Saturday 30 May 2015

THE TRUE COST OF FASHION .'The True Cost' - Official Trailer

Review: ‘The True Cost’ Investigates High Price of Fashion Bargains
The True Cost

A distressing overview of the consequences of our addiction to fast fashion, “The True Cost” might suggest another exposé of corporate greed versus environmental well-being. That is certainly in evidence, but under the gentle, humane investigations of its director, Andrew Morgan, what emerges most strongly is a portrait of exploitation that ought to make us more nauseated than elated over those $20 jeans.

To learn who is paying for our bargains, Mr. Morgan dives to the bottom of the supply chain, to the garment factories of Cambodia and Bangladesh and the cotton fields of India, where he links ecological and health calamities to zealous pesticide use. Garment workers subsisting on less than $3 a day recount beatings by bosses who resent unionization and requests for higher wages. At the same time, a factory owner in Bangladesh — where the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building caused more than 1,000 deaths — tells us candidly that when retailers squeeze him, he must squeeze his employees.

“There are a lot of worse things they could be doing,” a former sourcing manager for the fashion brand Joe Fresh says about these unfortunates, echoing an all-too-familiar justification. A visit to Haiti, however, where millions of tons of our castoff clothing have clogged landfills and destroyed the local clothing industry, makes us wonder how much worse these people’s lives could become.

Offering few solutions beyond a single fair-trade fashion company, “The True Cost” — whose serene interludes compete with sickening recordings of Black Friday shopping riots and so-called clothing haul videos — stirs and saddens. Not least because it’s unlikely to reach the young consumers most in need of its revelations.

“The True Cost” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Toxic chemicals and obscene consumption.

The True Cost,’ a Different Kind of Fashion Documentary
Vanessa Friedman

I suppose it was inevitable that after the spate of fashion brands embracing documentaries (see Dior, Gucci, Chanel, Valentino, Gaultier), many of which proved surprisingly effective pieces of industry propaganda, a director would come along to put the whole thing in context.

Sort of.

That director is Andrew Morgan, and his film is “The True Cost,” which probably gives you some idea of the subject. It premiered in Cannes, complete with a red carpet appearance by Livia and Colin Firth (Ms. Firth is one of the film’s executive producers and also appears on screen, as do — full disclosure — I, sitting next to her on a panel at a Copenhagen Fashion Summit). It will be screened Thursday night at the IFC Center in New York, with public showings beginning Friday, and open later in London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. It will also be available on iTunes and Netflix.

Viewers will get a feature-length look at the human and environmental cost of fast fashion, from workers in Bangladesh to cotton farmers in Texas, by way of India, Cambodia and Fifth Avenue. It is affecting and upsetting, and will probably make some consumers think twice about where they buy clothes — though arguably the sort of moviegoers attracted to a film like this already share its point of view.

Mr. Morgan, who also provides the narration, comes at his subject with the naïveté and enthusiasm of an amateur — he acknowledges that he didn’t think much about his clothes beyond style and cost until he started the film; he didn’t, that is, think about supply chain issues. This viewpoint gives the film’s difficult and multidimensional subject an easy-to-swallow accessibility.

But it also oversimplifies it to an extreme and, it seems to me, undermining degree.

Starting with the fact that, either for brevity or impact, Mr. Morgan conflates “fast fashion” with “fashion” writ large. And while he is condemning the Main Street megaliths for producing in sweatshops, he slips in photographs of high-end runway shows, implying that they also produce in sweatshops. Yet fashion (the “almost $3 trillion industry,” as he calls it) is not created equal, and fashion’s impacts are not equal. Sports brands have different problems from premium brands, many of which have their own factories, and premium brands have different problems from mass brands.

This is not to say that high-end fashion should not be taken to task for its failings, but simply that to police a sector effectively, or call it out on its shortcomings, you need to do it in an informed and realistic way. Otherwise you create openings for companies to dismiss the charges as irrelevant, which can taint the whole project.

(Not that any companies, aside from those known to have an ethical agenda like Stella McCartney and People Tree, appeared willing to speak to Mr. Morgan, which suggests they have their own fears about this subject. I think that was a big mistake. To begin to address the issues we first have to know what they are, thorns and all.)

Similarly, though lots of eye-popping statements are used, including that fashion is the second-most-polluting industry on the planet, after oil, they are unattributed. Because they are so powerful, this seems a surprising omission.

I emailed Mr. Morgan to ask about the pollution comment, and he wrote back that it came from both the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Danish Fashion Institute, and that the statement referred to the whole process used by the fashion industry. “The chemical industry” — which I mentioned in my query — “is now most often seen as being a part of other key industries, fashion being key among them,” Mr. Morgan wrote.

Still, “The True Cost” would not have been hurt if Mr. Morgan had taken a slightly more granular approach to his subject — had he, say, included the sources of his statistics, or limited himself to the biggest, most mass-market brands, as they touch the most people. He spent two years making the film, visiting 13 countries, and it’s hard not to feel in the end that he was overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. In trying to do everything, he skirted a lot of things, including acknowledging the shades of gray in this subject.

It’s too bad, because doing less might actually have added up to more.

