Header Image for Hurstbourne Priors Parish Council

Harry Plunket Greene

Biography
Life in Hurstbourne Priors

The Singer
The Fly-Fisherman
The Writer
St Andrew's Church
Churchyard
Celebrations 2006

Welcome to these pages on the website celebrating the connection between Harry Plunket Greene and the small Hampshire village of Hurstbourne Priors. 'Who? and Where?', you may be thinking.

Read on, however, and you will discover that Plunket Greene was a key figure in English music for almost 50 years, during the revival led by the composers Parry, Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and others.

And a short period in the history of this delightful village was brilliantly captured in his book which celebrates fly-fishing on the Bourne Rivulet with stories which bring the village of the early twentieth century to life.

Putting both together leads to a very interesting exploration of his life and times, centred on this beautiful village in southern England.

1902-13 The Irish bass-baritone, Harry Plunket Greene rented a house in Hurstbourne Priors, during the middle of his long career as international singer and singing teacher, and soon after the birth of his first son, Richard. These years took him from age 37 up to 47. He was a passionate fly-fisherman on the crystal-clear waters of the Bourne and Test. He wrote beautifully about these years in his book "Where the Bright Waters Meet", first published in 1924. It is justly celebrated as a classic of fly-fishing and lyrical evocation of the Rivers Bourne and Test, while giving a snapshot of the life of Hurstbourne Priors in the early twentieth century.

The Singer Harry Plunket Greene’s first public performance was in Handel’s Messiah in 1888. He sang at Covent Garden in the early 1890s, but it was his singing at the Three Choirs Festivals, from 1892, when he sang the part of Job in the new oratorio by Sir Hubert Parry, which brought him to prominence. He married Parry’s younger daughter, Gwendolen, in 1899. With the pianist Leonard Borwick, he gave song recitals of great range, including Schumann’s Dicterliebe and Brahms’ songs. The noted Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) wrote many songs for him. He was also highly regarded as a teacher of his art.

The Changing Village The Hurstbourne Priors of his time was already beginning to change, with the tarmacking of the road and the new watercress beds. He bewails these changes as detrimental, not least to trout fishing. The village has continued to evolve, as it must, with losses and gains through the years. It is very accessible from both the A303/M3 (London to the West Country) and A34 (Winchester to Oxford). Hurstbourne Priors remains a beautiful place in which to live.

The Centenary Celebration

2006 marked the 70th anniversary of Plunket Greene’s death, and the 100th of the dedication of the organ in St Andrew’s Church, which he commissioned to a specification by his father-in-law, Sir Hubert Parry. On the weekend of 8th-9th July, there was an opportunity for riverside walks, including a rare chance to visit 'Where the Bright Waters Meet'. On Sunday 9th July, a Choral Evensong was held mark the Centenary of the installation of the organ, and included the singing of a setting of the 150th Psalm written by Parry and performed by Harry Plunket Greene for the dedication service.

Harry Plunket Greene - Biography

 Harry Plunket Greene was born on 24th June 1865 at Old Connaught House, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. His father, Richard Jonas Greene was a barrister, and mother Louisa was a daughter of Lord Plunket, lord chancellor of Ireland. He was educated in Dublin and then Clifton College, Bristol, where a sporting accident changed the direction of his life from a career in the law to professional singing. He studied the art in Stuttgart, Florence and London from 1883.

His public singing career began in 1888 in Handel’s Messiah, which led to performances at Covent Garden and the major London concert venues. However, he leant towards oratorio and solo song. In 1890, he appeared for the first time in the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester, achieving national acclaim in the role of Job in Hubert Parry’s oratorio of the same name. He sang also in Elgar’s oratorios at the Festivals. The Irish composer, Charles Villiers Stanford wrote songs for him to sing.


Harry Plunket Greene at the Three Choirs Festival in Guidford, 1910 (left).

With the pianist, Leonard Borwick, Plunket Greene pioneered the solo song recital in London from 1893. They performed German lieder and keenly promoted English songs, many specially written for him, by Stanford, Parry, Somervell, Elgar, Walford Davies, Vaughan Williams, Quilter, O’Neill and Howells. He also sang from the Irish and English folk song tradition, drawing on material collected by Cecil Sharp.

Plunket Greene was professor at the Royal Academy of Music (1911-19) and the Royal College of Music (1912-19). He published his teaching on singing in Interpretation in Song (1912). When he retired from teaching, he devoted more time to writing about music and his great passion, fly-fishing. He was a member of the MCC, and president of the Incorporated Society of Musicians in 1933. He adjudicated in many Music Festivals in Canada and the United States of America.

