fun but Ricinus Communis - detail
  12. 12. 13 Co-educational day boarding: ages 13–18 telephone: 01823 328204 A Woodard School O P E N D A YO P E N D A Y Saturday 5th October—10 am arrival Please contact us to reserve your place BE PART OF THE DISCOVER Y Affordable Acupuncture for you and your family . Initial Consultation: £28 Subsequent Treatments: £17 01823 423852 1st Floor ● Powers Chambers Bath Place ● Taunton TA1 4ER (next door to Brendon Books) PARK ART ‘ACTIVELY PROMOTING ARTISTS’ Situated opposite Vivary Park Gates Contact: Rachel Hartland Tel: o7730133397 E mail: Exhibiting and selling original art, plus Vintage and retro collectables, Park Art offers an exceptional High Street position for Artists wanting to showcase work. Opening Hours Tuesday 10am-1pm….....1pm-4pm Wednesday 10am-1pm……..1pm-4pm ‘Actively Promoting Artists’ Situated opposite Vivary Park Gates Contact: Rachel Hartland Tel. 077 301 33397 E mail: Exhibiting and selling original art, plus vintage and retro collectables, Park Art offers an exceptional High Street position for Artists wanting to showcase work. Opening Hours Tuesday 10am-1pm.........1pm-4pm Wednesday 10am-1pm......1pm-4pm Friday 10am-1pm Saturday 10am-1pm Open full time over Park based events SUPERB Classical Music! Strauss Oboe Concerto Mozart Symphony no. 40 Taunton Temple Church 7.30pm Sept 28th Bridport Arts Centre 3.00pm Sept 29th For full details of this and all our concerts 2 and much more: well worth a visit! £15 (£5 u 16) Door and TIC 01823 336344
  13. 13. 14 See Nancy Farmer’s exhibition ‘A Feast of Invention’ Tuesday 6 - Saturday 31 August Ilminster Arts Centre East Street, IlminsterTA19 0AN. Open Mon - Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm, Saturday 9.30am - 2.30pm. Admission is free. Information: 01460 55783 February dreaming they both took it in a cheerful way, I think.’ In Nancy’s world, devils lounge about, persecuting the damned because it is their job to do so, but without much enthusiasm, and, since they are devils, have an impressive wardrobe of fetish clothing. The angels are no better, re- clining on clouds, supping pink cham- pagne and eating chocolates. Wearing rose-tinted spectacles they can see no wrong and no reason to move from their comfortable spot. Visitors to her ‘Feast of Invention’ exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre can expect to meet a wealth of such characters from the elegant but suspi- ciously masked partygoers of ‘A Mur- der of Crows’ to ‘Ricinus Communis’ , a curious Poison Flower Fairy that inhabits dangerous and medicinal plants. Medusa will also be making an appearance. She may be a femme fatale but she’s also an ordinary girl given to bad hair days! ‘I like to add a certain humanity and ordinariness to fantasy and vice versa but do not like to take my subjects too seriously,’ says Nancy. ‘The bit about the devils and the Christians was a starting point, and I have been poking fun at things ever since.’ Fromearlyexperimentswithacrylicinks to more recent explorations in gold leaf, a variety of materials play a key part in the development of Nancy’s work. This combined with an abundance of ideas that evolve and feed into one another be- fore taking the form of drawings, paint- ings and etchings. ‘Concepts get rolled around inside my head and come out as something slightly different.’ explains Nancy, ‘I’m inspired by everything - stories, mythology, science,nature, wine and the human form.’ Over the last few years, an interest in gardening and plants has also crept into her work, and has been used to great effect in a series depicting alternative Flower Fairies. With titles such as ‘The Flower Fairies go to Seed’ and ‘Poison Flower Fairies’ it’s not surprising that they have been selling fast. ‘I’m keen to add to the few paintings I have in hand and if I am quick, I shall have a few more ready for Ilminster too.’ Nancy is currently working on her cal- endar for 2014 that features a series of 12 etchings of Medusa. These calendars will be available during her exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre. ‘The thing I enjoy most about being an artist is not doing what people tell me to’ says Nancy, before adding with a smile, ‘Although they still tell me!’ October Masquerade
  14. 14. 15 All Aboard the Rock Island Line The Legendary Lonnie Donegan Band, now fronted by son Peter Donegan, play a wonderful evening of music and song in a celebration of Lonnie’s works which had such a huge impact on the early days of popular mu- sic. The music and songs encompass Country,Rock, Folk,Gospel,Soul and Electric Skiffle, which, when fused together, produce a high octane con- cert of foot tapping, hand clapping and sing-along music. Peter’s musical talents coupled with infectious enthusiasm and unbounded energy keeps alive the spirit of his dad’s songs, helping to create a real feel good factor among the audience. It should be a superb evening. Venue: Cossington Village Hall, Trivetts Way, Cossington, Bridgwater TA7 8LN Saturday 19 October 8.00pm (doors open 7.00pm) Reserved seats £15 from host Roger Collett 01278 451187 or online at Advertise in LAMP By advertising in LAMP you are not only promot- ing your own business but helping support and make better known the artistic endeavours of those in the Somerset community. Sponsorship lines are also available for those who want to ex- press their support for the artistic community but do not want to commit to an advert. Contact details: Lionel Ward Tel. 01823 337742/01823 972662 Or write to LAMP, 1 Kingsway, Taunton TA1 3YD.
  15. 15. 16 In keeping with the traditions of one of the South West’s premier visual and performing arts festival, there is much to enjoy and savour during the festival’s 10-day programme. Running throughout the duration of the festival will be a vibrant and challenging art exhibition, showcasing work from local artists and sculptors. Sponsored by BMW (Westerly Bridgwater), this year’s exhibition will feature a number of artists in residence together with workshops and evening presentations. Locally sourced refreshments will be provided by Red Field Kitchen. Amongst the wide range of evening performances, the festival will host travelling Shakespeare company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, who will be performing ‘As You Like It’, cutting- edge dance theatre group Lost Dog and Bristol-based six-piece band The Zen Hussies, who specialise in playing pre-war swing, blues, ska and old fashioned rock and roll. Concert pi- anist Alexandra Dariescu, recently presented with BBC Music Maga- zine’s ‘Rising Star’ award, returns to Quartz as does comic magician John Archer. On Saturday 28 Sep- tember, Maddy Prior – lead singer with Steeleye Span – promises to deliver a spell-binding evening’s entertainment, satisfying the huge local demand for folk music. ‘Rick Wakeman to headline Quartz Festival’ The former Yes keyboard player, Rick Wakeman, will headline the ninth annual Quartz Festival at Queen’s College, Taunton (Wednesday 23rd September – Saturday 5 October 2013). Rick Wakeman, iconic rock musician and, more recently, one of BBC’s ‘Grumpy Old Men’ and a panellist on hit Radio 4 shows such as ‘The News Quiz’ and ‘Just a Minute’ , will host ‘An Intimate Evening with Rick Wakeman’ in the Queen’s Hall on Saturday 5 October. Quartz Festival 2013 Lord Chamberlain’s Men Tom Clark
