Germaine Greer Speaks at Wyeside Arts Centre in Builth Wells

PUBLISHED: 15:09 26 November 2010 | UPDATED: 15:09 20 February 2013



Germaine Greer will be speaking at Wyeside Arts Centre in Builth Wells this month about her ground-breaking study of Elizabethan England that reclaims Ann Hathaway's rightful place in history.

Little is known of the wife of England's greatest playwright, and a great deal, none of it complimentary, has been assumed. The omission of her name from Shakespeare's will has been interpreted as evidence that she was just a mistake from whom the poet did well to distance himself.

Yet Shakespeare is above all the poet of marriage. Before him Tragedies were about loving "not wisely but too well" and Comedies were about getting away with adultery. But in play after play Shakespeare presents the finding of a worthy wife as a triumphant dnouement, and again and again constant wives redeem unjust and deluded husbands.

Germaine Greer combines literary-historical techniques with documentary evidence about life in Stratford in an attempt to put Shakespeare's marriage in its social context. With deep insight and intelligence, she offers daring and thoughtful new theories about the farmer's daughter who married England's greatest poet, painting a vivid portrait of a remarkable woman.

Thursday 8 May at 7.30pm. Tickets cost 12 in advance, 14 on the day and 5 for 18s and under and can be booked online at or call the box office on 01982 552 555

Music in the Valley

A new era for classical music in the Wye Valley will begin on May 29 when Wye Valley Music gives its opening Gala Concert in the Great Hall of Eastnor Castle, near Ledbury.

The performance will present singers from the International Academy of Voice, a "finishing school" for soloists embarking on careers with the world's leading opera houses. It will be introduced by Norman White, creator of the famous Prima Voce CD label of historic singers. This is a "by invitation" fund-raising event and tickets are 40 each. If you would like to be there or to find out more about Wye Valley Music, contact or Wye Valley Music, PO Box 143, Chepstow, NP16 9AE
The idea of promoting top quality music in this beautiful, but musically deprived area arose from the success of the St Briavels Music Society, which operates out of a small village church in Gloucestershire. St Briavels attracts musicians of national and international standing to play for audiences who come from a 20-mile radius.

Now St Briavels is undertaking a metamorphosis into Wye Valley Music. It will continue to give its monthly concerts in the village, but will seek out other venues, from Chepstow to Hereford and Ledbury, where the conditions are right to put on superb musical events. And it will aim to bring in larger scale and bigger budget productions, so that more people can enjoy the opportunity of hearing fine music the way it's meant to be heard.

WVM is a charity run entirely by volunteers. If you want to help, please contact Edgar Biss 01989 750 740
(image supplied: Eastnor Castle)

It's Blossom Time
Bosbury Cider and Blossom festival, Saturday May 10
Now in its third year, the Bosbury festival is a celebration of local cider and its history. As well as a wide range of ciders and perries to taste, and a barbecue, other attractions include a heavy horse display and dray rides, duck races on the River Leadon, wool spinning and corn dolly making, maypole dancing and the crowning of the May Queen, Prince and Princess. There will also be cake and plant stalls and a free games area for children.

For the first time there will be an opportunity to throw wet sponges at some of the villagers who are unlucky enough to find themselves in the stocks. For cricket fans, Bosbury Cricket Club will be playing their first home game of the season on their cricket pitch behind Bosbury school.

Bosbury Parish Hall Saturday May 10, 11-5

For more information: 01531 640678

Blossomtime on the Marcle Ridge
May 4 and 5
This is an annual opportunity to enjoy walks, talks and locally produced food in the lovely countryside and orchards around Putley and Much Marcle, and to taste the winning entries in the Best Cider and Best Perry of the Year competition run by Big Apple.
Westons Cider, Much Marcle will be open all weekend, 10-4. Guided mill tours at 11, 12.30, 2.30. Cider and gift shop, dray rides, traditional and rare breeds farm park, self-guided orchard walk, bottle museum, tea room, courtyard garden.
Cider tasting and teas, Putley village hall, Sunday May 4 2-6, Monday lunches, cider and teas, 12-5.
For details of other activities, see
(blossom image to follow)

Perry scrumptious

Welsh Perry and Cider Championships, May 24-26

Richard Williams of Glynneath, near Neath, has won the Best Welsh Perry award at the Welsh Perry and Cider Championships for the last two years with his Bragdyr Brody "Silver Lady". A teacher at Aberdare Boys School, Richard began making cider and perry as a hobby four years ago. He only makes enough for family and friends, and if he achieves the hat trick it will be the first time anyone has won the perry award three years in a row.

The event is now in its seventh year and will feature some 30 cider and perry makers, with about 70 different ciders and perries available to try. It takes place at the Clytha Arms in Abergavenny and is judged by the producers themselves.

Last year there were a record 87 entries from Welsh producers and it is hoped numbers will be even higher this year. The 2007 Champion Cider of Wales was "Old Barn" from Springfield Cider in Abergavenny.

Saturday to Monday, May 24-26, 12 noon - 11pm each day

Free entry. Pitching tents with permission of the Clytha Arms, 01873 840206

Festival enquiries: Alan Golding (01685) 873866

A taste of the good life

Royal Welsh Smallholder & Garden Festival, May 17 and 18

In its beautiful setting on the outskirts of Builth Wells, this festival is very different from the main Royal Welsh Show in July. It offers the perfect family day out, for shopping, food, flowers, crafts, rare breed animals, competitions, children's entertainment and arena displays.

