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ISSUE THREE | SPRING.SUMMER 2011 | £1.00 where sold


from the editor

FESTIVAL Angie St John Palmer

Welcome to Dartington – a place of experiment, education and enterprise where the arts, social justice and sustainability come together. And welcome to the third edition of scene, Dartington’s twice-yearly magazine which looks to give you a snapshot of the work we’re creating, the programmes we’re developing, the people we’re working with and the debates we’re engaged in. This issue is all about getting involved and there are plenty of opportunities to do just that over the coming months from festivals and events to courses and workshops.

Scene \’sēn\ (noun) 1. One of the subdivisions of a play. 2. A stage setting. 3. A place of an occurrence or action. 4. A sphere of activity.

EDITOR | Becky Pratchett +44 [0]1803 847016 DESIGN & ART DIRECTION | Believe in +44 [0]1392 453000 COVER ARTWORK | © Angie St John Palmer SPECIAL THANKS | To Jonathan Lee, Katrina Hurford and all Dartington staff who helped with this edition – your contribution was essential. Thanks also to our outside contributors. PRINT | Kingfisher Print & Design Printed on Cyclus Offset –100% recycled paper. Ink used is from sustainable and renewable sources. PHOTOGRAPHY | Alice Carfrae, Pete Griffith, Kate Mount, William Thomas LEGAL | The views expressed in scene magazine are not necessarily those held by The Dartington Hall Trust or its Trustees. Reproduction in whole or in part without formal written permission is prohibited and all artwork and texts remain copyright of the artists, authors and The Dartington Hall Trust. Artworks by Angie St John Palmer and Alice Leach remain solely copyright of the artists. The Dartington Hall Trust is registered in England as a company limited by guarantee and a charity. Company No. 1485560 Charity No. 279756 Vat No. 402 1968 75 Registered office: The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington, Totnes, Devon. TQ9 6EL Tel: 01803 847002 Fax: 01803 847007

If you want to find out more about our work in the arts, social justice and sustainability, please visit our website and sign up to our e-newsletter, a monthly round up of news and events. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. All the articles in this issue are published on our website where we encourage you to give your feedback and join the debate.

send contributions and letters to: The Editor scene Magazine The Dartington Hall Trust The Elmhirst Centre Dartington Hall Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EL email: Letters may be edited

experiment, education, enterprise “ Britain is blessed with inspiring social entrepreneurs driven by a desire to improve the lives of their fellow citizens. They lead organisations bent on finding sustainable solutions for entrenched social problems. These organisations are social ventures – and it’s time to get behind them. We need their innovative approaches if we are to build a bigger, stronger society.” Home Office Ministers Francis Maude and Nick Hurd in the recently published white paper ‘Growing the social investment market – a vision and strategy.’ As I read the above words I think of Dartington. From the very beginning, before the term was coined, our founders the Elmhirsts built Dartington as what we now call a social enterprise. They wanted to create a place of experiment to find new ways of improving the quality of people’s lives. Their commitment to social change and their legacy of experimentation is at the heart of Dartington. Today, Dartington continues to be a vibrant place of experiment, education and enterprise where the arts, social justice and sustainability come together. This year at Dartington we celebrate the life of the Elmhirsts’ great friend Rabindranath Tagore,

a philosopher, poet and pioneer, who helped to inspire the ‘Dartington experiment’. In the last issue of scene I reflected on a time of huge change and transformation at Dartington and outlined three of our new initiatives in the arts, social justice and sustainability. It gives me great pleasure six months on to reflect on our progress. In the arts, I’m delighted to say that Space, our new arts incubator, is now open offering the region’s flagship performing arts facilities and rehearsal space, as well as office space for arts enterprises, and many of the former tenants of Foxhole. I am confident of its success, despite the absence of Arts Council funding.


In social justice, the Abundant Life project, a new form of community living in older age which will rejuvenate the Foxhole site, is progressing well. We have a development partner on board, a commitment of £21million, and design workshops are happening in May, June and July. In sustainability, Schumacher College’s courses are expanding – an MA in Economics for Transition launches this year (subject of a recent visit by Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change), further courses in greenskilling are in the pipeline and the UK’s first Certificate in Sustainable Horticulture is underway. Dartington’s Land Use Review is also opening up a wide range of exciting possibilities for future land use on 750 acres of the estate. Explaining what Dartington does and the impact that we have has never been straightforward. We can push boundaries which other, more mainstream organisations cannot and I would like to express my ongoing thanks to our members, donors, partners and supporters without whom we simply could not make a difference.



this issue’s featured artist



Each issue of scene features the work of an artist with links to Dartington. Angie lives in Dartington and spent 30 years working for The Dartington Hall Trust.

001 experiment,

008 on the scene

012 explore

016 we must

022 Dartington in

Social activist Aruna Roy on why we are celebrating the Indian polymath.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs’ Charlotte Young on building trust in our contract-based society.

Sir David Green looks back.

A word from Dartington’s CEO Vaughan Lindsay.

Choreographer Richard Alston on what keeps him awake at night and what gets him out of bed in the morning.

