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Worcestershire

SPRING 2018

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THE SECRET LIFE OF COWS

A TUDOR MAGUS The life and times of the remarkable John Dee

STANLEY BALDWIN

New statue to be unveiled in Bewdley to recognise the inter-war PM’s achievements

£3.95

In conversation with bestselling author Rosamund Young

Spring 2018

PLUS . . .

Nooks & crannies: A closer look at some things worth looking at | A deed of reckless courage: WWI heroism from Worcestershire Regiment’s Brigadier George Grogan | Celebrating 50 years of conservation with WWT | gardening | interiors | EV news | restaurant review | wine | fashion | and lots more. . . .


Be transported back to the start of manufacturing in 1751 and learn about the workers, famous customers and a world class industry. Skilled craftsmen regularly work in the galleries and special talks, demonstrations and refreshment packages are available for groups. The Museum Shop sells vintage, antique and the largest range of new Royal Worcester in the City.

Open Monday to Saturday November to February: 10 am – 4 pm March to October: 10 am – 5 pm

Currently closed for refurbishment Visit website for 2018 opening

Severn Street, Worcester WR1 2ND T 01905 21247 www.museumofroyalworcester.org

‘Royal Worcester’ and the C51 crown device are registered by and used under kind permission from Portmeirion Group UK Ltd to whom all rights are reserved.


magazine

Worcestershire

SPRING 2018

FOREWORD

Production Director Pippa Sanderson BA (Hons) Features Editor Gerald Heys MA Media Executive Jenny Walsh Editorial Contributors Wendy Carter Alistair Cooke, Baron Lexden, OBE Alan Cowpe Elaine Lewis Michele Longari Pershore Patty Andrew Tyler Lara Wilkinson Martyn Wilson Client Accounts Lissie Goble Accounts Katherine Baines BA (Hons) FCCA Publisher Peter Smith

WR magazine

Wyche Innovation Centre Walwyn Road Upper Colwall Malvern WR13 6PL worcestershire@wrmagazine.uk www.wrmagazine.uk

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elcome to the Spring 2018 issue of the magazine. At long last the cold, dark days of winter are behind us and, here at WR magazine, we’re very much looking forward to longer, warmer days.

Our interview this issue is with bestselling author, Rosamund Young. Her book, The Secret Life of Cows, is introduced by Alan Bennett, who says it ‘makes the case against factory farming more simply and compellingly’ than anything he’s ever read. It’s already a Sunday Times bestseller and a Times book of the year. Now going international, the book has been translated into 21 languages, including Icelandic, Catalonian, Korean and German. Interestingly, Prince Charles visited Rosamund’s farm in the 1980s and what he saw persuaded him to adopt a fully natural approach on his own farm at Tetbury. Keeping with the theme of nature, we celebrate 50 years of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, the county’s leading local charity working to conserve and restore wildlife and wild places. We reflect on what it has already achieved, what’s in store for the next 50 years and how you can get involved. Croome Walled Gardens, Britain’s largest Georgian walled garden, reopens to the public after a busy winter and, at the

end of May, you can celebrate Oak Apple Day at The Commandery, which brings a littleknown traditional celebration back to life. This issue, we learn all about the remarkable life of John Dee (1527–1609), mathematician, adviser to monarchs, alchemist, astrologer, converser with angels, early advocate for a British Empire and the rector at Upton-on-Severn. To celebrate the unveiling of a statue dedicated to the achievements of three times Prime Minister and Bewdley MP for nearly 30 years, Stanley Baldwin, we include the text of a lecture given by Baron Lexden, OBE, a British politician, historian and author who, alongside the background to the commissioning of the statue, discusses several aspects of Baldwin’s life. A century on from the Great War, we also learn more about how complete disaster was averted in one part of the French countryside owing much to the leadership and sustained courage of the Worcestershire Regiment’s Brigadier George Grogan. If you would like to contribute an article of historical or cultural value to do with Worcestershire, then get in touch with us at worcestershire@wrmagazine.uk. As ever, we hope you enjoy the read and have a very happy spring. Pippa Sanderson Production Director

ISSN 2059-2965 WR magazine is published by International Business Press Ltd. Articles and other material appearing in this magazine may be reproduced only with the express written permission from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed in the articles herein are those of the authors concerned and are not endorsed by the publisher. While every care has been taken during the production process, the publisher does not accept any liability for errors that may have occurred, nor for the views expressed. © International Business Press Ltd. 2018

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COVER PHOTO: Image: Pippa Sanderson

To read the magazine online, visit ▷ www.wrmagazine.uk

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CONTENTS

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8 18 8.

THE GHOSTWRITER FOR COWS Discovering the secret life of cows with bestselling author Rosamund Young and her cows Katy, Dizzie Lizzie, Celandine, One Horn Dot and Mrs Fleetwood Mac.

12. A TUDOR MAGUS

The life and times of John Dee (1527–1609).

16. NOOKS & CRANNIES

The Platform 2b Waiting Room at Worcester Shrub Hill.

18. RECOGNITION . . . AT LONG LAST

With a statue of three times Prime Minister and Bewdley MP, Stanley Baldwin, set to be unveiled in the town, we revisit the achievements of this great statesman.

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25. WORCESTER RADIO SCHOOL

The launch of the first radio school in the Midlands, specialising in presentation and news production.

27. BOOK REVIEW

From ten down to three by Tenbury Wells’ author George Roberts.

30. TRADITION BROUGHT TO LIFE

Oak Apple Day at The Commandery, Worcester, brings a little-known traditional celebration back to life.

32. THE CREATIVE STRUGGLE

Local artist, Andrew Tyler, has undertaken a raft of temporary jobs to finance his passion for art and music.

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Xytron Data Recovery UK

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n operation for 14 years, Xytron has recovered data from a vast array of situations. Managing Director Richard Cuthbertson recalls one of the more memorable cases: ‘In 2006, a Norwegian client contacted us in a state of considerable panic, having dropped a hard disk into the sea. Upon receipt of the drive, we were able to completely recover all of the client’s data.’ Richard adds: ‘After thousands of cases, we really have seen it all, but dud Internet information doesn’t help so, to put the record straight, if you have a hard drive malfunction, please note the following and call us straight away’: • Don’t put your hard drive in a freezer: This will destroy the hard drive and eliminate any chance of a possible recovery. • Don’t open your hard drive and don’t let anyone else, unless they’re a specialist lab: Opening a hard drive in any environment, other than a laboratory clean room is likely to jeopardise the recovery effort and will almost always add to the cost. • Never change the circuit board: Hard drives contain unique codes, and with some drives – Hitachi, for example – using a substitute circuit board can result in total and irretrievable data loss. • If your hard drive is clicking: It usually indicates a mechanical failure requiring the drive to be rebuilt in a specialist laboratory. • If your hard drive spins but does not boot or operate the computer: This is usually a firmware issue. Xytron’s lab data specialists recover files from all types of storage device failures; from dropped or bumped external hard drives, to virus or malware damage. Routine data recovery includes hard disks and RAID systems, mobile phones and tablets. The company’s strict Confidentiality and 256 AES Security policy provides clients with the peace of mind that their recovered data is in safe, secure and competent hands. Their services have been employed by many of the UK’s leading organisations, companies and celebrities to recover accounts, videos, photos and all manner of documents.

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CONTENTS

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32 36. A DEED OF RECKLESS COURAGE

How the leadership and courage of the Worcestershire Regiment’s Brigadier George Grogan helped avert complete disaster on the WWI battlefields of France.

40. THE DIGITAL ERA IS HERE TO STAY, BUT

HOW MUCH IS IT IMPACTING OUR HEALTH? Electronic innovation, creative imagery and digital displays are everywhere, but is everyone celebrating?

42. 50 YEARS OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

Celebrating the work of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and how you too can get involved.

46. ALL SET FOR THE SEASON

Croome Walled Gardens opens for the spring and summer.

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42 48. A PLACE TO ESCAPE

Martyn Wilson shares his advice on how to turn your town garden into a haven of tranquillity.

52. BE BOLD; BE BRAVE; BE YOU

Discovering the interior trends for 2018 with Elaine Lewis.

58. RESTAURANT REVIEW

Pershore Patty visits Pundits Fusion, Upton-upon-Severn.

60. THE PERFECT WINES FOR SPRING Recommendations from Michele Longari.

62. SPRING INTO WARMTH AND STYLE

Step into the season with style with these practical body warmers and colourful gilets.

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THE INTERVIEW HERITAGE

The ghostwriter for cows

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osamund Young and her brother Richard have been at Kite’s Nest Farm, an organic farm halfway between Broadway and Snowshill, since 1980. They produce beef and lamb

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A sunny morning on Kite’s Nest Farm with Katy, Dizzie Lizzie, Celandine, One Horn Dot and Mrs Fleetwood Mac WORDS: GERALD HEYS

from 100 per cent grass-fed animals, the meat from which can be bought at the farm shop. Prince Charles visited them in the 1980s and what he saw persuaded him to adopt a fully natural approach on his own farm at Tetbury. Rosamund’s

bestselling book, The Secret Life of Cows, with an introduction by Alan Bennett, is available from Faber. More information about the book and the farm can be found at ▷ thesecretlifeofcows.co.uk

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Previous page: Rosamund leaning on Bill Shankly (teenage son of One horn Dot).

A tiny, extraordinary book about cows and how they live; they have family groups and they certainly have friends.

Above: Cream Dorothy III. Right: Gold Celandine with her new calf in the background.

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aty’s in trouble: lying on her side in the straw, eyes rolling. Farmworker Marcus says ‘she’s been thrashing about a bit’, and a rope’s attached to her and a bale of straw brought for support. Rosamund fills a syringe and inserts it under the loose skin in Katy’s neck, saying, ‘Not too sure if this is a photo opportunity.’ And she’s right: taking a picture of an animal in such discomfort feels like an intrusion. It’s a magnesium problem, Rosamund explains: like us, cows need a trace of it in their diet every day; without it, they keel over and can die quite quickly. Marcus, who’s also a farrier, says that like his dad said about horses, cows are, on the whole, very good at finding what’s healthy to eat in the fields. Sometimes, though, there’s not enough nutrition available in the grass. Poor old Katy’s still struggling. Fortunately, she has company: there’s her friend Dizzie Lizzie, a venerable and hefty cow who’s a mum many times over (Marcus calls her ‘sweetheart’ and says she’s mad for apples); and to Katy’s

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right, Celandine, who’s not long given birth to the very pretty, furry calf curled up behind her who’s not yet been named. (It’s suggested, though, that in keeping with farm tradition, she might be called Celandine II.) After only a matter of minutes, the magnesium injection is doing its job: Katy is getting to her feet; ears alert; eyes normal. Katy has suffered, Rosamund says, because she’s given so much milk to her children, adding that cows ‘vary enormously in motherhood.’ Rosamund invariably talks about the livestock in human terms. And feels no need to apologise. ‘People accuse me of anthropomorphism,’ she says. ‘But I use human analogies because I’m a person. I speak language.’ Taking the mother analogy further, Rosamund makes the point that not all human mums are equally diligent when it comes to feeding their children: some send the kids down the chip shop or to their nan’s for dinner; others cook three highly nutritious meals a day. Similarly, there are cows who are lax about making sure their

CLARE BALDING offspring get enough milk. It seems that some cows are, well, lazy cows. The herd goes to pasture, but One Horn Dot’s new calf stays alone in the barn. Rosamund explains that Dot stopped indoors with her calf the previous couple of days, but has now decided that it’s big enough to look after itself. Meanwhile, Dot goes off to the hills and the grass, which she just loves and, in a hour or so, will come back for feeding. Rosamund stresses that her interpretation of the cows’ behaviour is the result of years of observation, and not a science. But it all makes perfect sense. One Horn Dot differs from her sister (Two Horn Dot) in the way their names suggest, but even if they both had the same number of horns, they are, Rosamund says, utterly different in character. If The Secret Life of Cows has a thesis, it’s that on a farm such as Kite’s Nest, where the animals are relatively free to roam, not only is their produce

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One of the most charming and touching books I have ever read. . . . Hilarious and intensely moving by turns.

JILLY COOPER

superior but the cows have the space to be themselves. Alan Bennett’s introduction says that it ‘makes the case against factory farming more simply and compellingly’ than anything he’s ever read. Already a Sunday Times bestseller and a Times book of the year, it’s now going international. It’s been translated into 21 languages, including Icelandic, Catalonian and Korean. The US and German editions are out later in the year. Rosamund was born into farming, but came to writing, she says, entirely by accident. In the days before she wrote about them, when visitors to the farm or customers at the farm shop asked about the animals, Rosamund would tell stories. In about 1995, a visiting Sunday Telegraph journalist suggested she wrote those stories down. So she wrote about Friendly Wendy (aka Black Wendy II) and enjoyed it so much she kept a notebook describing what the livestock were up to. Six months later, the journalist came

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back, took away what she’d written and put it on the front page of the review section. They paid her £500, which she thought was unbelievable.

that sheep should keep them. ‘The tails are part of their backbone,’ she adds, ‘and keep them warm. Why cut them off?’

But it’s not, of course, all about cows. . . .

A lot of sheep love to play, Rosamund says. Some like to be stroked; some are aloof. Sheep can be clever, she says, ‘on the whole, actually cleverer than cows,’ showing an ability to solve problems. But, like cows and people, not all of them are bright. Rosamund points out Mrs Fleetwood Mac tucking into her hay, the mother of the triplets Fleetwood, Mac and Stevie Nicks. In another field are the rams Maharen, Iolo and Dai. Welsh names for Welsh sheep.

Loaded down with hay, we take the Land Rover up the hill, the view from the Cotswold Escarpment of the Vale of Evesham opening up in the sunshine as the sheep trot over for lunch. A mixture of Lleyn and Shetland, they seem a very hardy bunch, and all have their tails. Rosamund says she’s ‘very passionate’

Rams, Rosamund says, have ‘heads like concrete blocks’ and are not to be messed with. Cue the tale of the ram and the bull. A ram wanted to share a flake of hay with an Aberdeen Angus. Angus, who could have easily tossed the ram, refused to share and pushed the ram away. The ram tried again. Angus nudged him off. So

When a small farming publisher first produced The Secret Life of Cows, Alan Bennett bought a copy, thinking the title ‘was a joke’. But he loved it. In 2005 he wrote two admiring sentences in his diary in the London Review of Books. A few years later, the book ended up with Faber, Bennett’s publisher, and he agreed to write an enthusiastic introduction.

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THE INTERVIEW

the ram took 12 paces back and charged, banging the bull smack in the forehead. A tad inconvenienced, the bull pushed him away once more. The ram took another 12 paces and gave him another bang in the head. After that, tedium got the better of Angus and he shared his meal. And was very wary of the ram in future.

stresses how what we eat is so important from the point of view of giving health and curing illness.