He married Hubert Parry’s younger daughter, Gwendolen Maud in 1899, and they had three children, Richard (born 1901), David (1904) and Olivia (1907, baptised in St Andrew's Church). Their marriage was unhappy, and they separated in 1920. Harry Plunket Greene died on 19th August 1936 and is buried in Hurstbourne Priors Churchyard. Near his grave are those of his two sons.

Linked articles:

Harry Plunket Greene, in Groves Dictionary of Music & Musicians (4th Edition, 1940)

Greene, Harry Plunket, article by Jeremy Dibble in the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [library membership card may enable view]

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Harry Plunket Greene - His Life in Hurstbourne Priors

From BOURNE VALLEY ANTHOLOGY Compiled by Kathleen E Innes (the author and local historian - also a pacifist writer - who lived in St Mary Bourne in the 1930s-50s)

In the early years of the 20th century, there came to live for a while in Hurstbourne Priors, a singer with a national reputation, Harry Plunket Greene. Like others who have come to, and learnt to love the valley, he wrote a book about it —Where the Bright Waters Meet*, the bright waters being the Bourne, and the Test into which it flows just below Hurstbourne Priors.

Discovering a Hampshire Village ...

Fishing in Whitchurch on the Test, he tells how:—

"One Sunday morning we determined that we would follow the Test down the valley and see what the country was like. The road ran round a deer park which lay on the high ground on our right, with the river some way below on our other side, and after following this for a couple of miles we came round a corner on top of a village and fell over head and ears in love with it on the spot. It lay facing us in a broad hollow at the foot of a steep hill, It was a gorgeous day without a breath of wind, and tile smoke from the thatched cottages rose up in straight blue lines against the dark elms of the hill behind. The valley ran at right angles to the one we had come through, and in the middle of it lay the village in a golden sheet of buttercups, and through the buttercups under the beech woods of the deer park there ran a little chalk stream clear as crystal and singing like a lark.


One Sunday morning

"There was a Church half hidden in the trees and the people were just coming out after service, and there was an indescribable feeling of peace over the whole scene. It was a typical picture of English country life which Constable might have painted or Gray have sung. We followed the stream up through the meadows past the Church. We sat in the buttercups and watched the deer and the black sheep and the Highland cattle in the park above, and the wild duck on the broad water by our side, and we vowed that if ever we wanted to live in the country this would be the one and only village in the world for us."

Some years later ... he was looking for a house in the country, but not thinking of Hurstbourne Priors. He describes what happened:—


..."We hunted the papers for months in vain and despaired of getting what we wanted, when suddenly one day we saw an advertisement in The Times, saying that someone wished to let a small house at Hurstbourne Priors near Whitchurch in Hampshire, with a rod on a river close by. The name conveyed nothing to our minds. I got up next morning at cock-crow (I had to sing in London the same evening), caught the first train to Whitchurch, asked the way to Hurstbourne Priors, and walked along the same road we had walked that Sunday two years before — into the very village of our dreams!"

And so he came there again — this time to live in the house opposite the Church standing back from the road.


The Changing Village

After he left the village, when developments of which he disapproved had taken place (cress-beds, tarry roads, polluting the river water, and over-stocking of the trout) he closed the book with a moving farewell to the Bourne:—

.... "And so I say goodbye to her. The water-cress beds above the viaduct have scarred her face and marred her beauty for ever. The pollard is there still, but the trees with the wild bees are gone. The black death is creeping through the chalk and covering her eyes with a film. Materialism has her in its grasp, and the road-hog must be served.

"But somewhere, deep down, I have a dim hope that one night the fairy godmother will walk along the tarry road and stop on the bridge and listen and send a message to me in the dark; and that when the mists begin to lift and the poplars to shiver and the cock-pheasants crow in the beech-woods, the little Bourne will wake and open her eyes and find in her bosom again the exiles that she had thought were gone for good — the silver trout, and the golden gravel, and the shrimp and the duns — and smell the dust of the road, and see the sun once more, and the red and white cows in the grass, and the yellow buttercups in the meadow and the blue smoke of the cottages against the black elms of the Andover hill — and me, too, perhaps, kneeling beside her as of old and watching the little iron-blue, happy, laughing, come bobbing down to me under the trees below the Beehive bridge on the Whitchurch Road."