004 news in brief

010 head for home

014 debate,

018 the great

education, enterprise

summer 2011

A snapshot of what’s happening at Dartington.

006 get stuck in 10 ways to get more involved with Dartington.

007 the woodlander

WOMAD-founder Thomas Brooman on Dartington’s small but perfectly formed festival.

011 from the


Leonard Elmhirst’s pride and joy The Tree of Life.

Sculptor David Nash on his approach to his work.




collaborate, interrogate

Celia Atherton sets the scene for our social justice programme this summer.

015 being


Dr Wendy Lawson on her experience of autism.

have trust

land lab

Schumacher College’s Director Charlie McConnell on Dartington’s Land Use Review.

020 the new


Naresh Giangrande of Transition Town Totnes and Julie Richardson of Schumacher College on a new approach to economics.


023 reunion The 85th anniversary of Dartington Hall School.

024 Bigbury Bay

oysters mornay

A recipe from Venus Café’s Martin Reynolds.

In her youth Angie attended Winchester College of Arts and in 1986 was one of the first students of Dartington College of Arts’ pioneering Arts Access programme, working flexitime to give her precious hours of dedicated ‘art time’. For the past four years Angie has been a member of the Dartington Printmaking Workshop and she finds the tactile process of printmaking particularly inspirational. She enjoys the experimental nature of the media, using line, form and narrative to engage the viewer. She sells her work privately and at the ‘Off The Peg’ exhibition held annually at the Workshop in December.

025 support

our vision

Become a Dartington member.

If you would like to be considered for a future issue please email with an example of your work.


Dartington to produce Olympics welcome song

news in brief

Schumacher book to be published

Dartington’s arts team has been commissioned by Team South West to produce a song for the 2012 Olympics.

Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College (in honour of Brian Goodwin), will be published by Floris Books in the autumn.

Minister visits Schumacher College

Design your Abundant Life

Chris Huhne, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, visited Dartington’s Schumacher College in February 2011 to find out more about the college’s pioneering work following the announcement of a new postgraduate programme in Economics for Transition at the college – see page 20 for more.

Dartington’s vision for a new model of community living in older age on the estate takes another step forward as we ask local people and potential residents to input into design workshops to shape the facilities and features of the Foxhole site.

Rooms refreshed at Dartington Hall

Collaboration with Channings Wood Prison

Rooms in both the East and West Wings of the courtyard are being improved during 2011. The upgrade will see more rooms with ensuite facilities and improved decor and furniture in the rooms that need it. You can now book online to stay at Dartington Hall.

Pictures (left to right): Chris Huhne meets Charlie McConnell at Schumacher College, Rooftops of Dartington Hall, Detail of Alabaster Boy, Heralding Dartington International Summer School, Ripfa at 5.

Dartington is working closely with HMP Channings Wood on a series of projects including a new shop ‘Inside Out’ at The Shops at Dartington, day release opportunities for inmates to work on conservation projects on the estate and much more. More on this in the next issue of scene.

Bridging the gap Designed by artist Peter Randall-Page and allowing disabled access to the Sunny Border for the first time, a new bridge will be installed in the gardens at Dartington in 2011.

Collection on tour Gaudier-Brzeska’s Alabaster Boy, one of Leonard Elmhirst’s favourite pieces from the Dartington Collection, is to go on display at the new Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in Yorkshire.

Your guide to the gardens Thanks to funding from the Eleanor Barton Trust, Dartington has a new illustrated map of the gardens available for visitors. Illustrated by Dartmouth artist James Stewart, the map features an A-Z of points of interest in the gardens, from the iconic Henry Moore sculpture to the ancient yew tree. Pick up your copy from the Welcome Centre – suggested donation £1.

Sounds of summer

Ripfa at 5

John Woolrich’s first year at the helm of Dartington International Summer School (23 July – 27 August) will bring spaces from the Great Hall to the studios to the courtyard alive with music.

Part of Dartington’s social justice programme, research in practice for adults celebrated its fifth birthday recently with an event informed by the Dartington Review on the Future of Adult Social Care.

New trustee for Dartington We are delighted that Robert Sexton, CEO of the Soil Association Certification has joined our board of trustees.

Cinema in the Tiltyard for Totnes Festival Our first foray into outdoor cinema happens in September as the Tiltyard in the gardens becomes the spectacular backdrop to a series of films during the Totnes Festival. Dartington is once again sponsoring the festival which takes place from 2 – 11 September celebrating all that is great about Totnes.

SUMMER 2011 Diary highlights

29 April — 28 June

Tagore & Dartington: An Exhibition

01 May — 07 May

Tagore Festival

28 May — 30 May

The Shops at Dartington Food Fair

24 June — 25 June

HOME Festival

28 June / 14 Sept

Community Conversations

23 July — 27 Aug

Dartington International Summer School

23 Sept — 25 Sept

Interrogate Festival 004



Whether you’ve had a long association with us or we’re a recent discovery, here are some ways you can get more involved with Dartington. Become a Dartington member As well as knowing that you are directly supporting our work in the arts, social justice and sustainability, you’ll receive a range of benefits including discounts, invitations to special events and scene magazine delivered to your door. Dartington membership starts at just £35 per year.

