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Dymock Poets Special Collection

  • DP
  • Collection
  • 1842 - 2021

On the north-west borders of Gloucestershire, in the years immediately prior to the outbreak of the First World War, a literary community was formed which came to represent a significant development in the modern poetic tradition. By August 1914, the poet and playwright Lascelles Abercrombie, Wilfrid Gibson, and the American poet Robert Frost had all taken up residence in and around the village of Dymock. Inspired by the beauty of their surroundings and encouraged by a succession of visitors, including Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater, Edward Thomas and Eleanor Farjeon, a new literary currency was established during that final summer before the outbreak of war.

Their writings represented a movement away from the prevailing literary idiom, regarded by many as rhetorically ornate and emotionally restricted. Instead the Dymock Poets sought inspiration in natural settings and everyday experiences. In this, and their desire for a more direct, authentic register, their work can be located within the traditions of Wordsworth and the principles set out in Lyrical Ballads.

It was a productive time for all concerned, with four issues of a periodical, New Numbers, being written and printed as a true cottage industry. This period was also to see the emergence of Edward Thomas as a gifted and prolific writer of verse and to lead to Robert Frost’s formation of a new poetic philosophy.

This brief idyll was to prove short lived. Within three years both Brooke and Thomas were dead, Frost had returned to North America, and Abercrombie, Drinkwater and Gibson were involved in war work. Their writings, however, continue to form an important literary legacy to this day.

The institution has actively sought to collect material from various sources that centres on the Dymock Poets (Edward Thomas, Robert Frost, Wilfrid Gibson, Lascelles Abercrombie, John Drinkwater, Rupert Brooke) and related authors such as Eleanor Farjeon. Items are donated or deposited by a wide range of people, including some of the families of the poets. Material has also been deposited by both The Edward Thomas Fellowship and Friends of the Dymock Poets regarding the administration of both societies.

The collection is comprised of original paper-based documents, monographs, journals, articles, photographic material and multi-media. Secondary-source material is catalogued on the University’s library catalogue https://glos.on.worldcat.org/search?sortKey=LIBRARY&databaseList=1080%2C2375%2C3384%2C2272%2C251%2C197%2C1855%2C199%2C1996%2C1875%2C2007%2C233%2C950%2C3313%2C2585%2C217%2C239%2C638%2C2507%2C1715%2C2462%2C2262%2C1271%2C283%2C285%2C143%2C1842%2C2897%2C1621%2C245%2C203%2C3909&queryString=B8%3AGloucestershire&changedFacet=language&overrideStickyFacetDefault=&clusterResults=on&subscope=wz%3A18387%3A%3Azs%3A37348

Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education

Evelyn Maitland Roy

Evelyn Maitland Roy was born in 1908 in Southampton and brought up in the Wirral. She attended West Kirby County High School for Girls before undertaking a two-year teacher-training course at St Mary’s, Cheltenham from 1928 to 1930 taking PE as her main subject.

Evelyn held teaching posts in Wirral before the war and also achieved great personal success in swimming and diving locally, eventually becoming an instructor and judge. In 1940 she won a scholarship with the English-Speaking Union for their Summer School at Chautauqua in New York State. In her spare time, Evelyn liked to write and had many articles published in newspapers and magazines. In 1944 she was appointed teacher of Girls’ PE at Alleyne’s Grammar School, Stone, Staffordshire for a year and then became County Organiser for Flintshire for the Land Army. She returned to teaching and spent six years from 1948 working at British Army Schools in Greece, Malta, Austria and Libya.

Following retirement from full-time work in 1974 at the age of sixty-five, Evelyn became one of the first students of the Open University and was awarded an Honours Degree in 1981. She kept active both physically and mentally, going for long walks with her Sheltie dogs, coaching children, reading and writing her journal. She died at the age of ninety-eight in 2007.

