RMS Titanic and the Broadway Connection

At 12 noon on 10th April 1912, RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton for New York. Amongst the 1st Class passengers on the ill-fated liner was Broadway resident, writer and artist Francis Davis Millet. 

Francis Davis Millet (1846-1912)

Frank Millet (Civil War soldier, painter, mural decorator, sculptor and writer) was born in Massachusetts on 3rd November 1846. He spent many years of his life painting and living in Broadway with his wife and family, firstly at Farnham House and later at Russell House on the village green. Millet had joined the ship at Cherbourg, France, and was travelling to the US with his friend Major Archibald Willingham Butt, military aide to US President William Howard Taft and President Theodore Roosevelt. Millet died in the sinking of the ship and was last seen helping women and children into the lifeboats. His body was later recovered from the sea by the crew of the cable ship MacKay Bennett and was returned to East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he was buried in Central Cemetery.

Millet’s paintings can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Detroit Insitute of Art and the Tate Gallery, London.  Millet was the first director of the American Academy in Rome and his painting Between Two Fires,painted c1892, which hangs in the Tate, was painted in the refectory of the 14th century Abbots Grange, Broadway.  Millet restored Abbots Grange from its monastic ruins and it became a studio for the artists’ colony in Broadway he helped create. The ‘Broadway Colony’ included artists and writers such as John Singer Sargent, Alfred Parsons, Fred Barnard, Henry James, Edmund Gosse, Edwin Austin Abbey and the actress Mary Anderson (Mme de Navarro), to name just a few. Sargent spent the summers of 1885 and 1886 with the Millet family at Farnham House and Russell House. It was in these Broadway gardens that Sargent painted Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rosewhich now hangs in the Tate Gallery, London.

St Eadburgha’s and the Lychgate

At the saxon church, St Eadburgha’s, on the Snowshill Road in Broadway there is a lychgate dedicated to Frank Millet. In 1932, twenty years after the Titanic disaster, Millet’s son Jack (John Alfred Parsons Millet) sent £120 to St Eadburgha’s for the creation of the lychgate. The inscription was devised by two Harvard classics professors and reads:

‘FRANCISCO DAVIS MILLET VIRO IN ARTIBVS LITTERISQVE PRAESTANTI QVI NAVI TITANICA FRACTA DVM SPEM TIMIDIS AFFERT MORTEM LAE TVS OPPETIVIT HOC MONVMENTVM SVAVIS AMICITIAE MEMORES SODALES PONENDVM CVRAVERVNT’

the original English translation is:

‘To Francis Davis Millet – A man of outstanding attainment in literature and art who, when the ship Titanic was sunk, gladly faced death while bringing hope to those in great need. His intimate friends have had this memorial erected in memory of a dear friendship’.

St Eadburgha’s is a lovely peaceful place to visit and is open to visitors most days from 10am to 4pm. The church is about a 15 minute walk from our Cotswold holiday cottages on West End. The oldest part of the current church is from the 12th century. The nave arcades are supported on beautiful Norman columns with large diameter bases and simple scalloped capitals. The roof of the nave is crafted from lovely old timber, with a frieze along the wall-plate with small, carved faces mixed with foliage designs. Against the west wall of the south aisle is one of the newest monuments in the church, the Millenium Stone which was inserted in 1972 to celebrate 1000 years of Broadway history. The lychgate is located a little further along the Snowshill Road at the entrance to the new cemetery.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Manor Cottages

Broadway Car Show July 2019

An exciting two-day car show is coming to Broadway in the Cotswolds this summer. A celebration of fabulous supercars, classic and vintage cars will take place in the village on 13th and 14th July 2019.

As in previous years, the show will take place right in the centre of Broadway (postcode WR12 7AA). The weekend will be a great opportunity to soak up Broadway’s Cotswold charm and character. The village has a range of fabulous independent shops, art galleries, museums, restaurants, tea shops and cafés. Alongside beautiful cars, there will be plenty happening on the village green with street food and memorabilia on sale and a live jazz band.

Saturday 13th July 2019 – Supercar Saturday

Supercar Saturday starts for exhibitors with an optional drive through the Cotswolds culminating with a parade through the village by members of the Cotswolds branch of the Ferrari Owners’ Club and the Supercar Drivers’ Club. The cars will park along the High Street and the village green for viewing alongside a display of Bentleys, Aston Martins (including an Aston Martin Vantage S), a SLK55 AMG Mercedes and many others.