In His Memory

The rivulet he loved flows beside his grave in Hurstbourne Priors Churchyard. The headstone is inscribed simply:—

HARRY PLUNKET GREENE
Singer
1865 to 1936

and nearby is the grave of his son:—

DAVID PLUNKET GREENE
November 19th 1904 — February 24th 1941
"No life begun shall ever pause for death"

As those who have trod its banks pass, the making of "liquid history" by the little Bourne goes on through the centuries, enriched by their passing.

*Where the Bright Waters Meet by Harry Plunket Greene, by permission of Chatto and Windus Ltd.

Dolly Parry’s unpublished Diary 1903 describes with typical candour a visit to her sister and brother-in-law's house in Hurstbourne Priors:-

Monday Morning June 7th

by 1st. train - I started a little late for Hurstbourne - arrived there at 2. & found Gwen & Ricardo waiting at the station to meet me. Gwen’s dear little house looking charming with its new white walls & papers. Richard sublimely healthy with delicious curls & a ruddy skin. Harry returned from his fishing at dinner time but left the next morning.

Tuesday June 9th.

Poured with rain most of the day - but Gwen & I seized a pause in the afternoon to go up & call on Portsmouths - walked through their lovely Park with huge clumps of Beech trees & deer to their very hideous house & found Lord P wrapped in surgical bandages with goggles & clumps of scarlet beard escaping starting off in his motor - Lady P. to our relief was away so we returned having done our duty. Little Lady Maud Vivian -whom I never realised till yesterday was Maud Clements of Dublin days lived in the village & came in after tea. Having seen her last aged 19 going to her 1st. balls radiant & charming it was almost terrible to see her as a widow - a sad little black figure with one little girl - she said I looked exactly the same & hadn’t changed at all - it made me shy & ill at ease - & I didn’t know where to begin. She is luckily much comforted by having "a call". Lord Radstock being a great hero of hers & she goes about saving & reclaiming in the village. She took us to her little house - so pathetic - with a great deal of Londony silver ...

Gwen Plunket Greene (Harry's wife) had a somewhat less idealistic view of the village, in an undated letter to her sister. Complaining of her headaches, she goes on:-

I go home today. Hurstbourne Priors is perfectly foul. Every second a car passes, children yell incessantly & and the backs of our houses are like suburbs — the gardens running up parallel — and ours & Eva’s field planted with frightful hen houses & runs — and then the Tovanis [William Tovani was the curate from 1906 until 1909, and then vicar until 1927] — Thank God I’ve gone from here. It’s so small & surrounded after the other.

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Harry Plunket Green - The Singer

When he was younger, Harry Plunket Greene was capable of singing richly operatic bass parts, though the recordings which have survived from his performances later in life show he was then a rather light baritone, with a good range, even up to a high G on occasion. He was tall, 6'4", and had considerable personal presence.

Anthony Boden, Three Choirs - A History of the Festival (1992) notes Plunket Greene’s debut at the Festival, which brought him into prominence to English audiences:

1890 ... The Three Choirs début of the brilliant young Irish baritone, Harry Plunket Greene ...

From the unpublished Diary of Dolly Ponsonby, Harry Plunket Greene’s sister-in-law, Hubert Parry’s elder daughter: 8th September 1892.

All went to hear "Job". Harry Greene was in a state of frightful nervousness. He got white & trembled violently before he sang. "Job" simply splendid. It is simply perfect I think, & everyone seemed to think so. Dear Harry sang so gloriously, and made ... me weep.

It was this performance which brought Plunket Greene national fame. He continued to perform at the Three Choirs festival for many years. Boden records his participation in performances of Wagner’s Parsifal (1897), (1902&03). Of a performance of Peter Cornelius’ Die Vätergruft (1899), a critic commented:

The solo was artistically interpreted by Mr Plunket Greene, who sang it in the original German, but the choir appeared to be singing in an unknown tongue.


Harry Plunket Greene is on the left in picture 2, showing his continuing commitment to the Festival in 1910.

Regarding the recitals with Leonard Borwick, the pianist, in the Times Obituary of Plunket Greene, Arthur Ponsonby, his brother in law comments:-

Those tours were memorable not only for their music, but also for the dead set made by these two great musicians (Plunket Greene managing with equal tact and humour his more temperamental colleague) against the old Bohemian window-dressing, against any form of what might now be called Sangerism. They agreed at the outset never to repeat themselves in their London programmes, and Greene held to this compact until he had sung over 500 songs in public.

Borwick remained for many years his constant collaborator. The performances of these two artists of Schumann’s "Dicterliebe" cycle and the songs of Schubert and Brahms attained a level which can rarely have been surpassed. ...