  16. 16. 17 For the first time, the Quartz Festi- val will be incorporating three Na- tional Academy Film Nights, featur- ing films from the 1990s that either won or were nominated for National Academy Awards (Oscars). Each will be introduced by prominent local people and will feature themed refreshments to make it a night to remember. This year’s films will be Life is Beautiful (Alex Cameron, Editor of the Somerset County Gazette), The Remains of the Day (Lionel Ward, proprietor Brendon Books) and The English Patient (Chris Alcock, Headmas- ter, Queen’s College). Programme of Events Wed 25 Sep Film Night 1 - The English Patient 7.30 £5 Thu 26 Sep The Zen Hussies (six-piece band) 7.30 £8 Fri 27 Sep Film Night 2 - Life is Beautiful 7.30 £5 Sat 28 Sep Maddy Prior 7.30 £15 Mon 30 Sep Lord Chamberlain’s Men-As You Like It 7.30 £10/£8(student) Tue 01 Oct Quartz Film Night 3 - The Remains of the Day 7.30 £5 Wed 02 Oct Lost Dog 7.30 £12/8(student) Thu 03 Oct 2013 Alexandra Dariescu 7.30 £10/£8(student) Friday 04 Oct 2013 John Archer 7.30 £10/£8(student) Sat 05 Oct An Intimate Evening with Rick Wakeman 7.30 £20 Tickets are available now via or by contacting the Quartz ticket office on 01823 275715. Further information on all the artists, workshops and performances can be found on the Quartz Festival website - Above: Leo Davey, Chiang Mai. Right, above Chris Taylor Right: Lost Dogs It Needs Horses
  17. 17. 18 Abstract Encaustic Art Taster Workshop with Jacki Stokes This will be great fun and a brilliant way to release your inner creativity. You don’t have to be able to draw or paint – anyone can do it, but those who are artistically minded will also benefit by experimenting with a whole new exciting medium. You’ll be exploring colour, shape, com- position and texture and of course, something very close to my heart: happy accidents. Even if you are already familiar with encaustics but have never used them for abstract painting, you’ll find this workshop very inspiring (but please note that it is not aimed at those wish- ing to improve their existing representational encaustic work). Further details email: or call: 07719 324830 To see more of my encaustic paintings, come and visit me dur- ing Somerset Art Weeks at Venue 39 (Bishops Hull House, Taunton) 18 A TALE FOR OUR TIMES – ON EXMOOR A compelling story of family and ecological conflict on Exmoor, set against the cur- rent financial cri- sis and interwoven with sexual rivalry and obsession. And at another level, a reflection on our planet as a tiny, living, teeming sward - finite and vulnerable - and floating alone in the dead sea of the universe. PAN’S PRINCIPLE by SIMON PATRICK A ‘MUST-READ’ NOW ON KINDLE – ONLY £0.99P ginger fig gifts and gallery 1b Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 ginger fig gallery promotes artists and designers exclusively from the South West, exhibiting new talent alongside established artists
  18. 18. 19 1 Art Talk ‘A Very Eclectic Baker’s Dozen’: John Foden on his art collection The Barn, Obridge, Taunton 7.30 2-3 Play As You Like It: Outdoor Shakespeare: The Lord Chamberlain’s Men Tyntesfield 6.00 3 Music Night of the Prom - in aid of Taunton St Pastors Age UK North St, Taunton 8.00 3 Book Talk Anne Leamon on her new Taunton Flower Show book Vivary Park, Floral Marquee 3.00 4 Drama Folksy Theatre’s ‘Romeo Juliet’: Outdoor Theatre Hestercombe Gardens 7.00 Talk Meet the Palace Jester Bishop’s Palace, Wells 10-6 Drama As You Like It Outdoor Theatre - Lord Chamberlian’s Men Bishop’s Palace, Wells 7.30 Drama A Celebration of the Waters - Play to Commemorate Alice Buckton St John’s Church, Glastonbury 3.00 Children’s Chris Pui Roadshow Playhouse W.S.M. 4-8 Music Peter Palmer and Pals in concert Wellington Park, Wellington 2.30-4.00 5 Drama As You Like It Outdoor Theatre - Lord Chamberlian’s Men Fyne Court, nr Taunton 7.30 8 Drama Misummer Night’s Dream - GB Theate Company Castle Green (tickets,TIC) 7.30 Music Lunchtime Organ Recital - Gary Desmond Wells Cathedral 1.05 Comedy Joe Pasquale Playhouse W.S.M. 9 Drama The Merchant of Venice - GB Theare Company Castle Green (tickets,TIC) 7.30 Music Rags to Riches - Mike Denham Ilminster Arts Centre 7.00 10 Drama Misummer Night’s Dream - GB Theate Company Castle Green (tickets,TIC) 2.00 10 Drama The Merchant of Venice - GB Theare Company Castle Green (tickets,TIC) 7.00 Music Gypsy Watkins in Concert Wells Cathedral 7.00 11 Music Bryan Ferry. Plus spectacular fireworks display Glastonbury Abbey 6.00 Music Summers’Afternoon Classical Special All Saiints Churc, Merriott 2.30 12 Music Yorkie Wellington Park, Wellington 2.30 15-17 Musical Grease - Loganwest Productions Playhouse W.S.M. 7.20 16 Drama Romeo and Juliet - Festival Players Theatre CompanyVenue Glastonbury Abbey 17 Music The Busch Ensemble - Music on the Quantocks Broomfield Village Hall 8.00 18 Music The Busch Ensemble - Music on the Quantocks Broomfield Village Hall 3.30 18 Music All That Jazz - Sunday Band Concert Vivary Park, Taunton 3.00 19 Music Sapphire Wellington Park, Wellington 2.30 20 Music Full Moon Music with Hat in Hand The Chalice Well Trust Gar- dens 7.00 22 Workshop Young Writers’s Day Taunton Library 10-4.00 23 Children’s Postman Pat Playhouse W.S.M. 1.00 23-24 Drama Blithe Spirit - Noel Coward. Red traingle Players Blakehay Theatre 7.30 25 Music Deane Big Band Wellington Park, Wellington 2.30 25 Music Ruishton Big Band - Sunday Concert Vivary Park, Taunton 3.00 27 Workshop Parent Child Sewing Workshop Imagine, Design Create, Taunton 12.00 29 Poetry Simon Armitage - Porlock Literary Festival Porlock Village Hall 8.00 29 Music Lada Valesova Piano Recital (Stogumber Festival) St Mary’s, Stogumber 7.30 29 Music Jazz in the Alley White Horse, Stogumber 9.30 29-31 Musical Fame - The Musical Tacchi-Morris, Taunton 7.00 29-31 Puppetry Avnue ‘O’ Blakehay Theatre 2.30/8.00 30 Music Grand Baroque: Blackdowns Early Music Project Cathedral Green, Exeter 7.30 August Events Date Event Details Venue Time Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details.