Previous page clockwise from top left: Dizzie Lizzie and

‘If you get it right, you can avoid medication, you can avoid problems. And you can avoid antidepressants and all the rest of it. But it’s not easy to get it right because we all need different things.’ People are, she points out, hard to prescribe for. Cows are much easier. They are meant to eat grass. Simple.

her calf; Dizzie Lizzie with her head out of the window and White Dot II below; and two groups of teenagers look on

Lugging piles of hay for the sheep from the back of the Land Rover looks like hard work, but Rosamund does it with ease, chatting as she works. Has she ever thought about anything other that farming? She used to ‘vaguely think about being a ballerina,’ she says. She was ‘a natural dancer’, without having to work too hard at it. But no, she ‘never really thought about being anything else.’ This is where she belongs. There’s time for a very quick cup of tea in the warmth of the farm kitchen. As the milk goes in, Rosamund says that as they had dairy cattle for so long, she didn’t buy a pint of milk until she was 58. Chatting about the joys of real milk, the conversation turns to diet. Rosamund

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Before we go, we get to sample a slice or two of mutton ham from the shop. It’s melt-in-the-mouth gorgeous. A glance at the clock, and Rosamund has to get on. ‘I’m sorry never to stand still,’ she says, ‘but the daylight goes so quickly.’

inquisitively. Below: Cream Dorothy with last year’s son: CD.

She’s in great demand to talk at book festivals these days, of course, but says she simply hasn’t got the time to go to all of them. It’s lambing time soon, she says. And the lambs can’t wait. ›

ON A FARM SUCH AS KITE’S NEST, WHERE THE ANIMALS ARE RELATIVELY FREE TO ROAM, NOT ONLY IS THEIR PRODUCE SUPERIOR BUT THE COWS HAVE THE SPACE TO BE THEMSELVES.

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HERITAGE

A Tudor Magus Professor Glyn Parry of Roehampton University in conversation with Gerald Heys about the remarkable John Dee (1527–1609), mathematician, adviser to monarchs, alchemist, astrologer, converser with angels, early advocate for a British Empire and the rector of Upton-on-Severn 12 |

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TO CONVERSE IN THE LANGUAGE OF ADAM, NOAH AND KING SOLOMON WAS TO MASTER THE SECRETS OF CREATION. THERE’S EVIDENCE THAT DEE CONSULTED THE ANGELS ON BEHALF OF ELIZABETH I.

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uch was Dee’s renown in his day, he has been regarded by some as the inspiration for Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus and Shakespeare’s Prospero. Down the years, Dee has cropped up in numerous plays, books, films and video games, been the subject of an Iron Maiden song (‘The Alchemist’) and featured in a Blue Öyster Cult concept album. Damon Albarn’s Dr Dee: An English Opera premiered at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, in 2011 and subsequently played at the London Coliseum. In 2016, the Royal College of Physicians held an exhibition in celebration of the man’s achievements. John Dee is clearly a name with which to conjure. . . .

Subsequent legal wranglings cost Dee a lot of money in the courts, but he did benefit from the tithes.

Born in London’s Tower Ward, Dee was a student at St John’s College, Cambridge, and was made a fellow of Trinity College on its foundation in 1546. He furthered his scientific studies on the Continent (1547–51) under the likes of mathematician-cartographers Pedro Nunez and Gerardus Mercator (of the famous map projection). Dee, however, appears to have favoured success at court over a career in academia.

But by the mid-1560s, Dee had done sufficiently well to have an alchemical laboratory at his house in Mortlake and to have amassed what was then the largest private library in England, said to contain more than 4,000 books and manuscripts. His knowledge of mathematical navigation and cartography, and his skill in constructing navigational instruments, helped in preparing several English voyages of exploration, including Sir Martin Frobisher’s expeditions to Canada. In General & Rare Memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation (1577), Dee became perhaps the first public advocate for a British Empire.

Previous page: John Dee performing an

But getting on in public life in Tudor England was, Professor Parry stresses, fraught with problems and dangers. The position of rector at Upton was given to Dee via letters patent from the Protestant Edward VI’s Privy Council, dominated at the time by the Dudley family, who held the patronage for Upton and for whom Dee had worked. But John Hooper, the very hardline Protestant Bishop of Worcester, refused to accept Dee, denouncing him as a necromantic magician. (Similar allegations would dog Dee throughout his life.) When Catholic Mary I came to the throne (1553), Hooper’s opinion was disregarded: the new dispensation did not see him as a proper bishop and burned him at the stake. Dee’s appointment to the rectorship was, however, further complicated by the fact that somewhere along the line there was another appointee to the parish.

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Such disarray was, Professor Parry says, ‘not abnormal’. It was a society where the rules weren’t very clear. And even when they were, ‘powerful people ignored them anyway’. Favours were done and ‘the law tended to be bent for friends’. Dee wasn’t always in with the right crowd and not as quick on his feet as some. To succeed, ‘you had to be smart and cunning and ruthless and always on alert for any threat to your position.’ But even the most adroit high-fliers of the period, such as Thomas Cromwell and Walter Raleigh, had spectacular falls.

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In addition to editing the first English translation of Euclid’s Elements of

EVEN HIS ADMIRATION FOR MATHEMATICS WAS TOUCHED WITH A CONVICTION THAT IT HAD MYSTICAL POWERS BEYOND MERE CALCULATIONS.

experiment before Queen Elizabeth I. Oil painting by Henry Gillard Glindoni. Courtesy Wellcome Collection. CC BY. Above: Portrait of John Dee, holding scroll, 3/4 length. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY.

Geometry (1570), Dee wrote an influential preface in praise of the mathematical sciences. Professor Parry adds that Dee was a highly effective mathematics teacher and was tutor to Thomas Digges, one of the most able mathematicians and astronomers of the age. Dee also tutored in a number of other subjects, including mining and metallurgy, and may have made a decent living from doing so. But Dee’s reputation does not predominantly rest on his grasp of early modern science and technology. He is better known for his faith in the power of occult learning. Even his admiration for mathematics was touched with a conviction that it had mystical powers beyond mere calculations. Dee was fortunate that Elizabeth I had a degree of regard for his abilities as an astrologer. With its long history, astrology was, Professor Parry says, highly esteemed at the time. ‘This is a society that venerated ancient knowledge.’ The past was considered to be better and the ancients – whether Babylonians, Greeks,

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HERITAGE

Romans, or the learned figures of the Old Testament – thought to be cleverer and more enlightened. Alchemy, too, was widely admired and trusted. It was, Professor Parry says, quite reasonable for crowned heads to be particularly attached to the idea of base metal being changed into gold. After all, the process of becoming a monarch is also transformational: the pouring on of oil turns a man into a king. Alchemy continued to be well regarded for quite some time. Charles II had an alchemical laboratory, and Isaac Newton devoted more of his time to alchemy than to optics or physics. In Dee’s time, there was also an internationally shared belief that alchemy could repair the divisions of Christendom. Dee became a Catholic in Mary’s reign for political reasons but, as Professor Parry explains, Dee’s decision was also a desire to be part of a European tradition that encompassed all Christians. The learned men Dee associated with were scholars devoted to what Dee called a ‘cosmopolitan’ idea that they should not be restricted by nations. ‘It’s about reuniting Christendom in a nondogmatic way,’ Professor Parry says. ‘But the political realities were such that this wasn’t going to happen.’ Dee is perhaps most famous for seeking divine assistance through conversing with angels. He and Edward Kelley (b. Worcester, 1555), his skryer (a medium who uses a crystal ball or mirror to reveal mysteries or the future), held angelic seances both in England and on the Continent, where the two travelled together, mainly to Poland and Bohemia. As with alchemy and astrology, the belief system that lay behind angelic communication was mainstream. And Dee had faith that talking to the heavenly host could perfect his knowledge of the likes of geometry, physics, mathematics, rhetoric and logic. It was an intellectual form of magic. To converse in the language of Adam, Noah and King Solomon was to master the secrets of creation. There’s

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DEE BECAME PERHAPS THE FIRST PUBLIC ADVOCATE FOR A BRITISH EMPIRE. evidence that Dee consulted the angels on behalf of Elizabeth I. This may seem highly eccentric today but, Professor Parry says, ‘it made perfect sense to them.’ It’s likely that Dee’s convictions were sincere, but Professor Parry indicates that this was perhaps not the case with Kelley. A convicted forger who may well have been one of those con men who came to believe in his own powers, Kelley was also a heavy drinker and possibly descended into psychosis. But alchemy brought Kelley riches and fame, even though he certainly employed tricks to make people believe he could make gold. One of the angelic orders Kelley delivered to Dee was that they should share wives. And, after a degree of anguish, Dee agreed. Eventually, Dee and Kelley parted company in Bohemia.

Speculation that Dee operated as a spy and signed secret reports with the codename 007 (the combination of two eyes plus the numerologically significant number seven), and therefore Ian Fleming’s inspiration for James Bond, are, Professor Parry says, highly fanciful: it is unlikely that Elizabeth’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, the ‘M’ of the day, would have regarded Dee as spy material. It comes as no surprise, however, that such a myth has been added to Dee’s considerable mystique. ›

Glyn Parry read History at Cambridge, and studied with Professor Geoffrey Elton for his Cambridge PhD. He is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Roehampton, London, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is most recently the author of The Arch-Conjuror of England: John Dee (Yale University Press) and is currently writing a book on Shakesepeare’s Warwickshire and the Elizabethan State, and a study of Dee’s student, Thomas Digges, the leading Elizabethan mathematician who was also a con-man, a forger and a murderer.

Dee returned to England in 1589, where he found that the established attitudes towards anything that hinted of conjuring were changing. John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury (and former Bishop of Worcester), was coming down very hard on such activity and compiling dossiers on people like Dee. John Dee’s final years were marked by poverty and isolation, his talents no longer in demand and the subject of suspicion. He grew up in a world where magic was part of daily life; but under James I, to be involved in anything that smacked of communication with spirits was to court death. But Dee, in his devotion to mathematics and the emerging sciences, deserves, in many respects, to be seen as an important bridge to the scientific revolution that was to come.

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Nooks n C s n e a i &r HERITAGE

A closer look at some things worth looking at.

The Platform 2b Waiting Room at Worcester Shrub Hill

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aiting has so many negative connotations, especially in fiction. Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis Clos (No Exit) features three characters compelled to hang around together in the same place for all eternity: the conclusion being that ‘Hell is other people’. And there’s the final misery of the refreshment room at Milford Junction in Brief Encounter, as Laura (Celia Johnson) contemplates throwing herself under the express now that Alec (Trevor Howard) has gone forever. . . . And, of course, no matter how long you wait, Godot’s not coming.

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Meanwhile, in the real world, the elegant waiting facility on Platform 2b at Worcester Shrub Hill is all peace and tranquillity. Maybe you’re intent on taking the 10:52 to Whitlocks End. So why not wait in style? Look through the Norman windows: the neat orange and black floor tiles are pleasing to the eye and the wooden seats inviting. The sign on the door, a reassuringly robust no-nonsense white on black, looks like it’s been there forever. The burgundy pilasters with the Corinthian capitals are both solid and flamboyant, and the detail on the tiles outside is worth more than a

few moments of contemplation. And as you look, you think, Yes, this is beautifully restored, but how did it all begin? Shrub Hill station itself goes back to the days of the Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway (the OWWR), which had the nickname the Old Worse and Worse on account of the delays and the accidents. The station was built between 1848 and 1850. Great Western Railway oversaw the works, with the ineffable I K Brunel presiding. In 1863, the station was reconstructed under the supervision of Edward Wilson, the great

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Buildings at Risk register. It wasn’t just a question of buffing up the tiles. But a £461,000 project funded by Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust, with support from London Midland, Historic England and Worcestershire County Council, saw the building restored, in 2015, to the fine state it’s in now.

locomotive and civil engineer. And in that period, on Platform 2b, a two-room building was erected against the wall of the train shed. The iron frame was made at Worcester’s Vulcan Iron Works, a company formed by Thomas Clunes in 1857, who was joined by partners MacKenzie and Holland in 1861, both former employees of the OWWR. As elegant as the iron frame is, it’s the tiles that really catch the eye. Look carefully and you might find a label that reads ‘Maw & Co., Benthall works, Broseley, Salop’. And the name Maw may ring a bell. Still a going concern, it has an impressive history. Founded in Worcester by George and Arthur Maw in 1850, it later (1862) moved to Broseley in the Ironbridge Gorge to be nearer sources of clay and coal. In 1883, it relocated to the Benthall works in Jackfield, Shropshire, where it became the largest producer of ceramic tiles in the world, supplying cathedrals, warships, hospitals, dukes, kings,

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maharajas and even Alexander II, Tsar of all Russia. At one point, they were turning out 20 million pieces a year. These tiles on Platform 2b have classical and Moorish themes, including a Greek key design, and those intricate geometrical patterns that might be seen at the Alhambra. A satisfyingly eclectic mix and a monument to Victorian confidence that a railway station waiting room can aspire to such architectural grandeur. And why not? The original designation of each part of the building is a reminder of a bygone age: the northerly section was a thirdclass waiting room; the southerly, a waiting room for ladies. We all know that there was a third (and even a fourth) class on the trains back in the day, but it comes as a surprise to discover that there were separate women’s waiting rooms. Railway historian Helena Wojtczak says, however, that ‘all but the smallest stations had ladies’ waiting rooms and in all major towns they were staffed by women. The major termini had 1st, 2nd and 3rd class ladies’ waiting rooms.’ It seems right and proper that such a venerable structure was renovated, but feels terribly remiss that it was ever allowed to deteriorate. Before restoration, it was in a parlous state. There was severe dry rot and subsidence. Its condition was bad enough to have it placed on the

A word here about the work of the Railway Heritage Trust seems in order. Its website (▷railwayheritagetrust.co.uk) has some lovely images of the railway buildings and amenities that, since 1985, it has been preserving and maintaining. It also makes a simple point that we could, if we’re not careful, be in danger of forgetting: ‘Britain’s railway heritage is the world’s richest.’ Malcolm Wood, former company secretary of the Railway Heritage Trust and now on its advisory panel, says that the Trust was very keen to support the Shrub Hill restoration. He adds that other Worcestershire projects it has assisted with include the conversion of the gents’ toilets at Worcester Foregate Street into an art gallery; the Victorian lamp standards in the forecourt at Great Malvern; and the extensive renovations at Malvern Link (the ragstone buildings, the stylish running in boards, the ornamental gates and the lamps at the Worcester Road entrance). All in keeping, as Malcolm says, with the Trust’s mission of ‘preserving heritage buildings in a usable form’. It would be to our everlasting shame if any public places that are worthy of preservation went into irrevocable decline. Nice to see that there are people working hard to make sure that this doesn’t happen. ›

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HERITAGE

Far left: Alistair Cooke, Baron Lexden, OBE. Left: Baldwin smoking his famous pipe. Image courtesy of Professor Philip Williamson.