Sunday 17 May 2015

“Lord Peter Wimsey was a kind of Bertie Wooster with Brains” … The Unique, Unforgettable, Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter Wimsey/ BBC / VÍDEO /Ian Carmichael OBE - BBC Obituary

LORD PETER WIMSEY The Complete Collection starring Ian Carmichael. "No crust has even been more upper, no sleuth more of a hoot." —Los Angeles Times The acclaimed BBC dramas seen on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre! Here at last are all five of the original BBC adaptations of Dorothy L. Sayers’ crime thrillers featuring Ian Carmichael as the brilliant aristocratic sleuth. Hailed by critics as one of the finest mystery series ever filmed, it was so successful on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre that it single-handedly inspired the spin-off Mystery! Running at least three hours each, these dramas do full justice to Sayers’ vivid characters and elegant 1920s settings. THE MYSTERIES: Clouds of Witness, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, Murder Must Advertise, The Nine Tailors, Five Red Herrings DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE exclusive Ian Carmichael interviews, filmographies, interactive trivia and Dorothy L. Sayers materials.

Ian Carmichael starred as Wimsey in radio adaptations of the novels made by the BBC, all of which have been available on cassette and CD from the BBC Radio Collection. In the original series, which ran on Radio 4 from 1973–83, no adaptation was made of the seminal Gaudy Night, perhaps because the leading character in this novel is Harriet and not Peter; this was corrected in 2005 when a version specially recorded for the BBC Radio Collection was released starring Carmichael and Joanna David. The CD also includes a panel discussion on the novel, the major participants in which are P. D. James and Jill Paton Walsh. Gaudy Night was released as an unabridged audio book read by Ian Carmichael in 1993.

    In How I Came to Invent the Character of Lord Peter Wimsey, Sayers wrote:
    Lord Peter's large income... I deliberately gave him... After all it cost me nothing and at the time I was particularly hard up and it gave me pleasure to spend his fortune for him. When I was dissatisfied with my single unfurnished room I took a luxurious flat for him in Piccadilly. When my cheap rug got a hole in it, I ordered him an Aubusson carpet. When I had no money to pay my bus fare I presented him with a Daimler double-six, upholstered in a style of sober magnificence, and when I felt dull I let him drive it. I can heartily recommend this inexpensive way of furnishing to all who are discontented with their incomes. It relieves the mind and does no harm to anybody.

    “Lord Peter Wimsey burst upon the world of detective fiction with an explosive "Oh, damn!" and continued to engage readers in eleven novels and two sets of short stories; the final novel ended with a very different "Oh, damn!". Sayers once commented that Lord Peter was a mixture of Fred Astaire and Bertie Wooster, which is most evident in the first five novels. However, it is evident through Lord Peter's development as a rounded character that he existed in Sayers's mind as a living, breathing, fully human being. Sayers introduced detective novelist Harriet Vane in Strong Poison. Sayers remarked more than once that she had developed the "husky voiced, dark-eyed" Harriet to put an end to Lord Peter via matrimony. But in the course of writing Gaudy Night, Sayers imbued Lord Peter and Harriet with so much life that she was never able, as she put it, to "see Lord Peter exit the stage".

    Sayers did not content herself with writing pure detective stories; she explored the difficulties of First World War veterans in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, discussed the ethics of advertising in Murder Must Advertise, and advocated women's education (then a controversial subject) and role in society in Gaudy Night. In Gaudy Night, Miss Barton writes a book attacking the Nazi doctrine of Kinder, Kirche, Küche, which restricted women's roles to family activities, and in many ways the whole of Gaudy Night can be read as an attack on Nazi social doctrine. The book has been described as "the first feminist mystery novel."

    Sayers's Christian and academic interests are also apparent in her detective series. In The Nine Tailors, one of her most well-known detective novels, the plot unfolds largely in and around an old church dating back to the Middle Ages. Change ringing of bells also forms an important part of the novel. In Have His Carcase, the Playfair cipher and the principles of cryptanalysis are explained. Her short story Absolutely Elsewhere refers to the fact that (in the language of modern physics) the only perfect alibi for a crime is to be outside its light cone, while The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager's Will contains a literary crossword puzzle.

    Sayers also wrote a number of short stories about Montague Egg, a wine salesman who solves mysteries.

    “Lord Peter begins his hobby of investigation by recovering The Attenbury Emeralds in 1921. He also becomes good friends with Scotland Yard detective Charles Parker, a sergeant in 1921 who eventually rises to the rank of Commander. Bunter, a man of many talents himself, not least photography, often proves instrumental in Peter's investigations. However, Wimsey is not entirely well. At the end of the investigation in Whose Body? (1923) he hallucinates that he is back in the trenches. He soon recovers his senses and goes on a long holiday.

    The next year, he travels (in Clouds of Witness, 1926) to the fictional Riddlesdale in North Yorkshire to assist his older brother Gerald, who has been accused of murdering Captain Denis Cathcart, their sister's fiancé. As Gerald is the Duke of Denver, he is tried by the entire House of Lords, as required by the law at that time, to much scandal and the distress of his wife Helen. Their sister, Lady Mary, also falls under suspicion. Lord Peter clears the Duke and Lady Mary, to whom Parker is attracted.

