by Brian Draper
Thursday 22nd May 2014
A conducted tour through our much loved Vale of Evesham and the surrounding area and the important influence it had on our own respected and enjoyed composer, Elgar, was the subject for the last talk in the Society’s winter programme – Elgar’s Countryside.
The speaker, Brian Draper, had spent a lifetime in the water industry tending the Avon, Severn and Teme rivers and knew his area in fascinating detail. He explained Elgar had lived in 34 different addresses in his lifetime and cycled everywhere. A long list of local features, as familiar today as in Elgar’s day, was a kaleidoscope of delight. The Boat Inn, elver snacks, the Severn Bore, Deerhurst Church, the battle of Tewkesbury 1471 (a familiar number), Ripple Church, Madresfield Court, Hereford Beacon, Eastnor Castle, Elgar’s beach on the Teme River and much, much more, provided the basis for a lifetime’s touring.
There is little doubt that Elgar’s pleasure in all that surrounded him were strong influences upon his music. In our hurried, car bound lives to-day, so much of pleasure can be swiftly passed by. Brian was thanked by the crowded gathering for revealing so much of the joy that can be found in our local countryside. He has also been involved in a number of DVD productions and these can be bought from either Elgar’s Birthplace Museum.
Society working evenings are held on Thursdays at the Almonry at 7.30 pm, except during August. Anyone interested in the history of Evesham and the Vale will be made most welcome.