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tanley Baldwin, Tory leader from 1923–37, dominated British politics in the interwar era. He achieved that domination by altering its direction. He removed Lloyd George, the architect of victory over the Kaiser, from the helm of national affairs with a short, deadly speech at a famous meeting which took place on 19 October 1922 at this club, then housed in palatial premises in Pall Mall that were to be destroyed 18 years later by a Nazi bomb, necessitating the club’s move to the fine house in St James’ Street where it has flourished ever since.

Recognition . . . at long last A statue celebrating three times Prime Minister and Bewdley MP for nearly 30 years, Stanley Baldwin, is set to be unveiled in the town. Coinciding with several Baldwin anniversaries and sculpted by Martin Jennings, who is best known for his statue of John Betjeman at St Pancras station, the sculpture will be a fitting tribute to the achievements of Bewdley’s – if not the county’s – most famous son. Last year, Alistair Cooke, Baron Lexden, OBE, a British politician, historian and author, gave a lecture at the Carlton Club to mark the 150th anniversary of Stanley Baldwin’s birth and other Baldwinian anniversaries that fell that year. Broadcast on the BBC’s Parliament Channel, he discussed four aspects of Baldwin’s life: his impact on the politics of his time; the nature of the conservatism he espoused; the destruction, and subsequent recovery, of his reputation; and the effect that his family background and career as an industrialist had on his politics. He also talked about the background to the commissioning of the statue. The text of the lecture follows 18 |

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The Carlton Club meeting, attended by most Tory MPs, was the pivotal moment in the career of Stanley Baldwin, then a little-known politician with brief Cabinet experience; it was also a turning point in British political history. Lloyd George and the section of the Liberal party, which included Winston Churchill that supported him, had agreed plans with the then Conservative leader, Austen Chamberlain, son of a famous father, to perpetuate the coalition government that had held power since 1916. They had it in mind to create a new centre party into which the Tories would be subsumed. Baldwin put a stop to it. His speech at the Carlton Club led his fellow MPs to repudiate Lloyd George. ‘I preserved the Tory party’, Baldwin said. It was no idle boast. One of his colleagues, Lord Swinton, wrote later that ‘by his speech at the Carlton Club, SB stood out as the man of the future. . . . We all recognised that this was a new force being released in the Tory party, someone with a new style of eloquence more effective because of its simplicity and control’. Just seven months later Baldwin moved into No 10. He was to serve three terms

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as Prime Minister, the last two being separated by a term as Deputy Prime Minister in the early 1930s in coalition with Ramsay MacDonald and small groups of Labour and Liberal MPs. Baldwin, the almost unknown Carlton Club rebel of 1922, swiftly established himself as a statesman of the first rank, even in the eyes of members of the Labour party. They had a high regard for him, not least because of the goodwill he showed them as they settled into their new role as the second party in the state following the decline of the Liberals, which was sealed in this period. Many Liberal voters became Tory supporters, attracted by Baldwin’s emollient style and policies. It is impossible to imagine him shouting raucously across the House with baying Tory hounds behind him as he answered questions. * Consensus was the hallmark of his politics; social reform the principal practical ingredient of the conservatism with which he won the three largest election victories in the party’s history. ‘Toryism, as expounded by him, lost many of its repellent features’, one leading journalist said in explaining his wide appeal across the political spectrum. Even in the two elections which Baldwin lost – those of 1923 and 1929 – the Tory party had the largest share of the popular vote. Under Baldwin Britain finally became a fully democratic state. He gave women the vote on the same terms as men in 1928. The Baldwin years saw major advances in housing, education, public health, insurance and pensions, foreshadowing a distinctive Tory welfare state whose life was cut short when Churchill placed responsibility for most of these areas of policy in the hands of Labour ministers in his war-time coalition after 1940. Attlee completed after 1945 what Churchill allowed his party to start as war-time partners. All that had happened before the war was lost to memory. Who now recalls that with Baldwin in power new houses were built at the rate of a thousand

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a day, a million in all in just four years in the early 1930s? Who now remembers the creation of the first maternity units across the country? Under Stanley Baldwin the social services’ budget became the largest item of public spending for the first time. Britain’s welfare provision became the most advanced in the world. Of course more needed to be done. Baldwin’s Britain was disfigured by much grinding poverty. In 1925 he visited the Glasgow slums, describing them as ‘terrible’ though to his surprise he had ‘an amazingly popular welcome’ with ‘hundreds of Union Jacks on display’. Such conditions were not transformed in Baldwin’s time, but they were tackled with greater vigour than is often realised. Baldwin’s conservatism was progressive in character and national in tone as befitting a man who loved Scotland, the home of his maternal Macdonald forebears, and who devoted much time in the 1920s to Ulster’s affairs (with which he also had distant family connections) while showing tact and skill in dealing with the leaders of the newly created Irish

HE TURNED THE TABLES ON HIS UNELECTED PERSECUTORS WITH FAMOUS WORDS, ACCUSING THEM OF SEEKING ‘POWER WITHOUT RESPONSIBILITY, THE PREROGATIVE OF THE HARLOT THROUGHOUT THE AGES’.

Free State. Thanks to him, goodwill was created between the leaders of the two parts of Ireland in the 1920s. Sadly, it was destroyed by De Valera’s confrontational approach in the 1930s. It was Baldwin, not Disraeli, who first spoke of the need to unite rich and poor in ‘one nation’, the famous Tory phrase that was to echo down the years. Disraeli wrote movingly in the 1840s about Britain’s deep social divide, but did little to reduce it. Baldwin worked hard to try and heal it. Addressing his party on 4 December 1924 in the aftermath of its biggest election victory ever, he said: ‘We stand for the union of those two nations of which Disraeli spoke two generations ago: union among our own people to make one nation of our own people which, if secured, nothing else matters in the world’. After his death in 1881, the Tories put Disraeli on a pedestal above their other leaders. By the end of his career Baldwin had been placed beside him. Lord Crawford, a former Cabinet Minister and Chief Whip, wrote in his diary on 5 May 1937 that ‘Baldwin has established a mystique in public esteem comparable only to that felt for Disraeli’. He was an idealist who told his party what it ought to do in clear, firm language. He insisted in the 1930s that India must have full internal self-government, facing down strong opposition within the party led by Churchill. A rift appeared between the two colleagues who had worked together in government after Churchill’s return to the Tory fold in 1924 at Baldwin’s invitation. After 1930 Churchill adopted the role of diehard imperialist while Baldwin adhered to the liberal views which both of them had previously espoused. The rift deepened with the years and ended in bitterness on Churchill’s side. Baldwin for his part never spoke harshly of the man whose political career he had rescued. They disagreed too on the most important change in economic policy that occurred during the Baldwin years:

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the reintroduction of tariffs on imported goods to try and protect the country’s prosperity at a time of world depression. Wrangling on this issue within the Tory party went on for years. It nearly brought Baldwin down in 1930–31 as Churchill and others colluded with press barons, who wanted Baldwin’s scalp and formed their own political party to try and destroy him. He turned the tables on his unelected persecutors with famous words, accusing them of seeking ‘power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages’. It became the best known of the vivid phrases that Baldwin regularly produced. Baldwin’s final dispute with Churchill was the most bitter: the issue was of course Britain’s rearmament in the 1930s, which was to have a devastating impact on Baldwin’s reputation after his retirement. During his years of power Baldwin emerged victorious from his many Commons clashes with Churchill. Lord Swinton, who served in government under both of them, recalled that ‘Baldwin always got the better of Churchill when Churchill was attacking him in the House of Commons. Churchill admitted this to me many years later. . . . I said: “Winston, you fought him for years and years when he was PM and party leader, and you never won a round”. Winston grunted, but he did not dissent.’ * In the mid-nineteenth century some Tory candidates described themselves as Liberal Conservatives in their election literature. The term had died away long before Baldwin’s day. But a Liberal Conservative is what he was, firmly to the left of centre in the party’s spectrum. He drew on the liberal tradition in British politics as well as on Toryism. The first Tory in the Baldwin family was his father, Alfred, a Conservative MP in later life, but a Liberal activist early in his career. A cousin of his father’s, Enoch Baldwin, was a Liberal MP in the 1880s. He married into a Liberal family, the Ridsdales; he had a brother-in-law who was a Liberal MP.

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IT IS SURELY FITTING THAT THIS ARRAY OF ANNIVERSARIES SHOULD BE MARKED BY THE ERECTION THIS YEAR OF A STATUE OF HIM IN BEWDLEY, WORCESTERSHIRE, HIS BELOVED BIRTHPLACE WHICH GAVE ITS NAME TO THE CONSTITUENCY WHICH HE REPRESENTED FOR NEARLY 30 YEARS AND WHERE HE IS STILL REMEMBERED WITH AFFECTION. His mother’s family, the Macdonalds, had links with the early socialists. He may not perhaps have been unduly surprised when his eldest son, Oliver, a homosexual who lived openly with a partner during the inter-war years, joined the Labour party. Though relations were sometimes strained, his father never expressed a word of criticism – only affection – even when Oliver joined him in the Commons as Labour MP for Dudley in 1929, a seat he held for two years, losing it at the next election in 1931. Stanley Baldwin is the only party leader to have faced a son on the other side of the House. Oliver returned to the Commons for another two-year stint after his father’s retirement as Labour MP for Paisley in 1945 before becoming Governor of the Leeward Islands from which he had to be recalled in 1950 when gay scandal threatened.

Stanley Baldwin was the first Prime Minister whose voice was heard across the land. Most people never knew what his predecessors had sounded like. He followed their example by addressing large public meetings: 50,000 came to listen to him at Welbeck in Nottinghamshire in 1925 and again in 1928. Microphones and public address systems meant that his words could be heard by such vast crowds as those of Gladstone and others before him had never been. Through the newly established BBC, he spoke to millions in their homes, talking straightforwardly and avoiding pointscoring. As a broadcaster he was in a class of his own; no other politician of the time matched his skill. ‘He might have been sitting in the chair beside me’ was a typical comment made to one of his ministers. Roosevelt followed where Baldwin had led with his famous fireside chats in 1930s’ America. He was seen as well as heard throughout the land. The Tory party, streets ahead of its opponents in organisational terms, dispatched film vans across the country, spreading images of the Prime Minister about his duties. Wherever he went newsreel cameras and newspaper photographers were welcome companions. A shocked cabinet colleague said, ‘Bovril does this sort of thing, but ought Baldwins to do it?’ The answer was emphatically in the affirmative. * This year provides us with a golden opportunity to reflect on this unusual, much loved man of deep humanity and understanding, who became one of our most successful peace-time prime ministers. 2017 is replete with Baldwinian anniversaries. He was born 150 years ago in 1867 as Disraeli prepared to double the electorate to two million through the enfranchisement of working men in urban constituencies; he first held government office 100 years ago in 1917, when he was nearing the age of 50, a notably

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HERITAGE

late start for a minister; he retired from political life as Earl Baldwin of Bewdley KG, amidst almost universal praise and at a moment of his own choosing (a rare thing in politics) 80 years ago in 1937, an event commemorated by the fine portrait painted by Oswald Birley, which hangs in this club; he died 70 years ago in 1947 at the age of 80. It is surely fitting that this array of anniversaries should be marked by the erection this year of a statue of him in Bewdley, Worcestershire, his beloved birthplace which gave its name to the constituency which he represented for nearly 30 years and where he is still remembered with affection. Funds to meet the cost of the statue are accumulating, following the launch of an appeal at the House of Lords at the end of January and in Worcestershire last month; the halfway mark has been passed with the backing of a long list of patrons, drawn from all parties and headed by the Prime Minister. The sculptor is Martin Jennings who possesses a formidable reputation, being best known for his statue of John Betjeman at St Pancras station.

as Stanley Baldwin’s. Bishops of the Church of England do not normally sing the praises of Tory politicians, but they bestowed lavish blessings on Baldwin when he retired in May 1937. He is ‘really a very great man, and a genuine member of “the goodly fellowship of the prophets”’, enthused Hensley Henson, Bishop of Durham. At the coronation of George VI on 12 May, Baldwin’s carriage was greeted only slightly less enthusiastically than that conveying the new monarch and his consort. Yet a few years later after the outbreak of war when the now lame and arthritic former prime minister was travelling on a packed train, no one would give up their seat for him. Abusive letters assailed him. An infamous act of pettiness took place: the iron railings and gates around his country home were removed on the utterly spurious pretext that the war

effort would falter without them. He became accustomed to unpopularity. On his last visit to London in 1947, a few bystanders raised a feeble cheer. ‘Are they booing me?’ he asked a companion. The cause of this sharp reversal of fortune is no mystery. It became lodged more firmly in the public mind than anything else relating to Baldwin. He was charged retrospectively with failing to rearm Britain in the mid-1930s as the fascist dictators in Germany and Italy began to make themselves ready for war in Europe. The case for the prosecution had no stronger advocate than Winston Churchill, the unsuccessful Tory rebel of the 1930s, who came to be regarded as infallible as a result of his war-time leadership. Baldwin was too old and infirm to rebut the charge. It stuck, grossly unfair though it was. His second son, Windham, amassed

The case for a public memorial to this Tory statesman, who remoulded British politics, today seems overwhelming. But that was not how the matter was seen in 1982 when it was proposed that a statue should be placed alongside those of other prime ministers in the Houses of Parliament. Tories were indifferent; the Labour party, then led by Michael Foot, was hostile and the plan was abandoned. Baldwin, once the recipient of so much praise, had fallen from grace. It happened swiftly following the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, two years after his retirement. The applause suddenly stopped; relentless, unsparing denigration began. Indeed, few political reputations have soared so high, or plunged so low,

Baldwin addresses the crowd at Welbeck in 1925. Image courtesy of Lord Baldwin.

