Evesham Festival of Words
Mr Lucton’s Freedom
Evensong Worcester Cathedral
Address by Dean of Worcester
Esthwaite, The House Overlooking the Water
Brett Young and South Africa
FBY in a South African Setting
41st Annual Dinner
Finding Nant Gwyllt House
The sun was shining through bronze and pearl clouds and the blossom
starting to burst on the trees as we drove through the North
Worcestershire countryside on our way home from a wonderful
afternoon to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Francis Brett
Young Society. This was such an appropriate end to our visit; surely
one that Francis would have appreciated. Earlier we had arrived at
Worcester Cathedral in sunshine after sleet showers and squalls of rain.
The Cathedral was magnificent in the afternoon sun with the
surrounding hawthorn coming into leaf.
We had a chance to view the FBY exhibition to which so many people
had made a contribution. I really enjoyed looking at the embroidered
banner of his book covers, so lovingly and imaginatively made. The
long, printed banners were eye catching with their quotes from Francis
together with contemporary photos. The figures, so carefully dressed
brought his poetry to life.
Next, we all went to the Cloister café for excellent cakes, tea and
coffee. The climax of the visit was Choral Evensong, so moving from
our seats in the choir as the sun was going down and shining through
the stained-glass windows. The singing was beautiful and the readings
well delivered by Anthony Brett Young, a nephew of Francis and by
Jean Hadley, the secretary of our society with Dr Michael Hall leading
the prayers of intercession. The sermon by the Dean of Worcester, the
Very Reverend Dr Peter Atkinson was so appropriate. He remembered
one FBY book from his boyhood home, not from reading it but from
the maps of the Midlands and Worcestershire showing the places
mentioned in the story. He loved maps and pored over these. His
parents had come from Birmingham so he had heard talk of these
places but had only got to know this area when he came to Worcester
twelve years ago. This enabled him to discover the beauty of the
countryside around his new home and to research family connections.
He raised smiles when he said FBY didn’t think highly of clergymen!
He felt that Francis has given us a valuable social portrait of health
care in his time and that we should protect our NHS at all costs.
Finally, we all followed the choir and clergy out into the north transept
where Jonathan Brett Young, a nephew of Francis laid a wreath
beneath the FBY plaque and the Dean spoke of Francis’s skills as a
doctor and a storyteller. The choir sang a final anthem “They are at
rest” with words by John Henry Newman set to music by Elgar, both
with Midlands connections. This was fitting end to a memorable day.
C M Grimmitt
Evensong Worcester Cathedral. Letter of appreciation
It was a real pleasure to attend the wonderful service on
Sunday afternoon in Worcester Cathedral.
I thought the addition of the costumes from the Ballad of
St. Kenelm greatly added to the exhibition and it’s always
a pleasure to find my bit on the banner!
The arrangements throughout the afternoon were superb
and the journey home in the evening sunshine seemed to be
a fitting end to the excursion.
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