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.