Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Woodland house used as a retreat by Sherlock Holmes author for sale / VIDEO: Crown And Country - The New Forest - Full Documentary

Woodland house used as a retreat by Sherlock Holmes author for sale


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former Bignell Wood home in the New Forest has an asking price of just under £3 million.


By Danielle Desouza

06 November 2022


house in the New Forest which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used as a retreat has been put on the market at just under £3 million.


Estate agent Spencers New Forest said the Sherlock Holmes creator regularly used Bignell Wood, at Brook near Lyndhurst, from 1924 to 1930 after buying it as a birthday present for his second wife Jean.


They said Sir Arthur was first drawn to the New Forest in Hampshire while researching for his book The White Company – a historical adventure published in 1891 set during the Hundred Years’ War.


Minstead, about two miles north of Lyndhurst, was referred to several time in the book, and Sir Arthur and Jean are buried in the churchyard of All Saints in the village.


The detached cottage, with an asking price of £2,950,000 and has eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and 10 living rooms.


Other amenities include a terrace, music studio, a greenhouse, garage and workshop, a barn with three stables and around six acres of woodlands which surround the house.


Spencers New Forest added that one of the standout features of the property is its “own private wooden walkway across the stream”, which has a “winding path” leading to the entrance.


More information can be found at:


New Forest National Park


Location of the National Park

Consultations on the possible designation of a National Park in the New Forest were commenced by the Countryside Agency in 1999. An order to create the park was made by the Agency on 24 January 2002 and submitted to the Secretary of State for confirmation in February 2002. Following objections from seven local authorities and others, a public inquiry was held from 8 October 2002 to 10 April 2003, and concluded by endorsing the proposal with some detailed changes to the boundary of the area to be designated.


On 28 June 2004, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael confirmed the government's intention to designate the area as a National Park, with further detailed boundary adjustments. The area was formally designated as such on 1 March 2005. A national park authority for the New Forest was established on 1 April 2005 and assumed its full statutory powers on 1 April 2006.


Forestry England retain their powers to manage the Crown land within the Park. The Verderers under the New Forest Acts also retain their responsibilities, and the park authority is expected to co-operate with these bodies, the local authorities, English Nature and other interested parties. The designated area of the National Park covers 566 km2 (219 sq mi) and includes many existing SSSIs. It has a population of about 38,000 (it excludes most of the 170,256 people who live in the New Forest local government district). As well as most of the New Forest district of Hampshire, it takes in the South Hampshire Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a small corner of Test Valley district around the village of Canada and part of Wiltshire south-east of Redlynch.


However, the area covered by the Park does not include all the areas initially proposed: it excludes most of the valley of the River Avon to the west of the Forest and Dibden Bay to the east. Two challenges were made to the designation order, by Meyrick Estate Management Ltd in relation to the inclusion of Hinton Admiral Park, and by RWE NPower Plc in relation to the inclusion of Fawley Power Station. The second challenge was settled out of court, with the power station being excluded.[56] The High Court upheld the first challenge; but an appeal against the decision was then heard by the Court of Appeal in Autumn 2006. The final ruling, published on 15 February 2007, found in favour of the challenge by Meyrick Estate Management Ltd,[58] and the land at Hinton Admiral Park is therefore excluded from the New Forest National Park. The total area of land initially proposed for inclusion but ultimately left out of the Park is around 120 km2 (46 sq mi).

Saturday, 26 November 2022

The Guardian view on the return of super-thin models: a worrying trend


The Guardian view on the return of super-thin models: a worrying trend


At a time when anxieties about body image are rife, the idealisation of skinniness is too dangerous to leave to the whims of the fashion industry


Paloma Elsesser

The ‘curve’ model Paloma Elsesser is one of the most sought-after catwalk stars.


Reports from the latest high-profile catwalk shows have sent a shiver through the bones of the body positivity movement. From Versace to Burberry and Stella McCartney, wafer-thin bodies appear to be back in vogue, in costumes that both hide little and depend on having little to hide. The most striking example was at Paris fashion week, where Bella Hadid, a model for the French designers Coperni, stood almost naked for nine minutes while a dress was sprayed on to her body.


It’s in the nature of the fashion industry to be fickle, and to reflect idealised images that have little to do with the day-to-day reality of the people who, come next spring, will be buying more prosaic interpretations of these unworldly visions on the high street. You only have to look back at the work of, say, Zandra Rhodes to appreciate that catwalk designs are artworks: the veteran British designer has even set up her own museum in London to celebrate this fact.