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the relevant documents and replied in detail in a persuasive book, My Father: The True Story, published in 1955. Historians have endorsed his conclusions after very wide further research. The results can be seen most clearly in the authoritative study by Professor Philip Williamson entitled Stanley Baldwin: Conservative Leadership and National Values, published in 1999. In this year of anniversaries, the injustice of the attacks to which Baldwin was subject must be firmly underlined. It was Baldwin who, in the face of a largely hostile public opinion and sustained attacks by Labour in Parliament, began an ambitious rearmament programme to deter the dictators, men whose inhumanity astonished him; he thought them crazy. In 1934, the year after Hitler came to power, he ordered 41 new RAF squadrons and another 39 the following year. At the 1935 election he sought, and won, a mandate ‘to remedy the deficiencies which have accrued in our defences’. Further steady increases in air strength followed. Rearmament had grown massively by the time of Baldwin’s retirement. * Baldwin’s political career, then, is a story of triumph and tragedy; the triumph deserved, the tragedy unjust. Outside politics his success was almost unbroken. It rested on strong foundations. He loved his native Worcestershire as passionately as that county’s other famous contemporary son, Edward Elgar, though curiously they had little to do with one another. As a young man he served the county diligently as a councillor and magistrate. His parents, Alfred and Louisa Baldwin, were devoted to each other and to him, their only child. Their home was filled with books. His mother was a published author, and a member of a remarkable family, the Macdonalds, who combined devotion to Methodism with rich creative talent in painting, prose and poetry. Rudyard Kipling was his first cousin and close friend who flattered him by saying ‘Stan is the real writer in the family’.

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Baldwin knew the works of the great English authors – Dickens, Scott and Browning were particular favourites – inside out, and quoted them repeatedly in the countless speeches that he delivered to learned societies, religious gatherings, universities and many other bodies outside politics; speeches that helped to increase his stature as a national rather than a party figure. No other prime minister has addressed so large a range of different audiences as Baldwin. In Downing Street he was often found dipping into the classics, perhaps Virgil one day, Cicero the next. He was formidably well-read, the equal of Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan, surpassed only by Churchill in an age when all national leaders had wellstocked minds. His steady progress faltered during the years of education. After collecting several prizes at the start of his career at Harrow, his interest in study slackened. He was caught sending pornography – described as ‘Harrow filth’ – to a cousin at Eton, for which he was beaten by the headmaster. His parents made light of it and the effects of the disgrace may

HE LOVED HIS NATIVE WORCESTERSHIRE AS PASSIONATELY AS THAT COUNTY’S OTHER FAMOUS CONTEMPORARY SON, EDWARD ELGAR, THOUGH CURIOUSLY THEY HAD LITTLE TO DO WITH ONE ANOTHER.

not have been profound. But whatever the cause, his academic promise was not fulfilled. He left Cambridge with a third. It was no indication of his talents. Later, the university was proud to have him as its Chancellor, and the Carlton Club’s portrait of him shows him in his Chancellorian robes. After Cambridge he returned home to join his successful father in the family iron works at Wilden, near Stourport. The impression is sometimes given that it was a sleepy, unenterprising little concern, leaving Baldwin with plenty of time for rural diversions like leaning over pig sties, the kind of setting in which he would be depicted as prime minister in Punch cartoons as if country pursuits were his predominant preoccupation. It is true that he loved and idealised rural England, and walked through miles of it, though he disliked hunting, shooting and fishing; but industry was his calling and he excelled at it. Far from standing still, Baldwin’s firm was constantly diversifying to keep ahead of changing markets, and expanding through the acquisition of other businesses which included steelworks in the Midlands and collieries in Wales. By the time he entered Parliament in 1908, Stanley Baldwin was a leading industrialist of 25 years’ standing, and a managing director of Baldwins Ltd, which had a workforce of some 4,000. * How did Baldwin the industrialist influence Baldwin the statesman? The chief purpose of his public life was to extend to British society as a whole the stability and harmony that existed in his own firm where management and men pulled together, where strikes were unknown, where an income continued to be paid if work was disrupted by strikes elsewhere. In his first broadcast in 1924 he said that ‘my one desire is to get people in this country to pull together, to set up an ideal of service and the love of brethren in place of class strife’.

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HERITAGE Baldwin bids farewell to the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII) and his brother, Prince Henry (far right), in 1925. Image courtesy of Lord Baldwin.

A heavy responsibility rested with the rich. He himself gave a fifth of his wealth anonymously to the state after the First World War. As Tory leader he insisted that the rich must contribute more in taxation in order to help secure ‘the union of all classes’ about which he constantly spoke. Strong religious convictions led him to the same conclusions. He saw himself as ‘God’s instrument for the work of the healing of the nation’, often invoking the deity in his speeches, the only Tory leader ever to do so. Baldwin worked for peace in industry with a dedication that none of his predecessors had shown, signalled memorably in a celebrated speech in the Commons in 1925, which ended with his famous call: ‘Give peace in our time, O Lord’. Applause swept the House. In the following year he did everything possible to avoid the General Strike, the severest test of his consensual style, and when it collapsed after nine days, he quickly rebuilt relations with the moderates who led the trade unions. One seasoned political observer wrote: ‘I don’t think he ever stood so high politically as at the defeat of the General Strike’. There was one other such peak in Baldwin’s career. It came 10 years later in 1936 when he handled the abdication crisis with a skill greater than anyone else could have shown, and prevented it inflicting damage on the unity of the country which it had always been his chief object to enhance. Harold Nicolson, well-known writer and MP, recorded that those in the Commons on 10 December 1936 when Baldwin explained Edward VIII’s decision to abdicate were conscious of having listened to ‘the best speech we will ever hear in our lives’. There was nothing solemn or po-faced about this champion of national unity.

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HAROLD NICOLSON, WELL-KNOWN WRITER AND MP, RECORDED THAT THOSE IN THE COMMONS ON 10 DECEMBER 1936 WHEN BALDWIN EXPLAINED EDWARD VIII’S DECISION TO ABDICATE WERE CONSCIOUS OF HAVING LISTENED TO ‘THE BEST SPEECH WE WILL EVER HEAR IN OUR LIVES’. His humour was earthy. News of a Tory by-election defeat in Rotherham was

brought to him on the Commons front bench in 1934. He had once changed trains there and used the lavatory which had square seats. For several minutes he muttered away, repeating words that had been chalked up on the wall: ‘If square seats don’t bother ‘em/ They’ve got rum bums in Rotherham’. Baldwin would have been dismayed by some features of life in Britain today: the Christian faith, which meant so much to him, relegated to the margins of society; the persistence of divisions among us; the weakening of the links between the parts of the United Kingdom. But he would, I think, have taken comfort from the humanity and tolerance in Britain today, and been delighted by the extraordinary prosperity we enjoy which no one in his generation could have imagined. Anthony Eden, who regarded Baldwin as his political mentor, wrote in 1962: ‘No British statesman in this century has done so much to kill class hatred’. That above all is how Stanley Baldwin would wish to be remembered in this year of anniversaries. ›

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MEDIA

WORCESTER RADIO SCHOOL Internationally acclaimed music producer, Muff Murfin, has announced the launch of the first radio school in the Midlands, specialising in presentation and news production Music producer, Muff Murfin, is on the look out for a new lecturer and students for his exciting new broadcasting course.

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any young people are leaving colleges and universities with degrees and diplomas in broadcasting, but they are very often not readily equipped with the practical skills,’ said Muff. ‘Our radio school will have its own online radio station, so that students can broadcast from the start of their training. ‘The student group will be divided into two units. One unit will gather news and write and record the news to be transferred onto an automation system, ready for broadcasting; and the second unit will practice presentation and be trained in how to select music, interview and present programmes. Both units will be trained in all aspects of radio during the course. ‘The music played will be totally different to that of Sunshine Radio and our sister station, Youthcomm Radio, because it will be broadcasting alternative genres of music,’ Muff added. ‘Although many bands record at our Old Smithy Recording Studios in Kempsey and MAS records in

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Kidderminster, their music is very rarely aired on radio. To rectify this, we will be interviewing the bands and generally promoting young musicians within the county and the students will be taught to use a radio automation system so that there will be output 24 hours a day. ‘We will be linking Sunshine Radio and Youthcomm Radio, giving the students more practical experience as they improve and grow in confidence. ‘If necessary, we will help with improving their basic maths and English. Maths is essential when it comes to timing music and programming the automation. English is also a basic requirement for the writing and production of news stories and interviews. ‘We are in discussion with a university and a college outside the county with a view to offering diplomas and, if students wish to progress to degree level, we will encourage them to do so. ‘Until now, at Youthcomm, we have taught on a one-to-one basis with very successful

A T N A W JOB IN? RADIO results and many of our previous students are now working in television and large radio stations. Indeed, we have been so successful that our students tend to gain placements before we have time to replace them.’ Even though more and more stations are merging with larger groups and presenters are losing their jobs, there are still many openings for exciting young newsreaders and presenters. ‘The studios and teaching facilities are now built,’ Muff revealed. ‘The teacher/lecturer is yet to be appointed, so we are currently looking for an exciting ex-radio presenter – who can deliver practical instruction to young students – and 10 to 12 young people who have a reasonable command of English. We will create the newsreaders and presenters of the future right here in Worcestershire.’ For further details, contact Youthcomm Radio at ▷ www.youthcomm. co.uk or Muff Murfin at muffmurfin@ btconnect.com. ›

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FICTION

An author from Tenbury Wells, George Roberts, has written an inspiring and humorous story of how chance provides one man with the best moments of his life. Is it luck? Or fate?

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uthor George Roberts has written an incredible story of how one life can be changed and shaped to perfection through random acts of chance. A wrong phone number led to love; a bang on the head revealed a tumour. Fall in love with George Roberts’ book as you delve into From Ten Down to Three.

starts a family and becomes, in his own modest way, a hero. This is a delightful read full of wit and a dash of tragedy. ‘It will trigger mixed emotions; you will laugh at moments where you feel it wrong to do so and you will do this while wiping a tear from your eye. The book is based on the real feelings and thoughts that its writer has felt throughout his life,’ added George.

‘From Ten Down to Three looks into the possibility of fate; the decisions we all make that can impact the rest of our lives. How a seemingly small decision or a big event can define our future,’ said George. ‘This is all done with its tragic moments and its hilarious ones; how a tear can become a smile and pain can turn to courage, knowledge and strength.’

Since its publication in January last year, George has appeared on the front page of the Tenbury Advertiser and has attended events at Stourport Library, the Talbot Hotel and at the Malvern Book Cooperative, as well as being interviewed on BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester. George also attended Bewdley Library at the end of November last year to talk about his book and sign copies for fans. A wonderful author to meet, the quality of the book is also reflected in the reviews it has received online, including three fivestar reviews from Amazon:

The events in James’ life leave him questioning whether things are meant to be, or are simply coincidence. Read along with James as he falls in love,

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I can honestly say it’s one of the most wonderful, uplifting stories of triumph over adversity that I’ve read. I have just finished this book, I have laughed, cried and felt the love, but most of all felt humbled. A book that gives you everything.’ A gripping story of personal achievement and determination after a life-changing event. A really nice sense of fate throughout, and a lesson to all of us on the unpredictable nature of life. A great storyteller and an impressive debut novel. And a review from the publisher’s website: I laughed, cried and felt completely immersed in James’ life. Written with a wonderful sprinkling of humour. › Title: From Ten Down to Three Author: George Roberts Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers RRP (paperback): £8.99 ISBN (paperback): 978 1 7871 0149 4

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LEISURE HERITAGE

Let’s get geodesic

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otus Domes are ideal for corporate events, music festivals, academic functions, wedding venues, private weddings, garden parties, emergency shelters and temporary workshops. Geodesic domes are mathematical constructs, which allow a collection of flat triangles

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to mimic or approximate a spherical shape. To achieve this, a number of pentagons and hexagons are arranged in a similar way to that of a football. Some of the more famous are at the Eden Project in Cornwall. Worcestershire-based Lotus Domes Ltd is at the international forefront of the design

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Previous page top: Garden party. Previous page bottom left: Music venue. Previous page bottom right: Hubs. Below: Structure. Bottom: In situ.

of elegant and efficient domes. Retaining low overheads, the company is able to offer its products at extremely competitive rates without compromising quality, while offering a guaranteed alternative to inferior imports. UK manufacture also allows for rapid service response. The company’s geodesic domes have enormous strength and stability, and use unique geodesic nodes rather than bolts for construction. In addition, the domes benefit from having no internal poles or external guy ropes. The Lotus Domes’ patented ‘plug in and forget’ hub design and colour-coded structural elements offer a superior engineering solution. The

absence of bolts provides for rapid construction and/or relocation with incredibly strong rigging points for the support of lighting and PA rigs, trapeze setups or, in larger domes, suspended floors. The Lotus structures can be linked to produce geodesic complexes utilising any of the various sizes of domes. Special link canvases allow for fully integrated spaces or, alternatively, more ‘doorways’ when additional pod-like rooms are required. zz Lotus Domes are extremely durable with zero reported problems after 12 years. zz Domes are available for hire and range from 4m to 14m in diameter. zz A 14m dome will accommodate at least 10 SUVs or 250 people. zz Lotus Domes may be purchased. Bespoke sizes on request. zz Watch a construction video: ▷ www.lotusdomes.co.uk/ videos.html ›

Lotus Domes Ltd Castlemorton, Malvern WR13 6LG 01684 566926 info@lotusdomes.co.uk

▷ www.lotusdomes.co.uk

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HERITAGE

Tradition brought to

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life

Oak Apple Day at The Commandery, Worcester, brings a little-known traditional celebration back to life, telling the local tale of Charles II’s flight from the Battle of Worcester through live theatre, living history and significant relics on display he spectacular Grade I listed Commandery in Worcester will bring the traditional Restoration celebrations back to life between Sunday 27 and Monday 28 May, with the medieval Great Hall festooned with garlands of oak leaves, Morris dancing, live theatre, living history, plum pudding and small beer to sweep visitors back in time during the late May bank holiday weekend.

The oak tree has long been associated with strength, majesty and legend. In Roman times, the oak tree was associated with the supreme god Zeus; Druids worshipped in the sacred spaces of oak groves and to the Tudors, oak was an essential, durable building material. In the seventeenth century, the oak tree became forever associated with Charles II’s fabled flight from Worcester, cementing it truly as the tree of Kings.

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Worcester has a particular connection with the tale of Oak Apple Day, for it was in an enormous oak tree that Charles Stuart, the future Charles II, chose to hide in 1651 as he was pursued by Parliamentarian troops after the fateful loss of the Royalist cause at the final battle of the English Civil War, the Battle of Worcester, during which time The Commandery served as the Royalist battle headquarters. Charles returned from exile to be restored to the English throne on his 30th birthday – 29 May 1660 – and Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary that the day was ‘to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny, and the King’s return to his Government, he entering London that day’. As part of the celebration, children and adults would adorn their clothes with oak leaves and ‘oak apples’, a small round gall found on oak branches made by wasps. People who didn’t show support by wearing their sprig of oak would risk being pinched, pelted with birds’ eggs or thrashed with nettles!