Volunteer We simply couldn’t manage without our wonderful army of volunteers so if you have time to give please get in touch.

Debate the key issues of today at the ‘Great Debates’ series With subjects ranging from the alternative vote to the renewal of Trident, if you are interested in our programmes then these regular events are for you. great-debates

Use our Space Whether you’re looking for a permanent home, developing new artwork, running a regular class or looking for a home for a one-off event we may have the perfect space for you. email:

Come along to an open evening at Schumacher College Schumacher College attracts world-class speakers and activists to teach on its short course sustainability programmes, and you don’t have to be a student to hear what they have to say. As the name suggests, these events are open to all (donations welcome) and if you can’t make it, they are all available to watch online.

Help us shape our courses Schumacher College is developing a new practical strand on ecological design, build and refurbishment for the home, and human-scale sustainable land use. Tell us what you want to learn at

get stuck in 006


Join the Foxhole Community Garden Whether you’re green fingered or just interested in meeting new people, why not get involved in the Foxhole Community Garden? Part of the Abundant Life Project, the garden is open to all and looking for more members. email:

Play a part in shaping how the Abundant Life project, Dartington’s innovative community for older people, will be developed – the facilities that will be on site and more. Design workshops will be taking place this spring.

Keep in touch We post regular updates, competitions and news on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe to our e-bulletin to get regular news updates at Every quarter our management team discuss our plans and answer your questions at our free Community Conversation events, held in local venues.

Enjoy what we have to offer and let us know what you think. You can email us at

David Nash

the woodlander Until late September 2011 Dartington’s gardens host Black Sphere, a dramatic charred oak work by David Nash, the UK’s foremost contemporary sculptor in wood.

Black Sphere is brought to Dartington through our collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World ( and coincides with the International Year of Forests 2011. scene delves into the Nash archives to explore the artist’s philosophy.

My lifework as an artist working mainly with wood has drawn me into the science and anthropology of trees. They have a profound wisdom evolved over millions of years. Initially I thought I was working with wood and then I realised gradually that I was working with much more than that, and I was actually tapping into the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and that wood is really a weave of these... it is woven by a lifeforce. While natural branch and twig shapes are beautiful in themselves, reminiscent of nature, it is transformation that creates meaning. The objects I make are vessels for the presence of the human being, aware and surrendering to the realities of nature. Realities that are the fundamental base to our survival.

It’s the poetry and geometry of movement that interests me... For me it represents a human order, a process of understanding. Geometry represents an order in nature or a path for me. Oak is a very slow-growing wood. Two hundred years to grow, two hundred to mature, two hundred to die is a general maxim. Its ponderous growth makes its wood good for foundations, pillars, beams and ships as it has the character of the living tree: dependable, definite, secure, dense, heavy and reliable. All wood goes grey outside in a few months from sunlight and dust particles in rain. Charring the exterior skin black makes the form more visible, it starts black and stays black. I only use wood that has become available naturally; felled by a storm or fungus, made dangerous by lightning or collapsing crown. CCANW’s exhibition David Nash: Sculpture and Drawings takes place at its Project Space in Haldon Forest Park, 22 April - 25 Sept (see The exhibition is made possible through the support of The Henry Moore Foundation.



on the scene

Choreographer Richard Alston Artistic Director of The Place, Richard Alston is internationally recognised as one of the most influential choreographers in British dance, bringing his intrinsic musicality to all his work. A visiting teacher at Dartington in the 1970s, he recently returned with his company for a residency at Space, Dartington’s newly opened rehearsal and production facilities. Richard presented his piece Overdrive and led workshops with professional dancers and students. scene caught up with him to find out what makes him tick.



You’ve said that music is often your inspiration for a piece – tell us more. RA: I listen to music all the time and I find it just suddenly hits me – it’s a gut response. I won’t work with a piece of music if I don’t have that response: I don’t go there because the energy dies.

What have been your career highlights to date? RA: Performing across America was exhilarating. The audience reaction was incredible and I saw the dancers grow and gain confidence because the audiences responded so warmly.

What’s your take on cuts to arts funding? RA: In the States it’s been so tough for so long that there aren’t any new choreographers – that’s the horrible truth. Here in the UK it’s a weird, uncertain time. We’ve been very lucky that for decades there has been good support for the arts, which has brought them to many people and I think Dartington has been a really important part of that.

What motivates you? RA: I’ve always found studying dance totally inspiring and to get that across to people through teaching is incredibly rewarding. For the audience I’m interested in trying to show what has moved or excited me about a piece of music.

What advice do you have for Opened officially in people starting out today? April 2011, Space is the South West’s largest RA: If you know what it is that excites you, collection of rehearsal stick to that and try not to get distracted and production space for by manoeuvring it into a place where it will creative practitioners. be “successful”. What keeps you awake at night? RA: Well, the real truth at the moment is back pain! (laughs). I remember in 1975 I went to see a piece in New York by Twyla Tharp – she had graffiti artists painting, the music was the Beach Boys and the whole thing was so exhilarating that I lay awake all that night. Then at 9 in the morning I rushed back to buy another ticket because I needed to see it again – a sleepless night caused by choreography – those are the best!