However, the ideal of the ultra-thin model has come to be connected over the years with all sorts of damaging behaviours, from fat-shaming to eating disorders among young men and women. It is particularly worrying to hear the term “heroin chic”, three decades after Kate Moss strutted it down the catwalk.


Though Ms Moss has distanced herself from the term, telling Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs that she was just naturally thin, one must not forget its association with others who were not so lucky, such as the American supermodel Gia Carangi, whose life, and premature death at the age of 26, were commemorated in a 1998 film starring Angelina Jolie.


The body positivity movement itself has come in for some criticism for condoning obesity and encouraging a different range of eating disorders, but in the fashion industry it has largely meant embracing models who are simply bigger than average, which in the UK means above a size 12.


Plus-size – or “curve” – models are not going away, according to analysts for the search engine Tagwalk, and one of their number, the American Paloma Elsesser, is among the world’s most sought-after catwalk stars. Yet moves by social media companies such as Instagram and TikTok to protect users from the pursuit of #thinspo (thin inspiration) underline that this is no time for complacency.


In 2017 real progress was made when two leading fashion conglomerates banned size zero models. France had recently followed Italy, Spain and Israel in legislating against the use of any who were “unrealistically thin”. The UK has yet to follow suit, leaving it to the Advertising Standards Authority to ban advertisements featuring unhealthily thin models in response to public complaints. This is shutting the gate after the cat has walked.


Last year, the parliamentary women and equalities committee published a damning report on the government’s approach to eating disorders and body image. They were responding to a submission by academics involved in a long-term research project in north-east England, whose recommendations included legislation on a minimum body mass index for models. It is an issue too important to leave to the whims of fashion.

Thursday 20 March 2014: Does The Devil read Vogue ?

“What fashion considers to be the ideal is barely a woman.”

'The incitement of misogyny in pursuit of profit.' Illustration by Matt Kenyon

If fashion is your primary means of expression, I pity you
Vogue's editor says she is bored by questions about thin models. But then, she's selling clothes for a misogynistic industry
Tanya Gold

Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue, is bored with being asked why models are so thin. She said this on Radio 2 to Lily Allen, who acted like a frightened child but nonetheless asked Shulman tough questions that fashion journalists won't ask. Fashion journalists are notoriously prostrate beneath the clothes; their shtick is to act like Vladimir Putin's acolytes trapped in Topshop, screaming about belts, and if you break out and speak the truth, you become Liz Jones, an outcast in your own genre.

Allen said images of thin models made her feel "crap". Well, they don't make me feel crap, answered Shulman (I paraphrase) – so who cares what you think? Anyway, Shulman is bored with this thin-themed twaddle; such a fashion word, "bored", so passive aggressive, so unanswerable. You may be right but you're dull; this is no-platforming in the style of Mean Girls. In fact Shulman can't even really stretch to being "bored", despite being paid what I presume is a large salary for a slender workload; she is, in fact, only "sort of" bored, because this phrasing better expresses the exact proportions of her ennui, which I can only presume is definitely overweight.

She told Allen that looking at overweight women didn't make her feel good, as if overweight is the only alternative, in her mind, to significantly malnourished. Shulman has written to designers asking for larger sample sizes. (I read that in another piece of iconography posing as an interview.) But that was it. She is, at the end of things, only an advocate for the clothes. She calls herself a journalist; but she is a saleswoman.

The answer to the original question of why models are so thin – and do prepare to be bored, because I cannot give you a new answer because the old answer is boring (as is the old question, of course): it is the incitement of misogyny in pursuit of profit.

What fashion considers to be the ideal is barely a woman. This is so obviously the case there is almost nothing else to say. In this dystopia Shulman can, in her defence, tell Lily Allen that the Vogue cover girl for April, Nigella Lawson, is a "totally real person" – as opposed to what? Lawson is a woman of extraordinary beauty, but to Shulman, obviously deadened by an unceasing parade of tiny, malleable teenagers (she says "clothes to our kind of western eye look better on a thinner frame"), Nigella is simply "real".

But fashion's fantasy woman – her default fault, if you will – is a mere scrape of a woman, a woman who has had no time to actually be a woman: too young, too small, a vulnerable thing I often imagine crawling from an egg in Karl Lagerfeld's fridge. (And he is a man so pathologically isolated, his stated muse is now a cat called Choupette with a Twitter feed. Sample tweet: "Anna Wintour sits SECOND ROW at @MaisonValentino? Tres Horror!") It is as if fashion closed its eyes and dreamed up the woman who most closely resembles dust.