  19. 19. 20 Muisc Cara Dillon Sam Lakeman: Irish Folk St Mary’s, Stogumber 7.30 Muisc Folk in the Alley: Paul Haines/Sarah Joy White Horse, Stogumber 9.30 30-31 Music Gotta Sing Gotta Dance Playhouse W.S.M. 7.30 31 Music The Chamber Philarmonia Cologne in concert St Mary Magdalene, Taunton 7.30 Music Trio Paradis/Reed Rage St Mary Magdalene, Taunton 12/3.00 Music Anne Watson (Soprano) Lada Valesova (Piano) St Mary Magdalene, Taunton 7.30 September Events Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. Date Event Details Venue Time 1 Music William Whitehead Organ Recital Poetry Reading St Mary’s, Stogumber 11.00 Music Choral Evensong: Stogumber Festival Choir/William Whitehead St Mary’s, Stogumber 3.30 5 Drama Pride Prejudice - Chapterhouse Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 6 Music Sing-a-long Grease - Taunton Amateur Operatic Society Tacchi-Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Mad Dog Mcrea Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Music Last Night of the Proms-British Philarmonic Concert Orchestra Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 7 Music One Night of Elvis - tribute Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 7-15 Festival 10 Parishes Festival: Arts, crafts and performance various 8 Music Burtle Silver Band Vivary Park, Taunton 3.00 Comedy Ken Dodd Octagon, Yeovil 6.00 Music Boo Hewerdine. David Hall, S.Petherton 8.00 9-10 Comedy Ha Ha Holmes - Jamie Wilson Productions Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 11 Dance / Poetry Antara - A K Balakrishnan, Kay Crook, et al Tacchi Morris, Taunton 7.30 12 Music Lunctime Organ Recital - Henry Wallace Wells Cathedral 1.00 Music Forever in Blue Jeans Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Talk Salley Vickers Elaine Feinstein Porlock Village Hall 7.30 12-14 Drama The Bugle Boy: Life of Glen Miller - Jayden Productions Playhouse, W.S.M. 7.30 13 Music Concert in Aid of RAFA Wings Appeal Tacchi Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Milverton Concert Society in association with 10 Parishes Festival Milverton Church 8.00 Music Mandy Starr and the Beaufort Male Voice Choir-Wings Appeal Tacchi Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Love War: Lunchtime Concert for Voice Piano St John’s Church, Taunton 12.45 Variety Night at the Abbey - lights, music and entertainment Glastonbury Abbey 6.00 Comedy Andrew Bird with Diana Alexander Blakehay Theare W.S.M. 8.30 Music Lucy Ward. Friday 13th Sept. 8pm David Hall, S.Petherton 8.00 Music Mrs Ackroyd (Porlock Arts Festival) Porlock Village Hall 7.30 14 Music Military Wives Choir Chivenor (Part of Military Tattoo) Taunton Racecourse Talk Lord Douglas Hurd Sir Roger Carrick Porlock Village Hall 7.30 14-15 Variety Let Me Entertain You Semi Finals Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 16-21 Drama My Mother Said I Never Should - Charlotte Keatley Swan Theatre, Yeovil 7.45 17-21 Drama Relatively Speaking - Alan Ayckbourn Warehouse, Ilminster 7.30
  20. 20. 21 25 Film Film Night 1 - English Patient. (Quartz Festival) Queen’s College, Tauntton 7.30 26 Music The Zen Hussies Six-Piece Band (Quartz Festival) Queen’s College, Tauntton 7.30 Music Dean Friedman Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Comedy Tin Rocket - Niki McCretton Tacchi Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music London Handel Players Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Music Andrew Lucas gives the Norman Andrew Memorial Recital Wells Cathedral 7.30 Comedy Alister McGowan Playhouse, W.S.M. 8.00 27 Film Film Night 2 - Life is Beautiful (Quartz Festival) Queen’s College, Tauntton 7.30 28 Music Maddy Prior (Quartz Festival) Queen’s College, Tauntton 7.30 Comedy Mark Thomas Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Music Taunton Sinfonietta Temple Methodist Church 7.30 Variety Let me Entertain You Final Octagon, Yeovil 7.30 Drama The Vagina Monologues Playhouse, W.S.M. 8.00 Music Southern Folk - Lash and Dave Warehouse, Ilminster 7.30 30 Drama As You Like It - Lord Chamberlain’s Men (Quartz Festival) Queen’s College, Tauntton 7.30 TimeVenueEvent Details Events in date order. Contact details for most of the venues are given at the end of event listings. Please note, we do not take any responsibility for errors or omissions. Please confirm with venue timings and programme details. September Events (Cont’d) Date 21 Music Emily Portman Trio x Vimeo Bridgwater Arts Centre 8.00 Music Simon and Garfunkel: Through the Years - tribute Tacchi Morris, Taunton 7.30 Music Private Peaceful: The Concert Octagon, Yeovil 6.00 Music Concert with The Alberni String Quartet Dillington House, Ilminster 8.00 22 Comedy Jeremy Hardy Octagon, Yeovil 8.00 22 Comedy Pam Ayres Playhouse W.S.M. 5.00 Art Exhibitions August/September Until 4 Aug. Mike Haslam, oil paintings. Lutyens Gallery, Hestercombe Gardens. Until 12 Aug. Chandos Society Art Exhibition. Wells Cathedral. 2 August-11 Aug. Harry/Weeks Art Exhibition. Wells Cathedral. 3 August-31 Aug. Nancy Farmer: A Feast of Invention. Ilminster Arts Centre. 7-31 August. Diana Pilcher. ‘Large Paintings in Small Spaces. F.east, Ilminster (Wed-Sat, 10-5) Until 29 Sep. Outside In: West - Supporting Artists from the Margins. Museum of Somerset, Taunton. 1 Aug-31 Oct. John Candler: Stone Carvings. 3D Exhibition, Hestercombe Gardens. 3 Aug-11 Aug. Quantock Artists Exhibition. Crowcombe Church House, Crowcombe. 5 Aug-26 Aug. Pip Wilson - Oil and Acrylic Paintings. Lutyens Gallery, Hestercombe Gardens. 6-8 Sep and 13-15 Sep. Illumina, Hestercombe Gardens (8.30pm- 10.30pm). 9 Aug-3 Sep. B.S. Arts Society Summer Exhibition. Creative Innovation Centre (9-5). 10 Aug. Meet The Artist (from Made in Glastonbury Exhibition) 2.00-4.00. 10 Aug-1 Sep. Gallery 4 Art: Summer Art at Binham Grange - Binham Grange (10.30-5). 22 Aug-31 Augt. Exhibition of local artists in aid of S.U.R.E. Moose Hall, Taunton (10-6). 3 Sep-19 Sep. Flux by Diane Burnell. Tacchi-Morris, Taunton. 10 Sep-14 Sep. Porlock Art Week (Part of Porlock Festival). Methodist Hall, Porlock. 16 Sep-6 Oct. June Dobson and Andrew Bell. Lutyens Gallery, Hestercombe Gardens. 20 Sep-12 Oct. ‘A Walk on the Wildside’: Twelve Good Women - Mixed Media. Ginger Fig, Taunton (10-4, not Sunday) 21 Sep-6 Oct Somerset Arts Week. Please see widely available free catalogue from many outlets including Somerset libraries and Brendon Books or follow link to website:
  21. 21. 22 Barn, Obridge House. Contact: Jeremy Harvey. 01823 276421 Barrington Court Barrington  Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0NQ 01460 242614 Bishop’s Palace Cathedral GreenWells Somerset BA5 2PD 01749 988111 The Blakehay Theatre, Wadham Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1JZ 01934 645493 Brendon Books Bath Place Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 Bridgwater Arts Centre 11-13 Castle Street  Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3DD 01278 422 700 The Castle Hotel Castle Green Taunton TA1 1NF 01823 272671 Church St Peter St Paul Moor Lane North Curry Ta3 6JZ 01823 490255 The David Hall, Roundwell St South Petherton. TA13 5AA 01460 240340 Dillington House  Estate Office, Whitelackington, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9DT 01460 258648 Enmore Inn Enmore Rd  Durleigh, BRIDGWATER, Bridgwater, Somerset TA5 2AW01278 422 052 F.east, 57 East St, Ilminster, TA19 OAW 01460 53183 Fyne Court Broomfield Somerset TA5 2EQ 01823 451587 Gallery4Art. 01984 623357 Ginger Fig, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 326798 Glastonbury Abbey Shop Ltd The Abbey Gatehouse Magdalene Street Glastonbury Somerset BA6 9EL 01458 831631 shop@glaston- Halseway Manor Crowcombe  Taunton, Somerset TA4 4BD 01984 618274 Hestercombe Gardens Hestercombe  Taunton TA2 8LG 01823 413 923 Hobbyhorse Ballroom Esplanade  Minehead, Somerset TA24 5QP 01643 702274 Ilminster Arts Centre East Street ILMINSTER TA19 0AN 01460 55783  Imagine Design Create Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 252133 Museum of Somerset Taunton Castle Castle Green Taunton Somerset TA1 4AA 01823 255088 Music in the Quantocks 01823 451162 Night of the Prom: 07973 252 346 Oake Manor Golf Club,Oake Taunton  TA4 