This year's festival, for the first time, includes an insight into the art and science of beekeeping. The beekeeping stand will have an observation hive that allows the visitor to examine the heart of a community of bees in complete safety, as well as a selection of honeys for tasting.
Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells
The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society:

01982 553683

Keeping the old wheels turning

National Mills Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, 10 and 11 May

More mills than ever before will be taking part in National Mills Weekend this year, which is organised by The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Some working mills are more than 300 years old, yet are still efficiently doing the
job they were designed for. Many mills taking part will be running special events and activities during the weekend, including demonstrations and the chance to buy flour and other produce made on the premises. Some will also be serving teas.

The following mills will be open in Herefordshire:


Kington, Hergest Mill 10 -6

Eastnor, Clenchers Mill, 11-1

Rowlestone, Rowlestone Mill, 2-6 (teas)

Clodock, near Longtown, Clodock Mill 10.30-5 and Sunday 2-5 (teas on Sunday)


Much Cowarne, Cowarne Mill, 12-5

nr. Staunton on Arrow, Court of Noke Mill, 10-4

Kingsland, Arrow Mill, 11-2

Lucton, Mortimer's Cross Mill, 10-4 (tea and coffee)

Staunton on Arrow, Staunton Mill, 10-5

Hereford, Waterworks Museum, 1-4 (caf)

Mordiford, Mordiford Mill. 10.30-4.30

For further details please contact Alan Stoyel, 01544 230235

(image supplied: Clodock Mill near Longtown is a water-powered corn mill in a lovely situation, formerly fed by a leat from a weir below the church. The external breast-shot waterwheel is under repair. The machinery is mostly of iron and of the 19th century.. The large waterwheel, two pairs of stones, and the ancillary machinery are complete and in good condition. Near the mill is a separate turbine, formerly driven off the same leat to generate electricity. Photo: Martin Cook)

Through a glass, darkly
Hereford Photography Festival, 17 May to 14 June
Hereford Photography Festival, now in its 18th year, is the longest running annual celebration of the photographic image in the UK. Its patron is Sir Roy Strong, the coordinator is Nina Gustavsson and editor Bridget Coaker.
This year's festival focuses on Southern Africa, but also looks at life in and around Herefordshire. It deals with the theme of rural change and disruption in a globalising world: work from Africa will be shown alongside projects developed with local groups.
The photographers featured in the Festival include Ilan Godfrey, Roger Ballen, Andrew Jackson, Jodi Bieber, Guy Raivitz, Per-Anders Petterson and Guy Tillim.
Tillim's Petros Village, portraying the life of a small South African village, will be on display at The Courtyard. Alongside it will be photographs taken by students from Hereford College of Arts on a day in February this year in Moreton-on-Lugg, in response to Tillim's work.
For more information phone : 01432 351964 email :
(image supplied: One of Roger Ballen's challenging and surreal photographs, appearing in the UK for the first time at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery as part of the Photography Festival.)

Music in Leominster

The Musicke Companye invites you to Venice in Carnival time, with a selection of music and tales from La Serenissima, featuring the world-famous counter-tenor, Paul Esswood, with Philippa Hyde, soprano, Jennifer Jance, baroque cello, and Helen Rogers, harpsichord.
Lion Ballroom Arts Centre, Leominster. Saturday May 10, 7.30 pm
Tickets 12 (Students 6) from Gill's Gifts, Buttercross Arcade 01568 611588

Leominster Choral Society present their Festival Concert, with the Midlands Sinfonia and professional soloists, in A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams and the Stabat Mater by Szymanovski.

Leominster Priory, Sunday June 1, 7 pm
Tickets 12 from the Festival Box Office, 12 Buttercross Arcade, 01568 611190

Calling local artists...

The Courtyard will again be hosting this exhibition, sponsored by Herefordshire Life, from 31 October to 29 November 2008. We are calling for artists living and working in Herefordshire to submit work in any medium to be included in a show that will bring together an exciting variety of the best local creative talents. This is a great opportunity to exhibit alongside the Hereford Contemporary Craft Fair held at The Courtyard from 14 to 16 November. Anyone interested in having work included should call Beth Smallwood on 01432 356509 for an application form, or download one from The deadline for submissions is midday on Friday 20 June.

Monaco shmonaco
Tour de Presteigne, May 17-18

Say bye to gas-guzzling and hi to the future in a weekend of ecofun as only Presteigne can do it. Join pedal pushers, electric bikers, recycled chip fat offroaders, ice creamers, live musicians, cider fiends and green geeks. There is nothing like this anywhere in the world. Try electric bikes, watch a hill climb, go on a country ride, dance in the Dome, and thrill as hundreds of bikes dice in the streets on the Tour de Presteigne, the Marches' answer to the Monaco Grand Prix.

Saturday May 17
11- 5.30 Festival site
Exhibition of electric bikes and a chance to try all the new models plus displays of cars, scooters and trikes etc.
12 The hill climb
A chance for the bikes to pit themselves against one of Presteigne's more unforgiving inclines.
2 The Assembly Rooms
Question Time with Eco celebrities. Time to pose some tricky questions about the future of transport to the experts.
4 A country ride
A 12 mile dawdle for all eco transport forms round some of the Borders' most picturesque lanes.
8 At the Dome
Live music and entertainment, local ales, cider and wine plus a chance to chin-wag with other enthusiasts.

Sunday May18
11- 4 Festival site
Exhibition of electric bikes and a chance to try all the new models plus displays of cars, scooters and trikes etc.
2.30 - 3.30 The Tour de Presteigne The world's premier electric bike rally round the streets of Presteigne. This year there will be classes for both standard and modified bikes. (Entrants must be over 14 and wear a cycle helmet.)

(images supplied: TdP flyer, 5381)

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Herefordshire Life