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Previous page left: A stool made from the original Boscobel Oak tree in which Charles II hid, which is on display at The Commandery. Previous page right: Restoration day engraving, courtesy of the Worcester City Museum collection. Right: A young boy enjoying the festivities and dressing up at The Commandery to celebrate Oak Apple Day. Below: Seventeenth century re-enactors in The Commandery courtyard surrounded by oak leaves.

Over the years, the popularity waned and the public holiday was eventually abolished in 1859, although certain towns and villages continued to mark the occasion with their own unique local traditions, including at Upton-uponSevern. The engraving (previous page right) from the Worcester City Museum collection shows, according to the Illustrated London News, which featured the image on 30 May 1857, that the town would be adorned with decorations made from garlands, coloured handkerchiefs and teaspoons tied to ropes around the town and musical processions and feasts marked the annual occasion. The Commandery is bringing the tradition of Oak Apple Day back to the place where the story began, but with a modern twist. Its annual event takes places over two days, Sunday 27 and Monday 28 May, and brings to life this historic period in the Grade I listed historic building, with its spectacular medieval Great Hall bedecked in oak leaves. Visitors can immerse themselves in a seventeenth century living history camp, enjoy traditional treats of small beer and plum pudding, have a go at Morris dancing and meet the King himself! There will also be a collaborative project with a paper-based artist creating artworks and pamphlets inspired by the English Civil War, and a one-off opportunity to see Civil War Stories, a live performance like no other, weaving true tales of politics, religion, monarchy and conflict. The Commandery itself was relaunched in 2017 with a new experience focusing on Worcester’s Civil War Story, in which visitors can discover a portion of the original Royal Oak tree in which Charles hid on display, as well as a stunning mural that depicts Charles’ escape from the Battle of Worcester, inspired by seventeenth century engravings.

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The Commandery is open Tuesday–Saturday (10.00am–5.00pm) and Sundays (1.30–5.00pm), and costs £5.95 for adults. Entry for children is free. Further visitor information can be found at ▷ www.museumsworcestershire.org.uk ›

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ART HERITAGE

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The creative

STRUGGLE From illustrating for Channel 4 to van driving for Age UK, talented local artist Andrew Tyler has undertaken a raft of temporary jobs throughout his career to finance his passion for art and music

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orn in Pershore in 1959, Andrew Tyler began to produce artwork before he was old enough to go to school and one of his most memorable early pieces was a depiction of his primary school being blown to smithereens! His interest in the creative arts continued into secondary school and, as well as continuing to develop his artwork, also got involved in the school’s theatre, setting the lighting for evening events and learning to play the guitar. In 1977, he attended a foundation course in Worcester, gaining an A grade in A Level Art and a place at Cheltenham Art College, studying sculpture. Andrew did not settle into the sculpture department or, later, in fine-art painting, and eventually retreated to the printmaking department. Here, under threat of expulsion, he finally freed himself from his preconceptions and allowed himself to work organically, letting the work happen. Having now released himself, Andrew had stumbled upon a working method that would define all his future creativity. He experimented with etching, screen printing and lino block, each medium eliciting in him a divergent approach and result as

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he responded to the particular discipline. It was here also that Andrew grew more interested in music creation and, together with several friends, formed a band called The Beach Authority. After the successful completion of his BA in Fine Art Printmaking, Andrew gained a place at Chelsea School of Art to undertake an MA in printmaking; and he moved to London.

Previous page: Beautiful Note, 2011. Above left: Low Tide. Above right: Heavy Freight.

While continuing to develop his fine art work at Chelsea, The Beach Authority played its last gig together at the ICA rock week, supporting the Mekons and Strawberry Switchblade. In 1982, Andrew won the silver prize for art at a Stowells of Chelsea-sponsored exhibition at the Royal Academy. Once his MA was gained, Andrew had interest in his work from Angela Flowers’ Gallery and he exhibited in several group shows there while

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ART

PREVIOUS EXHIBITIONS AND AWARDS Royal Academy: Stowells silver prize winner (1982), Bradford Print Biennale (1984), Angela Flowers’ Gallery (1985–86), Stafford Art Gallery (1988), Endell Street Gallery London (1989), Tabernacle Gallery London (1993), Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum (1997), Wendy Levy Gallery (2002), Wrexham Print International (2003–06), Cheltenham Art Prize 2004 – second prize winner, New Gallery Birmingham (2004– 05), Martin’s Gallery Cheltenham (2007), Kidderminster Arts Festival (2008), Kowalsky Gallery London (2008) and various other exhibitions throughout the UK. To view more of Andrew’s art, go to: ▷ www.pinterest.co.uk/

ArtisticTyler/my-art-andy-tyler

Previous page: Siege Engine.

surviving financially on odds and ends of work, and as a visiting fine art lecturer.

Above: Box of Tricks, 2011. Right: Local artist Andrew Tyler.

By 1985, however, interest in Andrew’s work waned and the visiting lecturer jobs dried up, so he sought out various other jobs to finance and continue his artwork and music. He worked at the Barbican Art Gallery and in the London Animation industry, as well as undertaking a variety of other work, including graphic design, illustrations for Channel 4 and as a school room art technician in Marylebone. Andrew moved back to his native Worcestershire in 1995, where this pattern of working temporary jobs to finance his creative endeavour continues to this day. Unable to afford the rising expense of the screen printing process, Andrew has been producing more hand-drawn artwork and is currently working as a part time van driver for Age UK. Career highlights include: Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones buying several pieces of his work (1984–86), winning second prize at Cheltenham Art Prize in 2004, exhibiting alongside Peter Blake at the Kowalsky Gallery in London in 2008 and, in 2010, playing his original music compositions with his band The oOhz live on the BBC Music Introducing radio show, which supports and showcases undiscovered UK musical talent.

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Andrew is inspired by a raft of things, including railway lines and trains; boats, aeroplanes both old and new, the 1920s, Van Gogh’s drawings, De Chirico, surrealism, pylons, naive art, patterns, the colour of gold, beauty, loneliness, abstract art, vulnerability, humanity, water, fire, the 1930s, the subconscious, dreams, nightmares, emotions, science fiction, film, poster art, music, imagination, fun, magic carpets, love and sex . . . ad infinitum. ›

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HERITAGE

A deed of

RECKLESS COURAGE

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A century ago in May 1918, French and British forces were under heavy attack in the Aisne valley in France, as the German army made its big effort to win the Great War before the Americans became fully engaged. That complete disaster was averted here owed much to the leadership of the Worcestershire Regiment’s Brigadier George Grogan and his remarkable example of sustained personal courage. Alan Cowpe, researcher with the Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire), tells us more

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Previous spread: A painting by Gilbert Holiday showing Grogan commanding his troops. Left: Brigadier General G W StG Grogan VC CB CMG DSO*. Images courtesy of the Trustees of the Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire). Next page: 1918 German storm troopers showing their trademark hand grenades.

fate. After recovery, he took over command of the 1st battalion in March 1915 as a lieutenant colonel, after its CO had been killed in action at Neuve Chappelle. He soon showed his colours, on his own responsibility countermanding orders for his battalion to attack in the disastrous battle of Aubers Ridge in May 1915; this prevented what would have been a useless loss of life. Moral courage of this sort is less heralded than the usual physical variety and less often shown. In March 1917, his battalion led in a largescale raid to capture a German position in the Ypres salient; the operation was successful and he was awarded the DSO, leading from the front, regardless of the hazards. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to (temporary) brigadier general and, later that year, was leading his brigade from the front in the muddy and bloody slog towards the Passchendaele ridge at Ypres.

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ike many officers in the Edwardian era, George Grogan was the son and grandson of soldiers; and like many officers his regimental affiliations owed nothing to geography or parents. Born in Plymouth in 1875, he was initially commissioned into the West Indies Regiment and, after several years with Britain’s Egyptian army, he joined the Worcestershire Regiment in 1908. In November 1914, he joined the regiment’s 2nd battalion in Flanders as a major and, only a month later, took over command when Major Edward Hankey, who had led the decisive action the previous month at Gheluvelt, was wounded. A month later Grogan, like Hankey always leading from the front, suffered the same

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DISASTER WAS IMMINENT. DESPERATE MEASURES WERE NEEDED; ONE ACCOUNT DESCRIBES THE SITUATION AS CALLING FOR RECKLESS COURAGE. GEORGE GROGAN PROVIDED IT.

In the following year, the challenge was entirely different. In the spring of 1918, the German army launched a series of offensives (dubbed the Kaiserschlacht), which were intended to defeat the British army on the Western Front and knock Britain out of the war, thereby giving Germany victory before the US forces could become seriously engaged. In the first phase of this operation, in March 1918, Grogan’s brigade was in the thick of it, fighting desperately against the German onslaught on the Somme front as the British line was pushed back some 20 miles in the space of a few days, an astonishing distance by the standards of this war. Again he was wherever things were most critical and therefore dangerous, winning his second DSO.

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HERITAGE

Like other formations along the front, Grogan’s brigade was devastated; his own former unit, the Worcestershire Regiment’s 1st battalion, for instance, virtually ceased to exist in close quarter fighting on the first day. The survivors of his and other formations made their way across the River Vesle, but there were few formed units left; there was inevitably much confusion, and the many new recruits were shocked and bewildered by the rapid turn of events, the intensity of the bombardment and the force of the assault by the German storm troopers. In the words of one German participant, ‘The enemy had no time to resist. The English [sic], who could usually be relied upon to hold out in shell holes, firing to their last

IN MARCH 1918, GROGAN’S BRIGADE WAS IN THE THICK OF IT, FIGHTING DESPERATELY AGAINST THE GERMAN ONSLAUGHT ON THE SOMME. www.wrmagazine.uk

WHEN HIS HORSE WAS KILLED, HE CONTINUED HIS EFFORTS ON FOOT UNTIL ANOTHER HORSE WAS FOUND. cartridge, were given no opportunity to display their customary coolness’. A fighting retreat under pressure is the most difficult of military operations, which can easily become a rout. It was especially difficult here, given the early losses, and the youth and inexperience of most of the soldiers. Disaster was imminent. Desperate measures were needed; one account describes the situation as calling for reckless courage. George Grogan provided it. As the German forces pushed vigorously forward across the Vesle on the third day of their big offensive, Grogan organised a series of stands on the ridges south of the river, finally holding the line on the Bouleuse Ridge, using any soldiers who were available, both British and

French. Throughout the day, he moved around the battlefield on horseback under heavy enemy fire, rounding up groups of leaderless soldiers, persuading those making their way to the rear to stay and riding along the front on his horse in full view of the enemy, shouting encouragement to the defenders. For many of these men, mainly teenagers, this was their first experience of combat and they were struggling to cope with a high-quality enemy who knew that they were winning. ‘Well done boys. You can do it. You’re better than they are. The Boche are no bloody good’. His words, or perhaps the way he delivered them, also seemed to pass the language barrier with the French soldiers in the line. When his horse was killed, he continued his efforts on foot until another horse was found, when he continued making himself very visible to his own men and, in the course of doing so, to the enemy. Miraculously, he remained completely unscathed. As the day drew to a close, the German attacks petered out and the defenders could draw breath. His VC citation referred to his conspicuous bravery and leadership over three days, during which he showed an utter disregard for his own personal safety, resulting directly in a successful outcome. The award was certainly well earned. ›

Image: havana1234

After this ordeal, his now seriously weakened brigade was one of a number of formations sent to recuperate on the relatively quiet part of the front bordered by the River Aisne, receiving and training new recruits from England and working them up to battle standard. The Aisne did not, however, remain quiet for long, for it was on this very front that the German army struck in May 1918. The British and French defenders were in no state to hold the line. Unwisely concentrated in limited space between the Aisne and the Vesle rivers, with no room to manoeuvre, they were vulnerable to the brief but well-planned and very intense artillery bombardment that prepared the assault; and the River Vesle to their rear prevented a coherent fighting withdrawal.

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HEALTH

Electronic innovation, creative imagery and awe-inspiring digital displays are highlighted in every corner of our lives. The digital age is here to stay . . . but is everyone celebrating? Jenny Walsh finds out

The Digital Era is here to stay, but how much is it impacting our health?

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igital, technical jobs across the UK are growing at more than twice the rate of non-technical jobs. From analyst and web developer to software architect and professional gamer, our digital economy is at the forefront of Britain’s success story.

Brain research

The shape of our brain is definitely changing and experts have suggested it is the result of engaging with too much

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fast-moving, bright, flashing, visually exciting ‘screen time’. Psychology experts have reported the frontal lobe, which undergoes massive changes from puberty to the mid-20s, has become slightly smaller in comparison to previous studies. This part of the brain governs memory and concentration, and plays a major part in cognitive development. It regulates our sense of well-being, academic and career success, and relationship skills, as well as other areas of development.

Experts, especially in Japan and the Far East, have indicated that the subtle damage being caused by constant overuse of digital technology is likely to result in a hyper-aroused nervous system, lack of restorative sleep and an impulsive attitude. Memory and concentration are most definitely being affected.

Gaming worry

Gaming has become the biggest, most time-consuming, addictive hobby in recent times. Generating massive

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revenues and creating more and more jobs, the gaming industry has acquired major success. Internationally, young people are securing full-time jobs as professional gamers, some independently and others for major digital companies. Prize money can amount to more than the average worker earns in a whole year in some cases. In addition, sponsorship, promotions and advertising can boost a gamer’s bank balance substantially. However, psychologists are publishing worrying results on the effects of over indulgence. We all need to be more efficient at arming ourselves with the truth about the potential damage ‘screen time’ is causing.

Parental control

As any parent knows, trying to distract our children with more well-rounded activities and pastimes is a major challenge. More and more parents are becoming concerned about the impact digital technology is having on quality family time, with children preferring to sit in a different room playing on-line games with others, some inevitably being complete strangers. The excitement of joining up with their friends to create teams and defeat opponents all around the world far outweighs the appeal of a good oldfashioned movie night around the family TV. Hence families spend free time in different rooms doing different things on a wide range of different screens.

gaming creates cravings and urges similar to those experienced by a serious drug addict. Even more worrying, the time a teenager spends on their phone, potentially straining their eyes on an even smaller screen, averages seven to nine hours a day. These ‘screenagers’ are developing addictive habits; electronic learning is sidelined in preference to watching video games, music channels and engaging in social media chat. Arm yourself with the truth about potential damage, particularly in a young, developing brain as there is enough evidence to seriously consider strict limits. In addition, eye sight is being impacted with children sitting indoors for long periods and not utilising their longdistance muscles. Opticians recommend that when outdoors, we all make a point of trying to focus on distant objects to

stretch different eye muscles and avoid premature damage caused by excessive screen overload.

