My husband and I managed to escape for a day out and visited the home of Victorian actress Ellen Terry, now a National Trust property. It contained a great many artefacts and items of interest relating to her life and the people she met. Unfortunately I left my glasses at home so couldn’t do these justice!
The above image of Siegfried Sassoon is of interest and ties in with my WW1 research.
It was an interesting building with lovely gardens and tearooms.
Now we are at the end of the summer I realised that I have been very lax and not written my blog for some time but perhaps quality is better than quantity. I have also spent long periods of PhD research and writing at home, and producing nothing of great interest to anyone reading this blog. So the next entries will being everything up to date.
Back in May my PhD research subject ‘Florence Farmborough’ was featured in a national WW1 touring exhibition ‘No Man’s Land’, which opened in the early part of the year in Bradford. Alongside Farmborough it also featured images and artefacts by Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, Olive Edis, Clarice Spratling and Dawn Cole, Chloe Dewe Mathews and Alison Baskerville.
Although the cathedral was a wonderful building having been to the private view and the opening in Bradford, I felt this exhibition worked better within a gallery setting. The cathedral exhibits were not sited together so the visitor had to search in different locations which I felt led to a loss of continuity.
After Bristol the exhibition was moving to Leigh and later Bishop Auckland. It was good to be able to see some of these images again. The recent images by Alison Baskerville and Chloe Dewe Mathews are certainly worth further investigation.
We were blessed with great walking conditions, war, dry, sunny and not too hot for our last walk as part of the Walking group. This also coincided with the last weekend of the Journeys with the Waste Land exhibition. We started by listening to music in the Nayland Rock shelter that had inspired Eliot.
We then walked to the beach where Billie had devised various games all based around the poem with Virginia and Sonia taking lead roles.
After stopping at various points along the beach for activities, we then headed to the steps for a final reading of an Eliot poem.
Once back inside Turner Contemporary we sat on deck chairs for the final part until a friend of Billie’s arrived from London. He also organises walks around the city of London, and provided some interesting historical information about the channel and what is still lying buried on the sea bed!
Whilst our activities will change now that the Waste Land project has come to an end and we all move on in new directions, it has been a time to reflect. The main thing for me has been the photographic opportunities that it has offered but also mainly the friends I have made along the way. Billie has been inspirational and on my wavelength, so I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to work with her.
The last few weeks have been challenging so I have to keep reminding myself of things that my main supervisor Karen has told me such as, that as I am part-time it need not take over my life! It had begun to feel like that so it was time to stand back a bit. I also reminded myself of three things:
That there will be an end in sight one day not that far off.
Not to get bogged down with too much information, articles etc. to wade through, as at the end of the day they are to supplement my ideas and provide evidence of my conclusions etc. and I do not need to include everything only the best bits.
If I did not carry on I would be wasting all the money I had invested in this so far and would very much regret it later.
So I am back on track but not making as fast progress as I had hoped by now in view of having to submit some more writing by end of June.
However every now and then a little gem appears. I was asked by Sarah from the University of Hertfordshire who I met at the Kathe Buchler Conference recently, to write a piece on my research for their ‘Everyday Lives in War’ website. Whilst for those who have had lots already published this is not a major deal but for me it is a first. It has also helped in that long battle to regenerate my self-confidence!
This was a rescheduled event originally due to take place earlier in the year. However, as it related to TS Eliot’s wives and their treatment in his hands, it also coincided with the last weekend of the Journeys with the Waste Land exhibition and the end of the Research Group’s collaboration.
It looked at four sites that had played a prominent role when Eliot was there in 1920s.
The Albemarle Hotel – now demolished.
Margate Winter Gardens
Nayland Rock Shelter
Although there was not a large group attending it was a very interesting and informative session.
It is hard to accept that the three years I have been involved with the Research Group has now come to an end. It has been a wonderful photographic opportunity and I have met some interesting people who have become close friends. Like everything we have to now move on and take this experience with us. However it has been is something special and will certainly not be forgotten! Thank you to everyone who has worked with me on this!
A really interesting day at the University of Hertfordshire, in Hatfield. It was a good networking opportunity and chance to see the WW1 photographs of Kathe Buchler which have not been seen much outside of Germany and received little attention. The speakers ranged from Jenny Matthews author of ‘Women and War’ to PhD candidates like Jo Young, talking about their research in connected areas of interest through to Jason Crowley from Manchester Metropolitans University . During the day there was a meeting to discuss the exhibition being held until 5 May of Buchler’s work.
I have also managed to locate a copy of her book but unfortunately only produced in German which will be a challenge. Still I have a German dictionary!