Why? Some say it is because designers are all gay, and are afraid of big bottoms and so forth, but this is nonsense, and homophobic; fashion is full of straight women capable of revolution, if they weren't all hostages in Topshop and so very bored.

Shulman says that fashion sells a fantasy, a wonderland, and this may be true for the few thousand women who can afford to wear couture; but it is a wonderland where happiness is as fleeting as any narcotic (six collections a year?). And it is, above all, monetised.

If fashion is your primary means of expression, you are, for me, only to be pitied – because women have better means of expression nowadays. Is it a coincidence that the fashion houses' most avid customers are the female relatives of the tyrants of the Middle East? Fashion is obsessed with surfaces; and it is full of victims.

I would not say that all fashion people are unhappy, but it does seem to attract the unhappy, the soon to be surgically enhanced. And so this child creature, this ideal, is no coincidence. She is a complex sales strategy; both fragile and remote. Because she cannot be impersonated, she sells self-loathing, as Lily Allen noted, and therefore clothing, perfumes and the rest. It is not the wonderland that Shulman espoused, but it is an escape from something that can never be successfully eluded for any length of time – yourself.

If fashion is truly, as apologists suggest, dedicated to female self-expression, then why have trends? Why have a homogeneous law of beauty that cannot be bent? Why have subservient media that behave, so shamefully, like a marketing subsidiary? Why call it "fashion" at all?

In fact, the fashion industry is the most perfect expression of the late capitalist business model. It pretends to sell free choice, but is conventional. It is conservative, racist, misogynist, a terrible polluter, and a fearsome hierarchy. It is covetous, exploitative of models, workers and customers, and it is often tasteless: Vogue Italia's 2006 State of Emergency, for instance, photographed models being sexually assaulted by a tableau of men dressed like Batman, to celebrate – or commemorate – 9/11.

And all this it does, as Alexandra Shulman has demonstrated, with a tiny yawn – a cat's yawn, perhaps? – and entirely without shame.

• Twitter: @TanyaGold1

Many fashion editors get caught up in perpetuating the stereotype … and often have eating disorders themselves, says Clements. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty

Former Vogue editor: The truth about size zero
The fashion industry is not a pretty business. Here, one of its own, the former editor of Australian Vogue Kirstie Clements describes a thin-obsessed culture in which starving models eat tissues and resort to surgery when dieting isn't enough
Kirstie Clements

One of the most controversial aspects of fashion magazines, and the fashion industry, is models. Specifically, how young they are and how thin they are. It's a topic that continues to create endless debate, in the press and in the community. As the editor of Australian Vogue, my opinion was constantly sought on these issues, and the images we produced in the magazine were closely scrutinised. It's a precarious subject, and there are many unpleasant truths beneath the surface that are not discussed or acknowledged publicly.

When I first began dealing with models in the late 1980s we were generally drawing from a pool of local girls, who were naturally willowy and slim, had glowing skin, shiny hair and loads of energy. They ate lunch, sparingly for sure, but they ate. They were not skin and bones. I don't think anyone believes that a model can eat anything she wants, not exercise and still stay a flawless size 8 (except when they are very young), so whatever regime these girls were following was keeping them healthy.

But I began to recognise the signs that other models were using different methods to stay svelte. I was dressing a model from the US on a beauty shoot, and I noticed scars and scabs on her knees. When I queried her about them she said, nonchalantly: "Oh yes. Because I'm always so hungry, I faint a lot." She thought it was normal to pass out every day, sometimes more than once.

On another shoot I was chatting to one of the top Australian models during lunch. She had just moved to Paris and was sharing a small apartment with another model. I asked her how that was working out. "I get a lot of time by myself actually," she said, picking at her salad. "My flatmate is a 'fit model', so she's in hospital on a drip a lot of the time." A fit model is one who is used in the top designer ateliers, or workrooms, and is the body around which the clothes are designed. That the ideal body shape used as a starting point for a collection should be a female on the brink of hospitalisation from starvation is frightening.

The longer I worked with models, the more the food deprivation became obvious. Cigarettes and Diet Coke were dietary staples. Sometimes you would see the tell-tale signs of anorexia, where a girl develops a light fuzz on her face and arms as her body struggles to stay warm. I have never, in all my career, heard a model say "I'm hot", not even if you wrapped her in fur and put her in the middle of the desert.