    As a result of the slaughter of men in the First World War, there was in the UK a considerable imbalance between the sexes. It is not exactly known when Wimsey recruited Miss Climpson to run an undercover employment agency for women, a means to garner information from the otherwise inaccessible world of spinsters and widows, but it is prior to Unnatural Death (1927), in which Miss Climpson assists Wimsey's investigation of the suspicious death of an elderly cancer patient.

    As recounted in the short story "The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba", in December 1927 Wimsey fakes his own death, supposedly while hunting big game in Tanganyika, to penetrate and break up a particularly dangerous and well-organised criminal gang. Only Wimsey's mother and sister, the loyal Bunter and Inspector Parker know he is still alive. Emerging victorious after more than a year masquerading as "the disgruntled sacked servant Rogers", Wimsey remarks that "We shall have an awful time with the lawyers, proving that I am me." In fact, he returns smoothly to his old life, and the interlude is never referred to in later books.

    During the 1920s, Wimsey has affairs with various women, which are the subject of much gossip in Britain and Europe. This part of his life remains hazy: it is hardly ever mentioned in the books set in the same period; most of the scanty information on the subject is given in flashbacks from later times, after he meets Harriet Vane and relations with other women become a closed chapter. In Busman's Honeymoon Wimsey facetiously refers to a gentleman's duty "to remember whom he had taken to bed" so as not to embarrass his bedmate by calling her by the wrong name.

    There are several references to a relationship with a famous Viennese opera singer, and Bunter – who evidently was involved with this, as with other parts of his master's life – recalls Wimsey being very angry with a French mistress who mistreated her own servant. The only one of Wimsey's earlier women to appear in person is the artist Marjorie Phelps, who plays an important role in The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. She has known Wimsey for years and is attracted to him, though it is not explicitly stated whether they were lovers. Wimsey likes her, respects her, and enjoys her company – but that isn't enough. In Strong Poison, she is the first person other than Wimsey himself to realise that he has fallen in love with Harriet.

    In Strong Poison Lord Peter encounters Harriet Vane, a cerebral, Oxford-educated mystery writer, while she is on trial for the murder of her former lover. He falls in love with her at first sight. Wimsey saves her from the gallows, but she believes that gratitude is not a good foundation for marriage, and politely but firmly declines his frequent proposals. Lord Peter encourages his friend and foil, Chief Inspector Charles Parker, to propose to his sister, Lady Mary Wimsey, despite the great difference in their rank and wealth. They marry and have a son, named Charles Peter ("Peterkin"), and a daughter, Mary Lucasta.

    While on a fishing holiday in Scotland, Wimsey instigates and takes part in the investigation of the murder of an artist, related in Five Red Herrings. Despite the rejection of his marriage proposal, he continues to court Miss Vane. In Have His Carcase, he finds Harriet is not in London, but learns from a reporter that she has discovered a corpse while on a walking holiday on England's south coast. Wimsey is at her hotel the next morning. He not only investigates the death and offers proposals of marriage, but also acts as Harriet's patron and protector from press and police. Despite a prickly relationship, they work together to identify the murderer.

    Back in London, Wimsey goes undercover as "Death Bredon" at an advertising firm, working as a copywriter (Murder Must Advertise). Bredon is framed for murder, leading Charles Parker to "arrest" Bredon for murder in front of numerous witnesses. To distinguish Death Bredon from Lord Peter Wimsey, Parker smuggles Wimsey out of the police station and urges him to get into the papers. Accordingly Wimsey accompanies "a Royal personage" to a public event, leading the press to carry pictures of both "Bredon" and Wimsey. In 1934 Wimsey in (The Nine Tailors) must unravel a 20-year-old case of missing jewels; an unknown corpse; a missing World War I soldier believed alive; a murderous escaped convict believed dead and a mysterious code concerning church bells.

    By 1935 Lord Peter is in continental Europe, acting as an unofficial attaché to the British Foreign Office. Harriet Vane contacts him about a problem she has been asked to investigate in her college at Oxford (Gaudy Night). At the end of their investigation, Vane finally accepts Wimsey's proposal of marriage.

    The couple marry on 8 October 1935, at St. Cross Church, Holywell Street, Oxford, as depicted in the opening collection of letters and diary entries in Busman's Honeymoon. The Wimseys honeymoon at Talboys, a house in east Hertfordshire near where Harriet had lived as a child, that Peter has bought for her as a wedding present. There they find the body of the previous owner, and spend their honeymoon solving the case, thus having the eponymous "Busman's Honeymoon".

    Over the next five years, according to Sayers' short stories, the Wimseys have three sons: Bredon Delagardie Peter Wimsey (born in October 1936 in the story "The Haunted Policeman"); Roger Wimsey (born 1938), and Paul Wimsey (born 1940). However, according to the wartime publications of The Wimsey Papers, published in The Spectator, the second son was called Paul. It may be presumed that Paul is named after Lord Peter's maternal uncle Paul Delagardie. "Roger" is an ancestral Wimsey name. Sayers told friends orally that Harriet and Peter were to eventually have five children in all.

    In the final Wimsey story, the 1942 short story "Talboys", Peter and Harriet are enjoying rural domestic bliss with their three sons when Bredon, their first-born, is accused of the theft of prize peaches from the neighbour's tree. Peter and the accused set off to investigate and, of course, prove Bredon's innocence.”

