The word asylum tends to send shivers up the spine: the mental care institutions set up by the Victorians have long been regarded as repressive places of confinement and untold horrors. In fact, while mental illness has never been a straightforward subject, the county asylums represented a good deal both for patients and the society that created them. In this extensively illustrated talk, Ian Wheeler blows away some of the cobwebs of misinformation and rumour; he examines why the asylums came to be and how they worked, as seen by nine members of his family who worked at Fair Mile Hospital, in Cholsey, over a period of more than 100 years.
Ian Wheeler’s first home was, in fact, Fair Mile Hospital. His family connections led to an extensive collection of photographs and anecdotes about the place, and eventually to his book Fair Mile Hospital: a Victorian Asylum (History Press, 2015). Now retired from a managerial career, Ian remains involved in village activities and local history projects. In his leisure time, he is a performing singer and musician, a Morris dancer and would be a railway modeller if there were ever enough time.
Looking forward, the talk on March 27th will be ‘Up the street: the history of pubs, shops and businesses in Dorchester’, by Margot Metcalfe and Denise Line
Visitors and new members are always very welcome to our talks and outings.
Margot Metcalfe, Chairman
NICK ROBERTS is the cellist of the Coull Quartet, which has been the Quartet-in-residence at the University of Warwick since 1977 and which has performed and broadcast throughout Europe, the USA and the Far East. He studied with Joan Dickson and Amaryllis Fleming at the Royal College of Music and enjoyed a hugely varied career encompassing chamber music, chamber orchestras, contemporary music groups and recording for film and TV, before joining the Coull Quartet in 2000. He has recorded for the Black Box label with both the Bernard Roberts Piano Trio and the Feinstein Ensemble and now records for SOMM with the Coull Quartet.
The day will hold some ensemble playing, a masterclass (for 3 or 4 volunteers), technical exercises and a detailed Q&A session where Nick hopes to be able to cover all sorts of topics including how to get the most from practice and as many more thorny issues as requested! The atmosphere will be relaxed and informal
Laurence is bassoon tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and at York and Nottingham Universities. He has also been a regular bassoon and chamber music tutor at many summer schools and courses in the UK and overseas, including Aberystwyth, Malvern, Sherborne, Dartington, Alston Hall in Lancashire, Kammermusik in Oxford, and Cubertou in the south of France.
The format of the day will include ensemble playing, 20-minute individual master-classes for up to 6 players, and a detailed Q&A session where Laurence hopes to be able to cover all sorts of topics ranging from articulation to breath control, intonation to vibrato, how to get the most from practice and as many more thorny issues as requested! Laurence may also give a short recital.
Martin Outram studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. He is a member of the internationally renowned Maggini Quartet and also appears regularly as a soloist
During this informal and friendly workshop, there will be opportunities to play viola ensemble repertoire and a masterclass in which participants will be encouraged to perform works of their choice and be tutored by Martin. There will also be a questions and answers technique ‘clinic’ and a short recital by Martin if time permits. Viola literature and study material will be on hand for perusal. This is a chance to be immersed in all things viola in a beautiful venue – do come along!