1BA 01823 461992 Octagon Theatre, Hendford, Yeovil BA20 1UX 01935 422884 Parish Church St John Wellington 72 High Street Wellington(01823) 662248 The Playhouse Theatre,High Street,Weston super Mare,BS23 1HP 01934 645544 Porlock Village Hall Toll Road (New Rd), Porlock TA24 8QD 01643 862717 Queen’s Conference Centre Trull Road Taunton Ta1 4QS 01823 272559 Regal Theatre 10-16 The Avenue  Minehead TA24 5AY 01643 706430 Richard Huish College 2 Kings Close  Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XP 01823 320800 Silver Street Centre Silver Street  Wiveliscombe, Taunton, Somerset TA4 2PA 01984 623107 Somerset Rural Life Museum Abbey Farm Chilkwell Street GlastonburySomerset BA6 8DB 01458 831197 St Mary Magdalene Church Church Square Taunton TA1 1SA 01823 272441 St Mary’s Church Bridgwater St Mary Street Bridgwater TA6 3EQ 01278 422437 St Mary’s Church Stogumber St John’s Church Park Street Taunton TA1 4DG The Swan Theatre, 138 Park Street,Yeovil BA20 1QT Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre School Road Taunton TA2 8PD 01823 41 41 41 Taunton Flower Show Taunton Library Paul St Taunton, Somerset TA1 3XZ 0845 345 9177 Taunton RFC Hyde Park, Hyde Lane, Bathpool, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8BU 01823 336363 Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Somerset TA3 7BL 01823 337172 Temple Methodist Church Upper High Street Taunton TA1 3PY (01823) 275765 Tyntesfield Wraxall, North Somerset, BS48 1NT Warehouse Theatre  Brewery Lane, Ilminster, TA19 9AD Tel 01460 57049 Wellesley Theatre 50-52 Mantle Street Wellington TA21 8AU 01823 666668 Wellington Arts Centre, Eight Acre Lane, Wellington, TA21 8PS 01458 250655 Wellsprings Leisure Centre Cheddon Road Taunton TA2 7QP 01823 271271 Contacts List
  22. 22. 23 CW BRASS TUITION PERFORMANCE Professional, friendly, brass instrument tuition for the complete beginner to the more advanced player. Also available to play at weddings and funerals including ‘The Last Post’. Contact Claire Whitworth on 07947 601205 Winesolution Bringing you a fresh approach to wine Independent, family run wine shop and wholesaler 15% DISOUNT WHEN YOU SELECT YOUR OWN CASE OF WINE Willowbrook Garden Centre, West Buckland, Wellington, Somerset TA21 9HX Tel 01823 461414 Open 7 days a week
  23. 23. 24 International performers to relaunch Music Festival after 15 year break The West Somerset village of Stogum- ber is to recommence its annual music festival next month with top-class inter- national and UK artists as well as free ‘fringe’ events featuring up-and-coming local acts. Taking place from 29th August to 1st September, the line-up includes leading Czech concert pianist, Lada Valešová; the award-winning Irish folk singer/ songwriter Cara Dillon; Australian so- prano Anita Watson who will be appear- ing at the BBC Proms at the RoyalAlbert Hall just a few days before her concert in Stogumber; the West Country saxophone octet Reed Rage performing big band jazz swing; Somerset musicians Trio Paradis with gypsy-inspired melodies; local bass and violin players, Ben Al- fie with powerful sounds and lyrics; and classical organist William Whitehead who regularly plays at cathedrals such as Westminster and Rochester. “The original Stogumber Festival was much admired and well attended but when the couple who organised it moved away, no one else stepped into their shoes,” explains Stogumber Festival chairman Lance Moir. “I came to the village four years ago and after a while, friends started saying to me knowingly, ‘We used to have a wonder- ful festival!’So I began to talk to some of my professional musical contacts about the possibility of bringing world-class music to Stogumber which, after all, is a lovely environment for musicians to perform in. “As my thoughts for the Festival de- veloped, other ideas emerged from the villagers so we will offer a range of musical styles as well as poetry and workshops for children, ensuring there is something for all ages and tastes.” All the main concerts take place in St Mary’s Church. Individual tickets are priced from £5 - £21 according to the event, with complete Festival and Sat- urday-only passes also available. In addition, there are free performances every evening and during the day on the Saturday and Sunday that every- one from the area is welcome to at- tend. These will include a jazz combo, an acoustic/folk singer, a band playing Brazilian-style music, an accordionist and a choir. Finally, there will be two free children’s workshops based around art and music and playing the saxo- phone and clarinet. Some of the key Festival Times 29 Aug 7.30 Lada Valesova 9.30 Jazz in the Alley 30 Aug 7.30 Cara Dillon/Sam Lakeman 9.30 Folk in the Alley 31 Aug 12.00 Trio Paradis 3.00 Reed Rage 7.30 Anita Watson/Lada Valesova 1 Sep 11.00 William Whitehead 3.30 Choral Evensong For full artists profiles and clips of their music please go to www.stogumberfestival. com. You can also book via the website or call 0845 539 0168 for tickets and all other relevant information Some of the festival performers. From the top: Anita Watson, William Whitehead, Cara Dillon and Lada Valesova
  24. 24. 25 ALBURY HOUSE GROUP PRACTICE 134 Wellington Rd Taunton TA1 5LA Osteopathy Sara Kennard Associates 01823 332871 Physiotherapy Maria Andrew 01823 332070 Chiropody Marian Barnacle Associates 01823 322516 * Established since 1987 * Free Parking * GroundFloor Treatment Rooms * Wheelchair Access the music store COME AND SEE WHY OUR REPUTATION GOES BEFORE US HICKIES New Pianos Used pianos Digital Pianos Piano Hire Piano Removals On Site Workshop Reading Tiverton Est. 1864 A fine selection of grand and upright pianos See our showroom at: 7 Lowman Units Lowman Way Tiverton EX16 6SR Just 10 minutes off J27 M5 Email: 01884 257211 Tiverton SOMERSET COUNSELLING CENTRE Do you feel you need to talk to someone? Our Counselling Service is here to help Somerset Counselling Centre (SCC) provides affordable counselling in the Taunton, Bridgwater and Ilminster areas We can help with issues such as relationship breakdown, depression, anxiety, bereavement, trauma, stress and workplace issues We work with individuals and couples and also have a Young People’s Counselling Service Taunton: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bridgwater and Ilminster: times by arrangement Tel: 01823 337049 38 Belvedere Road, Taunton TA1 1HD SCC counsellors have all been trained to high professional standards. SCC has been working since 1990 and is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). We abide by the BACP Code of Ethics and Practice and aim to achieve the highest standards of service. Registered Charity No. 1038975
  25. 25. 26 For the contemporary Summer Exhibition at Bin- ham Grange this year Gallery4Art will present a spacious barn full of art and outdoor sculptures in the garden to engage and intrigue the visitor. Each of the 16 artists will have space to tell a story adding a fresh dimension to the exhibition. There will be new work and old favourites for people to enjoy with a range of prices to suit all budgets from small prints to wall size artworks, delicate ceramics to large animal sculptures. This year we have been working with Neo-Ro- mantic declamatory poet Ralph Hoyte to include a new area in the exhibition of art and words inspired by the works of the Romantic Poets William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge while they roamed the Quantock Hills and North Exmoor. There will be an evening performance of ‘Christ- abel-Released’ where Ralph Hoyte brings ‘clo- sure’ to the limbo’d cast of Samuel Taylor Col- eridge’s unfinished Gothic ballad, Christabel, in a marathon, evening-long performance on Wednesday 28th August at 6pm. Entry to the exhibition and parking are free of charge and the Binham Grange Restaurant will be open each day. The exhibition runs from the 10th August to the 1st September and is open daily from 10.30am to 5.00, for details please visit or phone 01984 623357. Binham Grange is situ- ated in Old Cleeve, near Minehead TA24 6HX – tel: 01984 640056. Summer Art at Binham Grange Some of the work appearing at the Bindon Grange Exhibition. From the top: Foreland Point,Trees, Little Owl.
