Fairford History Society

Monthly Archives: September 2017

Craftsman’s Art and Music’s Measure – 14 September 2017

Alan Crumpler, David Hatcher and Dr Mary Remnant

Alan Crumpler, David Hatcher and Dr Mary Remnant

As a follow up to the publication of Music in the Window’s of St Mary’s Church in 2014, a talk was arranged to take place in the Church entitled ‘Craftsman’s Art and Music’s Measure: the making and playing of medieval instruments; illustrated by Alan Crumpler and David Hatcher with guest artist Dr Mary Remnant.

The afternoon talk attempted and succeeded to give an indication of the sound which may have been made by some of the instruments to be seen in the windows of St Mary’s (which are illustrated in the FHS booklet). Several of the instruments are quite plainly visible in the glass but some are less so and comparisons to similar instruments may be made from other contemporary sources including manuscript illustrations, stone and wooden carvings and window glass.

Alan, David and Mary played short extracts of medieval music on their instruments, including the long trumpet, shawm, rebec, harp, psaltery and pipe, recorders, portative organ, mandora and bagpipes. Some of the tunes were recognisable as played today.

The process of making a fiddle

The process of making a fiddle

The second part of the presentation illustrated methods of making a fiddle or vielle, (from approximately 12th to the 16th century) and a small symphony (musical instrument) based on an illustration in the Lutterel Psalter. The rebec and early fiddles were made from a single block of wood. Evidence for this is found in a few remains of instruments that have been discovered, including those from the flagship the Mary Rose.

It was a fascinating and delightful afternoon. The craftsmanship and skill of the performers were awe-inspiring.

John Read with a Portative Organ, the bellows are under the base

John Read with a Portative Organ, the bellows are under the base

The angel with the portative organ in Window 23 of St Mary's Church, Fairford

The angel with the portative organ in Window 23 of St Mary’s Church, Fairford

Fairford Heritage Open Day – 9 September 2017

The Dovecote at Fairford proved a great attraction at Fairford’s first Heritage Open Day organised by Fairford History Society on the 9 September. Over 80 people were able to see the impressive 1,196 pigeon holes contained in the walls of the Dovecote and the unusual central pillar. Visitors were also able to visit the Estate Yard which is all that remains of Fairford Park House demolished in the late1950s to make way for Farmor’s School. The Ernest Cook Trust Offices are in the yard and it was with their permission both of these sites were open to the public.

View of the Obelisk from Ernest Cook Trust Estate yard

View of the Obelisk from Ernest Cook Trust Estate yard

Fairford-Dovecote-a-Grade-II-listed-building

Fairford-Dovecote-a-Grade-II-listed-building

The-inside-of-Fairford-Dovecote-with-its-1196-pigeon-holes

The-inside-of-Fairford-Dovecote-with-its-1196-pigeon-holes

At Fairford Community Centre there were displays recording other ‘lost’ buildings in the town e.g. the Magistrate’s Court and Police Station, the three chapels, lost pubs etc. On view were items collected by Fairford History Society over the years and examples of oral history and local archive film. St Mary’s Church tours were led by Mike Godsall and Geoff Hawkes.

Fairford's Lost and Hidden Past display at the Community Centre

Fairford’s Lost and Hidden Past display at the Community Centre

It was also the launch of Fairford Walkers are Welcome which aims to attract visitors to the town. Malcolm Cutler, Chair of Fairford Walkers are Welcome presented the certificate of accreditation to Mark Dudley, Deputy Mayor of Fairford. Over 30 people took part in the Heritage Walk led by Syd Flatman. There was also a guided Tomb Trail around St Mary’s Churchyard led by Chris Hobson who gave interesting background to some of the churchyard’s inhabitants. A River Walk took place in the afternoon led by Malcolm Cutler.

Syd-Flatmans-Heritage-Walk

Syd-Flatmans-Heritage-Walk