Tuesday 12 May 2015

The keepers tweed fabric

 A heavy duty densely woven tweed developed for outdoor use in the north of England and Scotland. It generally weighs anywhere from about 25 oz. per metre/yard to perhaps 32 oz.
(worn by the game keepers/managers on the estate)

Sunday 10 May 2015

1945 / Berlin / London. Watch Vídeos below ...

Berlin in July 1945 (HD 1080p color footage)

That's how it looked like just after the Second World War in Berlin!

Fascinating moving pictures in color show the situation of the city in summer 1945, just after the Second World War and the capitulation of Germany. Daily life after years of war.
 Pictures from the destroyed city, the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, Adlon, Führerbunker, Unter den Linden, rubble women working in the streets, the tram is running again.
 A collage of archive material
produced by: Kronos Media

London Builds Again (1945/6)

Mute colour film shot by an amateur cinematographer of the construction of prefabricated housing in post-war London. The film has inter-titles throughout.
The film opens with a shot of St Paul's Cathedral, followed by a sign at the base of Nelson's Column reading 'The time of destruction is ended ... the era of reconstruction begins. H.M. the King". Another sign reads 'Save for reconstruction'. The demolition of a bomb-damaged building. Intertitles introduce the construction of Orlit Houses; a sign on-site reads 'Ministry of Works. Experimental Permanent Houses. Poplar Site'. The construction of the houses are shown from constructing the concrete frames through to the finished dwellings. A sign on-site reads 'Richard Costain Limited London SW1'. Mr George Tomlinson and Mr Charles Key, the Minister of Works open the first house in February 1946, watched by crowds of on-lookers. Detailed shots of the interior of one of the houses.
The Film and Video Archive of the Imperial War Museum was established in 1920, making it one of the first film archives in the world. It holds some 120 million feet of film and 6,500 house of video tape. A large proportion of material has been transferred to the Museum from the armed Services and other public bodies as the Archive is the official repository for these films.
More information about this film can be found via the Film and Video section of the Imperial War Museums on-line catalogue:
Running time5mins
Matthew Nathan camera-operator and editor
Original format: 16mm

Thursday 7 May 2015

"Housekeeping" Earl Bathurst in Cirencester Park

Housekeeper jailed for stealing antiques and artwork from employer
Former show jumper Kim Roberts sentenced to three years after admitting to theft of items including a Picasso sketch from homes of wealthy countess
Steven Morris

A former show jumper who stole antiques and art including a Picasso sketch and Ben Nicholson painting from a wealthy countess while working as her housekeeper has been jailed for three years.

Kim Roberts, 59, was told by a judge that her offences against Lady Bathurst were “greedy and calculated”.

Roberts admitted stealing from Bathurst’s homes in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, and south-west London. She also admitted taking a Volvo car from another former employer, the interior designer Emily Olympitis.

In addition she pleaded guilty to giving false details to employment agency Holland Park Staffing, which supplies butlers and nannies, so that previous convictions for dishonesty would not be discovered.

Her barrister, Simon Roberts, pleaded for leniency at Gloucester crown court saying she had had a “disastrous life” and was terrified of going to prison because she looked after her disabled son.

He pointed out that the artwork had not even been missed until she came to sell it. But Judge William Hart said the law was there to protect everyone, “whether prince or pauper”.

Ian Dixey, prosecuting, said Kim Roberts worked for a little under a month as a housekeeper for Bathurst in the spring of 2013.

Soon after she left, Roberts had a Nicholson painting valued. She was told it was worth £200,000, but dealers she spoke to were suspicious about where she had got it from. A gallery owner recognised it as belonging to Bathurst and contacted her.

Bathurst did not realise it was missing as it had been kept in a study, covered up. It was only then that she realised other property, including the Picasso sketch, were missing.

Police were called in and Roberts was arrested when she arrived at the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair, London, where she had arranged to meet a gallery owner hoping to sell the Nicholson painting.

Dixey said: “As Ms Roberts arrived at the club she was arrested. She was searched and items found in her handbag included a set of keys, which were to Lady Bathurst’s London flat.

“Her [Roberts’] home in Colyton [in Devon] was then searched and officers could immediately see there were a large number of items of value in the property. There were more than 50 items, mainly antique silver and things of that sort.

“When the defendant was interviewed she said that the Ben Nicholson painting and the Picasso sketch had in effect been given to her and that she was entitled to sell them.”

Roberts claimed that other items in her possession – such as a box with Bathurst’s name written on it – had been dumped. Items found had been taken from both Bathurst’s Gloucestershire and London homes.

Later police found that the car was driving had false number plates. It had been stolen from Olympitis in 2012.

Dixey said Roberts’ fraud against Holland Park Staffing involved changing the 6 in her date of birth 1956 on her driving licence to 8. This was clearly because she had a criminal record that she did not want to be discovered, he said.

The prosecutor said Roberts had been convicted of offences including deception, shoplifting and forgery in the late 1980s and 90s.

He told the court it was impossible to put a valuation on what she had stolen. “But it was in breach of trust and there were clearly items of sentimental value as well as high material value,” he said. “She worked for very wealthy people who perhaps did not miss things in the way that others might have done.”