  26. 26. 27 The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) teams up with Somerset Art Works (SAW) to commission eight new dy- namic installations within the great gardens of Somerset Seven of Somerset’s most delightful gardens will be the locations for eight dramatic new artworks and installa- tions during the Somerset Art Weeks festival, running from 21st September to 6th October 2013. Devised by Somerset Art Works in association with The National Gar- dens Scheme (NGS) and funded by Arts Council England, theAbundance Garden Trail will comprise a series of site-specific contemporary commis- sions, placing these new and chal- lenging works within the cultivated garden landscapes of Somerset. Gardens on the trail are: The Walled Gardens of Cannington (near Bridg- water, Sedgemoor), Little Yarford Farmhouse (Kingston St. Mary, near Taunton), Stoke St. Mary Gardens (Stoke St. Mary, near Taunton), Aller Farmhouse (Williton, West Somer- set), Tintinhull Garden (Tintinhull), Esotera (Foddington, near Babcary) and Henley Mill (Wookey, Mendip). NGS Charitable Support Every year NGS gardens across England and Wales welcome around 750,000 visitors. Most of these gar- dens are privately owned and open just a few times each year. From the proceeds the NGS gives away annually more than £2.1 million to nursing, car- ing and gardening charities. Over the past 15 years more that £25 million has been distributed. The NGS is the biggest sin- gle donor to MacMillan Cancer Support, having given £450,000 in 2013. It do- nated the same amount this year to Marie Curie Cancer Care. The NGS patron is HRH The Prince of Wales. Monies raised from Abundance Garden Trail venues (except Tintinhull Garden) will also be donated to NGS and its ben- eficiary charities. Admission prices to all gardens are as published in the 2013 NGS Yellow Book – see details of the Special Abundance Pass below. Horn of Plenty The unusual garden surrounding Little Yarford Farmhouse embraces a 17th Cen- tury house (not open to the public) that is overgrown with a tapestry of climbing plants. The garden’s three ponds exhibit a wide range of aquatic gems. Of special interest is the tree collection of rare and unusual cultivars, both broad leaf and conifer, all differing in form and colour including weeping and fastigiate. The garden’s three acres are a delight to artist and plantsman alike. Artist Gillian Widden’s new work, a gi- ant Horn of Plenty, will be installed in the Little Yarford garden. This piece explores the meaning of the word ‘abundance’ and its relevance to the world in which we are living. Derived from the Latin word abun- dantia, it has a variety of definitions includ- ing profusion, plentifulness, plenty, bounty, and copiousness. Comments Gillian: “In the centre of the main garden at Little Yarford Farmhouse is the tump, a raised area from which you can view the garden as a whole. The Horn of Plenty will be sited at the far end of the garden next to the pond. Hopefully the lily pads will still be in flower. From the top of the tump you can see the Quantock Hills, and it is from here that my sculpture will get the prevailing winds.” Garden of Eden At the Esotera Garden at Foddington artist Fiona Campbell intends to recreate a Garden of Eden. “Eden is almost tangible at Esot- era,” she says, “made more so by the impact of the proposed vibrant, exotic installation - a product of intricate labour and love cre- ated from abundant mixed media reclaimed materials on a large scale, suggesting also that Eden is everywhere in the fantastical microscopic world - if we look hard enough. A garden of earthly delights awaits.” From an audience perspective, the Abun- dance Garden Trail programme will aim to connect the public with the abundant crea- tivity evident within the cultivation of gar- dens and art-making in the county. For full details of all the Abundance Garden Trail commissions go to: Abundance
  27. 27. 28 Today the legacy of pacifism that ech- oed though her life remains at the heart of the centre. Born in Johannesburg in 1899 - the year the Second Anglo-Boer War started - Kathleen Tacchi was the eldest of 5 children. Her parents had met in South Africa around the time of the Jameson Raid, but returned to London shortly af- ter Kathleen’s birth. Her mother was a trained nurse and her father Percy an inventor, who designed the TAC motorcycle for the Wilkinson Sword Company. The Tacchi family hailed from Italy, but Percy was born in London and his father gilded the Lord Mayor’s Coach and the Royal Barge. His mother was a French opera singer. In 1910, while attending Acton Cen- tral School, Kathleen was expelled for leading a strike against excessive can- ing. She was just 10 years old. In her autobiography she describes how she was inspired by Ben Tillett, having been taken by her father to hear the speeches of Ben and other pioneers of Socialism at Tower Hill. Following the incident at Acton she was sent to boarding school in Manchester, but was expelled after just one month for protesting against the treatment of a little girl, who was sent to stand in a corner and left there all night. From then on she was educated at home by her father, who taught her about evolution and took her to Secular Society and Fabian Society Meetings, where she met, among others, Annie Besant, H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw. It was these childhood ex- periences that helped to shape Kathleen’s later role as a campaigner for peace. After the war she became a typist for a film-booking agency in London’s War- dour Street where she met many stars of the era including Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Dur- ing this time she appeared in a variety of silent films including ‘Comin’ Thro the Rye’ and a number of cliff-hanging seri- als with Pearl White. Her passion was for dance and, sup- ported by her Grandmother, she went to study with Jaques Dalcroze in Paris. In 1922 she set up her own studio on the Left Bank and would visit James Joyce’s house in Champ de Mars with his daugh- ter Lucia. Joyce told Kathleen that she “walked like Dante’s Beatrice.” Around this time she met the dancer Marga- ret Morris and painter J.D. Fergusson through whom she met Picasso who painted her portrait. Her meeting with Picasso marked the beginning of a long friendship with the artist and he asked her to represent him at a Peace Conference in Warsaw. This experience led her to founding Women for World Disarmament (WWD). What started as a one-woman organisa- tion run from her home in North Curry, became a worldwide organisation linked with the United Nations. Her work for world peace was recognised with several awards including a United Nations Peace Medal, the Medal of the Soviet Women’s Committee and the Gold Medal of the German Democratic Republic. Kathleen acquired a home in North Cur- ry around the time she was filming ‘Men Are Not Gods’ in 1936. Busy with this and her dancing school she was looking for a retreat. By chance she was asked to Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre is a vibrant commu- nity arts venue in Taunton, developed through support from Kathleen Tacchi-Morris.
  28. 28. 29 dance in Taunton and was shown round a house by local estate agent Rod Morris. Kathleen’s then husband Tony was de- lighted, and said “It’s a good job you’ll be down there, away from the men.” Kathleen went on to marry Rod Morris in 1944 and they lived together at Longs House until his death in 1988. On reaching her 90th Birthday in 1989 she decided that it was time to set up a Trust to establish creative exchanges be- tween students in the UK and around the world, with the aim of fostering peace be- tween the nations. The same year, Heath- field School produced the first British performances of ‘Peace Child’- a musical written by David Woollcombe based on the The Peace Book by Bernard Benson. Initially performed in schools in America and Russia, Woollcombe’s show aimed to promote greater understanding between the young people of the two super-pow- ers. Heathfield School’s version attracted international attention and a full interna- tional production followed in 1990. The performances at the Brewhouse Theatre and Shaw Theatre in London’s West End resulted in huge media inter- est and attracted the attention of Kathleen Tacchi-Morris. Her desire to support the building of an international arts centre at Heathfield was finally realised. In Janu- ary 2000, following a £1 million dona- tion from the Tacchi-Morris Trust, to- gether with a £2.1 million grant from the Arts Council, Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre opened its doors for the very first time. Fittingly the original company of ‘Peace Child’reunited to perform the show in the newly opened theatre. Sadly Kathleen died in 1993, aged 94 and never got to see it. However Tacchi-Mor- ris Arts Centre continues to receive sup- port from the Trust set up in her name and from Heathfield School. In writing this article I have referred to Kathleen’s autobiography ‘I Promised Picasso’ which was written by Gordon Schaffer, based on interviews he conduct- ed with her at her home in Taunton. By Sara Loveridge Tacchi-Morris: Upstairs Interior Images of Kathleen Tacchi-Morris. The photographer and the date of the photos is unknown, though they are thought to have been taken in the 1920’s. Please get in touch if you have any further information.
