Gifted Sons of the Severn

Gifted Sons of the Severn – King’s School, Gloucester – 5th November 2011

This was a combined Society event.

F.W. Harvey Society
The Ivor Gurney Society
The Royal Forest of Dean Herbert Howells Society

Three men: a composer, a poet, and a rare genius dually gifted in both arts, shared a close friendship in the years before the First World War, and all three went on to make outstanding contributions to the cultural life of Britain in the twentieth century. These three, Herbert Howells, F.W. Harvey and Ivor Gurney walked and talked together in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside surrounding the River Severn, drawing inspiration from the landscape and from each other—but the War was to change their lives forever. This event will focus on the known early influences on all three men, their relationship and collaborations.

Following a light lunch at 1.00 pm, the event was opened by Dame Janet Trotter, CBE, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire. The new book The Selected Poems of F.W. Harvey was then launched in a presentation by authors Anthony Boden and Kelsey Thornton, who played excerpts from the new CD which is included free with the book.

Maurice Bent, President of the Forest of Dean Herbert Howells Society, gave a talk with slides, which included the BBC sound recording (1958) of Herbert Howells talking about his friendship with Ivor Gurney and F.W. Harvey.

There was a presentation on the friendship from the perspective of Will Harvey by Roger Deeks and Teresa Davis. Teresa had been responsible for much of the planning of the day and was delighted that the event was so well received.
Following afternoon tea Anthony Boden and Kelsey Thornton introduced a short film BBC/OU Film (2001): Long Remembered Hills, a documentary film about Ivor Gurney in which his life and music was considered by, amongst others, Michael Hurd, Paul Spicer and Anthony Boden. This included the recorded voice of Herbert Howells reminiscing about Ivor Gurney.

The event was attended by over 125 people, many members of the above societies, but also others from as far as the north of England and south Devon.

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