Friends of Dartington Newsletter OCTOBER 2010
We warmly invite you to our next Friends event :
Andrew Lacey ‘A Story of Making Bronze’ 7.30pm Tuesday 23 November in the Upper Gate House, above the Welcome Centre at Dartington Hall Clay mould for bronze casting
Please enter the Upper Gatehouse from Shippon Yard, at the upper level to the right of the main courtyard entrance when approaching from the car park. This avoids the steep external steps up from the courtyard.
Andrew Lacey is known to many at Dartington where he runs a sculpture
Megalith-still, at Dartington
studio and bronze foundry. His bronze horse sculpture Megalith-still, which was inspired by Ted Hughes’ poem ‘The Horses’, was recently on loan to Dartington Hall for display at the entrance to the main courtyard and a s m a l l e r ve r s i o n o f t h i s s c u l p t u re w a s u nve i l e d b y t h e Q u e e n t o commemorate her visit to Dartington on 11th March this year. Andrew Lacey will introduce his talk with an historical overview of bronze casting and will then describe his personal journey with bronze as a sculptor, bronze founder and independent scholar.
Ticket Information : Tickets for this talk are £3.50 each to members of the Friends and £5 each to non-members. Tickets for members and non-members of the Friends will be sold on the door from 7.00pm on the evening of the talk. As usual the ticket price includes a glass of wine or a soft drink in the West Wing Lounge after the talk.
Please also make a note in your diaries of our next Friends talk :
Robert Somerville designer and builder, with a deep knowledge and understanding of working with earth, stone, oak and lime, will talk about the renaissance of traditional materials and crafts in the UK and how they can be used to create benignly habitable buildings.
in the Upper Gate House on Tuesday 25th January 2011 at 7.30pm
A Call for new Welcome Volunteers at Dartington The Friends of Dartington is now about 20 years old and our Constitution set us up with membership by subscription, and an elected Committee, to develop a programme of events which would enable us all to join in with the life of the Dartington H a l l Tr u s t i n a c o n s t r u c t i v e a n d supportive way. We now have about 400 members and an active Those interested in discussing Committee at present of about eight the role of Welcome Volunteer people. are asked to make contact in person, by phone, e-mail or by Dartington is changing in many ways. post with Karen Gough, the The College of Arts has now left the Welcome Centre Manager or site, and Schumacher College is due to talk it through first with Jean d o u b l e i n s i z e . T h e D a r t i n g t o n H a r d y f r o m t h e F r i e n d s Archives are now in Exeter. There are C o m m i t t e e w h o s e h o m e plans for the Abundant Life centre number is 01803 762482 . which is geared to the needs of older people intermixed with the life of the Please ask the staff member whole campus and its surrounding on the enqui community. The Trust is now more ry desk at the Welcome Centre o p e n t o t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d , a n d if you would like to speak to wanting to attract more visitors to its Karen, ring her on her direct historic buildings and the beautiful line which is 01803 847133, or garden and grounds, and to explain e m a i l the ways the work of the Trust is email@example.com developing. We now have a Welcome Centre to facilitate entry into the or write to : grounds and our activities, and this Karen Gough Welcome Centre under its manager Welcome Centre Manager Karen Gough wants to extend this Dartington Hall welcoming function to enhance the life of the whole estate which flourishes when it is full of people.
B o t h t h e Tr u s t a n d t h e F r i e n d s Committee would like to encourage members of The Friends of Dartington to take an active part in the opening of the work and grounds to more people by extending our volunteering to more of the work. Volunteers have been greatly valued for their work at High Cross House, working with the Trust Archive and welcoming visitors. The Trust would like to establish another team of volunteers to assist the Hosts in the Welcome Centre to inform visitors of the Trust’s history, current areas of work and future plans. In time the Welcome Centre would like to offer visitors guided tours encompassing the main courtyard area, the old church and the Private Garden as a welcome and orientation tour for people who are new to Dartington. We l c o m e Vo l u nte e r s w i l l re c e i ve training to act as guides for these tours. Welcome Volunteers will be invited to attend an induction session which will e x p l a i n t h e ro l e a n d t h ey w i l l b e provided with regular briefings in addition to developing any special interests that a Volunteer may bring or develop as their role evolves. Jean Hardy, Friends Committee
.......and a Call for New Members of the Friends Committee We wo u l d l i ke t o t a l k w i t h everyone who is interested in joining us and if you have skills in finance or IT that would be d o u b l y we l c o m e . Yo u c a n come to one or more Committee meetings (18 Nov and/or 13 Jan @ 4.00pm) on a completely free basis to see if you would like to join us. Everyone who is interested is asked to talk with David Bailey, our Chair, on 07970 837959 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Jean Hardy, our past Chair, on 01803 762482.