The Lygon Arms will be hosting a lunchtime charity fashion show by Slate Clothing and the day will end at The Lygon Arms with a black-tie dinner hosted by a motoring celebrity (both events are subject to booking and availability).

During the day there will be an opportunity to take a Morgan sports car for the morning or for an afternoon drive around the Cotswolds (subject to prior booking).

Getting a Ferrari 430 F1 ready at Broadway Manor Cottages for the 2017 Broadway Car Show

Sunday 14th July 2019 – Classic and Vintage Cars

The theme on Sunday will be classic and vintage cars with a parade through the village and a fabulous display on the village green and High Street. Expect classic and vintage Jaguars, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Bugattis and many more. The Morgan Motor Company will again be adding to the atmosphere with the opportunity to take a Morgan for a morning or afternoon drive.

Bugatti Owners’ Club meet, Broadway, 1937 (Bill Brunell)

For more information about the 2019 Broadway Car Show click here.

Stay with us in a Cotswold Holiday Cottage during the Show

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia outside Rafters (sleeps 2) at The Manor House

Why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of our Cotswold holiday cottages or stay for a week or more and spend time enjoying the surrounding area? Our holiday cottages are located on West End less than 10 minutes’ walk from the village green. We have availability in Rafters (sleeps 2) either for the weekend or for a longer stay. For more information about our holiday cottages in Broadway click here.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Manor Cottages

Broadway Station Car Park and Café

A new car park opened in Broadway this week opposite Broadway Station on Station Road. 85 car parking spaces, including spaces for ‘Blue Badge’ holders, have been created by Wychavon District Council on land provided by the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR). The car park is less than 5 minutes’ walk from the station. The parking area also includes a pleasant grassy area next to the line that can be used for picnics. Later this year electric vehicle charging units will be installed.

GWSR Broadway Car Park

The parking charges are from 50p for half an hour up to £5.00 for 10 hours. Those purchasing a £5.00 parking ticket will receive a £3.00 refund from GWSR against the purchase of one train ticket for the same day. Pay and display parking tickets can be purchased with cash or by using the RingGo parking website or app.

GWSR Refund for Car Park Users

A new café, offering a range of light refreshments, will also open at the station when the service resumes in a few days’ time.

For those that prefer to walk rather than drive to the station, it about half a mile from our holiday cottages on foot. The railway resumes services for the 2019 season on Saturday 9th March.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Manor Cottages

Visit Bath – How to See the City in a Day

Many of our guests like to visit the city of Bath during their stay. The city with its wide range of excellent shops, restaurants, museums, Georgian architecture and Roman baths is about 70 miles from our holiday cottages and can be reached in less than 2 hours by car.

Our recommendation is to use one of the Park and Ride car parks on the edge of the city rather than drive in to the centre and spend time trying to find a parking space. The buses from the Park and Ride car parks run frequently and are not expensive.

Sally Lunn’s Eating House and Kitchen Museum

If looking for a coffee, cup of tea and something to eat on arrival in Bath, we recommend stopping at Sally Lunn’s, 4 North Parade Passage. Sally Lunn’s opens at 10am and is home to the original Sally Lunn Bunn  (the original Bath bun) which is still baked to a secret recipe and served with a wide variety of delicious toppings including cinnamon butter and lemon curd. The historic building is one of the oldest houses in Bath and dates back to 1483. It became the home of the French baker, Sally Lunn, a Hugenot refugee, in the 1600s.

Sally Lunn’s is also open for lunch, afternoon teas and dinner (see www.sallylunns.co.uk) for more information. Reservations are advisable as it does get very busy.

Bath’s Roman Baths and Museum

A few minutes’ walk away from Sally Lunn’s is the Roman Baths Museum and the ruins of a 43AD Roman settlement. The Baths are open from 9am until 5pm (November to February 9.30am and later during Easter weeks and the summer). Entrance costs from £14.40 per adult with a 10% discount if booked online. The Museum runs free tours and free audioguides are available in a number of languages. For more information visit www.romanbaths.co.uk.

It is not possible to bathe in the waters but the nearby Thermae Bath Spa uses the same mineral-enriched water, treated to make it safe to enjoy (see website site for details).

A visit to the baths including a free tour will take approximately 2 hours.