Companies including English Touring Opera and SERIOUS Productions have used the facilities, and residencies this spring include Autojeu Theatre and Nathan Riki Thomson. If you are interested in using the facilities or finding out more visit Richard Alston Dance Company is currently touring the UK visit



HOME artistic advisor Thomas Brooman, co-founder of WOMAD, tells us why we should forgo Glasto this year… Why come to HOME? Because you won’t see these acoustic performances anywhere else. Acts include the Sitar Funk Ensemble, Suzanne Vega, Seckou Keita and DJ Max Pashm. These will be unrepeatable sets. Dartington is a fantastic venue and beyond the ambiance and atmosphere there’s a sense of heritage. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Mali’s Tamikrest play in Dartington’s Great Hall as if they were performing in the desert. HOME is a very allusory identity. It’s an event with a sense of ‘home’ for voices and languages, no matter where they are from; a place where people can make friends and feel at home. We want visitors to see the whole estate as an adventure. There will be a traditional fair and children’s activities such as face painting, banner making and a treasure hunt. It’s an event for everybody and anybody, from young families upwards.

home head for



We’re increasing the capacity this year and have added a Friday night featuring contemporary music, but we’re confident that it will still feel intimate. In some senses, it’s harder organising HOME than WOMAD. With a large festival, it doesn’t matter too much when something doesn’t hit the spot. But with just three stages, you’ve got to be convinced that every single artist is right. A good festival responds to location and environment. It should create a dynamic situation where people are moving around from stage to stage. The audience should be coming into a nice environment. Suffice to say, Dartington is a very well managed venue. At HOME, there’s a sense that all music counts. For these groups from sub-Saharan Africa for example, there’s no way that they would have a national tour or recording career and yet they are here. I’ve been rooting for the underdog all my life. Find out more about HOME and buy tickets here:


On June 24 – 25 2011 Dartington hosts its second HOME festival, a celebration of global cultures through acoustic sets, workshops, crafts and family activities.

from the collection THE TREE OF LIFE The Dartington Hall Trust Collection DHT.734

The Tree of Life was apparently Leonard Elmhirst’s pride and joy and originally hung in the Elmhirsts’ dining room, which is now the Dukes Room. It dates from the late 19th century and is described as: Faraghan silk and metal thread carpet with pomegranates and an indigo border with flower heads and vines, twin guard stripes design. It is also quite rare. It was moved to its present home, the Morning Room (currently used as a meeting room) in 2004.

To increase people’s enjoyment of and access to the Collection, we are putting more pieces on display in public areas around the estate. We are also loaning pieces from the Collection to other galleries so that more people can appreciate them. For example the Alabaster Boy (DHT.267), a sculpture by the renowned artist Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891–1915) which was bought by Leonard Elmhirst, is about to go for the opening exhibition of the Hepworth Wakefield in Yorkshire this May. This figure has not been away on loan since 1984. To find out more visit ISSUE THREE | SPRING.SUMMER 2011


Tagore today

2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the visionary poet Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian to receive the Nobel Prize for his book of poems Gitanjali. An inspiration to our founders Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst and their ‘Dartington Experiment’, Tagore and his legacy embody our interlinking interests in the arts, social justice and sustainability. Celebrations are taking place across the globe and Dartington is home to a range of events and activities this year including the Tagore Festival (1–7 May).

Renowned for her role in the transformative ‘Right to Information’ campaign in India, social activist Aruna Roy was teaching at Schumacher College earlier this year. scene caught up with her to ask her about Tagore’s legacy in India and the world today. Why is this celebration of Tagore important?

explore Tagore

Tagore 150 at Dartington for full information see tagore150 012

AR: I have always held that there is a continuing significance in the popular and oft quoted lines of great poets, no matter how ‘common’ they may sound. Some of my favourite lines from Gitanjali, Tagore’s Nobel Prize-winning work, are: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls

Library Ology Tagore’s insightful ideas of internationalism are critical and relevant today. His respect for nature gave birth to a vision of harmony between human beings and nature. For him, internationalism was a sharing of ideas, a politics of development based on equality and justice. It was an inclusive world view. How has Tagore inspired you personally? AR: Tagore was a part of my genetic makeup, if you like! My father studied in Shantiniketan (Tagore’s home) and this profoundly changed his politics, aesthetics and his perception of plurality and inclusion. His liberal ideas and eclectic interests in painting, reading, music and many other arts was my inheritance. ARUNA ROY

In today’s world, when it suits commercial interests we expand into ‘a global village’ but at the same time we are being manipulated to don our narrowest identities to prevent any possibility of concerted protest against inequality, deprivation and oppression.

by Benjamin Zephaniah I have a date with Su Ling Lee We’re meeting by the library At 5 o’clock by history I’ll show her some mythology And if we have the energy We’ll check out some theology And if there is good chemistry We’ll dance by musicology We’ll sail through oceanology And get some cool lithology And roundabout psychology I’ll sweet talk her topology With science and technology We’ll have some sociology And touch each others botany With organic homeopathy She knows so much cosmology I do luv her ecology And reading her astrology I note she has anatomy I’ll use my best phraseology To get her to phonology So we can lexicology Together in the library. Celebrated poet Benjamin Zephaniah is speaking at the Tagore Festival. He is currently a figurehead for the protests against library closures.