We would also like to welcome more members of the Friends onto our Committee. We currently only have the minimum number of Committee members to enable us to keep the Fr i e n d s o f D a r t i n g t o n r u n n i n g effectively and we would like a few more people to share the work and develop new ideas. We also need new members to become involved to allow for rotation of the Officer roles and to allow for the eventual ‘retirement’ of those who have given many years of service to the Committee! The organisation will thrive on new people with new ideas who bring new energy and enthusiasm to our work.
The Friends of Dartington are very respected within the Trust and many issues concerning activities and future projects at Dartington are discussed with us. Committee Members are invited to join excellent Induction and In-Depth training days that are put on for the Trust’s own staff, we meet with Vaughan Lindsay on a regular basis and we receive updates on all the work that the Trust is undertaking. There is also considerable opportunity to get to know and meet with many of t h e s t a f f o f t h e Tr u s t . A n d , importantly, we derive a lot of enjoyment from this involvement and the presentation of events and activities for the Friends.
Future Direction and Fresh Energy at Dartington................. It is enormously heartening to see how the Dartington Hall Trust has lost no time in bringing new initiatives and new energy to bear following the Dartington College of Arts’ integration with and move to join University College Falmouth at the start of the new academic year this September. Vaughan Lindsay the CEO and the three Programme Leaders - David Francis, Celia Atherton and Charlie McConnell are now putting into action the plans that they have been developing with the staff of their individual programmes since the College’s move was finally confirmed. To provide an insight into the most ambitious new initiatives you will find summary descriptions on the following pages. These descriptions only give a view of headline changes when in fact there is an atmosphere of constructive change in evidence throughout the organisation. More specific and detailed information can be gained by exploring the full extent of the newly re-structured website for the Dartington Hall Trust www.dartington.org and the comprehensive website of Schumacher College www.schumachercollege.org.uk.
Keep up with what’s happening at Dartington....................... There is an inevitability that internet access is increasingly the way that information is made available to those who are looking for it. We notice that almost without exception new members joining the Friends of Dartington are providing e-mail contact details which indicates that they are also users of the internet. The Friends are maintaining our Newsletter in paper form because we know that there are a proportion of our members who are not internet users. However, for all those who are using the internet we would recommend that you explore the newly re-structured website for the Trust www.dartington.org. There are individual sections for each of the main programmes - the Arts, Social Justice and Sustainability - as well as your being able to check the film programme at the Barn Cinema and Live Events in the fields of music, drama and dance. There are news articles added to the ‘home-page’ on average at least every week and there is also a really useful ‘What’s On’ calendar which lists all the events that are taking place on the estate for any date that you ‘click’ on the calendar. You will recall that earlier in the summer we sent out to our members a copy of the Trust’s new 6-monthly magazine called Scene. We explained at the time that this was a one-off measure to introduce our members to the new format and content of the first edition of the magazine. Because of its cost of production and the costs of postage, we are not able to mail out further editions to every membership address out of the modest subscription that we charge. There are however paper copies available at Dartington - in the Welcome Centre and also it is available to read on the Dartington website in actual magazine format exactly as the paper version. Both the first edition and the second edition can be found at www.dartington.org/about-the-trust/publications . The Trust’s Annual ‘Impact Review’ for 2009 is also available there and the 2010 Review will be published before too long.
...and sign up for Dartington Newsletter Mailing Lists.......... As well as improving the structure, layout and format of the Dartington website, the Trust have initiated a range of e-mail Newsletters that are free to sign up for on the website at www.dartington.org/about-the-trust/signup. Here the options include a Dartington Newsletter, Dartington Events, Films, Leisure, Cider Press Centre, Family Events, Folk Music, World Music, Film Archive Restoration Project, the Summer Youth Programme and the International Summer School. There are also specific links to sign up for the Abundant Life Newsletter and the Schumacher College Newsletter. We would ask that you sign up online for any of these newsletters that interest you. For data protection reasons The Friends do not pass on any of the contact details you have given to us so you do need to sign up specifically if you would be interested to receive these additional newsletters.