A Walking Tour of the City

There are several options for a walking tour of the city. Our recommendation is to join one of the entertaining tours given by The Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides. The daily tours are free (no tips allowed) and there is no need to book. Tours start outside the Roman Baths (look for the sign ‘Free Walking Tours Start Here’). The walks take place within the city are about 2 miles (3km) in length with a gradual climb of 100 feet (30m) and takes approximately 2 hours. The walks take in the majestic Bath Abbey, Pulteney Street and 18th century Pulteney Bridge, the beautiful Georgian Royal Crescent, Circus Crescent and much more.

Historic Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey, the Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul, was built in 1499. Visitors may visit the main church area for free. A tour of the tower (tickets available to purchase from the gift shop) takes visitors up 212 steps past the bell chamber (with the Abbey’s 10 bells) to the Abbey’s rooftop with its wonderful panoramic view of the city.

Photo: By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Jane Austen Centre

If you are a fan of Jane Austen, Bath’s most famous resident, then the Jane Austen Centre, 40 Gay Street, Queen Square, is worth a visit. The centre, set in a classically decorated Georgian townhouse, offers a snapshot of what it would be like to live in Regency times.  Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the Regency Tea Room. For further information and admissions prices see www.janeausten.co.uk.

Shopping, Eating Out and More

There are plenty of excellent independent shops, tea rooms, coffee shops, and restaurants in Bath to fill up any spare time. Milsom Street, built in 1792, was recently voted ‘Britain’s Best Fashion Street’.

A great spot to enjoy afternoon tea is in the elegant Pump Room Restaurant in the Abbey Churchyard where the Pump Room Trio serenade guests. Walk in tables are available daily but to avoid missing out we would advise that a table is reserved online (www.romanbaths.co.uk or telephone 01225 444477).

We hope you enjoy your day in Bath!

Debbie Williamson

Broadway Manor Cottages

Queen Victoria’s Coronation Bonfire at Broadway Tower 20th June 1887

Broadway Celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 with a Beacon Bonfire at Broadway Tower

On 20th June 1837, whilst Queen Victoria was celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of her accession to the throne in London with a banquet to which 50 European Kings and Princes were invited, 2,548 beacon bonfires were lit across England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Channel Islands. Colonel Milward, one of Worcestershire’s MPs, used the summit of the Malvern Hills as the starting point for the first organised chain of bonfires to be lit to the north, south, west and east.

Broadway joined in the Jubilee celebrations: after dusk a procession of villagers carrying torches and chinese lanterns made its way up what is now The Cotswold Way from the centre of the village to the Tower on top of ‘Beacon Hill’, where a large bonfire was lit. That evening from the vantage point of Broadway Tower, 142 beacon fires could be seen across the surrounding countryside.

Broadway Tower has not hosted any beacon bonfires in recent years but is still a great Cotswolds attraction to visit and well worth the climb up the hill from our Cotswold holiday cottages in West End. The walk takes about 40 minutes and is a steady but not too arduous ascent. It is also possible to take the car up to the Tower as there is there is plenty of parking on site. The views from the top of the Tower are spectacular and on a clear day it is possible to see 16 counties of England and Wales. Within the grounds of the Tower is a herd of red deer and the nearby cafe Morris & Brown is open for refreshments almost every day of the year!

Lancaster Bomber Flypast, Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower – Lancaster Bomber Flypast

Morris and Brown Cafe at Broadway Tower
Morris & Brown Cafe at Broadway Tower

George V Silver Jubilee Celebrations in Broadway: 6th May 1935

Broadway’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations 6th May 1935

83 years ago today, on 6th May 1935, the village of Broadway celebrated the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King George V. Various sporting events, organised by the North Cotswold Athletic Club were held in the village, including a men’s cross country race up to Broadway Tower and back.

During the afternoon, a children’s tea party was held in Broadclose field and the following beautiful gardens were opened to the public free of charge: Orchard Farm (Lady Maud Bowes Lyon), Court Farm (Mary Anderson de Navarro), The Lygon Arms (D.G.S. Russell), The Bannits (Mrs Rees Price), Farncombe House (Capt. Frank Burges OBE), Abbott’s Grange (J.Y.R.T. Kendall),  Austin House (Mr Stratford Saunders) and Luggershill (Clement Parsons).

The following Thursday evening, a Jubilee Dance was held at the Lifford Memorial Hall and after the celebrations, two commemoration oak seats set on staddlestones were installed on the High Street. To also commemorate the Jubilee a number of Horse Chestnut and Lime trees were planted along the Cheltenham Road and High Street, many of which can still be seen today.