1– 7 May The Tagore Festival

9 – 13 May Confluence of Cultures:

29 April – 28 June Tagore and Dartington:

24 – 25 June HOME Festival

6 – 13 August Demystifying Indian Music

Schumacher College co-founder Satish Kumar realises his vision of a week-long festival celebrating his hero and inspiration Tagore.

Understanding the Past, Enriching the Future.

An Exhibition

A festival with acoustic music at its heart.

A Summer School course and new commission.


A course at Schumacher College.

Documentary exhibition exploring Tagore’s influence, funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund.



I think we need to demonstrate to society that we are of value, just the way we are. That we don’t need to change and be more like typical people to be worthwhile.

debate, collaborate, interrogate Celia Atherton OBE


Should we accept the way our society and our policies are moving – because we can use our energy more positively that way? Or should we resist what we might think are ill-thought out changes? At Dartington we want to challenge, but more than that, we want to enable and encourage others to challenge, to explore, to have new ideas and try to put them into action.

Debate – because we all deserve to have our say. Great Debates at Dartington are an opportunity to come and learn, ponder and test out our powers of explanation and persuasion. The next one takes place on 15 July, Great Debates at Ways With Words, when Shirley Williams and David Aaronovitch will lead a robust examination of whether or not Trident should be renewed. Collaborate – because then we can make a bigger difference. Our latest collaboration is with HMP Channings Wood Prison, focussing on providing the men with meaningful activities and work qualifications and bringing more local produce to the homes of our local community. More on this in the next issue.

being different Interrogate! – a new, and unique festival of social justice in the UK, here at Dartington from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September. Where we will do just that – interrogate a key question of the day. The focus will be on income inequality, the compelling research about how bad it is for all of us, and what each of us can do to reduce inequalities. A ‘festival’ because we will explore these serious issues through comedy, music, poetry, workshops, lectures, café conversations, film and more. Watch the website for information. See you there!

At Dartington we want to challenge, but more than that, we want to enable and encourage others to challenge.



In spring 2011 Dartington’s research in practice invited Australian psychologist Dr Wendy Lawson to lead workshops for social workers and safeguarding teams, to develop an insight into the world of autism. At school Wendy was considered to be intellectually disabled and ‘almost incapable of doing as she is told’. In her teens, she was misdiagnosed as ‘schizophrenic’. This label stuck for more than 25 years, until she was diagnosed in 1994 as being on the autism spectrum. A poet and writer, Wendy prefers the word ‘diffability’ to disorder and her research seeks to explore what being ‘differentlyabled’ means in the world of neurodiversity.

I think we need to demonstrate to society that we are of value, just the way we are. That we don’t need to change and be more like typical people to be worthwhile. Our value is in being human, and in being different. A life spent coming to terms with autism has taught me a little about some of the practical ways in which people can help those on the autistic spectrum. The foundation for feeling good about who we are comes from feeling valued. It is essential that others believe in us for us to function to the best of our ability. Building upon this foundation, we can reach out and take chances and have the confidence to keep trying when things don’t go according to plan. As we build skills and accomplish small things, such as the daily achievements of basic goals in education or budgeting, we can build bigger dreams and explore ways to make these happen. For those of us with autism, our brains are configured to have a single focus and to pay attention to just one thing at a time. This is not a choice but our default setting. By harnessing our unique interests to capture our attention, those around us can help to

ensure that our future goals remain within our grasp and achievable. It is also important that our particular learning style is understood and accommodated. As human beings, we all deserve the right to a future in which we feel valued, accepted and worthwhile. Throughout my journey to date, I have known many helpful people and I have made choices which have helped me along the way. I have also encountered people and situations that have hindered my progress and, of course, I have made some bad decisions. Separating all these factors out and understanding their roles in our lives is crucial. We need to evaluate all the events and environmental factors that help or hinder us in achieving our goals, then choose carefully those that support who we each are.

The UN declared 2 April 2011 World Autism Awareness Day, to increase and develop world knowledge of autism. To see more by Dr Wendy Lawson see Thanks to Sen magazine ISSUE THREE | SPRING.SUMMER 2011


Are contract-based relationships killing the drive for a better, more equal society? Dartington’s CEO Vaughan Lindsay talks to Charlotte Young, Chair of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, to hear the case for good old-fashioned trust.

You think that trust underpins a fair society. Tell us more. Charlotte Young: Trust is a vital currency in any healthy society. It leads to strong relationships that provide support and create greater sharing of rights and responsibilities and wider emotional rewards. Trust matters because it is hugely satisfying and remarkably efficient.

But we trust each other less than we used to? CY: Yes. We trust one another far less than we did, especially those one-time solid institutions, big business, banks and, not-surprisingly, politicians.

we must have trust

And what are the causes for this change?

What effect, in your view, is this having on society?