Changes already in Progress after the Art College move....... The Arts
The major new project for The Arts is the adaptation and re-use of the Lower Close Buildings for Space. This is an u m b re l l a t i t l e fo r t h e p rov i s i o n by Dartington of studio rehearsal and performance spaces, digital media screening and production facilities , craft and makersâ€™ studios and a multipurpose gallery. Active use of these facilities will create a vibrant arts centre serving both the South West region and visiting national and international artists and companies. Space has already been used by the English Touring Opera, The Royal Ballet School, Richard Alston Dance Company, composer Graham Fitkin, and the School of Movement Medicine. The Dartington Gallery, across the road from the courtyard entrance will open soon as the new home for Soundart Radio and Aune Head Arts which is a not-for-profit rural arts organisation making and commissioning contemporary arts projects. Space will occupy the exhibition space in the gallery to show their own projects and to be able to hire the space to external artists and organisations wishing to show work. And finally for this snapshot report KEVICC has been running since September an exciting new venture at Dartington - the Devon Academy of Performing Arts which you will see referred to as DA-PA! 16-18 year old students are working for their BTEC q u a l i fi c a t i o n s i n M u s i c a l T h e a t re , Performing Arts and Production Arts. The Partnership Development Manager for Space is Clare Parker who, as some of you will remember, came and talked so enthusiastically about the potential of this project before our Friends AGM in June 2009. It is great to see the project in full swing already - even before its official launch in April 2011. At www.dartington.org/arts/space you can find out much more about Space and download the latest edition of Space news.
T h e D a r t i n g t o n p ro j e c t f o r a n e w residential community for older people to be based in and around the former Foxhole School buildings is now well known as Abundant Life. What has just been announced is that Dartington has agreed a development partnership with Midas Homes (part of the Galliford Try Group) to take forward together the vision for the ÂŁ25m project towards an application for planning permission. PRP Architec ts, who are leading designers of living spaces for older people in the UK, have been appointed to work with Dartington and Midas, and in liaison with potential residents, the local community , politicians and the key agencies and public authorities, to develop a design for an accessible and welcoming community which allows for both independent living and community cohesion within the context of the estate and the facilities which are available locally at Dartington.
Registering your interest in the Abundant Life Project can be done online at
www.dartington.org/ abundant-life/registeryour-interest or directly with Pamela Silkstone.
Pa m e l a s h o u l d a l s o b e contacted for details or enquiries about all the Abundant Life activities described in this news item. Pamela Silkstone has a direct line telephone on 01803 847049 or can be reached by e-mail on
Whilst the management of the project is led by Celia Atherton, Director of Social Justice at Dartington, the support activities and information management are being handled by Pamela Silkstone, the Project Development Officer for Abundant Life. Pamela coordinates the production of the Abundant Life Newsletter and is the contact for three new activities already established and especially aimed at older people in Dartingtonâ€™s local community.
Community Garden at Bideford
The Abundant Life Community Garden has already started to attract members and has been allocated an area of land quite close to the Foxhole buildings. More details can be found at www.dartington.org/abundant-life/ community-garden-public-meeting-notes
Rehearsal Studio at Space
Singing for the Brain now meets regularly and is a group activity with a singing leader for people with dementia and those who care for them. Details and dates/times can be found at
And a new series of talks and study days entitled Learning Curves is already running at Foxhole. Details at www.dartington.org/
A new lease of life for the Higher Close buildings............... Sustainability
In the Friends Newsletter in May this year we described the plans of Schumacher College with regard to the future growth of their education programmes. These plans include the introduction of a Masters programme in Economics and more courses focusing on skills for sustainable land use and green building. In addition Schumacher College is introducing open learning and outreach programmes in collaboration with a network of partner organisations around the world. Whilst these new activities are being established, Schumacher College will be moving from its present home at the Old Postern up to the Higher Close buildings, recently vacated by the College of Arts and situated alongside the main Dartington Hall carpark opposite the courtyard entrance. The Trust and Schumacher College have just announced that they have chosen the local practice of Roderick James Architects to undertake the design work for the adaptation, extension and remodelling of the Higher Close buildings to create the new Schumacher College campus close to the heart of the Dartington estate. Information on their philosophy and examples some of their other projects can be found at www.roderickjamesarchitects.co.uk. Roderick James himself was the first director of the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth and was the founder and chairman of Carpenter Oak.
The bid put forward by Roderick James Architects was c o n s i d e re d a l o n g s i d e t h re e others, from a shortlist of seven firms. Their initial proposal inspired the selection panel with its promotion of indoor and outdoor learning space, imaginative adjustments of residential capacity and a natural approach to improving the look and feel of the site within its landscape setting.