Electronic fast

With schools and colleges reporting more and more behavioural and academic problems arising in young people, it’s time to take the evidence seriously. Digital, electronic imagery is definitely affecting mood, communication skills, family dynamics and self-awareness. Challenge yourself, and indeed the whole family, to an ‘electronic fast’ and do without your screens for a few days. Strengthen your parental position, armed with the evidence, and encourage others to do the same. Cutting down on screen time will ensure balance is restored. Turn instead to that book you’ve been meaning to read, that bit of DIY you’ve put on the back burner, that new board

But parents be warned. Research has shown that the dopamine release during game the children got for Christmas, or that extra bit of family exercise and fresh air you promised yourselves.

Part of our culture

A bit of everything and everything in moderation is the only way forward. Ensuring you and your family function well mentally and physically, and deal with emotion is essential in developing a good sense of well-being. The digital age is part of our culture. Be vigilant, be aware, be disciplined and keep informed when it comes to screen time. . . . ›

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FAUNA HERITAGE

Image: Jon Hawkins

In 1968, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust was founded and, today, it is the county’s leading local charity working to conserve and restore wildlife and wild places. As it celebrates its 50th birthday, Wendy Carter from the Trust reflects on what WWT has already achieved, what’s in store for the next 50 years and how you can get involved

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nyone who has celebrated a birthday with a ‘0’ on the end will know what a milestone it can be. A time for reflecting on what has gone before and a time to look forward to new challenges and adventures. With our 50th birthday celebrations on 28 March, we at Worcestershire Wildlife Trust did just that. In 1968, we had just 400 members; by 1976 we’d acquired 23 nature reserves and a member of staff. With help from a series of grants, financial assistance from some of our first trustees and a number of government schemes that provided large numbers of volunteers, the Trust grew, moving from an office in a wooden hut at Avoncroft to, eventually, our current headquarters at Lower Smite Farm with an education centre and meeting rooms to hire out. From those humble origins we now own or manage almost 100 parcels of land covering nearly 3,000 acres of Worcestershire, are supported by more than 23,000 members and 400 volunteers; and work with hundreds of partners every year, from schools and communities to businesses and local authorities.

whether that be enlarging our land or working with neighbours to fill in the gaps. Nowhere is this more apparent than at The Knapp and Papermill nature reserve near Alfrick. The Knapp is one of our original reserves; a small area of orchard and woodland was gifted to us in 1968 and, since then, we have added seven additional parcels of meadow, woodland and stream. We’ve also built a new centre to help our work with schools and to provide improved facilities for volunteers and visitors. One of conservation’s great success stories is the return of the otter and a national project to help that started right here in Worcestershire. By the time the

Our first nature reserve was Randan Wood near the village of Chaddesley Corbett. This small woodland was owned by one of the Trust’s founders, Fred Fincher. Fred was an incredible naturalist with a head full of knowledge. It was Fred who, while cycling the lanes near Hanbury, came across one of the country’s most species-rich meadows; we bought Eades Meadow and the surrounding meadow complex in 1971 and it was declared a National Nature Reserve (NNR) in 1994 by Sir David Attenborough. More than 97 per cent of England’s lowland meadows have been lost since the 1940s and 20 per cent of those that remain are right here in Worcestershire, so it’s important to do what we can to look after these precious places. Creating bigger, better and more joined up landscapes is key to nature conservation,

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Image: Andy Bartlett

A time to reflect

Trust formed in 1968, otters had disappeared from the county and were all but extinct in England, a decline caused mainly by organo-chlorine pesticides in water courses and habitat loss. The chemicals were banned and, by the 1990s, otters were starting to reappear from strongholds in Wales. Our River Severn Otters Project, working with landowners and local authorities to further improve habitats, paved the way for wildlife trusts across the country to do the same. Otters are now found on virtually every watercourse in Worcestershire and have returned to all English counties.

Previous page: Garden wildlife is important. Top: Randan Wood with Fred Fincher in 1979. Middle: Trust HQ Handley Road Droitwich 1985. Bottom: Eades Meadow, near

The next 50 years

Bromsgrove.

The foresight of our founders has enabled the Trust to thrive and grow; we’ve achieved a huge amount. It’s our responsibility

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to look forward and build on those achievements; to ensure that we continue to build a Worcestershire where wildlife can flourish and people can live happier and healthier lives. And we’d like you to be part of our journey. None of what we do would be possible without the generous support of our members, our volunteers and the

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public. Many people support our work by donating time and/ or money; some help by connecting our nature reserve dots on their own patch, whether their patch is a window box, a garden, a woodland or a farm. For some it starts and ends with feeding the birds and watching their daily soap opera unfold. For others, there are pollen-rich flowers to be planted, seed heads to be left over winter; bird, bat and bug houses to be installed; patches of grass to be left unmown and much more. In May, as part of our 50th celebrations, we’ll be launching Pledge-a-Patch to encourage residents across the county to pledge a part of their patch for wildlife.

Top: David Attenborough celebrating the purchase of Lower Smite Farm. Left: Eades Meadows with David Attenborough, 1993. Next page, clockwise from top left: Lower Smite Farm; fabulous

This year, we’re establishing Wildlife Heroes awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of other organisations, groups and individuals that have helped to protect and conserve wildlife across Worcestershire over the past 50 years. We’ve also employed additional staff to help us reach and work with local communities, whether this be young people or those living in our most urban environments.

food; otters return; green-winged orchid at Eades Meadow; guided walk at The Devil’s Spittleful; and Knapp and Papermill Big Meadow.

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FAUNA

BY THE TIME THE TRUST FORMED IN 1968, OTTERS HAD DISAPPEARED FROM THE COUNTY AND WERE ALL BUT EXTINCT IN ENGLAND

Keep up to date with us at:

▷ www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk Follow us on Twitter: @WorcsWT Facebook: www.facebook.com/ worcestershirewildlifetrust YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/ WorcswildlifetrustUK1

EVENTS Minibeasts Hands-on Experience 3 April, 7.45pm Webheath Village Hall Nature in Focus 4 April, 7.30pm Bournheath Village Hall

Image: Wendy Carter

Image: Paul Lane

Discovering Randan Woods 8 April, 10.00am Guided walk, booking recommended Wild About Eggs Easter Trail 12–13 April, 11.00am–3.00pm Lower Smite Farm Wildlife from Wyre to the Vale

Image: Elliot Smith

Image: Paul Lane

27 April, 7.30pm St Saviour’s Church, Hagley Wildlife of British Woodlands 3 May, 7.30pm Lyttleton Rooms, Malvern Tiddesley Wood Open Day and

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launch of Pledge-a-Patch 6 May, 10.00am–5.00pm

Image: Andy Bartlett

Confessions of a Teenage Skull Collector 16 May, 7.30pm Bishop Allenby Hall, Worcester 30 Days Wild starts 1 June, sign up at ▷ www.wildlifetrusts.org/30DaysWild Big Wild Weekend Image: Hannah Thomas

There are 47 independent wildlife trusts across the UK and we sit underneath an ‘umbrella’ organisation, the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. This means that we’re local to you; we live and work in our local communities and focus on local issues. We have eight volunteer groups across the county who welcomed more than 1,000 people to their walks, talks and activities last year. 3,000 schoolchildren participated in our education programmes and around 1,500 people took part in our wildlife discovery courses, open days and events. With nature reserves across Worcestershire and with events happening somewhere near you, why not make our 50th year one to remember for us all and join in with the celebrations? ›

16 June, 10.00am–4.00pm Lower Smite Farm For information about booking, prices and other events: ▷ www.

worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/whats-on

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HERITAGE

The Walled Gardens at Croome Court will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 30 March until 30 September, 11.00am–5.00pm (last entry 4.00pm). Entry tickets are available at Croome Court’s reception. The funds raised go towards the ongoing renovation, which was entirely funded by the Cronin family prior to the gardens being open to visitors.

▷ croomewalledgardens.com

All set for the season Britain’s largest Georgian walled garden is reopening to the public for the spring and summer

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hough they were not designed by the man himself, the Georgian Walled Gardens at Croome Court are a key part of a landscape contrived by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. The major restoration programme that the gardens’ owners Chris and Karen Cronin began in 2000 continues, reversing 40 years of decay and 100 years of decline. Over the winter months, the Cronin family have been working on a new irrigation system. Consisting of a kilometre of trenches holding 1,500 metres of water pipes and electricity cable, this state-ofthe-art, computer-controlled system will,

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when it’s complete, sense the moisture in the ground and water the garden accordingly. Water tanks were installed at the top of the garden at the beginning of the year, and the original irrigation system installed by ‘Capability’ Brown in 1764, which comprised land drains carrying rain water from the roof of the vinery to the dipping pond, was then tapped into. It’s hoped that the new system will be fully functioning by the end of 2018. Work also continues on the Tod Vinery. The remnants of this building were discovered when they were excavating the foundations of a tumbledown

outbuilding at the end of the heated wall for exotic plants that runs down the centre of the gardens. It became apparent that what they had unearthed was in fact a rare gem designed by George Tod for Lord Coventry in 1806, and previously thought to have been lost. Tod, a revered name in his day, developed a portfolio of unique garden building designs for royalty and nobility. This vinery is believed to be the only remaining example of his work. A shop and visitor centre is now open where you can browse artwork and carefully chosen, mostly handmade, cards and gifts, all of which can be purchased. With the natural light beaming through the windows, the shop and gallery space is a stunning place to spend time and also enjoy views of the gardens. Work has been going on in the back buildings of the bothy and will continue there, with the intention of making the area part of the museum/gallery. The Cronin family hope

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Previous page top: Example of work from artist Shirley Jones. Previous page bottom: The renovated, rare Tod Vinery. Top: The Walled Garden looking towards Malvern, courtesy of Peter Young. Above left: Example of work from artist Simon Probyn. Above right: Irrigation system tank base, courtesy of Peter Young.

to open the bothy and back buildings to the public by the summertime.

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From Friday 30 March until Sunday 30 September, there will be a series of indoor and outdoor art exhibitions. The artists exhibiting are Simon Probyn, Diccon Dadey, Shirley Jones, Daren Greenhow, Paul and Steph Simmons, Shelly Perkins, Alison Bowyer, Karen Edwards and Worcester Embroiderers’ Guild. There will be opportunities to meet the artists on the first Saturday of each exhibition: 31 March, 2 June and 4 August. The aim is not only to display the work of these talented artists, but also to provide inspiration for garden

and art lovers alike. All the artwork will be available for purchase. A little delayed by the bad weather over the winter, work on the new Mediterranean garden will, however, be completed over the coming months and visitors will be able to see the progress throughout the year. Two large olive trees donated to the gardens by friends of Chris and Karen’s will be the centrepiece of this new garden, surrounded by citrus trees and geraniums, and other complementary planting. ›

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FLORA

Award-winning garden designer Martyn Wilson shares his advice on how to turn your town garden into a haven of tranquillity

A place to escape

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t’s lovely to welcome in the warmth of the spring after a winter of snow and freezing temperatures . . . and the ‘Beast from the East’ as its final goodbye. Call me crazy but I do actually enjoy the snow and the peacefulness and calm it brings; the hush as the snow falls, if only for a few days! As spring arrives with all its colour and promise, perhaps you’re looking forward to getting out and using your garden.

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Now would be a good time to think how to give it a revamp, so if you like to keep up to date with the latest gardening trends for 2018, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve been looking ahead, specifically to the Gardeners’ World Live Show at the NEC this June, where we’ve designed a garden for the show on the Association of Professional Landscapers’ Avenue. The garden will give visitors the opportunity

to witness first hand how the variety, quality, creativity and interpretation of a brief can be achieved in a small space when engaging the skills of a professional landscaper.

The town garden

Our design, entitled ‘A breath of fresh air’ is designed for a young professional couple in their mid 30s with a town garden in the Birmingham area and is typical

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A space for entertaining and dining

In spite of the unpredictable weather here in Worcestershire, we continue to embrace the outdoor lifestyle with dedicated spaces for cooking, eating and entertaining, including outdoor kitchens and pizza ovens becoming a key requirement. For as long as I can remember, our patios or terraces have been conveniently located just off the house, near the kitchen. But now is the time to buck the trend and move this space away from the house and into the garden to make it a destination. You might have to carry your glass a bit further, but it will be worth it to see more of your garden. In our show garden, this space has been pushed away towards the middle and top of the garden, and designed for preand post-dinner entertainment with a log burner and grill in a weathered steel finish.

Martyn Wilson is a Worcestershire-based award-winning professional garden designer creating spaces and landscapes for domestic and commercial clients. See

This picks up on the continued trend to move away from stainless steel finishes to more natural rust and copper tones both in metal and planting.

▷ www.wilsongardendesign.co.uk

for further information.

Previous page: Martyn’s design: ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ for Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC in June. Above: The coppery bark of the ‘Tibetan Cherry’ Prunus serrula tibetica.

in size of many such spaces. In many new developments and, indeed, historic properties (picture a Victorian terrace garden), space is often at a premium and our gardens need to work twice as hard. As garden designers, we can make even the smallest of gardens useful and attractive; in this case, less really can be more.

The gardens for health and relaxation

As a young professional couple, our envisaged clients are keen to have a space to ‘get a breath of fresh air’ and to relax from the stresses of everyday life.

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Many of us will be aware of the increasing attention being given to, and benefits of, gardening for our physical and mental well-being. Gardens can help counter depression, are good for exercise and getting us active, plus exposure to sunlight can give us the necessary Vitamin D to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. The garden creates a sense of enclosure, important for separating us from the busy world outside. The planting includes a soothing palette of greens and whites while also having a contemporary edge. This sense of calm is important for mindfulness, which stems from Buddhist traditions and practices, and is increasingly being embraced as a useful tool to help focus the mind. Many have found it particularly useful for mental health problems and it is recommended for issues from anxiety to depression.

Planting trends

We have discussed how gardens can create a sense of enclosure and the trend for lush planting offers the opportunity for privacy. Even the shadiest garden can be an ideal opportunity for planting and to be bang on with the latest trend, think woodland-style planting mixing ferns and tufted grasses along with flowering anemones. Other planting trends see the use of copper tones in bark and foliage picking up on the tones of other fixtures such as the rusted burner. Use delicate grasses or sedges, such as the easy to maintain Carex comans and C. testacea or the coppery bark of trees such as Prunus serrula Tibetica (Tibetan Cherry) or Acer Griseum (Paper Bark maple). Our gardens are really working very hard for us, so take a look and see what more your garden can do for you with a redesign or a few informed tweaks. ›

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HOME

The Rotaire Dryline Save money and dry your washing throughout the year . . . whatever the weather

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t’s a familiar story; you’ve done the washing and hung it out to dry on your rotary clothes line on a fine sunny morning. Now you’re off to work or to do the shopping. But this is the UK and if it rains before you return, not only will your washing be wet again but also dusty, as each raindrop contains a grain of dust (don’t forget bird strike either!). Or perhaps, due to your busy schedule, you prefer to do your washing in the evening and put it out to dry overnight. Same problem as before . . . rain. The Rotaire Dryline solves these problems very efficiently by ensuring that, during the day or over night, your washing will be able to dry without interruption. It was, incidentally, invented in Malvern which, as we all know, is famous for its water! The Rotaire Dryline allows air to circulate freely and dries laundry with the convection current produced. In summer, the Dryline can accelerate the drying time so that two or even three loads of washing can be dried outside in a day! During the winter, if the clothes freeze, a simple shake will remove most of the ice, leaving the clothes almost dry.