Is this the Big Society by another name?

So how can we change things?

CY: Over the last 25 years or so the focus on citizen rights, fairness, health and safety, public accountability and an obsession with scale, together with handing over large swathes of public activity to highly trained but emotionally disengaged professionals, has produced a society based on contractual relationships, usually commercially based and with a strong emphasis on financial reward for performance. These contracts hugely increase transaction costs through elaborate bidding, delivery and control mechanisms; they also virtually remove the motivational and capability benefits of full local engagement.

CY: The shift towards a contract-based society leaves the majority of individuals less willing and less able to contribute to social wellbeing. For some activities, contractual delivery must be the answer but the trend had gone too far.

CY: The opportunities provided by the “Big Society” umbrella – to take devolved power and build local alliances – could allow both space and justification for re-growing trusting relationships. This is especially valuable for those who have both the intimate understanding of and the creativity and passion to resolve apparently insoluble social issues.

CY: I think we need to do three things: build ‘social capital’ through face-to-face collaboration, support like-minded people and above all, have courage by thinking the unthinkable and asking the unaskable.

So how do we bring back societal trust? CY: We need a focus instead on local solutions to local problems. We need to be sure that we are both building bonding relationships (those in and around immediate contacts like family and neighbours) and bridging relationships (across social and institutional boundaries). There need to be enough trusted helpers and facilitators and small and focused packets of money, not big funding.

Do you think people are willing?

We have an opportunity to build and sustain strong local initiatives led by committed activists. Don’t let’s allow the chance to slip by: trust is probably the most valuable currency a society can own.

CY: There are hundreds of thousands of people willing and able to make ours a better society. They may not be joined up into a movement, but they are a potent source of energy and creativity.

What do you think? Join the debate at Dartington is home to the Devon School for Social Entrepreneurs. Founded by Lord Young of Dartington, The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) enables people to use their creative and entrepreneurial abilities more fully for social benefit. SSE supports individuals to set up new charities, social enterprises and social businesses across the UK. To find out about this year’s students visit





The local economy and community are one of the drivers of what to do, but so is our role as a national centre of experimentation. It’s got to be a model for the future.

A vision for the future of Dartington’s farmland is taking shape. As previously reported in scene the estate’s tenant farmer retires in 2014, and a review has been launched to explore how the land could be used in the future. The local community, neighbouring estates and experts have been consulted, and recommendations go to Dartington’s trustees this June. Charlie McConnell, Director of Schumacher College and chair of the Land Use Review Steering Group, sets out the story so far.

the great land lab

Charlie McConnell


This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to look again at how we use the land. We recognise that there’s a disconnection between our current land use and what Dartington is about: the arts, social justice and sustainability. The Elmhirsts said that the estate was to be a place of experiment, education and sustainable enterprise. We’ve got to get back to these first principles. The land use review started in 2010 by mapping what land we currently have and what we do with it. We then moved on to exploring new ideas in the context of such external drivers as climate change, concerns about biodiversity and increases in energy and fertiliser costs. We’ve visited estates in other parts of the country, run seminars on agro-forestry and community land partnerships and are exploring issues ranging from organic farming to zero-carbon land use. We’re investigating running the farm more as an educational and research resource and replacing a single tenancy with a greater diversity of enterprises which create jobs and value-added products which can be sold through the trust’s restaurants and shops. In January we held an Open Space brainstorm with Transition Town Totnes and our neighbouring communities. Many of the ideas emerging were close to ours and we are getting a sense of where we need to be going. We are thinking out of the box, looking at how we can get people back to the land. We want to be taking risks and experimenting. And we don’t want to wait for 2014; we want to work incrementally by beginning to introduce some of these ideas over the coming three years. So we’ve put out a message: who would like to come and help us do this? Artwork: VIEW FROM LONG LANE Angie St John Palmer



10 bright ideas: Idea 1. The living classroom

Idea 6. Farms of the future

Dartington breaks down the walls of the classroom by hosting education, mentoring and training outdoors. Family and corporate team-building activities such as canoeing, rock-climbing and archery also feature.

The existing dairy farm is reinvented, with a focus on animal welfare, small herds, organic approaches and low energy use. Milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream is sold locally.

Idea 2. Back to the land Local people rent land to grow their own food and further community gardens are created. Crops such as flax, amaranth and coppice are planted.

Idea 3. Green skills As Schumacher College expands, students become more involved in estate-based projects, and the land becomes a living hub for sustainability experimentation and training.

Idea 7. Sleeping under the stars Forest pods and a campsite are set up, accommodating guests during popular events such as Dartington’s International Summer School. A yurt village is built.

Idea 8. Wood working Woodland, which makes up a quarter of the estate, is managed for bio-fuel, biomass and building materials. Wood crafts are revived.

Idea 9. Business boost

Idea 4. Justice for more

New enterprises such as fish farming, a micro-brewery and vineyard flourish.

Dartington extends its social justice programme, using the land to work with older residents at Abundant Life and ex-offenders at HMP Channings Wood.

Idea 10. Green power Anaerobic digestion, wood and photo-voltaic systems generate renewable energy.