Society is understandably concerned about the issues surrounding body image and eating disorders, and the dangerous and unrealistic messages being sent to young women via fashion journals. When it comes to who should be blamed for the portrayal of overly thin models, magazine editors are in the direct line of fire, but it is more complex than that. The "fit" model begins the fashion process: designer outfits are created around a live, in-house skeleton. Few designers have a curvy or petite fit model. These collections are then sent to the runway, worn by tall, pin-thin models because that's the way the designer wants to see the clothes fall. There will also be casting directors and stylists involved who have a vision of the type of woman they envisage wearing these clothes. For some bizarre reason, it seems they prefer her to be young, coltish, 6ft tall and built like a prepubescent boy.
It is too simplistic to blame misogynistic men, although in some cases I believe that criticism is deserved. There are a few male fashion designers I would like to personally strangle. But there are many female fashion editors who perpetuate the stereotype, women who often have a major eating disorder of their own. They get so caught up in the hype of how brilliant clothes look on a size 4, they cannot see the inherent danger in the message. It cannot be denied that visually, clothes fall better on a slimmer frame, but there is slim, and then there is scary skinny.

Despite protestations by women who recognise the danger of portraying any one body type as "perfect", the situation is not improving. If you look back at the heady days of the supermodels in the late 80s and early 90s, beauties such as Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigová and Claudia Schiffer look positively curvaceous compared to the sylphs of today. There was a period in the last three years when some of the girls on the runways were so young and thin, and the shoes they were modelling so high, it actually seemed barbaric. I would watch the ready-to-wear shows on the edge of my seat, apprehensive and anxious. I'm not comfortable witnessing teen waifs almost on the point of collapse

After the shows, the collection is made available for the press to use for their shoots. These are the samples we all work with and they are obviously the size of the model who wore them on the runway. Thus, a stylist must cast a model who will fit into these tiny sizes. And they have become smaller since the early 90s. We've had couture dresses arrive from Europe that are so minuscule they resemble christening robes. There are no bigger samples available, and the designer probably has no interest in seeing their clothes on larger women. Many high fashion labels are aghast at the idea of producing a size 14, and they certainly wouldn't want to see it displayed in the pages of the glossies.

As a Vogue editor I was of the opinion that we didn't necessarily need to feature size 14-plus models in every issue. It is a fashion magazine; we are showcasing the clothes. I am of the belief that an intelligent reader understands that a model is chosen because she carries clothes well. Some fashion suits a curvier girl, some doesn't. I see no problem with presenting a healthy, toned, Australian size 10 [UK 8-10]. But as sample sizes from the runway shows became smaller, 10 was no longer an option and the girls were dieting drastically to stay in the game.

It is the ultimate vicious cycle. A model who puts on a few kilos can't get into a sample size on a casting and gets reprimanded by her agency. She begins to diet, loses the weight, and is praised by all for how good she looks. But instead of staying at that weight, and trying to maintain it through a sensible diet and exercise, she thinks losing more will make her even more desirable. And no one tells her to stop.

Girls who can't diet their breasts away will have surgical reductions. They then enter into dangerous patterns of behaviour that the industry – shockingly – begins to accept as par for the course. We had a term for this spiral in the office. When a model who was getting good work in Australia starved herself down two sizes in order to be cast in the overseas shows – the first step to an international career – we would say in the office that she'd become "Paris thin". This dubious achievement was generally accompanied by mood swings, extreme fatigue, binge eating and sometimes bouts of self-harming. All in the quest to fit into a Balenciaga sample.

Not every model has an eating disorder, but I would suggest that every model is not eating as much as she would like to. In 1995 I cast a lovely Russian model for a studio shoot in Paris, and I noticed that by mid-afternoon she hadn't eaten a thing (we always catered). Her energy was fading, so I suggested we stop so she could have a snack. She shook her head and replied: "No, no. It is my job not to eat." It was one of the only sentences she knew how to say in English.

A few years later we booked another Russian girl, who was also starving herself, on a trip to Marrakech. When the team went out to dinner at night she ordered nothing, but then hunger would get the better of her and she would pick small pieces of food off other people's plates. I've seen it happen on many trips. The models somehow rationalise that if they didn't order anything, then they didn't really take in the calories. They can tell their booker at the agency before they sleep that they only had a salad. By the end of the trip, she didn't have the energy to even sit up; she could barely open her eyes. We actually had her lie down next to a fountain to get the last shot.

In 2004, a fashion season in which the girls were expected to be particularly bone-thin, I was having lunch in New York with a top agent who confidentially expressed her concern to me, as she did not want to be the one to expose the conspiracy. "It's getting very serious," she said. She lowered her tone and glanced around to see if anyone at the nearby tables could hear. "The top casting directors are demanding that they be thinner and thinner. I've got four girls in hospital. And a couple of the others have resorted to eating tissues. Apparently they swell up and fill  your stomach."