In later years, Greene continued his recitals with Mr Samuel Liddle as his pianist, and introduced to his audience the songs of Parry and Stanford, who wrote many songs especially for Greene, as well as numerous other composers of the next generation. He sang the bass parts in Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at the first performance in Birmingham in 1900. He was, in fact, associated with the most important vocal music of his time, and much of it he even inspired by his own artistry. Stanford’s and Newbolt’s "Songs of the Sea" (Leeds Festival 1904) and the later "Songs of the Fleet" might never have been written and certainly never would have reached their Empire-wide public without him.

The younger generation of concert-goers might hear only a pale reflection of what his artistry had once been. But though the voice shook and the intonation was not always true, Greene’s singing of "Der Doppelgänger" of Stanford’s "Loughareema", or even such a slight song as "The poor old horse" made such an unforgettable impression upon the hearer. He got to the heart of every song he sang by careful study and brought out all its beauty and all its meaning in his performance.

A short passage in 'Where the Bright Waters Meet' gives a succinct summary of Plunket Greene's philosophy of solo singing:-

The singer's duty in the scheme of things is a simple one. He is a messenger and nothing else. He has to take a message from the poet and the composer and give it to the world at large. He is chosen for this duty as being the best man available for the purpose. If he plays to the gallery he calls attention to himself instead of to the message. That is a dereliction of duty. If he has personality as well, his crime is the greater. (page 154)

A CD of a variety of songs recorded by Harry Plunket Greene in the British Library Sound Archive is available from Cheyne Records, PO Box 132, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2XF +44 (0)1892 543293  

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Harry Plunket Greene - The Fly Fisherman



The Iron-Blue
~ Plunket Greene's favourite Fly

Harry Plunket Greene is best remembered locally and internationally as a passionate fly-fisherman, who wrote delightfully about his experiences fishing the Bourne Rivulet and River Test in 'Where the Bright Waters Meet'. Sandy Mitchell says in an article on Plunket Greene, 'Bourne To Be Wild', in The Field (July 2002):

Harry Plunket Greene described the River Bourne as ‘unquestionably the finest small trout stream in England’ — an outrageous claim in that long-gone heyday of fly-fishing, and he wrote a book that proves his point. It is a simple fishing memoir but as joyful a masterpiece as any in literature. If you read it you will remember how it felt when you first fell in love with the sport.



Harry fishing with his son, Richard

Card sent by Harry to his fiancée's sister, Dolly (Dorothea Parry)
two months before his marriage.

Click here for an extract from Where the Bright Waters Meet on the Fly Fishing History website.

  • Click on the map for some views of the river and other local features. To return to this page press the Back button.

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Harry Plunket Greene - The Writer

Books by Harry Plunket Greene

Plunket Greene has an easygoing, humorous and self-deprecating writing style and a gift for vivid story-telling. He engages the reader man to man: you feel you have become his good friend and companion. Both his singing and writing about song show him to be very sensitive to words and their effect, and this gives his own writing both precision and occasional beauty. One factor in the enduring popularity of 'Where the Bright Waters Meet' is the discovery and then loss of paradise. He recognises the power of nostalgia in shaping his tale. Old England was rapidly giving way before the modern age.

1912 Interpretation in Song, The Musicians Library, Macmillan and Co & Stainer and Bell, London

1916 Pilot and Other Stories, Macmillan and Co, London

1924 Where the Bright Waters Meet, Philip Allan & Co, London (many later editions, all now out of print)

1934 From Blue Danube to Shannon, Philip Allan & Co, London

various articles in Music and Letters, - for instance in Volume 1, 1920, The Future of English Song (a subscription is necessary to see any article) - some are reproduced in From Blue Danube to Shannon.

1935 Charles Villiers Stanford, Edward Arnold, London

1946 with Edward C Bairstow, Singing Learned from Speech: A Primer for Teachers and Students, Macmillan, London

Books by Gwendolen Greene

Gwen, Harry's wife, herself became a published author, with a series of books after her reception into the Roman Catholic Church in 1926, under the influence of her uncle, Baron Friedrich von Hügel (1852-1925), the scholar and spiritual guide. Her most popular book is still in print, the letters von Hügel wrote to her between 1918 and 1924.