  29. 29. 30 Our new Autumn season has just been launched and we are really excited about some of the events we have coming up. In September we welcome back Taunton Amateur Operatic Society (TAOS) for an energetic sing-a-long showing of ‘Grease the Musical’ on 6th. We have a fantastic Indian dance show called ‘Antara’ on 11th. ‘Antara’ is an in- tercultural love poem featuring the exhil- arating and powerful dance of Ajeesh K Balakrishnan from the world-renowned Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts in Bangalore. The movement has been cre- ated by Ajeesh in collaboration with local dancer Kayleigh Ann Crook. Bookends present their show ‘Simon and Garfunkel: Through the Years’ on 21st which pays a fitting tribute to the legendary music duo. International performer Niki McCret- ton brings her theatre comedy show ‘Tin Rocket’ to our stage on 26th, and it looks set to be a great evening of entertainment. In October programme highlights in- clude Phizzical Theatre Company’s ‘Cymbeline’ on 2nd which is a clas- sic tale viewed through a Bollywood lens, and TAOS return for A Chorus Line on 12th. Our exhibition programme continues to showcase the talents of local artists. In September we have Taunton artist Diane Burnell, who will be holding a ‘Meet the Artist’ event on 14th. We then host Heathfield School’s Art stu- dents during ‘Somerset Art Weeks’. In October we will be announcing some fantastic free creative activities for all as we prepare for ‘The Big Draw’- the world’s biggest drawing festival. In November Spring Farm Artist Jenny Graham will be exhibiting her work. For full details of our programme come along to our ‘Family Open Day’ on 14th September. There will be lots of fun to be had with backstage tours, dance and drama performances, live music, demonstrations, children’s ac- tivities, Meet the Artist, stalls, raffle, refreshments and plenty of surprises. Above all we want the community to get involved in their local arts centre - whether coming to see a show or exhibition, taking part in one of our many community classes or becoming a volunteer or friend. Louise Lappin-Cook, Director of Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre looks forward to a busy new season starting in September Discover more at the Family Fun Day on Sat 14th Sep 12noon - 4pm. Free entry. Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre School Road, Taunton TA2 8PD Box Office: 01823 414141. Website: Niki - Tin Rocket Cymbeline
  30. 30. 31 Art by the Park A new Art gallery has opened in Taunton, and is the project of Rachel Hartland, herself an artist and poet. Rachel has, for some time wanted to open a gallery in order to help artists like herself show their work. Very often, in large commercial gal- leries when a piece sells, the artist can be left with very little payment after the commission has been claimed, this can be discouraging and put many artists off exhibiting. At Park Art and Collectable only a minimal monthly exhibi- tion fee is charged and no commission, leaving the artists with the full payment for their work when the work sells. Even though she has only been in business a few weeks, Rachel has sold several paintings. The greatest asset of the shop, she believes, is the High Street position which is right opposite Vivary Park gates, and that it is a very busy spot, on a main driving route through Taunton and there is the constant coming and going from the park by commuters, dog walk- ers, cyclists, wheel chair users and pedestrians window shopping at the nearby traffic lights. ‘Although people are in a hurry they take note of the shop and return later’. Says Rachel. ‘I noticed this small outlet over the years and thought, one day, when the time is right it would be great to do something like this, and here I am’. What she really enjoys most of all is the customer contact and she already has estab- lished regulars particularly with those who buy the small antiques and collectables which make up the second part of the business. The customers have been supportive and encouraging and pop back to check what’s new or interesting. Rachel’s current exhibiting artists are: Shelley Langford lives and works in Taun- ton and graduated over 20 years ago with a degree in Textile Design. Shelley’s work is inspired by the coast; he aims to portray a sense of place and to capture the reflected light from the sea, which has a fascination for him. Shelley has sold three paintings through the Gallery since the opening in June. Robert Parker studied Fine Art at the Uni- versity of Durham and is a well known lo- cal artist and tutor, and has exhibited at the Royal South West Academy, Bristol, and in London and France. Bob is currently showing a collection of Botanical water colours and will be of interest to gardeners on route to the Flower Show. Lindy Reynolds has undergone a course in Textile Design. She is exhibiting pieces of machine embroidery on silk, depicting scenes from nature, and finds that Somer- set provides her with perfect inspiration for her work. Tor Townsend is a locally well known and established artist and has sold and exhibited widely in Somerset, working in mixed media she is currently exhib- iting a painting of Lynmouth in which she has captured the transparency and jewelled colours of the water. Sheelagh Vaulter is Somerset born and bred. Having enjoyed art at school, she is self taught and has been painting since leaving work in 2006. She has found her medium through scenic painting and the versatility of Gouache. Sheelagh exhib- its regularly at the Taunton Flower Show and was a prize winner in recent years with her painting ‘Brighton Pavilion’. Katie Barrass is also a local artist who specialises in botanical work, and pro- ducing very delicate studies of garden flowers. Katie teaches fashion textile students at higher education, and works as a freelance designer. Amanda Evans will also be exhibiting examples of her botanical work in Au- gust. Rachel Hartland is currently exhibiting at Park Art and Collectables and at the At- kinson Gallery Millfield Summer show, which continues to the 10th August. Her own work includes close-up photogra- phy, glass art, abstract mixed media, and 3D. She completed a fine art degree in 2010 and in recent years and has exhib- ited at the North Devon Festival, Som- erset Art Weeks, the Brewhouse, and on three occasions in the Atkinson Gallery at Millfield where she won a prize for her installation ‘The Shadow Factory’ at the 21st summer show, plus a one woman show at Frenchay Hospital in 2012-2013. She published her own book of poetry and art, ‘Holes in the Soul’ a Life of Poetry in Art, all profits from the book will be presented to Frenchay Hos- pital Adult Burns Unit, in October 2013. The book is on sale at the Gallery. A new Art gallery has opened in Taunton, opened by Rachel Hartland, herself an artist and poet. Enquiries to : Park Art, 31B High St, Taunton, Somerset TA1 3PN Tel. 077301 33397 email: hartlandart@googlemail.
  31. 31. 32 There will be an exhibition of Di- ana Pilcher’s recent work at F.east in Ilminster, a delightful old build- ing that houses a vegetarian restau- rant and a gallery upstairs. Diana moved to Somerset from Sussex in 2000 after graduating in Fine Art Painting. For the past 12 years she has taught Fine Art at Yeovil College and has particularly enjoyed working with other artists and watching their development over time. Though she was brought up in Lon- don in the 50’s and 60’s she had always preferred a rural environ- ment for its colour and less frenetic pace. She has a particular affinity for the North Devon coastline and last year produced work on the Lyn River, linking it back to the history of the Lynmouth Floods, the loss of lives, of scars (seen and unseen) for the Space Place Practice Symposium and Exhibition at UWE Bristol.In her cur- rent exhibition she is exploring the idea of experiencing a sense of space through colour. She draws much of her inspiration from mid-twentieth century artists such as Robert Motherwell and Mark Rothko in New York, Antoni Tapies and Joan Miro from Spain, and Francis Bacon from Brit- ain. ‘This is my favourite era for paint- ing,’ she reveals. ‘It seemed to mark a pe- riod in which painting ran ahead of other art forms for a while. My own paintings are currently a tribute to the optimism and lack of uniformity that was around dur- ing that era across all arts forms including dance, music and sculpture.’Many people look back to the 50’s as a bleak period but she does not remember it like that. To her it was full of bright colours and optimism, a feeling of letting go and liberalism in education which she believes has now (sadly) disappeared: ‘For a time there was a real feeling that art was taking centre stage. Her mentor for many years has been the internationally famous American dancer and choreographer William Forsythe. Per- haps a surprising choice - though dance is also a great love of hers - and he has also produced a number of installations which have been shown in the Louvre and other major galleries throughout the world: ‘To me he is the most important living artist in the world.’ She particularly likes the way he infuses his dance with optimism. She does not like the current pre-occupation with conceptual art and cultural relativ- ism ‘where everything is acceptable and which is full of extraneous narratives.’ For her art should be instinctive and she believes that you should take responsibil- ity for your own actions. See Diana Pilcher’s Art ‘Large’ Paintings For Small Spaces 7-31 August between Wed-Sat 10-5 F.east, 57 East Street, Ilminster, TA19 0AW 01460-53183 Large Paintings for Small Spaces Two of the paintings which will appear at the exhibition. Top: Blue Washing Above: Cahors Garden. Diana paints mainly in oils on an acrylic base. She likes the translucent nature of oil which produces vibrant colours and does not deflect away light. F.east cafe where Daina Pilcher’s work wil be on display