Simon Burns, for Roberts, said she was “extremely contrite” but argued that it had not been ”elaborate or complicated” offending.

He told the court the paintings stolen would “not immediately have been missed” because they were “not on the walls being appreciated”.

The Picasso sketch, he said, was a “very simple’” one and not worth more than £100,000. The Nicholson still life from 1945 was worth between £80,000 and £120,000, he said.

Roberts’ motivation was that she had “fallen from her very comfortable position that she once enjoyed a long time ago”, Burns continued.

“She had been married comfortably and was looked after. But that marriage broke down. She has suffered from depression since 1987. The partners and relationships she has had have all failed. She has had what is quoted in the medical paperwork as a disastrous life.

“She suffered a severe road traffic accident which resulted in her contracting a brain tumour in 2001. The only thing she could do was domestic work. She became a housekeeper. It was not a career of choice.

“She was a single mum with a son who required constant care. He is 29 and she cares for him. He functions at the level of a 15-year-old and is on constant medication. She is extremely anxious about him and who is going to look after him if she is in prison. She had fallen on hard times and resorted to stealing to save herself from financial destitution.

“A lot of people speak highly of her. She has looked after a number of families. She was a horsewoman who competed as a show jumper at Hickstead. All that has been lost.”

Sentencing Roberts, the judge said “These were premeditated offences by you as an employee with the clearest intention of selling the items on. There is a greedy and calculated nature to your offending. What you did in effect was to repay your employer’s trust with avarice and dishonesty.

“Lady Bathurst is a wealthy woman from a wealthy family and you no doubt thought she could easily bear the loss, even if she did discover it. The fact she is wealthy is not a mitigating factor. The criminal justice system should protect all, whether prince or pauper.”

He praised the “integrity and professionalism” of the art dealers involved in the case and said it was thanks to their honesty that all the stolen property Roberts tried to sell was recovered.

The 9th Earl and Countess Bathurst, with Lord Apsley and Lady Rosie Bathurst (middle)

Allen Christopher Bertram Bathurst, 9th Earl Bathurst (born 11 March 1961), known as Lord Apsley till 2011, is a British peer and conservationist.
Born on 11 March 1961 as the eldest son of Henry Bathurst, 8th Earl Bathurst and Judith Mary Nelson, he lives with his wife Sara at Cirencester Park, the Bathurst family seat. With the death of his father on 16 October 2011, he became the 9th Earl Bathurst, of Bathurst in the County of Sussex (Great Britain, let. pat. 27 Aug 1772), 9th Baron Bathurst, of Battlesden in the County of Bedford (Great Britain, let. pat. 1 Jan 1712), and the 8th Baron Apsley, of Apsley in the County of Sussex (Great Britain, let. pat. 24 Jan 1771).

Bathurst married first Hilary George, 2nd daughter of John F. George on 31 May 1986. They divorced in 1994. With her he has two children, a son and a daughter:

Benjamin George Henry Bathurst, Lord Apsley (born 6 March 1990)
Lady Rosie Meriel Lilias Bathurst (born 1992)
On 5 June 1996, he married secondly Sara Chapman, currently named The Countess Bathurst, daughter of Christopher and Marguerite Chapman of Ilminster, Somerset.
Bathurst runs the Bathurst Estate, covering some 15,500 acres of countryside. It includes much of the village of Sapperton and Coates, including Pinbury Park, and lays claim to the principal source of the River Thames. Within the estate is the famous Ivy Lodge polo ground, Cirencester Park Polo Club being founded in 1894, making it the oldest playing ground in the United Kingdom. He also runs Cirencester Park Farms which farms 4,500 acres of arable crops, partially organic, and a herd of Gloucester Cattle.

As a conservationist, he has campaigned to preserve the rural countryside and various historic buildings. Most notably The Earl and Countess, as Lord and Lady Apsley, made headline news when they tried to save an historic building in The Cattle Market in Cirencester, built by the 6th Earl Bathurst for the Mansion's old Kitchen Garden. When they discovered it was to be demolished by the County Council to make way for a Leisure Centre, they threatened to chain themselves to the building to prevent the demolition going ahead. The problem was eventually solved when Bathurst negotiated with the demolition company to buy back the building and it was removed, brick by brick to the family estate.

Bathurst is a President of Cirencester Housing and Marshall of the St Lawrence Hospital Trust. He is also the founding Director of the annual Cotswold Show, held every July on the Bathurst Estate and a Patron of the Cotswolds Museum Trust. He is President of The Cirencester Hospital League of Friends, President of Cirencester Band, President of The Cirencester Male Voice Choir, Steward of The Cirencester Society in London, Patron of The Cirencester Cricket Club, and President of Cirencester Park Polo Club.

Bathurst is involved in the National Farmers Union. He is President of the Gloucestershire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), a governor of the Royal Agricultural University, past President of the Three Counties Agricultural Society and Director of the Gloucestershire Farming Trust.

Cirencester Park is a country house in the parish of Cirencester in Gloucestershire, England, and is the seat of the Bathurst family, Earls Bathurst. It is a Grade II* listed building.