I was horrified to hear what the industry was covering up and I felt complicit. We were all complicit. But in my experience it is practically impossible to get a photographer or a fashion editor – male or female – to acknowledge the repercussions of using very thin girls. They don't want to. For them, it's all about the drama of the photograph. They convince themselves that the girls are just genetically blessed, or have achieved it through energetic bouts of yoga and eating goji berries.

I was at the baggage carousel with a fashion editor collecting our luggage after a trip and I noticed a woman standing nearby. She was the most painfully thin person I had ever seen, and my heart went out to her. I pointed her out to the editor who scrutinised the poor woman and said: "I know it sounds terrible, but I think she looks really great." The industry is rife with this level of body dysmorphia from mature women.

In my early years at the magazine there was no minimum age limit on models, and there were occasions that girls under the age of 16 were used. Under my editorship, the fashion office found a new favourite model – Katie Braatvedt, a 15-year-old from New Zealand. We had her under contract: the idea being that Vogue grooms and protects the girls at the beginning of their careers. But in April 2007 I ran a cover of Katie wearing an Alex Perry gown standing in a treehouse, and received a storm of protest, from readers and the media, accusing us of sexualising children. I lamely debated the point, claiming that the photographs were meant to be innocent and charming, but in the end I had to agree wholeheartedly with the readers. I felt foolish even trying to justify it. I immediately instigated a policy that we would not employ models under the age of 16. Internationally Vogue has since launched a project called Health Initiative, instigated by the US Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, which bans the use of models under 16 and pledges that they will not use models they know to be suffering from eating disorders. The first part you can police. The second is disingenuous nonsense, because unless you are monitoring their diet 24/7, you just can't be sure.
I had no dealings with Wintour during those years, and on the few occasions we were introduced, her sense of froideur was palpable. The deference she commands from people is astonishing to watch. There appears to exist some kind of psychological condition that causes seemingly sane and successful adults to prostrate themselves in her presence. It's not just respect – it's something else. People actually want to be scared witless of her, so she obliges. After they had met me, people would often say: "You're so nice and normal" – often I think with a tinge of disappointment, wishing I'd been just a little bit like Wintour. I could never win. I was either expected to be terrifying or snobbish. And I don't consider myself either.

Being a Vogue editor is precarious. It's a job everybody in the industry desires, and most people are convinced they could do it better. I was harder on myself than anybody would be if I made a mistake, and when you're the editor of Vogue, your slip-ups are very public. Traditional publishing is under enormous pressure, with declining revenues and readership, and decisions are being made to radically cut costs and  do anything to please the advertiser. For me, this is perilous. I still believe in the magic.

This is an edited extract from The Vogue Factor by Kirstie Clements. Buy it for £8.99 (RRP £12.99) at or call 0330 333 6846.

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Savile Row tailor reflects on creating Princess Diana’s Panorama outfit


– The full interview with Andrew Ramroop on Desert Island Discs will air on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds on Sunday at 11am.

Released On: 10 Jul 2022 Available for over a year


Savile Row tailor reflects on creating Princess Diana’s Panorama outfit


Andrew Ramroop created suits for the likes of actor Samuel L Jackson and the Princess of Wales.


By Connie Evans

10 July 2022


Savile Row tailor Andrew Ramroop has revealed he did not know Princess Diana was going to wear one of his designs for her now-infamous Panorama interview.


Ramroop, 69, began working on London’s Savile Row at the age of 17 after leaving his home in Trinidad and has since created suits for the likes of actor Samuel L Jackson and the Princess of Wales.


Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Ramroop reflected on one of his most famous creations, the jacket worn by Princess Diana in her 1995 Panorama interview on the BBC.


When asked by presenter Lauren Laverne whether he knew Princess Diana was going to wear one of his pieces for the occasion, Ramroop said: “I wasn’t aware.


“And all of the photographs, and even on television, it looks as though it’s black. It isn’t black.


“It’s midnight blue. It’s pure cashmere. Of course it had to be pure cashmere, or silk.


“I made the Princess of Wales at least eight suits.


“And I had, I think, three in progress when she passed away.”


He added: “One was half made, one was completely made, and the other wasn’t cut yet.”


After reaching England by boat, Ramroop managed to secure a job on Savile Row and while also working a weekend job on the King’s Road in Chelsea, he self-funded a degree at the London College of Fashion.