  32. 32. 33 The Oldest Longest Running Flower Show in the Country The Taunton flower show has been in existence since 1831 and has long been recognised as one of the best flower shows in the country - an essential part of the Taunton calendar. To coincide with the 2013 flower show, Vice President Anne Leamon has published a book exploring its history. Anne Leamon has been involved with the flower show in one way or another nearly all her life: first as a young child when her mother, who was president of the lo- cal women’s institute used to take her on the pillion of her bicycle; later with her brothers when she also enjoyed the Fun Fair in Wilton Lands; and, as she grew older, to see the plants and the outside stands, particularly the army ones as she wanted to join the army when she was older. ‘The year they brought the para- chute tower was especially memorable,’ she says. ‘The nervous anticipation of climbing the tower, viewing the show site from above , but then the thrill of jump- ing off, to float gently down to earth.’She sold plants from her own nursery from an outside stand before graduating to the trade tent: ‘It was amazing competing against Otter Nurseries, Scotts Nurseries or Cadbury Garden Centre, all of us sadly no longer exhibiting and to hear the com- ments of the public as they wandered past the stand.’With such a history of involve- ment in the flower show and now Vice President, she is well qualified to write this history which is also accompanied by a number of intriguing photos, post- ers and memorabilia. In the early 1870’s triumphal arches were elected along the streets.This is believed to be erected in the High Street in 1874 by Edward Jeboult. Anne will give a talk on her book at the Flower Show and will be available to sign copies of her book. Venue: Vivary Park, Floral Marquee 3 August at 3.00 Signed copies of her book will also be available from Brendon Books, Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 email: Anne will also be interested to hear from anyone wants to contact her with regard to any memorabilia they may have of the flower show that they would like to share with her. Miltonia spectabilis, var Morelliana
  33. 33. 34 Taunton Through Time A new publication combines more than ninety archive photographs and old pic- ture postcards of the streets, buildings, and people of Taunton with contempo- rary photographs of the town as it looks now. In this volume you can view Taun- ton as your forefathers may have seen it; compare those scenes with images of the town today, and discover something of the rich history that Taunton, the county town of Somerset, has to offer. The author and compiler, Simon Haines was born and raised in Somerset. After almost two dec- ades years away from the county studying and teaching Archaeol- ogy, History, and English as a For- eign Language at universities else- where in the UK and in Central Europe he has recently returned to live and work in rural Somer- set. The vintage images included in this volume have been sourced from his extensive archive of over ten thousand historic glass plate negatives and images of the West of England, and former German territories in present-day Poland. He is currently working on a new TEFL/TESL project and a further ‘Through Time’ title for Amberley Publishing Copies of the new book are available from Brendon Books, Old Brewery Building. Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER 01823 337742 email: Top: Automobile meeting at Claridge’s London Hotel (later The County Hotel) in 1904 Middle: Fore Street about 1910 showing the Somerset and Devon Stores. The building was demolished in the 1960’s. Bottom: Taunton High Street about 1920. Castle gateway in about 1905. The recent photo above shows the addi- tion of a thoird storey.
  34. 34. 35 Chrissy Banks was born and grew up in the Isle of Man. She lives in Somerset and works as a Counsellor. She is a member of Fire River Poets and a regular open mic reader at their Poetry Cafes and Readings. Her collection, Days of Fire and Flood (original plus) was published in 2005 and she has had poems recently published in various magazines and anthologies, in- cluding the magazines the Rialto and Obsessed with Pipework, the anthologies The Captain’s Tower: Seventy Poets Celebrate Bob Dylan at Seventy (Seren 2012) and The Listening Walk (CreateSpace, June 2013). Poetry Corner: Chrissy Banks The Sitters 1 We who come to sit, what do we hope to discover in this small whitewashed cell with its two plain wooden chairs? When curiosity finds us helpless as a bunch of grapes under the steely eyes of the artist, what kind of reward for this do we expect? The challenge is not to resist whatever truth lives in shape or colour. To meet the artist’s gaze. Then the gaze of that familiar unfamiliar person in the frame. 2 And yet - when we said, Tell it like it is, we were not meaning this: Not meaning the pen and ink lines that appear to be stubble on that (female) chin. Not meaning a white face naive as a new-baked loaf, something blatantly coquettish about the way we turn our heads to look at you looking at us. Not meaning a nugget of stone apparent in the throat or the unblinking luminous gaze of someone crazy for the cold blade of a knife. Not meaning the straight line of a crenellated, thin top lip, the shoulders that never shrug. Not meaning everything in monotone. Not meaning the wince creased into the forehead as you find us out, the hair twisted, the brow pleated through thinking too much, eyes behind glass seeing more than they want. Not meaning more loveliness than we have ever possessed. Not meaning, for a single breath, our hearts hung at our throats. Not meaning the mask stripped away to expose the vulnerable bones. When we offered to sit for you, this was not what we were meaning. This was not what we meant. Postcript And to sit in the confusion of the twenty first century, simply taking one breath after another, this too is an art. November 2012 for Faces Bath Young Again As if they’d been waiting for us, they appear, their black backs two wet rocks that have learnt to swim. Show-offs, mother and baby. Snorting fountains, they glide, buck and dip, play us with their vanishing acts – and there! re-appear upended, cleft tails raised till, toppling, a weight of leather slaps against the oceans’s skin. Then the mother whale glides under the world of the boat. And we are young again, bums up, leaning over the side, to witness the slow slide of her back emerging. And it keeps coming, moment by moment, mile by mile, like a planet swimming itself through the birthing waters back when time itself was a child.
  35. 35. 36 The Cricks lived at Toad-Water; and in the same lonely upland spot Fate had pitched the home of the Saunderses, and for miles around these two dwellings there was never a neighbour or a chim- ney or even a burying-ground to bring a sense of cheerful communion or so- cial intercourse. Nothing but fields and spinneys and barns, lanes and waste- lands. Such was Toad-Water; and, even so, Toad-Water had its history. Thrust away in the benighted hinter- land of a scattered market district, it might have been supposed that these two detached items of the Great Human Family would have leaned towards one another in a fellowship begotten of kin- dred circumstances and a common iso- lation from the outer world. And per- haps it had been so once, but the way of things had brought it otherwise. Indeed, otherwise. Fate, which had linked the two families in such unavoidable as- sociation of habitat, had ordained that the Crick household should nourish and maintain among its earthly possessions sundry head of domestic fowls, while to the Saunderses was given a disposi- tion towards the cultivation of garden crops. Herein lay the material, ready to hand, for the coming of feud and ill- blood. For the grudge between the man of herbs and the man of live stock is no new thing; you will find traces of it in the fourth chapter of Genesis. And one sunny afternoon in late spring-time the feud came--came, as such things mostly do come, with seeming aimlessness and triviality. One of the Crick hens, in obe- dience to the nomadic instincts of her kind, wearied of her legitimate scratch- ing-ground, and flew over the low wall that divided the holdings of the neigh- bours.And there, on the yonder side, with a hurried consciousness that her time and opportunities might be limited, the mis- guided bird scratched and scraped and beaked and delved in the soft yielding bed that had been prepared for the solace and well-being of a colony of seedling onions. Little showers of earth-mould and root-fibres went spraying before the hen and behind her, and every minute the area of her operations widened. The onions suffered considerably. Mrs. Saun- ders, sauntering at this luckless moment down the garden path, in order to fill her soul with reproaches at the iniquity of the weeds, which grew faster than she or her good man cared to remove them, stopped in mute discomfiture before the pres- ence of a more magnificent grievance. And then, in the hour of her calamity, she turned instinctively to the Great Mother, and gathered in her capacious hands large clods of the hard brown soil that lay at her feet. With a terrible sincerity of purpose, though with a contemptible inadequacy of aim, she rained her earth bolts at the marauder, and the bursting pellets called forth a flood of cackling protest and panic from the hastily departing fowl. Calmness under misfortune is not an at- tribute of either hen-folk or