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Because the Dryline is weatherproof, it enables you to reduce, or even eliminate, the use of your tumble drier, giving a significant saving off your electricity bill. So not only can you save money, but the Rotaire Dryline also offers the added benefit of giving you sweet-smelling, outdoor-dried clothes.

Above: Concerto Dryline (complete kit) in New Zealand. Next page, top left: Rotaire Dryline’s inventor, Malcolm

The Dryline comes with easy to read instructions; it is quick and easy to fit and incorporates a weighted mesh ‘skirt’, which protects the clothes against windblown, ‘sideways’ rain.

Victory (left), with Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud. Top right: Classic

The mesh skirt remains on the rotary clothes line and the Dryline can fold down completely when not in use. There is also an optional Drystore cover to keep it all neat and tidy. This inspirational product has received national recognition, including:

Square S1900 Dryline fitted to basic airer. Centre: Classic Square S2100 on

• Featured on BBC Midlands Today, Dragon’s Den, Eggheads, ITV Daybreak and Channel 4’s Chatty Man. • Featured by Chris Evans on his BBC Radio 2 show, calling the Rotaire ‘Absolute Genius’. • Kevin McCloud’s Green Hero. • Finalist for Birmingham Chamber Awards. • Winner of the PRIME Award for Senior Entrepreneur. • Winner of the PRIME Award for Best Product, from the Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise and Sage One Accounts.

Brabantia airer. Bottom: A frequent showstopper at county shows, a colourful Classic S1900 without the skirt.

Several products are available to suit all budgets. Just visit ▷ www.rotaire.com for more information and to order. ›

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ROTAIRE DRYLINE

01684 575156 info@onepercentstudio.com

â–ˇ www.rotaire.com

In the UK, we spend over ÂŁ800 million each year on electricity used by dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers. This equates to an annual emission of over five million tons of carbon dioxide.

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INTERIORS

Left: Rich, deep colour palettes. Image courtesy of Jee3d. Next page top: Italian gelato colour scheme.

The interior trends in 2018 are all about being bold and brave, as Malvern-based interior designer Elaine Lewis explains

Image courtesy of Photographee.eu. Next page bottom left: Statement ceiling, staged by Elaine Lewis: Stillview Photography. Next page bottom right: A home full of greenery, staged by Elaine Photograph: Stillview Photography.

trend, but colour this year is going to be bolder than ever.

Patterned plants

With increasing news of its health benefits, the humble houseplant is fast becoming the must-have buy for our homes. It certainly trended in 2017 and is set to stay in 2018; and it seems the more the merrier, so pop down to your local garden centre and invest in some stunning plants.

Be bold; be brave; be you

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f one thing can be assured with interior design, it’s that colours and trends are ever moving, continually refining and always exciting. Last year saw us filling our homes with jungle prints, flamboyant flamingoes, geometric tiling and ‘blousey’ wallpaper. So, what do the colours and predicted trends of 2018 hold in store for us, and how many of us are going to be brave enough to experiment with them?

Colour trends

Dark is back, but it’s not just the ‘new black’. We are seeing a gentle stepping away from the pale, bleached, Scandinavian-style woods of recent years and moving to a more darker palette with bolder, rich colours and much darker furniture. These darker wood tones

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signify a resurgence for retro glamour to provide a new take on modern lux. Rich colour palettes of deep purples, dark hues of blue, olive greens and deep violets are coming through and are particularly beautiful enhanced on pieces of furniture in luscious velvets.

Place them lovingly in each room; use hanging plants on shelves and mantelpieces, and some lovely leafy beauties for bare corners and coffee/side tables. Patterned leaves are all the rage this year; a simple way to add texture and form to any room without breaking the bank.

Statement ceilings

It’s time to banish the thought that a ceiling just has to be white, or textured; this is the year that statement ceilings are going to have their moment. Why? Because they have the ability to change the room from top to bottom and these adventurous designs can be achieved with paint, wood, wallpaper and more.

The fresh and refreshing candy colour schemes inspired by Italian gelato are also going to be a huge trend this year in both interiors and fashion. A perfect palette of your favourite ice cream colours to suit your tastes. Introduce these colours on single or multiple walls if you feel brave and accessorise with pastel-hued vases, dining chairs and tableware.

For centuries, statement ceilings were the ultimate sign of luxury. But by the end of the 1940s, the practice of such intense extravagance was unthinkable, so it became obsolete in the minimalistic decades that followed. But this year, old-world grandeur is making a welldeserved comeback.

Grey will continue to be the neutral choice for many interiors and remains on

You do, however, need a clear idea of what you want, not just because the

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trend is not for the faint-hearted – they don’t call it a statement for nothing – but practically, it is quite a challenge to remove! However, when done right the risk is worth the reward.

Spa-like bathrooms

Who doesn’t love the calming tranquillity you get in a spa? The designs of these tranquil getaways are now migrating into the home as we all wish to relax and indulge after a stressful day. This trend is bringing monochrome bathrooms back in style and the good news is that this style is easy to achieve. Choose one colour and decorate with different shades of it. Usually, all you need is a single colour strip from your favourite paint company. In this case less is definitely more.

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Vessel sinks have been making their way to the top of the trends list for years but, for 2018, one thing is clear: hand-carved stone sinks are this year’s must-have. With its beautiful organic touch, it connects with us far more than more manufactured offerings and its natural grain will always be beautifully unpredictable.

Pared-back industrial chic

‘Industrial’ and ‘chic’ are two words you don’t often hear in the same sentence, but they marry together beautifully to describe the latest interior look of using pared-back, ex-industrial pieces in a glam–vibe setting. With distinguishable features, such as exposed brick, distressed finishes and polished concrete, the industrial trend is set to be as popular as ever. Think of

opposites to bring a softer touch, such as a metal galvanised storage unit sitting in front of a floral wallpaper; industrial pendant lights in a patterned tiled kitchen, a steel and wooden table with organic, handmade tableware. It is more a case of balancing the key industrial pieces with nature; items such as soft furnishings, artwork, fabrics and decorative accessories will help to create an inviting scheme and achieve a perfectly balanced contrast. This is the key to industrial chic!

It’s up to you

From dark colours and plenty of plants, to gelato-inspired playfulness and a calm tranquil spa-like bathroom, 2018 is already shaping up to be a wonderfully creative time in the home. The key is to be brave, be bold and be indulgent. This is the year to make your home all about you. ›

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‘live a life less ordinary’

elainelewisdesigns Interior Design 07816 369 895 info@elainelewisdesigns.co.uk www.elainelewisdesigns.org

Malvern, Worcestershire


EV NEWS

Morgan’s EV3 to go into production in Q3

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organ Motor Company has announced a technical partnership with industry leaders Frazer-Nash Energy Systems as the all-electric Morgan EV3 prepares for production in 2018. Inspired by 1930’s Aero-engine race cars, classic motorcycles and 1950’s fantasy automatons, the EV3 embraces new technology while delivering the raw driving experience and traditional British craftsmanship synonymous with every Morgan. First revealed in 2016, the head-turning EV3 signalled the British marque’s first production entrance into the world of allelectric propulsion, following the Plus E concept in 2012. Working in consultation with Frazer-Nash Energy Systems means that the EV3 will have greater performance with rapid charging technology, proven reliability, a lower centre of gravity and greater acceleration over and above what was previously expected.

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As a result of the partnership, the production EV3 will feature all-new, more robust architecture, greater levels of torque, a stiffer chassis and underslung battery beneath the skin. Encased within the tubular space frame chassis is a 21 KWh Lithium Battery and a liquid cooled 34.8kW (41.8kW peak) FN A010229 motor driving the rear wheel. The EV3 will have a range of 120 miles and will provide occupants with a hands-on, exhilarating driving experience that has not previously been associated with electric vehicles. The production EV3 is anticipated to have comparable performance figures to its

petrol sibling. Production will begin in Q3 of 2018 at Morgan’s Pickersleigh Road factory following the completion of rigorous tests. Steve Morris, Managing Director of Morgan Motor Company, said: ‘We are delighted to announce our technical partnership with Frazer-Nash Energy Systems as we enter this exciting phase of EV3 production. We have been working closely on optimising the EV3’s architecture in every way to develop a car which will offer proven reliability range and cooling performance, combined with the pure driving experience that is expected of every handcrafted Morgan.

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A car of no compromise: all-new Hyundai Kona Electric

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yundai released a teaser image of its first fully electric SUV, the all-new Kona Electric. Hyundai will be the first automotive brand across Europe to make an all-electric compact SUV available to everyone, available from summer 2018.

Efficiency meets fun-to-drive

The Kona Electric will feature two different powertrain versions, offering customers one of the most powerful electric engines on the market with a range of almost 470 kilometres (290 miles, internal target under WLTP regulations) and a great fun-to-drive character. Furthermore, drivers will benefit from a wide range of convenience and connectivity features, as well as active safety and driving assistance technologies.

Hyundai Motor merges the two hottest trends in the automotive market The Kona Electric enables customers to combine the two worlds of eco-mobility

and SUV style. In bringing this car to the market, Hyundai is the first carmaker in Europe to merge these two hottest industry trends. Hyundai is at the forefront of eco mobility, already offering the broadest range of powertrains. Hyundai marketed the first

Porsche plans to invest more than €6 billion in electromobility by 2022

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orsche has announced that, by 2022, it will invest more than €6 billion in electromobility, focusing on both plug-

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in hybrids and purely electric vehicles. ‘We are doubling our expenditure on electromobility from around €3 billion

mass-produced fuel cell vehicle, the ix35, and recently introduced its successor, the All-New Nexo. Furthermore, the successful IONIQ is the only car available with three different electrified powertrains in one body type. The IONIQ Electric has just been ranked first in the prestigious ADAC EcoTest 2017.

to more than €6 billion,’ explained Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. ‘Alongside development of our models with combustion engines, we are setting an important course for the future with this decision.’ The plans have been bolstered significantly to include around €3 billion of investment in material assets and slightly more than €3 billion in development costs. From the additional sum of €3 billion, some €500 million will be used for the development of Mission E variants and derivatives, around €1 billion for electrification and hybridisation of the existing product range, several hundred million euros for the expansion of sites, plus around €700 million in new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility. The purely electric Mission E sports car has a system power of 600 hp, meaning that it

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the future’s electric BP invests in mobile electric vehicle charging company FreeWire to deliver rapid charging at retail sites

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P has announced that its venturing business has invested US$5 million in FreeWire Technologies Inc (FreeWire), a US-based manufacturer of mobile electric vehicle (EV) rapid charging systems, and plans to roll out FreeWire’s Mobi Charger units for use at selected BP retail sites in the UK and Europe during 2018.

will require significantly less than 3.5 seconds to sprint from 0 to 100 kph; it will also be able to accelerate and brake repeatedly without any loss of performance and it will offer a range of 500 kilometres (310 miles, NEDC). The charging time will be very short: Thanks to the 800-V system voltage, it will take just 15 minutes to reach a range of 400 kilometres (250 miles).

Comprehensive rapid charging infrastructure

Porsche, along with Audi, is representing the Volkswagen Group in Ionity, a joint venture with the BMW Group, Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company, the goal of which is to construct and operate 400 powerful rapid charging stations along the major European traffic routes by 2020.

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Tufan Erginbilgic, Chief Executive, BP Downstream, said: ‘Mobility is changing and BP is committed to remaining the fuel retailer of choice into the future. EV charging will undoubtedly become an important part of our business, but customer demand and the technologies available are still evolving. ‘Using FreeWire’s mobile system we can respond very quickly and provide charging facilities at forecourts where we see the greatest demand without needing to make significant investments in today’s fixed technologies and infrastructure. The opportunity also to explore options for providing charging services away from our existing retail sites makes FreeWire an ideal partner for BP.’ ‘We applaud BP’s commitment to providing a wide range of charging methods for its global customer base,’ added Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire Technologies. ‘The Mobi Charger can be quickly and cost effectively scaled across vast transportation networks; flexibility that delivers benefits all along the EV charging value chain. We are thrilled that BP, which is such a significant provider of transportation infrastructure, has acknowledged the

promise of our solution through this investment and partnership.’ BP is committed to supporting the transition to a lower carbon economy through focusing on reducing its own operational emissions, improving its products to enable customers to lower their emissions and creating low carbon businesses. BP Ventures supports each of these areas by identifying emerging trends and businesses, making strategic investments and testing technologies and solutions for their scalability. The investment in FreeWire is an example of how BP Ventures is working alongside BP’s Downstream business. David Gilmour, Vice President of BP Ventures, said: ‘BP first worked with FreeWire through the RocketSpace Tech Mobility Accelerator, and we believe its mobile fast charging technology will be one of a number of fuelling options that will be needed to address the future of lower carbon mobility. We were encouraged by FreeWire’s expertise and its product. We are excited to be making this investment and to continue working with it, testing customer demand for the product and further developing the offering for the fast growing EV supply equipment market.’ ›

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REVIEW HERITAGE

Pundits Fusion,

Upton-upon-Severn

BY PERSHORE PATTY

T

The tak jal m ish ty, th e

ype in ‘Worcestershire restaurants’ into traditional fare also available. One of the great things about TripAdvisor and a little Bangaldeshi restaurant Indian food is that it’s ideal for sharing and sampling a mix in Upton-upon-Severn pops up at number one. of flavours and textures; luckily my dining partner was in the Pundits Fusion was started 22 years mood to share. The tak jal mishty is the star dish for ago by its founder Sultan and it me and a Pundits signature creation, a dish it s d s n i gnatu a Pu re c and r h e was Upton’s first Indian restaurant. Sultan now more commonly referred to by us as ati is on rd a t . and his team have kept the business a ‘mixed mishty’. The combination of s going over the years through difficult hot, sweet and sour is delightful and economic climates and some of the our preferred ‘Pundits mix’ of king worst floods the UK has ever seen. prawns, lamb and chicken tikka is taken as a given. Pundits is more than just a restaurant; it has a voice among Our second choice is the nasi locals and the wider community, goreng; Indonesian stir-fried rice and continues to be supported by with chicken, tiger prawns, soy its loyal customers, many of whom sauce and fresh hot green chillies have become good friends. . . . Pundits style. The rice dish comes with a spiced potato and cauliflower I’ve had the fortune of dining many times accompaniment, an oversight on our part at Pundits over the past 10 years since living that subsequently led to the over ordering of in the area, and so it was a huge surprise to me and vegetable sides. others when Sultan announced that he’d be retiring from the business at the end of 2017. We knew the restaurant would be Paneer is melted among the spinach in a twist on the classic left in safe hands when Sultan revealed he’d be passing on the saag paneer, with the addition of fresh chillies as seems to reins to Pundits’ Manager Juned Miah. be the theme. Although a little wetter in texture than usual this time, the slow cooked tarka dal is intensely garlicky and still the best I’ve had anywhere. Naan bread is impossible to resist with its crispy exterior and soft, pillowy middle, which When we return for the first time in the New Year, it’s just can only really be achieved by cooking it in a tandoor. What the two of us for a midweek dinner and we decide to try out we don’t finish the staff are happy to box up for us and, the some of the specials and fusion menu for a bit of a change. following day, I polish off the leftovers, mopped up with a After working through a basket of poppadoms and pickle half-eaten garlic naan. tray, our Pundits starter selection arrives individually plated and garnished with a fresh salad. The selection includes Although food is a very personal thing, there are also certain mushrooms, an onion bhaji, tamarind chicken and a mashed factors that set some restaurants apart from others. A warm potato croquette made with tasty herbs and spices. At just welcome and the sense of community customers feel when £7.95, this was great value and a new favourite for us both. they step into Pundits is what makes this restaurant different from others offering a similar style of cooking and cuisine. Now Pundits introduces its main menu with a selection of under new ownership, there’s no doubt that Pundits remains fusion and its own signature dishes, along with a choice of at the heart of Upton as it has been for so many years . ›

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THE COMBINATION OF HOT, SWEET AND SOUR IS DELIGHTFUL AND OUR PREFERRED ‘PUNDITS MIX’ OF KING PRAWNS, LAMB AND CHICKEN TIKKA IS TAKEN AS A GIVEN.