Despite being a top graduate, Ramroop was continuously turned down for more visible jobs on Savile Row, which he now sees as racism.


He said: “I could not get a job at the front of the shop and this is where probably the act of racism came in.


“But I did not recognise it. I just felt that I wasn’t suitable. So I didn’t take umbrage at being turned down, but one boss said our customers would not take kindly to a foreigner.”


Ramroop was eventually offered a job by Savile Row tailor Maurice Sedwell. After working alongside Sedwell for a decade, Ramroop bought the business when he retired and has since kept Sedwell’s name above the shop as a token of thanks.



Ramroop, who was the UK’s Black British Business Person of the Year in 2017, explained the process of creating pieces for Princess Diana.


“You submit three designs,” he said.


“You don’t want too many choices, swatches and designs.


“And then a selection is made.


“It was very much keeping it confidential from everyone. Even keeping it confidential from staff, confidential from your own family, because you were sworn to secrecy.”


During the conversation, Ramroop chose eight tracks to take with him to the Desert Island, including James Brown’s It’s Man’s Man’s World, Jimmy Cliff’s Time Will Tell and The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel.


Ramroop also picked a steel pan as his luxury item.


– The full interview with Andrew Ramroop on Desert Island Discs will air on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds on Sunday at 11am.


Wednesday, 23 November 2022

The English - Official Trailer | Prime Video / Emily Blunt’s sweeping western is a rare, sensational masterpiece

The English review – Emily Blunt’s sweeping western is a rare, sensational masterpiece


Lucy Mangan


Thu 10 Nov 2022 21.50 GMT


First and foremost – don’t let the moony opening of The English (“It was in the stars … And we believed in the stars, you and I”) put you off. It is completely unrepresentative of the six hours that follow and I want you to follow them.


The English (BBC Two), written and directed by Hugo Blick, is a revisionist western further revised. We are in 1890, the last days of settlement of the old west and our all-but-silent hero is Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer), a Pawnee native and former scout for the US army cavalry – doubly displaced by the settlers’ theft of his homeland and what his people see as his betrayal of it. He is on his way to Nebraska to stake a claim to the acres he is owed for his army service, despite warnings that the white men in charge will never honour their debt.


Our heroine is Lady Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt), who arrives at a remote hostelry in Kansas from England, on the trail of the man she holds responsible for her son’s death. There she finds the manager, Mr Watts (Ciarán Hinds, in the most terrifying of all his terrifying modes), in the process of torturing Eli. She tries to buy his safety but is beaten for her trouble. It becomes clear that news of her vengeful intentions has gone before her and that Watts is under instructions to kill her. The murder will be pinned on Eli.


One semi-mutual rescue and at least four bloody deaths later, their fates – along with his quest and her revenge narrative – have become firmly intertwined. As they cross the plains in search of their different ideas of peace, the relationship between these two lost and harrowed souls becomes deeper and more tender in a way that avoids and transcends mere romance. By the end it is infused with yearning, that rare and vanishing sensation in a world where nothing is forbidden any longer, which helps give the series the edge of grandeur the genre always seeks.


The plot surrounding the emotional core is convoluted. I have faith that were I to map all its parts it would make perfect sense but I would genuinely need to sit down with a paper and pencil, and possibly a cartographer, to do so.


But it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that along the way we meet a plethora of picaresque characters (special mention to Nichola McAuliffe as the murderous Black Eyed Mog) who evoke the pitilessness of the old west and illustrate Blick’s consideration of how many of us would remain sane, and morally sound, in a lawless land where – for hundreds of miles at a time – no one could hear you, or anyone who got in your way, scream.


What matters is that the dehumanisation and massacres of the Native Americans, upon whose suffering the New World was built, is not forgotten but ever present, in Eli’s story, in the charred remains of encampments, in the cruelty of old soldiers they meet, in the stories of the people they seek shelter with. It’s not the wholesale corrective some will want, but you could say the frontier is being moved.


What matters is that although you might lose track of the details, the plot never becomes impenetrable or the performances less than compelling. Spencer, best known for playing the werewolf Sam Uley in the Twilight movies, is a revelation – strong and silent, but also seething with frustration, intelligence, grief and the rage of a good man forced into terrible compromises. Blunt is at her best yet, giving us a woman made brave and undauntable by resolve, powered by a secret whose late reveal ties much of what was beginning to feel like sprawl back tightly together again.