 

Worcestershire Life Interview: My Favourite Work of Art

My Favourite Work of Art: Galloway Landscape by Barbara Williams

In 2010 I was interviewed by Worcestershire Life for an article in the run up to the inaugural Broadway Arts Festival titled ‘My Favourite Work of Art. My favourite piece of art is a painting I own by Barbara Williams of the Galloway landscape.  The following article:

Debbie and her family moved to Broadway from Hertfordshire in 2006 and run Broadway Manor Cottages holiday cottages and apartment from their 16th century home on the outskirts of the village.

“We used to go up to Kirkcudbright in Galloway, South West Scotland a lot on holiday as my husband is a Scot and he’s been going there since he was about 10 years old. Kirkcudbright also has its own colony of artists and I bought this painting to remind me of Dumfries and Galloway and holidays with the children as they were growing up. I just love the open rolling hills and acres of sky and in a way the stone walls and the rolling hills are similar to here. My two boys also love the Belted Galloway cattle, as shown in the painting. There are a herd of them up on the hillside here in Broadway, so when we moved here and walked up the hill and saw them it was wonderful.”

This summer sees the 5th Broadway Arts Festival which will take place in the village from 8th to 17th June 2018.

For more information about our Cotswold holiday cottages and apartment at The Manor House, Broadway, click here.

 

Broadway Arts Festival 2018

Broadway Arts FestivalThe Broadway Arts Festival 2018 will be taking place in and around the village of Broadway from 8th to 17th June 2018. The beautiful Cotswold village of Broadway is a renowned centre for the arts with a unique artistic heritage of a world famous colony of artists the ‘Broadway Colony’. The Broadway Colony was a group of American artists, writers and musicians who visited and worked in Broadway in the late 19th century.

Broadway Arts Festival 2018 Events

The Broadway Arts Festival during June 2018 will offer a huge selection of events for all the family including: celebrity talks, art workshops and demonstrations, art exhibitions including an open art exhibition, a WW1 Exhibition, music including a ‘Come & Sing’ choral workshop, and theatre of the highest quality.

Broadway Artbeat Weekend will take place during the first week of the Festival from 8th-10th June – an exciting weekend event featuring artists and craftsmen demonstrating their skills, with specialist demonstrations led by some of the country’s most renowned contemporary artists.

During the evening of 14th June, Heartbreak Productions will be bringing romance to the village with their performance of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in a tent on the village green.

Featured Guests

Featured guests during the Festival will include:

  • Sir Roy Strong CH FRSL, Patron of the Festival, in conversation with Tristram Hunt, the current Director of the V&A.
  • Richard Ormond the grandson of Violet Sargent Ormond, sister of John Singer Sargent. Richard, historical advisor to the Festival, will be giving a talk on the Art and Adventures of John Singer Sargent.
  • John Julius Norwich (2nd Viscount Norwich CVO) who will be giving a talk on his latest book The Art of France.
  • Leading art critic Andrew Graham Dixon.
  • Artist, writer and broadcaster Lachlan Goudie who recently present the BBC’s Big Painting Challenge.
  • Author Guy Fraser Sampson whose books include the Mapp and Lucia series.
  • Violinist and composer Ben Powell in concert.
  • Award-winning author Donna M. Lucey whose works include the bestselling Archie and Amelie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age and  Sargent’s Women.

Broadway Arts Festival Tickets

Tickets for Broadway Arts Festival events this June will be on sale later in the year – more information about the Broadway Arts Festival 2018 can be found at: www.broadwayartsfestival.com.

Accommodation during the Festival

Our Cotswold holiday cottages on West End are just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village. Our self-catering holiday cottages are an ideal location to stay whilst visiting the Festival. For more information about our cottages in Broadway visit www.broadwaymanor.co.uk.

 

 

Beautiful Broadway, a very old English Village

Beautiful Broadway: A Very Old English Village

Henry James, an American writer who settled in England, was a frequent visitor to the Cotswolds. James described Broadway in 1889 as a ‘very old English village, lying amongst its meadows and hedges, in the very heart of the country, in the hollow of the green hills of Worcestershire’ and that ‘much of the land about it are in short the perfection of the old English rural tradition.’