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ABOUT PERSHORE PATTY My mother has always been an amazing cook. As a child, she encouraged me to bake with her; she taught me to make all of the basics from scratch and I still do a mean chilli con carne. I’ve such fond memories of licking the bowl after the Victoria sponge mix went into the tin and salivating as I waited for the cake to rise in the oven. I loved the magic of how a few simple ingredients could transform themselves into something that not only smelled and tasted extraordinary, but

also looked so incredibly beautiful too. Although my Mum did cook for our family, my parents also had a business that required them to travel the world and entertain clients, which meant they ate out . . . a lot. I was fortunate enough to dine with them at some unforgettable restaurants, pubs, tucked-away eateries (best kept secrets known only to the locals) and, from a young age, I learned all about fine dining. Food has always excited me. The journey of reading the words on a menu and picturing in your mind how that plate of food might look, smell and taste. Then it arrives at your table and the clever chef who’s designed and made this piece of art completely blows your mind with their creation. It’s entirely fascinating. It’s not just fine dining and Michelin star restaurants that impress me though, one of my quests is to find the perfect burger, if there is such a thing.

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Living in Pershore, my passion for food and burgers has inspired me to start a food blog called Pershore Patty. I post simple recipes that I cook at home, updates on visits to food places both locally and during my travels and, of course, photos of lovely burgers. The quest continues.

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To read about Pershore Patty’s culinary exploits, visit:

PUNDITS FUSION

9 Old Street, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcs WR8 0HN

▷ www.pundits-upton.co.uk

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▷ www.pershorepatty.com Facebook: /pershorepatty Twitter: @pershorepatty Instagram: pershorepatty

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FOOD & DRINK

The perfect wines for

spring

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It’s a truism that, as the days get longer and warmer, our minds turn to images of spring sunsets and barbeques in the countryside. You will also notice that wine often accompanies these idyllic images. If you think the perfect companions for spring days can only be light-bodied white and rosé wines, then think again because there can be so much more. I have put together a brief rule book that can help you to decide which wines to choose in the coming months . . . enjoy WITH MICHELE LONGARI, SOMMELIER WITH HAY WINES

2

Acidity & minerality

To better understand what acidity and minerality are, just sit for a minute and imagine yourself tasting, respectively, lemonade and soda water. Now pay attention to how your mouth puckers just thinking about it. Acidity and minerality are, in fact, connected to the process of salivation and the fresh sensations it brings to your palate. Therefore, when you read in the description of a wine words like ‘crisp acidity’ or ‘huge minerality, just go for it!

Why not try: ŠŠ Casa do Homen, Vinho Verde (Portugal, £9.99) ŠŠ Laurence de Veyrac, Picpoul de Pinet (France, £9.99)

Bubble & fizz

Sparkling wines are normally served at temperatures around 6°–8°C, but this is not the only reason why they should be part of your ‘get ready for spring’ kit. The tiny and persistent bubbles we find in quality sparkling wines also enhance the physical sensation of freshness delivered to your taste buds. Effervescence complements and accentuates the sensory characteristics of wine: when a wine has high acidity and minerality, like the majority of white and rosé wines, bubbles just lift them.

Why not try: ŠŠ ŠŠ

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Leveret, Mimi Rosé NV (New Zealand, £11.69) Hay Wines, ‘1231’ Vintage Brut (Oltrepo Pavese, £18.99)

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4

Residual sugars

In wine tasting, you always need to keep in mind that sweetness decreases the sensation of acidity/freshness. The perfect way to understand this is to compare how you react to tasting a raw lemon and a soft drink like cola. Technically, they have similar acidity, but since cola is sweet, it is almost impossible to perceive its intensity. For this reason, it is generally better to avoid wine with residual sugars in it when we are looking for a ‘refreshing’ tasting experience.

Why not try: ŠŠ Navajas, Rioja Blanco (Spain, £8.99) ŠŠ Lovells Vineyards, ‘Promenades’ Dry White (Worcestershire, £12.49)

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Finally: pay attention to what you put on the table Creamy, fatty and greasy foods are perfect for when it’s cold outside but, during the spring season, we may want to cook something a bit fresher and more approachable. In particular, light dishes with a consistent use of seasonal vegetables and fruit are the choice that can give you the best results when paired with the wines described below.

Why not try: ŠŠ Iona, Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa, £11.99), plus Mediterranean-style pasta with courgettes, aubergines, pine nuts and raisins. ŠŠ Cantine Belisario, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba (Italy, £12.99), plus chicken salad with bacon, pomegranate seeds, cranberries and goat’s cheese.

All of these wines are available to purchase online or at Hay Wines, Ledbury: ▷ haywines.co.uk If you want to learn more about wine, or just spend an evening tasting good wine, what about undertaking one or more of these interesting events and activities?

Wednesday 25 April

The Old Surgery, Ledbury The Old Surgery Supper Club: A taste of (vegetarian) India

Friday 27 April

Hay Wines, Ledbury Volcanic & islands’ wines

Friday 11 May

Hay Wines, Ledbury Whisky tasting

Friday 25 May

Hay Wines, Ledbury Emerging wine regions: a blind tasting

Friday 22 June Hay Wines, Ledbury Gin tasting

Friday 29 June

Alcohol & tannicity

Alcohol and tannins improve structure, backbone and texture of a wine. They are vitally important if a wine is intended to age; they also bring sensory sensations like warmth, bitterness and astringency that are not really appreciated during the warm season. This is why we should look for wines with lower alcohol (ABVs), ideally between 11–13% and soft, round tannins, like rosé or fruity reds.

Why not try: ŠŠ Angoris, Villa Locatelli Merlot (Italy, £9.29) ŠŠ Falconhead, Marlborough Pinot Noir (New Zealand, £12.99)

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Hay Wines, Ledbury French rivers: Exploring wines of the Loire and Rhone

Friday 29 June, 7.30pm Hay Wines Ledbury Island wines

Friday 27 July, 7.30pm Hay Wines Ledbury Natural & vegan wines

For more information, visit: Hay Wines at ▷ haywines.co.uk/wine-tasting/

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FASHION

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1. Crew Clothing light blue gilet: £69.00, available from ▷ www.crewclothing.co.uk | 2. Fat Face Jackdale men’s body warmer in black or navy: £69.00, available from ▷ www.fatface.com | 3. Burton menswear gilet: £26.00, shirt: £18.00, leggings: £25.00, backpack: £28.00, available from ▷ www.burton.co.uk | 4. Cotton Traders’ reversible gilet: £38.00, available from ▷ www.cottontraders.com

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Spring into warmth and style The gilet (gee-lay) was originally worn as a decorative vest during nineteenth century France, but has been making a stylish comeback over the last few decades. With spring at last here, look ‘on-point’ with these practical body warmers and colourful gilets . . . and step into the season with style

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5. 10 store black faux fur gilet: £10.00, available from ▷ www.10store.com | 6. TK Maxx teal faux fur gilet: £19.99, available from ▷ www.tkmaxx.com | 7. Whitestuff men’s pecan puffer body warmer: £75.00, available from ▷ www.whitestuff.com | 8. Topman riot patch men’s gilet: £200.00, available from ▷ www.topman.com | 9. River Island gilet dog gear, from £25.00, available from ▷ www.riverisland.com

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MOVE IN FOR SPRING

SPRING MEADOWS

Plot 24 The Albury & Plot 31 The Harlington JUST TWO HOMES LEFT, BOTH NOW PRICED AT £529,950

Both of these homes are now ready to move into with carpets and ceramic flooring included and Help to Buy available. FOR ALL ENQUIRIES

Visit the sales centre: open Thursday to Monday 10am - 4pm

Call: 01905 840 629

Computer generated images and interior images are indicative only, details may vary. *Help to Buy is available on homes up to £600,000, terms and conditions apply. Prices correct at time of print. Showhome opening times may vary, please call before starting your journey.

Spring Meadows - Stonebow Road, Drakes Broughton, Pershore WR10 2AS

www.kendrickhomes.co.uk

Help to Buy available*


THE FIELDINGS

IRRESISTIBLE OFFERS

A spacious bungalow or detached family home OFFERS AVAILABLE ON A SELECTION OF HOME STYLES

New prices on selected plots with Help to Buy available. Prices from £300,000. FOR ALL ENQUIRIES

Visit our sales centre at Spring Meadows, Drakes Broughton

Call: 01905 840 629

Computer generated images and interior images are indicative only, details may vary. *Help to Buy is available on homes up to £600,000, terms and conditions apply. Prices correct at time of print. Showhome opening times may vary, please call before starting your journey.

The Fieldings - Blacksmiths Lane, Lower Moor, Pershore WR10 2PA

www.kendrickhomes.co.uk

Help to Buy available*


LEGAL

The Court of Protection: ABOUT LARA WILKINSON Lara Wilkinson is a solicitor in the Private Client department. She trained at Russell & Co and qualified in 2014. She specialises in administration of estates (probate), Wills, Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection matters. She’s also on the committee for the Worcestershire Junior Lawyers Division and has been since she was a trainee.

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What could it do for me?

The Court of Protection (‘COP’) can make decisions in cases where an adult (or a child who would not be able to make their own decisions, even upon reaching the age of 18) is incapacitated. Solicitor Lara Wilkinson takes us through the details and how it could help you www.wrmagazine.uk


Russell & Co Solicitors Holland House Church Street Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 2AH 01684 892000 LWilkinson@russell-law.co.uk

▷ russellandcosolicitors.co.uk

point, is to arrange for a mental capacity assessment in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 from a suitably qualified medical practitioner since the COP must be satisfied that P lacks capacity to deal with their affairs. There might be doubt as to whether P is able to make one particular decision, but not others and the COP can assist here too.

I

f a person (‘P’) loses mental capacity without having previously appointed an attorney to look after their affairs, the people closest to P must turn to the COP. This article focuses on property and financial affairs rather than health and welfare decisions. If someone wishes to handle P’s affairs, they must make a formal application to the COP to be appointed as P’s deputy and the process and requirements are much more onerous than those involved in a Lasting Power of Attorney application. This is because an attorney would have been chosen by the person themselves, whereas a deputy is appointed by the COP, which has a responsibility to check that any appointment is appropriate and in P’s best interests. Perhaps the most important part of the application, and therefore the starting

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Set classes of individuals related to or involved with P must be notified of the application or served with a copy, depending on the circumstances. They have the opportunity to object to the appointment of the proposed deputy/ deputies. In some instances, it may be appropriate for the COP to appoint one of their ‘panel deputies’ rather than someone personally known to P. Additionally, the COP needs to be informed of all financial assets owned by P, since this could impact upon who is appointed and is used to calculate the cost of a ‘surety bond’, which is effectively an insurance policy over P’s assets. It can be difficult to gather this information if P’s friends and family have no authority to ask for it from financial institutions. Once the deputyship application has been granted by the COP, there is an ongoing duty for deputies to provide reports and keep the COP updated with the level of supervision depending on the individual circumstances. Even if a Power of Attorney is in place, negating the need for a deputyship application, there can of course be disagreements between attorneys or

alternatively a family member might be dissatisfied with a decision made by an appointed attorney. Again, the COP will need to be involved and can resolve the dispute. The COP can also authorise gifts to be made by an attorney or deputy on behalf of P where there is no power to give them. Generally, such gifts must not be unreasonable and attorneys and deputies would be wise to take particular care in this area by seeking professional advice if in doubt as to whether they have authority to make a particular gift from P’s assets, since permission from the COP may be needed. This point is demonstrated in a case which was decided in 2013 where the deputies requested retrospective approval of gifts they had made out of P’s assets. The judge in fact ordered the deputies to pay back the gifts they had made, apart from a few gifts to charities and those which were minimal (and one other). The COP might even, in certain instances, become involved in making a Will for P. For example, this issue might arise where P’s circumstances have changed significantly and they would have been expected to review the provisions of their Will if they had been able to, or if it was shown that P had made their last Will under undue influence. This area is, again, very dependent upon the facts and legal advice should be sought by anyone who thinks this might be relevant to their relative’s circumstances. Although it is generally recommended that an individual puts in place a Lasting Power of Attorney in case they lose mental capacity in the future, it is accepted that this does not always happen and that, even if it does, there can be further issues to be decided which is why the COP plays such an important role. ›

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24 hour test drives available, contact:

Rob Haywood: rhaywood@rybrookbmw.co.uk | 01905 459600

Rybrook Worcester

Knightsbridge Park, Wainwright Road, Worcester WR4 9FA 01905 459 600 www.rybrookworcesterbmw.co.uk

WR magazine Spring 2018  
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