And then there’s Rafe Spall as David Melmont, with a performance just this side of demented, and quite perfect as a truly diabolic villain – the kind who can reach across the open plains to master the lesser fiends, the willing weak and the good men with no choice and cast the net around an approaching nemesis and bring her down.


Blick’s script is as spare and gorgeous as the landscape. If he could have spent some of the time afforded the plot machinations on interrogating more intensively the myths of the Old West, the colonial impulse, the difference between retribution and justice and the other questions his western raises, the ambition that is everywhere in it would have been even more gloriously realised. But it remains a sweepingly wonderful thing.


The English is screening on BBC Two in the UK and streaming on Amazon Prime Video in Australia.

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

"The National Trust Centenary" with Antony Hopkins (1993 Documentary) - ...

About the National Trust

The founders of the National Trust believed that everyone needs nature, beauty and history, so they set up the Trust to look after the nation’s coastline, historic sites, countryside and green spaces.

With 5.37 million members, over 50,000 volunteers and 10,000 staff, the National Trust is now the biggest conservation charity in Europe, caring for over 250,000 hectares of farmland, over 780 miles of coastline, and 500 historic properties, gardens and nature reserves, for everyone, for ever.



Foundation and firsts


The idea of the National Trust is born 


The idea of the National Trust is born when Octavia Hill, one of the founders, is asked to help preserve Sayes Court garden in South East London.



The National Trust is founded  


Within a few weeks of the National Trust being registered under the Companies Act, it is given its first place: five acres of clifftop at Dinas Oleu in Wales.



First building bought   


The National Trust purchases Alfriston Clergy House in East Sussex for £10 (about £600 in today's money).



First nature reserve  


The Trust acquires its first nature reserve with the purchase of two acres of Wicken Fen, near Cambridge.



Appeals and acts


Kanturk Castle


The Trust’s commitment to great buildings is confirmed with the gift of Kanturk Castle, in what will become the Republic of Ireland. Kanturk now belongs to An Taisce: The National Trust for Ireland.



Appeal launched to buy Brandelhow  


The Trust launches a nationwide campaign to raise funds for the purchase of Brandelhow on Derwentwater. Many contribute to the appeal, including the daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Louise, and factory workers in the Midlands.



The National Trust Act 


The National Trust Act of 1907 is drafted by Sir Robert Hunter, one of the Trust's co-founders, to give the Trust the status of a statutory corporation. In the same year, the Trust acquires Barrington Court, a 16th-century country house in Somerset.



Blakeney Point  


Blakeney Point in Norfolk is acquired for its value as a coastal nature reserve. It's a great place to spot wildlife, including terns and seals.



Great Gable  


Great Gable, a peak in the Lake District, is presented to the National Trust by the Fell and Rock Climbing Club as a memorial to members who were killed in the Great War.


In the same year, historian GM Trevelyan uses his friendship with the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, and the author John Buchan, to gain support and boost falling membership numbers.



Support and collaboration


The press supports our cause  


Under the chairmanship of critic and journalist John Bailey, the Trust receives more sympathetic coverage from the press than at any time in its history, before or since. On 25 October, a letter in The Times, appealing for funds for Ashridge in Hertfordshire, is signed by Stanley Baldwin, Ramsay MacDonald and Herbert Asquith.



Farmland around Stonehenge is bought  


Over 1,400 acres of farmland around Stonehenge is bought following a national appeal.



Beatrix Potter lends her support  


Beatrix Potter uses the income from her children's books to support the Trust's work in the Lake District. As a result, Monk Coniston Estate, near Coniston Water, is acquired.



The National Trust for Scotland is established


The National Trust for Scotland has similar statutory powers to the National Trust, but with an entirely independent constitution.



Village first 


West Wycombe becomes the first village to come under National Trust protection.



The National Trust Act  


The Marquis of Lothian proposes that the National Trust should be able to accept the gift of country houses, with endowments in land or capital, which would be free of tax. These new powers are provided in the National Trust Act of 1937.



Quarry Bank Mill  


Following the gift of Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate in Cheshire, the Trust gets involved with sites of major importance for their industrial archaeology.


In the same year, Lord Lothian bequeaths the Trust his Jacobean house, Blickling in Norfolk.



50th birthday


The Trust celebrates its 50th year. By this point, it manages 112,000 acres of land and 93 historic buildings, as well as having 7,850 members.



The National Land Fund is established  


The National Land Fund is established by Dr Hugh Dalton, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as a memorial to those killed in the Second World War. Many great country houses are subsequently transferred to the National Trust with assistance from this fund, beginning with Cotehele in Cornwall.



