DAT Summer Gala

DAT SUMMER GALA EVENT AT THE TITHE BARN HINTON ST. MARY STURMINSTER NEWTON (by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Pitt-Rivers).


The wonderful setting of the Tithe Barn, at Hinton St Mary set the scene for this year’s Summer Gala.

After a glass of fizz with strawberries and shortbread; the background live music being  provided by  members of the Wessex Youth Orchestra around 60 guests took their seats for this year’s Summer Lecture which was introduced by the Dorset Archives Trust Patron, Kate Adie.

The guest speaker for this year’s summer event was James Grasby, Curator of the National Trust and his lecture was  entitled Thomas Hardy and Sir Edward Elgar- Curating Lives.  A thought provoking and often humorous  talk followed with James  taking the audience through the  birthplaces of both Hardy and Elgar and indicating that their genius perhaps started at these places; both of these properties now in the care of the National Trust.  Elgar loved his birthplace and wanted  it to be maintained after his death whereas Hardy, James stated, did not want anyone to see his.

James discussed  what might have been the other  circumstances  and aspects that fuelled and inspired them both to reach the great levels they did in their respective fields. He  concluded by  illustrating  how the National Trust curate the lives of such famous people and felt that the public wanted to experience the spaces in which these gifted people achieved their masterpieces.  He said that by curating these properties in such a way that visitors left feeling  that they too could be creative in some way or encourage someone else to be creative then the  National Trust had created its aim.

Hardy’s birth place  is at  Higher  Bockhampton, Dorchester   and his home was at Max Gate, Dorchester, and Elgar’s birthplace is at Lower Broadheath,  Worcester.