1929 Letters from Baron F von Hügel to a Niece (edited, with an introduction by Gwendolen Greene)

1929 Mount Zion, J M Dent, London

1930 Two Witnesses - A Personal Recollection of Hubert Parry & Friedrich von Hügel, J M Dent, London

1935 The Prophet Child, Longmans Green & Co, London

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The Parish Church of St Andrew, Hurstbourne Priors

St Andrew’s Church has been a place of worship for over 1100 years, a lasting witness to the living Lord Jesus Christ. Through the dedication and generosity of the parishioners, past and present, it remains a focus for prayer and worship for the village. There are weekly services, the most popular of which is the Family Service on the second Sunday of each month at 9.30am. As a parish church of the Church of England, we offer the full pastoral services of Baptism, Marriage and Burial, and are an important part of village life.

The parish is now in a group (Benefice) with that of Longparish - to the south, a village strung out a road which follows the course of the great chalk stream, the River Test: with St Mary Bourne, up the valley to the north: and the small parish of Woodcott, on the rolling hills in the direction of Newbury.

A Time Chart of St Andrew’s Church in the parish of Hurstbourne Priors, Diocese of Winchester, England.


In recorded history, Hurstbourne is known variously as, Hissaburna, Husseburn, Esseburn(e), Hesseburna Prioris, Hussiborne, Hursbourn(e) Priors, Hurstbourne Priors. William Cobbett, writing in his Rural Rides of November 1825, calls the village Down Husband (Lower Hurstbourne) in contrast to Up Husband, present day Hurstbourne Tarrant at the head of the Bourne Valley. The original parish had the Chapel of Burne (St Mary Bourne) as a ‘chapel of ease’ — a daughter church to provide the opportunity for prayer and preaching for parishioners living in the village some three miles up the valley road from Hurstbourne Priors. The parish of St Mary Bourne was made a separate parish in its own right in 1928.


790 first mention of manor of Hissaburna of the Royal Demesne, in the Saxon Hundred of Evingar

902 charter of Denewulf, Saxon Bishop of Winchester mentions the consecration of the church in this year.

1086 Domesday Survey records Hurstbourne Manor as having six mills - a wealthy place

12th century; Original Saxon Church was rebuilt by the Normans. First record of Hesseburna Prioris

16th century, addition of a north chapel

1574 Oxenbridge Altar Tomb installed

18th century, south transept built for the use of the Portsmouth family (the "Portsmouth Aisle")

1870 present tower built

1906 New organ installed in the chancel, according to the specification of Hubert Parry and Harry Plunket Greene. The choir stalls were also placed in the chancel and pulpit moved to its present position. More information about the Organ.

1989 Organ moved into the Portsmouth Aisle

1999 The six existing bells restored for ringing and two further bells added.

2008 Installation of new Baptismal Font designed and carved by local stone-carver Marilyn Smith to replace damaged Font.

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Hurstbourne Priors' Churchyard

The churchyard around St Andrew’s Church is approximately 3 acres, including the new extension, which received its first burial in 1930. This yard has been the burial place for inhabitants of Hurstbourne Priors for the last 1200 years. It is a beautiful ground, with yew and other mature trees, and in February has extensive areas of snowdrops. The new burial ground will be open for burials for parishioners and those who have lived in the parish, for very many years to come.

Harry Plunket Greene’s burial in 1936 was among the first in the new area and is situated at its extreme southern edge. On the plinth of the simple stone cross visitors sometimes place dry-flies, such as he would have used, in homage to his celebrated passion. However, the only word of description inscribed on the stone is ‘Singer’, showing how he is to be remembered. His two sons, Richard and David, are buried nearby.

Snowdrops in February

Memorial to Harry Plunket Greene

Three Plnket Greene Memorials

Snowdrops in February

The Three Plunket Greene memorials

 

Memorial to Harry Plunket Greene

 

The unpublished diaries of Arthur Ponsonby describe visits to his dying brother-in-law and the funeral in St Andrew's:

Aug 9, 1936:
Had to go up to London to see poor Harry Greene in Hospital. Very terrible, he is dying. Another instance of that intolerable lingering at the gate of death. How inhuman we are. Was glad to help Gwen a little by talking things over. She is at a loss, remorse at the past and confusion of the present. Olivia no help at all, most strange, almost uncanny.

Aug 14:
Poor Harry Greene still sinking.

Aug 19:
Harry Greene died. Asked to write a note for the Times about him. But his shining virtue of loyalty and of concealing his suffering, his resolution to work in spite of a natural phlegmatic tendency, his refusal to complain of his domestic life having been spoilt were all too intimate and revealing of his home trouble to be made the subject of public comment.