womenkind, and while Mrs. Saunders declaimed over her onion bed such portions of the slang dictionary as are permitted by the Non- conformist conscience to be said or sung, the Vasco da Gama fowl was waking the echoes of Toad-Water with crescendo bursts of throat music which compelled attention to her griefs. Mrs. Crick had a long family, and was therefore licensed, in the eyes of her world, to have a short temper, and when some of her ubiqui- tous offspring had informed her, with the authority of eye-witnesses, that her neighbour had so far forgotten herself as to heave stones at her hen--her best hen, the best layer in the countryside--her thoughts clothed themselves in language “unbecoming to a Christian woman”-- so at least said Mrs. Saunders, to whom most of the language was applied. Nor was she, on her part, surprised at Mrs. Crick’s conduct in letting her hens stray into other body’s gardens, and then abus- ing of them, seeing as how she remem- bered things against Mrs. Crick--and the latter simultaneously had recollections of lurking episodes in the past of Susan Saunders that were nothing to her credit. “Fond memory, when all things fade we fly to thee,” and in the paling light of an April afternoon the two women con- fronted each other from their respective sides of the party wall, recalling with shuddering breath the blots and blem- ishes of their neighbour’s family record. There was that aunt of Mrs. Crick’s who had died a pauper in Exeter workhouse-- every one knew that Mrs. Saunders’ un- cle on her mother’s side drank himself to death--then there was that Bristol cousin of Mrs. Crick’s! From the shrill triumph with which his name was dragged in, his crime must have been pilfering from a cathedral at least, but as both remem- brancers were speaking at once it was difficult to distinguish his infamy from the scandal which beclouded the mem- ory of Mrs. Saunders’ brother’s wife’s The Blood-Feud of Toad-Water: a West-country Epic by H.H. Munro (SAKI) Short Story
  36. 36. 37 mother--who may have been a regicide, and was certainly not a nice person as Mrs. Crick painted her. And then, with an air of accumulating and irresistible conviction, each belligerent informed the other that she was no lady--after which they withdrew in a great silence, feeling that nothing further remained to be said. The chaffinches clinked in the apple trees and the bees droned round the berberis bushes, and the waning sunlight slanted pleasantly across the garden plots, but between the neighbour households had sprung up a barrier of hate, permeating and permanent. The male heads of the families were necessarily drawn into the quarrel, and the children on either side were forbid- den to have anything to do with the un- hallowed offspring of the other party. As they had to travel a good three miles along the same road to school every day, this was awkward, but such things have to be. Thus all communication between the households was sundered. Except the cats. Much as Mrs. Saunders might deplore it, rumour persistently pointed to the Crick he-cat as the presumable father of sundry kittens of which the Saunders she-cat was indisputably the mother. Mrs. Saunders drowned the kit- tens, but the disgrace remained. Summer succeeded spring, and winter summer, but the feud outlasted the wan- ing seasons. Once, indeed, it seemed as though the healing influences of re- ligion might restore to Toad-Water its erstwhile peace; the hostile families found themselves side by side in the soul-kindling atmosphere of a Revival Tea, where hymns were blended with a beverage that came of tea-leaves and hot water and took after the latter parent, and where ghostly counsel was temper- ed by garnishings of solidly fashioned buns--and here, wrought up by the envi- ronment of festive piety, Mrs. Saunders so far unbent as to remark guardedly to Mrs. Crick that the evening had been a fine one. Mrs. Crick, under the influence of her ninth cup of tea and her fourth hymn, ventured on the hope that it might continue fine, but a maladroit allusion on the part of the Saunders good man to the backwardness of garden crops brought the Feud stalking forth from its corner with all its old bitterness. Mrs. Saunders joined heartily in the singing of the final hymn, which told of peace and joy and archangels and golden glories; but her thoughts were dwelling on the pauper aunt of Exeter. Years have rolled away, and some of the actors in this wayside drama have passed into the Unknown; other onions have arisen, have flourished, have gone their way, and the offending hen has long since expiated her misdeeds and lain with trussed feet and a look of ineffable peace under the arched roof of Barnsta- ple market. But the Blood-feud of Toad-Water sur- vives to this day. Saki: Master Storyteller Saki is the pen name of H.H. Munro (Hector Hugh Munro), born on 18 December 1870 in Akyab, Burma ( now Myanmur), the son of an inspector in the Burma Police. His mother died only two years later killed by a runaway cow in an English country lane - an incident which could have occurred in one of his own short stories. He was brought up with his sister and brother by two aunts, Charlotte and Augusta, at Pilton near Barnstaple. The aunts hated each other and frequently used corporal punish- ment to discipline the children. He was educated at Pencarwick school near Exmouth and Bedford Grammar School. In 1893 he himself joined the Burma Police. Three years later he returned to England and began writing for the Westminster Gazette. He wrote a non-fiction book, The rise of the Russian Empire (there was to be no other) and in 1902 a collection of short stories, the Not -So-Stories. After working as a foreign correspondent in the Balkans, Russia and Paris, he returned to London where he wrote most of his best known stories. Although several of his stories are anti-semitic in tone and he was no doubt a misogynist, he also satirised Edwardian culture and its strict discipliine. He never married. He was a homosexual when it was a criminal act and when Wilde was considered taboo. Saki’s own death exhibited some of the ironic qualities of his mother’s death. He had enlisted as an ordinary soldier even though over-age and refusing a commission as he believed he should learn to be a soldier before command- ing others. Returning from a bout of Malaria at the battalion hospital, he was killed while sheltering in a crater at Beaumont-Hamel on November 13,1916. According to his friend Spikesman, he had just shouted out to one of the troops who had just lit up in a position where it would have been dangerous to show any source of light, ‘Put that bloody cigarette Out!’, when he was caught by a snipers bullet.
  37. 37. 38 My Favourite... The ‘tragedy’ of studying literature for three years at Plymouth has been that many books have gathered dust through- out my studies. I say ‘tragedy’ because when discovering and delighting in the works of everyone from Austen to Wil- de, it’s really hard to complain you have nothing good to read. James Clavell’s Shōgun was the most brutal, beautiful and brilliant thing I ever found in The Castle School library. Or- dered by accident, I begged for it to be catalogued based on the cover/synopsis alone. An embellished historical epic that covers European dealings with Japan in the early 1600s, it shows the culture clash of East/West in a sensitive and even- handed light. Profoundly educational while being a thrilling tale of diplomacy, violence and honour in a land the Europe- ans don’t fully understand and the Japa- nese have realised is part of a much wider world. As the youngest person to contribute to this feature so, far I feel obliged to make some leftfield choices. My art selection is the work of comic book artist Jim Lee; specifically the superb graphic novel Bat- man: Hush. Lee draws the characters in an iconic yet solid style, powerful in action but human in their privacy. Faces can be the toughest part of a comic; Lee fills each one with myriad emotions and an exquisite de- tail which carries over to every panel. And with some of the best writing Jeph Loeb has ever done you have a beautifully drawn story that both newcomers and aficio- nados can enjoy. My go-to album on a lazy day is Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys. Released just six months before his death, if you’ve ever debated that Hendrix is one of the greatest guitarist of all time, I urge you to hunt down the track ‘Ma- chine Gun’. It is one of the most inno- vative and powerful pieces of electric guitar ever recorded; along with Hen- drix’s laconic banter and the exception- al supporting work by Buddy Miles and Billy Cox makes this a live album both intimate and grandiose. Some don’t believe Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus. This is understand- able. Titus is violent; insanely, disturb- ingly, preposterously violent. A Roman tragedy a la Quentin Tarantino, Sam Peckinpah’s Julius Caesar: filicide, rape, mutilation, madness, self-muti- lation, torture, butchery, cannibalism, regicide. Like the Bard’s best it can be read many ways, absurdist exploitation to nihilistic dystopia. It’s an interesting addition to the canon, even if it isn’t everyone’s idea of classic Shakespeare. We asked Charlie Warren to Share his favourite piece of literature, art, music and drama with us. Charlie is a recent graduate in crea- tive writing from Plymouth University. He went to Castle School and Richard Huish College, is currently working on play and hopes to be a published writer one day.
  38. 38. 39 BOOKS: New Old Ordnance Survey Map Stockists Organisers of the Taunton Literary Festival Named as one of the top 50 of all bookshops in the UK by the Independent Newspaper in February 2012 01823 337742
  39. 39. 40