Thursday 9 May 2019
10.00 am
Upper Room, Town Hall

Vanessa Berridge and Anne Chamber’s illustrated discussion celebrates the centenary of Kiftsgate Court Garden. With its famous Kiftsgate rose, Italianate terracing, perennials, roses and rare and exotic shrubs thriving side-by-side, Kiftsgate is a fine balance between continuity and gentle evolution: Heather Muir gave Kiftsgate its structure, laying out the semi-formal gardens by the house; Diany Binny extended and developed her mother’s planting and refashioned the White Sunk Garden. Vanessa has had exclusive access to the Kiftsgate archive, containing family photographs and letters from gardening friends including Lawrence Johnston of Hidcote Manor; Vita Sackville-West, the creator of Sissinghurst Castle Garden; and the horticulturalist Graham Stuart Thomas.

Anne Chambers has continued in the tradition of her mother and grandmother in seeking out new and interesting plants to complement the schemes, which were established when Kiftsgate was originally laid out. Anne and her husband Johnny moved to Kiftsgate in 1988 and have further modernised the garden, extending opening hours, and creating new areas of interest such as the Water Garden, the Mound and the Tulip Tree Avenue.

Vanessa Berridge is a former editor for Country Homes & Interiors magazine and of The English Garden magazine, which she launched in 1997. She has written for Country LifeDaily TelegraphHomes & Gardens, and the Times. Her books include The Joy of GardeningThe Princess’s Garden: Royal Intrigue and the Untold Story of Kew and Great British Gardeners. Vanessa is also the National Garden Scheme county organiser for Gloucestershire.



Personal News: A Conversation
11.30 am
Upper Room, Town Hall

Sophie Ratcliffe author of Lost Properties Of Love, her contemporary take on Brief Encounter, talks to Bella Mackie about affairs, grief, and domestic strife… While Bella, author of Jog On, talks to Sophie about how, divorced and struggling with deep rooted mental health problems, she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: booze, cigarettes and ice-cream.

An extended train journey frames the action in Sophie’s book and she turns to the fictions that have shaped our emotional and romantic landscape: Anna Karenina’s world of steam, commuting down the Northern Line with The Railway Children, and checking out a New York L-train with Anthony Trollope’s forgotten muse, the journalist Kate Field. Part memoir, part imagined biography plus the classified and lost property section of the Times in 1875. Written with unfiltered honesty, Bella’s self-help memoir is a funny, moving and motivational book that will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems – no matter how small and scary those first steps may be.

Sophie Ratcliffe is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall. In 2017 she curated Unsilencing The Library, an exhibition at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Museum. She reviews fiction and criticism in the national press including the Times Literary Supplement. Her first book was On Sympathy.
Bella Mackie is a freelance journalist who has written for the Guardian, Vogue and VICE.

2.00 pm
Upper Room, Town Hall

Jacqueline Riding discusses with Lindsay Mackie how 60,000 people from all over Lancashire had gathered in Manchester in 1819 to hear the parliamentary reformer, Henry Hunt. Fifteen of them, including two women and a child, were killed or mortally wounded, and 650 injured, hacked down by drunken yeomanry after local magistrates panicked at the scale of the meeting. John Taylor, who wrote the first eyewitness account, wanted to see a new paper committed to political change and truthful reporting, and in April 1821 ten of his friends raised £1,050 and issued a prospectus for the Manchester Guardian.

Jacqueline Riding specialises in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British history and art and has over twenty-five years’ experience working as a curator and consultant within a broad range of museums, galleries and historic buildings, including the Guards Museum, Tate Britain and Historic Royal Palaces. From 1993-1999 she was Assistant Curator at the Palace of Westminster and later founding Director of the Handel House Museum, London. She is author of Jacobites: A New History of the 45 Rebellion and was the consultant historian and art historian on Mike Leigh’s award-winning Mr. Turner and the consultant historian on his film Peterloo. She is an Associate Research Fellow in the School of Arts, Birkbeck College, University of London.
Lindsay Mackie has written for the Guardian,is a partner in The New Weather Co-operative think tank and a consultant with the New Economics Foundation. She set up the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Young People in 200 schools, spearheaded 300 reading clubs with Education Extra and is a co-founder of the schools’ charity Filmclub.

Rich Russians
3.30 pm
Upper Room, Town Hall

Elisabeth Schimpfössl shows how the ‘robber barons’– the rich Russians who pepper the Sunday Times Rich List buy art, sponsor university buildings, and inflate property prices – are becoming bourgeois and justify their elite position in society because of who they are and their superior qualities. From media players like Konstantin Ernst and Dmitry Kiselyov to oil, gas and banking magnates like Ziyavudin Magomedov and Roman Avdeev, to art collectors such as Pyotr Aven and Stella Kesaeva, wife of Russia’s biggest tobacco retailer.

‘a valuable and intriguing analysis’ Guardian

‘elegant writing, compelling narrative, a cast of outrageously colourful characters’ Simon Sebag Montefiore

Elisabeth Schimpfössl Austrian-born and British-based sociologist has a doctorate from the University of Manchester and taught at Liverpool University, Brunel and UCL before taking up her current post as Lecturer in Sociology and Policy at Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

7.00 pm
Upper Room, Town Hall

Paul Maunder talks to Martin Hall about his cycling memoir: an exploration of the experience and history of cycling in different landscapes, Paul seeks to understand how cycling has played a role in his own creative life as well as that of other cyclists and the way our surroundings help to shape who we are.

‘make[s] you want to get on your bike.’ Observer

‘A meandering, pleasant memoir.‘ FT Weekend

Paul Maunder, a cycling journalist with a particular passion for its winter discipline, cyclocross, contributes to magazines such as Rouleur, Peloton and Soigneur.
Martin Hall cycles in an Ebrington group on Fridays and is treasurer of the Evesham Wheelers, founded in 1947.

8.30 pm
Upper Room, Town Hall

Mike O’Mahony traces the close relationship between photography and sport, from its beginnings to the present day. Taking a unique thematic approach, he describes the early sporting images, the impact of technological developments on sports photography, and the establishment of new visual conventions for the representation of sport in the popular illustrated journals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He examines the use of images of sport for commercial and advertising purposes, the gender politics of sporting practices, and the photographic representation of both the sports spectator and of non-professional sport, exploring their impact on wider socio-political issues along the way.

Mike O’Mahony is Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture at the University of Bristol. He is the author of Sport in the USSR, Sergei Eisenstein, and Olympic Visions.

This evening’s events are sponsored by The Noel Arms Tel: 01386 840317 noelarmshotel

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