The new ‘Plumlines’ exhibition is a collection of real life stories expressed through 188 one-hundred word poems, written by people from across Worcestershire about a female relatives life during the First World War and is on display from 19 November 2016 until 19 November 2017.
The inspiration for Plumlines came from a little known story at Croome, of how a woman before her time the inspiring American heiress Viscountess Deerhurst, helped the 9th Earl of Coventry see the many ways in which women could provide crucial support to the men at the front line.
It was Virginia’s commitment and strength that helped Lord Coventry mobilise Pershore’s first ever Women’s Institute (WI), by encouraging 100 women to meet. The WI’s jam making skills, using the Pershore plum, helped the war effort at home and on the on the battlefields where it was sent to help keep up the calorie intake of the troops.
Join us at our launch
Visitors are invited to the launch of the exhibition funded by Trust New Art, on 19 November between 12.00pm until 4.30pm, where Dame Carol Ann Duffy will read from her acclaimed collections, including ‘The World’s Wife’ and ‘The Bees’ including First World War poems ‘The Christmas truce’ and ‘The Last post’.
Alongside Carol’s readings, John Sampson will take everyone on a virtuoso tour through musical highlights of the past 500 years played on a fascinating collection of period and modern instruments.
The Oriel Singers, will be performing wartime songs and also premier a song penned by Brenda Read-Brown and composed by Freya Ireland about the connection of the 9th Earl of Coventry and Viscountess Deerhurst to the creation of Pershore’s first WI.
Professor Maggie Andrews from Worcester University will be holding ‘Jamfest’ where visitors can learn more about the history of jam and the Pershore plum which lots of jam tasting too.
Working with poets, Brenda Read-Brown and Heather Wastie, Croome held workshops with schools, writers groups, history groups and volunteers. They were tasked with researching a female relative from the First World War to bring her story to life in a one-hundred word poem.
Artist Su Blackwell was commissioned to create a fitting way to exhibit the poems. Su has created a space for reflection, incorporating 188 saplings made from paper, each one containing a unique poem. These saplings form part of a larger exhibition inside the house.
Some of the people who took part had never written poetry before, but every single poem is beautifully written, moving and has an important story to tell.