The geese on the village green that James went on to describe may be missing today but the village’s ‘broad way’ lined with horse chestnut trees and honey-coloured Cotswold limestone buildings, many dating back to the 16th century with some parts of The Lygon Arms appearing to date back to the 14th century, still does not fail to charm visitors to this most picturesque and beautiful English village.

Broadway still delights. The village is a centre for the arts steeped in history with a unique heritage of a world-famous colony of artists, writers and musicians collectively known as the Broadway Colony who worked and visited the village during the late 19th century. The Colony included Henry James and Frank Millet, John Singer Sargent, Alfred Parsons, Mary Anderson de Navarro to name just a few.

Alfred Parsons RA, RI, PRWS (1847-1920)

My interest in gardening grew after obtaining an RHS Certificate in Horticulture which then led me to a qualification in Garden Design in 2005. During my studies I studied many great British garden designers including Alfred Parsons, Gertrude Jekyll (who was famous for her herbaceous borders and greatly influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement), Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, landscaper Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and Rosemary Verey to name a few. I was also fortunate to visit many of the gardens which were originally designed by these great designers, many of which are located in the Cotswolds. I now live in the picturesque village of Broadway in the North Cotswolds which was also home to Alfred Parsons in the late 19th century.

Alfred William Parsons, English landscape painter, watercolourist and illustrator was born on 2nd December 1847 in Laverton near Frome, Somerset. Alfred was the second of seventeen children of Dr Joshua Parsons and Letitia Harriet Parsons (née Williams). His father was a doctor with a keen interest in growing alpines which no doubt sparked Alfred’s early interest in plants and gardening.

Although Parsons started work in 1865 as a clerk in the Post Office after 2 years he left to pursue studies at the Kensington School of Art. Parsons.  went on to become well known as a fine botanical painter, engraver and painter of English rural landscapes exhibiting at various galleries including the Royal Academy (1887), the Grosvenor and the New Gallery.

Whilst living in London, Parsons shared his home with Edwin Austin Abbey and they painted alongside each other in adjacent studios. Parsons was introduced to Broadway by his friend Lawrence Dutton who was a frequent visitor to Broadway Tower, the holiday retreat of William Morris, Dante Rosetti and Edward Burne-Jones. Parsons was so taken with the village that he decided to move out of London joining the Broadway colony of artists in residence in Broadway in the late 1880s. Parsons became a good friend of both John Singer Sargent and Francis Davis Millet (Frank and Elizabeth Millet named their youngest son John Alfred Parsons Millet after both Parsons and Sargent) and introduced Abbey to the Broadway colony.

Parsons also met Henry Harper through the Broadway Colony which led to him illustrating several editions of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (Harper’s Magazine). Parsons also worked with his good friend Abbey on illustrations of Robert Herrick’s poems and supplied illustrations for Henry James’ essays on Broadway. He also illustrated songs, poems as well as travelogues.

Parsons’ fine watercolours for botanist Ellen Ann Willmott and illustrations for William Robinson, author of The Wild Garden, encouraged Parsons interest and passion in garden design. Parsons had always been an avid gardener and horticulturist and was once a judge at the Chelsea flower show.  Parsons went on to design several great gardens including Great Chalfield Manor, an Arts and Crafts garden near Melksham, Wightwick Manor near Wolverhampton and Lamb House, Rye, home of Henry James from 1898 to 1916. Parsons also designed several gardens in Broadway including Court Farm, home of Mary Anderson (Mme de Navarro), Broadway Court with its wonderful yew topiary, Bell Farm, home of the pianist and composer Miss Maud Valerie White and eventually his own at Luggershill.

Parsons became President of the Society of Painters in Water Colour in 1905 and full RA in 1911 on the acceptance of his diploma work, the oil painting Orange Lilies which Parsons painted in his back garden at Luggershill. Orange Lilies was on public display in the ‘Exhibition of the work of John Singer Sargent and members of the Broadway Colony’ at Trinity House, Broadway, during the 2010 Broadway Arts Festival. Parsons died at Luggershill (now known as Luggers Hall), Broadway, Worcestershire, on 16th January 1920.

The next Broadway Arts Festival will take place from 8th – 17th June 2018 and will offer a varied schedule of events including talks, art workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions, music and theatre. The village is a centre for the arts with its unique heritage of the world-famous colony of American artists, writers and musicians – the Broadway Colony.

If you are interested in staying in Broadway during the 2018 Festival please visit our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway, just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village.