Allen Bathurst, the first Earl Bathurst (1684–1775), inherited the estate on the death of his father, Sir Benjamin Bathurst, in 1704. He was a Tory Member of Parliament and statesman who from 1714 devoted himself to rebuilding the house formerly known as Oakley Grove, which probably stands on the site of Cirencester Castle, and laying out the famous parkland.

In 1716 Bathurst acquired the extensive estate of Sapperton from the Atkyns family, including Oakley Wood, and went on to plant one of the finest landscape gardens in England, complete with park buildings, walks, seats, grottoes and ruins. They include Alfred’s Hall, now taken to be the earliest recorded Gothick garden building in England, which is also a grade II* listed building.

Allen Bathurst was raised to the peerage as a baron in 1711 and an earl in 1772, and was a patron of art and literature no less than a statesman. The poet Alexander Pope was a frequent visitor to Cirencester House; he advised on the lay-out of the gardens and designed the building known as Pope's Seat in the park, which commands a splendid view of woods and avenues. Jonathan Swift was another appreciative visitor.

The house contains portraits by Lawrence, Gainsborough, Romney, Lely, Reynolds, Hoppner, Kneller and many others, and a set of giant marble columns carrying busts, which are genuine antiques, collected in Italy by Lord Apsley, the son of the third earl, at the time of the Congress of Vienna in 1814.

There were additions to the house by Sir Robert Smirke about 1830.

Subsequent earls were patrons of the Arts and Crafts movement, when Ernest Gimson and the Barnsley brothers, Sidney and Ernest, settled at Pinbury Park on the Cirencester estate in 1894. Norman Jewson joined them in 1907, and describes his life as a student of Gimson in Sapperton in his classic memoir, By Chance I did Rove (1952).

The estate includes much of the villages of Sapperton and Coates, including Pinbury Park, and lays claim to containing the principal source of the River Thames.[citation needed]

Apsley House, at Hyde Park in London, was built for Lord Apsley, later the third earl Bathurst, Lord Chancellor, by the architect, Robert Adam. In 1807 the house was purchased by Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, who in 1817 sold it to his famous brother, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (who presented his portrait, today still in Cirencester House).

The house has the tallest yew hedge in Britain. The semi-circular hedge, which is 33 feet wide and 150 yards long, is believed to have been planted in about 1710. The tonne of clippings produced by its annual trimming are sold to pharmaceutical companies who use extracts as a key ingredient of Docetaxel, a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast, ovarian and lung cancer.

7th Earl Bathurst  

The 8th Earl Bathurst
The 8th Earl Bathurst, who died on October 16 aged 84, was a junior Conservative minister at the Home Office and Lord-in-Waiting to the Queen, but his public offices never matched his private antics for originality and spice.

"Barmy" Bathurst, as he was known, inherited the earldom and Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire from his grandfather, the 7th Earl, in 1943, the year after his father, Lord Apsley, DSO, MC, MP, had been killed, and was a keen countryman who rode hard to hounds, as well as a just and jovial landlord.
He followed in the footsteps of the 1st Earl, – a former Tory MP for Cirencester and friend of Pope, Swift and Congreve who afforested 3,000 acres of the estate in 1720 – by becoming a keen forester himself and President of the Royal Forestry Society as well as Councillor for the Timber Growers' Association.
An apiarist and an able farmer, Bathurst was also the owner of "Jim" and "Joe", the last working oxen in this country. He ran Cirencester Park Polo Club and was active in local affairs – it was his job, among others, to hand out the Bledisloe Trophies to well-kept Cotswold villages. He was also a governor at the Royal Agricultural College for many years.
Henry Allen John Bathurst was born on May 1 1927 the eldest son of Allen Bathurst, Lord Apsley, and his wife Violet. He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1948 he joined the military and served as a lieutenant in the 10th Royal Hussars and as a captain in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars (TA).
In 1957 Bathurst became honorary secretary of the Agricultural Committee in the House of Lords and a Lord-in-Waiting to the Queen. He was Chancellor of the Primrose League from 1959 to 1961 as well, and, during this time, at was President of the Gloucestershire Branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural England.
His political career was short-lived, however, and reached its peak when he was appointed Joint Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office in 1961, only to be discharged the following year by Harold Macmillan in the "night of the long knives".
Thereafter, Bathurst retired to the family seat, though his work for the Tory Party continued under other guises: in 1968, to raise funds for the Party, he sold a 2nd Century Samian cup that had been found among Roman ruins on the estate in 1891.
Bathurst's duties at Cirencester Park included riding as Master of the Valley of The White Horse Hounds, the Gloucestershire pack kept by his family since the 1830s. He cut a dashing figure on a horse, and became the first English peer to ride a Russian horse to hounds, so keen was he to introduce Russian-bred horses to the local hunting fraternity.
In 1965, however, in order reduce costs for both hunts, he merged his own twenty couple with the local Vale of The White Horse pack. But he diversified into other equestrian pursuits, founding Cirencester Park Polo Club – venue of the famous chukka which saw the Prince of Wales come a cropper mid-swing and break his arm.
Scandal struck in the Eighties when, twice, (in 1982 and 1988), plantations of cannabis and opium poppies were found to be growing within the Park walls, tended by local opportunists who were later jailed. Bathurst weathered the ensuing press attention with the same grace as he employed in 1989, when he lost his driving licence for 15 months after a four-hour lunchtime "jolly" with friends.
In 1988 Bathurst had moved to a farmhouse on the estate to make way for Lord Apsley, his son and heir, yet he remained involved in the running of things. In 2003, driving through the Park on his way home from a polo match, his Landrover was overtaken on the grass verge by a Volkswagen Golf travelling at 40 to 50mph. Roused to heights of fury by this flagrant breach of the estate's 20mph speed limit, the 76-year-old Earl gave chase, flashing his lights, sounding his horn and engaging in off-road manoeuvres to try and get the offender to stop. But it was the Earl himself who was forced to stop – by the security team protecting Prince William, the car's driver.
Although Clarence House issued an apology, the Earl remained unrepentant: "There are rules in the polo club about driving on the estate, and people have to stick to them", he told an interviewer. "I don't care who it is, royalty or not – speeding is not allowed on my estate. If I was to drive like that in Windsor Park, I'd end up in the Tower." He did not recognise the Prince, he explained, observing that he "thought he was some young yob in a beat-up car".
Bathurst was Chairman of the Gloucestershire branch of the Country Landowners' Association from 1968 to 1971 and a Deputy Lieutenant for Gloucestershire from 1960 to 1986.
He married first, in 1959, Judith Nelson; they had two sons and one daughter. The marriage was dissolved in 1977 and the following year he married, secondly, Gloria, widow of David Rutherston.
His son Allen Christopher Bertram Bathurst, Lord Apsley, born in 1961, succeeds to the Earldom.
The 8th Earl Bathurst, born May 1 1927, died October 16 2011