Idea 5. Eco showcase An experimental centre for sustainable construction, food production and energy efficiency is set up.

Find out more and have your say: ISSUE THREE | SPRING.SUMMER 2011


What is the Economics for Transition Masters? Julie Richardson: It’s a year-long course that attempts to redefine economies. The current system isn’t working – a situation created by global crises in social well-being and the health of ecosystems, together with peak oil, climate change and the financial crash. The MA explores how we can create opportunities for change.

What will students learn? Naresh Giangrande: The course asks how can we create a world in which future generations have access to prosperity and well-being. Students will develop an ‘ecological world view’ by understanding how current social, financial and ecological crises are interconnected and linked to the global economy. Students will then map out practical steps towards a low-carbon and resilient economy.

Why is now the time to launch the MA?

the new economists

The world’s first postgraduate programme in Economics for Transition launches at Dartington’s Schumacher College in September 2011. scene talks to Transition Town Totnes co-founder Naresh Giangrande, who is leading a module on the course, and to Julie Richardson, who is leading the programme at Schumacher College. 020


NG: To borrow a phrase, it’s time for a revision of economies as if people and the planet mattered. It feels like a course for these times; a time for new leaders, activists, policymakers and entrepreneurs. A lot of the work has been done in disparate places and it’s time to bring it together into a single degree-level course. JR: The partners we are working with – the Transition Network, the new economics foundation (nef) and the Business School at the University of Plymouth – all share our vision on the need for this new MA. It has provoked a lot of interest, including a recent visit by Chris Huhne and other officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, who will soon be publishing their own plan about how to wean the UK off oil.

Who should attend? NG: I envisage working economists who feel frustrated; professionals who realise the shortcomings of current economic thought and who are looking for a way to change themselves, an organisation or where they live. They want to re-skill.

The programme is run by Schumacher College, Dartington – so what’s the role of Transition Town Totnes and the Transition Network? NG: We’re running a practical, grass roots ‘Transition in Practice’ module over three weeks, mixing classroom study with field trips into Totnes’ ‘bio-economic web’, which includes sustainable construction, a local currency, renewable energy projects, a member-owned food co-operative and numerous other community enterprises. Examples of Transition in Practice will also be drawn from the Transition Network, a worldwide network of communities working towards reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

What will students get out it? NG: In addition to a theoretical grounding, I would like to see students leaving with practical skills hardwired into them.

How can people get involved in Transition Towns? NG: Go to the Transition website (www. and find the initiative nearest to you. If there isn’t one in your town or village, city or favela, then set one up. I have been around the world with transition training and I’ve seen that people have a phenomenal collective capacity to change.

What can an ordinary person contribute and get out of Transition? NG: There are so many skills needed, from engineers who can evaluate new energy production ideas to media professionals. People can learn new skills, from gardening to project management. You feel part of the community and you have a lot of fun. If it’s not fun then people won’t do it.

The Transition movement has gone global. Will it continue to grow? NG: Having co-founded it with Rob Hopkins in 2006, Transition has grown from toddler to adolescent. It’s a living experiment on a massive scale. It’s grabbed a lot of people’s attention but we can’t give all of the answers: it’s developing in ways that I never dreamed. It’s part of the zeitgeist and will continue.

What is the ‘big idea’ behind Transition Towns? NG: We have created a society that is built on an unlimited use of resources. We realise that the current system is not fit for purpose and the likelihood of being able to turn itself into something sustainable is pretty low. We say, don’t protest about things you don’t like, build another way. The movement is creating what we think are the most viable economic structures of the future.

The MA in Economics for Transition is a collaboration between Schumacher College, the nef (new economics foundation), the Transition Network and the University of Plymouth Business School. ISSUE THREE | SPRING.SUMMER 2011


eye witness review: books Sir David Green


Dartington in Conisbrough 1972–1975

“It needs to be beautiful, we’re starting a school...” Leonard Elmhirst, 1925

Pat Kitto, LIB ED, 2010

From 1926 – 1987 Dartington was the home of Dartington Hall School, famous for its child-centred, progressive approach to education. Conisbrough was a mining village in Yorkshire, home to Northcliffe Comprehensive School... The heads of the two schools planned an exchange scheme so that their students could benefit from the experience of contrasting education, organisation and ethos. Pat Kitto and her husband Dick were appointed as wardens in Conisbrough. In this book she tells of their experiences there. Sir David Green looks back at his days in Conisbrough...


I was a teacher at Northcliffe School in Conisbrough, Yorkshire in the early 1970s and took part in the exchange programme. Ninety percent of the children in the classes I taught had parents who were employed by the National Coal Board. The project involved regular exchange visits between the two schools, using a building known as the Terrace in Conisbrough as a residential base for the Dartington students. Under the leadership of Pat and Dick Kitto the Terrace became a community/cultural/youth/ experimental education centre. I witnessed the chaotic evenings at the Terrace and Pat Kitto persuaded me to take part in folk evenings, singing to a very fickle audience! Pat Kitto had no training in teaching and in this book recounts her experiences with endearing honesty. She provides a fascinating account of the efforts she and Dick made to engage with the community in Conisbrough, trying a wide range of different approaches and activities. Pat also grapples with the nub of the project: whether the individualistic approach of a private progressive school could work for children from a contrasting background and culture.