The panel selec ting the architec ts consulted staff and current Schumacher programme participants as well as friends in the local community. Further consultation will take place as the designs are developed.
The Dartington Hall Trust is making an investment of around £2.4m towards the building work and a programme investment of £1.2m over the
An illustrative sketch submitted by Roderick James Architects when bidding for the commission to design the upgrading and adaptation of the Higher Close buildings
next five years to support this exciting development of Schumacher College’s work and accommodation. The Trust will be launching a major fundraising campaign to secure these funds from individuals, trusts and foundations, corporations and other sources. Charlie McConnell, Director of Schumacher College and Chair of the Project Planning Group, reports that they are now working closely with the architects on the detailed design with the objective of being able to make a submission to the planning authority in 2011.
Tagore 150 : A Year of Celebration - ‘Gitanjali‘ - 1st-7th May 2011 at Dartington Hall To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tagore’s birth, the Dartington Hall Trust, in conjunction with the magazine Resurgence and Satish Kumar, have programmed 12 months of activities in 2011. At the heart of this year of celebrations is Gitanjali, a week long people’s festival of arts, crafts and culture exploring how Tagore’s vision resonates with our lives and times today. During the week there will be talks, debates, lectures, performances, demonstrations, discussions and film screenings. For more details see the website at www.dartington.org/tagore150 and future publicity from Dartington.
Land Use Review is initiated for the Dartington Estate The Trust’s decision to initiate a Land Use Review comes at a pivotal moment for Dartington as it embarks on a new phase of its evolution following the relocation of the College of Arts. The opportunity to plan for the future use of the land at Dartington arises because t h e f a r m t e n a n c y o n t h e c o re estate will come to its contracted end in September 2014 when the present farmer tenant retires. The geographic focus of the Land Use review is the area bounded by the River Dart from Staverton Bridge down to the weir at Totnes and the A385, the A384 and the minor road back to Staverton Bridge. The Land Use Review will be closely linked to the work already being undertaken in respect of an Estate Master Plan which focuses on the use and condition of the buildings on the estate (together with the core infrastructure of roads and services across the estate) and of t h e Tr u s t ’ s A c c o m m o d a t i o n Strategy. In undertaking the Land Use Review the Trust are firstly looking to explore whether any of the estate land could be beneficially used for activities which relate to the three programme areas of the Arts, Social Justice and Sustainability.
Secondly the Trust are looking to retain and enhance the integrity and beauty of the estate. The natural landscape provides a setting to the historic buildings of Dartington Hall and contributes very significantly to the ‘power of place’ that makes Dartington such an attractive place to be, whether for work, education, creative activity or leisure. And thirdly any future land use must be environmentally sustainable (in respect of soil and water quality, biodiversity, carbon emissions and landscape quality), socially beneficial (in respect of employment, training and public access) and financially productive as a totality in terms of delivering i n c o m e a n d b e n e fi t s w h i c h contribute as much to the work of the Trust as the income from the farm tenancy does at present. The Trust is now inviting views and ideas relating to the future use of land at Dartington from the local community. We would strongly urge you to contribute to this consultation process and to attend at least one of the following meetings to which all those who are interested are invited :
• Land Use Meeting, Tuesday 23rd November at 6.00pm at Foxhole ( use the main entrance) • Community Conversation, Thursday 2nd December at 6.30pm in the Great Hall, Dartington To register your interest in the Land Use Review or to pass on your thoughts and ideas please contact John Channon who is leading the review on 01803 847028 or e-mail email@example.com
Would YOU write an article for The Friends of Dartington Newsletter? We would very much like to be able to include an article from time to time that has been contributed by a member of the Friends of Dartington. If you have a subject that relates to Dartington and that you think might be of interest for inclusion in a future Newsletter please let us know by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to David Bailey on 07970 837959 or any member of the Friends‘ Committee or by letter to The Friends of Dartington, The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, Totnes TQ9 6EL.
Membership of the Friends of Dartington
If you are reading this Newsletter and you are not already a member of the Friends of Dartington you will find an Application Form for Membership at the main Reception Centre at Dartington. Alternatively you can obtain an Application Form by sending a stamped addressed envelope to The Membership Secretary, Friends of Dartington, The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington Hall, Totnes TQ9 6EL or e-mailing a request to email@example.com The current cost of membership is £12 p.a or £18 p.a. for two members living at the same address. This edition of the Newsletter was compiled by David Bailey (Tel.07970 837959) E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org