If These Stones Could Talk ... ?
A Conversation heard in a local churchyard :"Oh", said one of the walkers (the Canadian one), "how surprising. Here's a stone commemorating a lady and her husband and he was born in Kingston, Ontario."
"Well, well", said the other walker (the one from Gloucestershire), "I wonder how they ended up here."
"Here" was the tiny burial ground in Little Hampden beside a chapel so old and so small that its original dedication name has been lost. And when we did a little research to find out "how they ended up here" we found that Frances May Dickinson, Lady Berry - born in Gloucestershire, was, among many other accomplishments the first woman to become an anaesthetist in Britain (1893) and her husband Sir James was a well-known surgeon who specialised in hip surgery and facial reconstruction for cleft palate. In 1916 they set up a field hospital in Serbia, interrupted only by being overrun by enemy forces and imprisoned... Well, you see where a few scraps of information on a stone may lead.
Where it will lead for this Festival's Words and Music we are not quite sure, except you will certainly hear from the Berrys, and we are spending an agreeable time wandering about looking for others whose voices can speak to us all again.
We hope that you will come to hear them and the music that Sam Laughton and Anna Crookes will make for the evening.
THANK YOUto our sponsors...