Post-war collaboration  


The National Trust joins forces with the Royal Horticultural Society to launch the Gardens Scheme, which is designed to encourage and fund the acquisition of outstanding gardens.


In the same year, Hidcote in Gloucestershire is gifted to the Trust by Major Lawrence Johnston.



Souvenirs and celebrations


Launch of the Neptune Campaign  


The Neptune Campaign is launched with the aim of acquiring unspoilt coastline that might be at risk. In 2022, the Trust cares for over 775 miles of coast all around the UK.



The Benson Report


The Benson Report recommends that much of the Trust's administration be devolved to regions. Following this and other recommendations, the Trust experiences a decade of unprecedented growth.



75th anniversary  


As the Trust celebrates its 75th year, membership to the charity stands at more than 226,000. The Trust begins to sell items such as tea towels, leading to the formation of National Trust Enterprises.



A membership milestone  


The National Trust reaches 500,000 members.



The big one million  


Another milestone is reached as members total one million.



Sutton House is more than a home  


The Trust reverses a decision to turn Sutton House, owned since 1936, into flats and devote it to cultural and educational uses for the benefit of the community in Hackney.



Two million members 


The National Trust hits the two million members mark; that's more than the combined membership of all the political parties.


Meanwhile, the Snowdonia Appeal is launched by Sir Anthony Hopkins. The Lake District Appeal, begun three years earlier, reaches its target of £2 million.



Moving with the times  


The Trust acquires 2 Willow Road in Hampstead, a modern-movement house designed by Erno Goldfinger in 1938.



Centenary celebrations 


The Trust celebrates its centenary with a service in St Paul's Cathedral. In its first 100 years, the National Trust became the guardian of 580,000 acres of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; 545 miles of coastline; 230 historic houses and 130 important gardens.



Major reviews and milestones


The start of something new


The National Trust embarks on another major structural review, with the aim of working more effectively with other conservation bodies and improving internal processes.



Farming Forward


The Farming Forward initiative is launched, at the time of the foot and mouth crisis, reaffirming the Trust's commitment to preserving both natural beauty and a viable economy in rural areas.



Money well spent 


The Victorian country house Tyntesfield, near Bristol, is put up for sale. Within 100 days, the Trust raises £3 million from over 50,000 individual donors and secures a grant of £17.5 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.



Arts and Crafts


The National Trust purchases Red House in Bexleyheath. The house was once owned by the Arts and Crafts designer William Morris, who was a friend and supporter of Octavia Hill.  



A new home  


The Trust moves to a new central office in Heelis, Swindon, bringing staff from four central offices under one roof for the first time. A small office in London remains.



Membership keeps on growing


Membership figures hit the 3.5 million mark.



Volunteering milestone 


The total number of volunteers working for the Trust, donating what Octavia Hill called gifts of time, exceeds 50,000.



Seaton Delaval saved for the nation 


Following a massive appeal that raises over £3 million from thousands of people, charitable trusts and companies across the country, Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland is saved for the nation.



Restoration and new leadership


Another membership milestone


National Trust membership reaches four million.



Leasing Tredegar House  


The Trust takes over the care of Tredegar House, the 17th-century ancestral home of the Morgan family, and embarks on a series of extensive projects to conserve the building.



A devastating fire 


On 29 April, a fire, caused by an electrical fault, rips through Clandon Park in Surrey. The Trust manages to save over 400 items from the collection and, following a 14-month salvage operation, is now working on rebuilding the house.


10-year strategy launched  


The Trust launches a 10-year strategy, ‘Playing our Part’, to meet the needs of the 21st century. It includes a pledge to reduce energy use by 15% and source 50% of energy from renewables by 2020/21.



White Cliffs saved  


Thanks to generous donations, £1 million is raised, allowing the Trust to secure 700,000 square metres of land just behind the White Cliffs of Dover, thus preserving their future.


A gigantic leap  


The Trust reaches another milestone with membership jumping from four million to five million in just six years.



A new Director General  


Hilary McGrady takes over from Dame Helen Ghosh as Director-General of the National Trust.



Covid-19 and moving forward


Anniversary celebrations  


The Trust plans to celebrate its 125th anniversary with a Buckingham Palace Garden Party and events across the nations. But the coronavirus pandemic arrives and instead, for the first time in its history, the Trust is forced to close.



Welcoming visitors once again


The Trust learns to respond to fast-changing local conditions and is forced to make savings. But once fully reopened, Trust membership grows quickly. People have missed their places.