Stourhead will never forget: a scrap workshop making a difference

Artists Impression (c) the Scraptors / National Trust

A sculpture workshop hosted by the National Trust and local artists the ‘Scraptors’ is to be held at Stourhead. The workshop is designed to inspire and create the latest in a series of sculptures commemorating the impact of the First World War on the local community.

The Scraptors are a group of West Country artists who specialize in creating sculptures out of recycled materials.  The one day workshop is being held on Thursday 2 June in the Discovery Centre at Stourhead, Stourton, Wiltshire, between 10.30am- 12.30pm and 1.30-4pm. There is no cost to attend the workshop and anyone interested in contributing to the creation of this latest sculpture titled ‘Recuperation at Stourhead’ can drop in and be part of the creative process.

One of the Scraptors team, Anthony Wilson said, “This installation commemorates the wounded soldiers, recuperating in Mere hospital during World War 1, who were given the freedom of Stourhead and could go boating on the lake. Concerts were also arranged in the House.”

Artists Impression (c) the Scraptors / National Trust

He added, “We are also commemorating the music making near the Front. Soldiers of all the armies made instruments form whatever came to hand and in that tradition we will make instruments from odds and ends. We have been given the pipes of a demolished old organ.”

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project ‘Stourhead will never forget’ has already seen the Scraptors create four engaging sculptures installed at the property. These form a trail across the historical estate and tell the story of how the war changed the lives of those who lived here. Harry Hoare, last heir to the estate was one of many who left Stourton and joined local regiments. Many of these young men, including Harry, never returned; others had their lives transformed forever.

Commenting on the existing scrap sculpture trail, Emily Blanshard, the National Trust’s House and Collections Manager at Stourhead said: “We are thrilled to tell the story of how the First World War changed the lives of not just the landowners, the Hoare family, but also the lives of the hundreds of others that lived and worked across the Stourhead estate during and after the war.”

 Artists Impression (c) the Scraptors / National Trust

The project has already engaged local communities, families and volunteers in a series of previous workshops. Anthony Wilson said: “We’ve been very excited to collaborate with the National Trust, its volunteers and the wider community in creating these installations to show how the Great War brought upheaval and tragedy to this little corner of Britain.”

He added “The aim of these informative, yet informal workshops is that people of all ages, family groups and local residents, can drop in and be part of a unique creative process.”

The project has also been made possible thanks to a generous grant of £1,000 from the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

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