Scrapbook compiled by Nellie Wilkinson

Contains postcards of college buildings; newspaper cuttings; reunion information; photographs of students, sports day, St Paul's sports teams and dramatic performances; programme for Cheltenham Opera House; senior social programme; Chapel service programmes

Includes 19 scanned and printed images and enlargements of photographs from the scrapbook

Contains loose items

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail Archive

  • ST
  • Collection
  • c.1976 - 2019

The collection charts the history of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, located at Beechenhurst Lodge in the heart of the Forest of Dean. This includes both the administrative and artistic processes involved. Formats encompass documents, books and publications, leaflets, drawings, videos, a maquette and other ephemera.

In 1983, following the establishment of a sculpture trail in Exeter Forest, Martin Orrom (Forestry and Environment Officer, Forestry Commission) wrote a brief for the establishment of a sculpture trail in the Forest of Dean. The Elephant Trust provided £2,500 towards the project and in Spring 1984 around 20 artists were invited to visit the site and submit proposals for sculptures. Martin worked alongside Jeremy Rees (Founding Director of The Arnolfini, Bristol) and Rupert Martin (Curator at The Arnolfini). Six artists were chosen and these founding commissions were collectively titled "Stand and Stare":

Peter Appleton - Sound Sculptures
Kevin Atherton - Cathedral
Andrew Darke - Sliced Log Star (Inside Out Tree)
Magdalena Jetelova - Place
David Nash - Black Dome/ Fire and Water Boats
Keir Smith - The Iron Road

The trail was opened on 19 June 1986 by Sir David Montgomery, Chair of the Forestry Commission. By 1988, a second batch of sculptures had been installed including:

Bruce Allan - Observatory
Zadok Ben David - As There Is No Hunting Tomorrow
Miles Davies - House
Ian Hamilton Finlay - Grove of Silence
Tim Lees - The Heart of the Stone
Cornelia Parker - Hanging Fire
Peter Randall-Page - Cone and Vessel
Sophie Ryder - Crossing Place/ Deer/Searcher

Since 1986, 28 sculptures both temporary and permanent have been sited on the Sculpture Trail.

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust was established in 1988 as a registered charity overseeing the maintenance of the trail and commissioning new works. The trail is owned and managed by The Forestry Commission.

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust

"Abraham Lincoln: a play by John Drinkwater"

Re-issue for the informal reading to mark the centenary of the first performance at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 19 October 1918. Event held on 19 October 2018 at The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham. Richard Simkin's copy, who took part in the reading. Event held alongside performances of the "Quilt Song" opera by Suzie Self

Cotswold Centre for History and Heritage Archive

  • CC
  • Collection
  • 2017 - 2018

The Cotswold Centre for History and Heritage brings together the work of undergraduate students and staff in History (School of Liberal and Performing Arts) at the University of Gloucestershire. Primarily student-led, the research conducted as part of the Centre aims to uncover and valorise the rich history of the area surrounding the University’s Francis Close Hall Campus by exploring historical change through a local lens.

The Centre has also been established with the intention of creating partnerships between the University, the local community and important local organisations, so that the research benefits local stakeholders as well as students.

Each year the Centre focuses on a number of different themes with the aim of producing public-facing exhibitions. In 2016-2017, staff and students worked on the first project, entitled ‘Cheltenham’s Lower High Street: Past, Present, and Future’, in collaboration with the Cheltenham Civic Society and the Cheltenham West End Partnership. This project explored one of the oldest but most neglected parts of the Regency town, aiming to appraise the area and create a more inclusive history of Cheltenham. The project culminated in an exhibition at the Chapel Arts gallery between 17-30 June 2017 and the production of a short documentary film. Staff contributions to the project were supported by the University of Gloucestershire’s Being Human Research Priority Area.

For more information on the Cotswold Centre for History and Heritage, visit their website https://cc4hh.co.uk/

University of Gloucestershire

Programme for "Quilt Song" opera by Suzie Self

Inspired by the play "Abraham Lincoln" by John Drinkwater. Performed to mark the centenary of the play's first performance on 19 October 1918 at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre. "Quilt Song" performed on 19 and 20 October 2018 at The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham

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