Wednesday 6 May 2015

The explicit mystery of the codpiece ...

A codpiece is a covering flap or pouch that attaches to the front of the crotch of men's trousers and usually accentuates the genital area. It was held closed by string ties, buttons, or other methods. It was an important item of European clothing in the 15th and 16th centuries
As time passed, codpieces became shaped and padded to emphasize rather than to conceal, reaching their peak of size and decoration in the 1540s before falling out of use by the 1590s. Scholars have noted that the appearance of Renaissance codpiece was coincident with aggressive spread of syphilis in the early 16th century, and suggest that it may have first served to allow extra room in the clothing for bandages or other dressings for the afflicted male member.

 Armor of the 16th century followed civilian fashion, and for a time armored codpieces were a prominent addition to the best full harnesses. A few of these are on display in museums today: the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has one, as does the Higgins Armory in Worcester, Massachusetts; the armor of Henry VIII in the Tower of London has a codpiece. In later periods, the codpiece became an object of the derision showered on outlandish fashions. Renaissance humorist François Rabelais jokingly refers to a book titled On the Dignity of Codpieces in the foreword to his book The Histories of Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Wolf Hall TV show uses 'too small' Tudor codpieces for fear of baffling US audiences
Mark Rylance, the star of BBC's Wolf Hall, reveals the impressive codpieces of the Tudor court were made smaller out of respect for audiences

Hannah Furness By Hannah Furness, Arts Correspondent7:00AM GMT 12 Dec 2014 /

They may have been the crowning glory for any right-thinking Tudor gentleman, but it appears the traditional codpiece may be a little too much for American television viewers.
The stars of Wolf Hall, the BBC’s new period drama based on the novels of Hilary Mantel, have disclosed they have been issued with “smaller”-than average codpieces, out of respect for viewers' sensibilities.
Mark Rylance, who stars as Thomas Cromwell in the forthcoming BBC series, said programme-makers had decided on “very small codpieces” which had to be “tucked away”.
He suggested allowances had been made amid concerns about the taste of modern audiences, particularly in America, who “may not know exactly what’s going on down there”.
It is one of few concessions permitted by programme-makers, who have otherwise gone to remarkable lengths to ensure historical accuracy, including trips to Shakespeare’s Globe to learn sword-fighting, lessons in etiquette and bowing, and a comprehensive study on spoons.
Mantel has given her seal of approval to the production, issuing a statement of glowing praise for how it has been adapted on screen.
Saying she was pleased programme-makers had resisted the temptation to “patronise” the Tudors to make them “cute”, she said: “My expectations were high and have been exceeded.”
When asked about the costumes in a Q&A to launch the BBC show, alongside actors Damian Lewis and Claire Foy, Rylance said they “did take a while to put on” but praised the overall effect.
“I think the codpieces are too small,” he added. “I think it was a direction from our American producers PBS [the US public service broadcaster] – they like very small codpieces which always seemed to be tucked away.”
When asked to clarify, he said: “I wasn’t personally disappointed by the codpieces: I’m a little more used to them than other people from being at the Globe for ten years.
“But I can see for modern audiences, perhaps more in America, they may not know exactly what’s going on down there.”
Lewis, who plays Henry VIII, hinted there had been some on-set “giggling” over the matter, with the curtain-like effect of the male costumes finally making it a moot point.
“Codpieces at the time in the Tudor period were a symbol of virility and actually men of the court were encouraged to wear prominent cod pieces,” he said. “It was a symbol of your virility, your derring-do, your sense of adventure.
“They were encouraged, it was a fashion, and Henry liked them.”
Colin Callender, the executive producer, later clarified there had been “no hidden codpiece memo” handed down by PBS or the BBC.
Foy, who plays Anne Boleyn, added costumes had been created and worn with meticulous detail, with no zips or Velcro added for ease and constant vigilance about whether everyone on set had the correct attire.
As well as teaching the cast to swordfight and being taught the difference between the bows suitable for Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, programme-makers also paid particular attention to who would be joining in the relatively new fashion for using a spoon.
“We had to make a decision on whether Thomas More was a spoon kind of guy,” Peter Kosminsky, the director, said. “Anne Boleyn went for spoons in a big way.”
The team relied heavily on the scholarship of Hilary Mantel, who spent five years researching the Tudor court before writing the Man Booker Prize-winning novels.
Peter Straughan, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter, said had known “absolutely nothing” about Tudor history beforehand, joking he had kept a copy of the “Dummies Guide to Elizabethans” on his desk to help him along.
Callender added he hoped the drama would perfectly suit modern audiences, who have already enjoyed high-tension programmes such as Breaking Bad.
Referring to Cromwell’s mixed reputation, he said: “Modern audiences are fascinated by characters that cross moral lines, trapped between doing the right thing and surviving.”