Aug 22:
Funeral at Hurstbourne. We drove over in the blazing sunshine, a lovely spot. Harry was buried between the cricket field and the stream. The service as usual jarred on me and I noticed Richard and Elizabeth Greene reverently and quietly ignoring it while Gwen and Olivia, although RCs, were mumbling and praying and singing.

Anthony Boden describes the tribute to Plunket Greene in that year's Three Choirs Festival (Three Choirs - A History of the Festival, p184)

1936 Three Choirs Festival at Hereford: "At the Thursday morning concert an additional item was inserted into the programme: Roy Henderson sang ‘Farewell’ from Stanford’s ‘Songs of the Fleet’ in tribute to Harry Plunket Greene who had died three weeks previously."

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A Celebration of Harry Plunket Greene in Hurstbourne Priors

2006 marked the 100th Anniversary of the installation of the organ by Harry Plunket Greene and Hubert Parry and its dedication and the 70th Anniversary of Plunket Greene's death.


“I think it was the Best Weekend I Have Ever Had!”



Village HallThe weekend of 8th - 9th July in celebration of Harry Plunket Greene
in Hurstbourne Priors was generally agreed to have been a hugely enjoyable one. From the opening at 10.00am on the Saturday, the atmosphere in the Village Hall was very happy, helped not least by the warm welcome given to visitors, and the gentle anticipation of the riverside walks, and the weather – sunny intervals, neither too hot, nor too cold. The refreshments sold quietly through the day, with walkers coming back from completing half of the walk, valuing a short rest and an energy boosting tea and cake, before setting out on the other leg.

From then on, there was a steady flow of people buying 
the map-ticket, and looking with great interest at the exhibitions of historic village pictures and other material (for example, The Invasion Committee War Book) from private collections, and a smaller display about the life and work of Harry Plunket Greene himself. The various items for sale, Sir Michael Tim’s numbered prints of The Bourne Rivulet, the Cheyne Records' CD of historic recordings of Plunket Greene’s singing, copies of the new edition of the classic Where the Bright Waters Meet, sold extremely well.

The Church Flower Festival also raised many compliments, with the theme, ‘the Riverside’. By the font, we actually had a flowing ‘river’, and in other arrangements trout and music (the Trout Quintet!). John Martin very kindly played the centenarian organ for visitors.
                         

Later on the Saturday evening, around 60 members of 
the village met for a happy gathering and Barbecue sponsored by the Parish Council, and salads donated by Vitacress, at the Cricket Pavilion, though now there was quite a cool wind blowing.

On the Sunday, rain fell before the walking started and left the early walkers wet around the ankles as the vegetation dried out. Soon, however, the day warmed up, and the flow of walkers resumed, and was still running at the close of the afternoon, with late arrivals just able to complete a little of the uniquely available walks before they closed.

On top of all this quiet excitement, Alan Sinclair of BBC South Today came on Sunday to gather material for a news item on the weekend, which ran later in the early evening news – just before the World Cup Final!


The weekend then finished with drinks at a reception back at the village hall, a generous gift of a happy celebration and a chance to say a most sincere Thank You to all those who had helped to make the weekend both possible and so successful.

 

  Invited guests, including three descendants of the great singer, came to the Long House, where Plunket Greene had lived from 1902-1913, for tea, while preparations were being made for the final event, Choral Evensong.


 

As a result of the weekend, £611.11 was raised towards the new font from the exhibition, sales and walks, and a further £360.65 raised from the refreshments, Flower Festival donations in the carboy in church, and the collection during Choral Evensong: a total of £971.76. In addition, the collection at Choral Evensong raised £457.90 for the hard pressed PCC general fund. This generosity really was far beyond expectation, and most encouraging.

One of the long-lasting fruits of the weekend will be the major public work of art commissioned for St Andrew’s – the village’s new baptismal font. We are looking at ways to make the archive materials displayed more available.

One village resident paused a moment from helping with the clearing up on the Sunday evening and summed up his feelings about the event,

“I think it was the best weekend I have ever had!”

   

A new Baptismal Font for St Andrew's Church was commissioned, designed and carved by Marilyn Smith, an artistic stone mason, who lives in Hurstbourne Priors. Funds raised from the celebration contributed towards the costs of carving and installing the new Font, and improving its setting in the church.

The new Font installed in August 2008.

 
 

  • We are delighted that Jeremy Dibble, Professor of Music at Durham University, and the nationally renowned scholar of Parry, Stanford and other composers who wrote for Harry Plunket Greene, has contributed an authoritative article on the place of Plunket Greene in English music

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