What perhaps doesn’t come across as strongly as it should is Pat’s larger-than-life personality, energy, generosity and sense of humour and her willingness to try out new ways of working. She describes Dick and herself as ‘weird parents’ and, as far as the young people who came to the Terrace were concerned, this was undoubtedly true. They were certainly very different but they became well respected and very well liked. The project sought to provide a more tailored, relevant education for young people. One measure of its success was the increase in attendance from 62% at school to 92% at the Terrace, which was no mean achievement. Dartington in Conisbrough makes for a fascinating read for anyone interested in a free-thinking, alternative and more individual approach to education.

Available from Totnes Bookshop and

Dartington Hall School 1926–1987


03 – 05 September 2011 The Dartington Hall School may have shut its doors in 1987, but it is set to celebrate its 85th anniversary this September with a weekend of festivities organised by alumni and former staff. Alice Leach, one of the last pupils to be educated at the school, has designed a map picturing all of the buildings of Dartington Hall School 1926– 1987, from the modernist gem High Cross House to the Arts and Crafts Aller Park. For more information about the reunion please visit

Hand printed at the Dartington Print Workshop, the map will be reproduced for school alumni and made available in the Welcome Centre. For all those seeking the ‘real’ thing original prints can be purchased ahead of the September reunion - visit

Artwork: Alice Leach ISSUE THREE | SPRING.SUMMER 2011


“ I’m a member because I believe passionately in what Dartington is doing and that it is an incredibly important place... for Now... for what it does, for the chaos of these times. It’s a place of almost refuge as well as aspiration.” Mirhane McLaren-Howard Chef Martin Reynolds heads up the new Venus Café, now open at The Shops at Dartington.

250ml organic, semi skimmed milk 25g plain flour 25g salted butter tiny pinch of salt (optional) small pinch white pepper 125g grated organic mature Cheddar 100g leeks, trimmed, cut lengthways and washed thoroughly 25g salted butter to soften leeks

Devon SSE Tel: +44[0]1803 847066 (DISS) Summer School Tel: +44[0]1803 847080 Fundraising Tel: +44[0]1803 847008 Gardens Tel: +44[0]1803 862367

Gather together all the ingredients. Keep the oysters unshucked and refrigerated until needed.

Bring the oyster liquor to the boil, gently place oysters in liquid for 3 seconds, then drain in a colander.

Sieve the flour, melt 25g butter in a non-stick saucepan. Add flour and start to mix vigorously until the mix starts to turn slightly white and thin. Place in fridge to cool to arrest cooking.

Place the leeks in the bottom of each shell (dividing the leeks up equally between the 12 shells). Add 1/2 tsp of sauce on top of leeks. Place an oyster on the sauce and add one tbsp sauce to cover the oyster.

Put the milk onto the heat, add salt and pepper and bring to the boil. T ake sauce mix out of the fridge, add the hot milk and 80g cheese – whisking constantly – until mix rolls off the spoon. F inely chop the leeks, melt 25g butter in a pan and gently soften leeks for two minutes.

If desired sprinkle the remaining grated Cheddar on top. Place under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes until sauce browns. Serve immediately with some organic leaves drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, a wedge of lemon and perhaps some cherry tomatoes.

Shuck the oysters and remove from shell. Place the shell liquor in another pan. Wash the shells thoroughly.


Arts Team Tel: +44[0]1803 847074

Craft Education Tel: +44[0]1803 847000

Bigbury Bay oysters mornay 1 dozen Bigbury Bay Oysters

Archive and Collection Tel: +44[0]1803 864114

Booking Rooms Tel: +44[0]1803 847100

Venus Café


Main Switchboard Tel: +44[0]1803 847000

Barn Cinema Box-office:+44[0]1803 847070


Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course

Dartington directory


Since we launched our membership scheme a year ago, 500 of you have joined and we would like to say a huge thank you to you all.

Dartington membership starts at just £35 a year and brings a range of benefits such as:

Our members contribute so much to Dartington, allowing us to continue our pioneering work.

– Discount on film tickets at the Barn Cinema and The Shops at Dartington

_ Invitations to members only events

– scene magazine delivered twice annually

support our vision

If you would like to become a member, introduce a friend or upgrade your subscription, please visit or call Natalie Castorina on 01803 847008 quoting ‘scene’.

Press Office Tel: +44[0]1803 847026 Research in Practice Tel: +44[0]1803 867692 Research in Practice for Adults Tel: +44[0]1803 869753 Schumacher College Tel: +44[0]1803 865934 The Shops at Dartington Tel: +44[0]1803 847500 Totnes Bookshop Tel: +44[0]1803 863273 Trust Administration Tel: +44[0]1803 847000 White Hart Bar/Restaurant Tel: +44[0]1803 847111

Dartington Scene - Spring & Summer 2011  

This issue is all about getting involved and there are plenty of opportunities to do just that over the coming months from festivals and eve...

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