Wolf Hall, a six-part series covering the first two novels of Mantel’s trilogy, is due for broadcast on BBC One in January.

A little article on the history of the codpiece…

‘There is no hidden codpiece memo.’

So says Colin Callendar, executive producer of the upcoming BBC Two drama series Wolf Hall, denying claims that the size of his stars’ codpieces were reduced beyond the point of historical accuracy to avoid offending or baffling an American audience.

Actor Damian Lewis did indeed describe the black velvet codpiece that came with his costume as Henry VIII as a ‘little dinky one.’  But it was Mark Rylance, playing Thomas Cromwell himself, who provided a possible reason why, claiming that ‘modern audiences, perhaps more in America’ might ‘not know exactly what’s going on down there.’

So what exactly is this controversial garment?  The codpiece is buttoned, or tied with strings, to a man’s breeches.  It takes its name from the word ‘cod’, middle English for both ‘bag’ and ‘scrotum’, and arose because medieval men wore hose – essentially, very long socks – beneath their doublets, and nothing else in the way of underwear.

When the fourteenth-century fashion for very short doublets emerged, the codpiece was invented to cover up the gap at the top of those hose.   If you believe ‘the Parson’ in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, it was a much-needed innovation.  He disliked the short doublets of his day because ‘Alas! Some of them show the very boss of their penis and the horrible pushed-out testicles that look like the malady of hernia’.

Originally just a triangle of cloth, the codpiece became more substantial and more decorative as time went on, until its decline in the late sixteenth century.

The codpiece, of course, forms part of the picture of Henry VIII that we all carry round in our heads.  In the portraits after Hans Holbein the Younger, Henry’s enormous codpiece emphasizes his virility, and hence his capacity for providing England with heirs to the throne.  It forms the very centerpiece of Holbein’s drawing (‘The Whitehall Cartoon’) that gives us Henry’s definitive image.

None of Henry’s fabric codpieces survive, but the suit of his 1540 armour displayed at the Tower of London also has an enormous codpiece in metal, and its size suggests that Holbein was not exaggerating.  Female visitors to the Tower used to stick pins into its lining in the hope that this would increase their own fertility.

Codpieces also functioned a useful little purse for storing precious items like coins, or jewels, and tradition claims this as the origin of the expression ‘a man’s family jewels.’

They are garments that tend to arouse wonder and disbelief in post-Tudor viewers, so much so that the Museum of London has a whole drawer of codpieces that were catalogued, by a bashful Victorian curator, as ‘shoulder pads’.

But none of them were quite as big as the one worn by Rowan Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder, in his first, late-medieval, incarnation.  For his installation as Archbishop of Canterbury, Blackadder decides to wear his best and biggest codpiece.

‘Let’s go for the Black Russian,’ he tells Lord Percy.  ‘It always terrifies the clergy.’

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Round 2 / Hacking Jacket / Late 60s , from My Collection ... Jeeves.

The Origins of The Hacking Jacket

“Traditionally, as the name suggests, a Hacking Jacket was a tweed jacket worn for riding. The key features of today’s Hacking Jackets remain unchanged and all owe their roots to maintaining a stylish appearance in the saddle.

The lapels on a Hacking Jacket meet mid-chest, the jacket is lightly tailored at the waist and there are three buttons. The origins of these features are functional and stylistic. All contribute to a secure, semi-fitted jacket that allows for free movement in the saddle. A longer lapel and any less than three buttons, and the jacket would be likely to gape.

A Hacking Jacket is traditionally cut a little longer, with a long single vent at the back. Again this is designed to create a more refined silhouette in the saddle. The single vent opens over the saddleback and the front panels sit neatly on the thigh. For the contemporary wearer the effect is equally flattering, creating as it does an elongated, elegant line.
The Hacking Jacket

The pockets are slanted on a Hacking Jacket to make it easier for a rider to access them in a seated position. Today they retain this heritage feature and you will also find an additional ticket pocket on a Hacking Jacket, just above the right pocket and slightly smaller in size.”(…)