A UNIQUE guided tour of the Slad Valley comes to the Museum in the Park in Stroud next week as part of the Laurie Lee centenary celebrations, when poet Adam Horovitz and fiddle player Becky Dellow present A Century of Slad in Poetry and Music on Thursday, June 12.
The show features poetry from the Slad Valley written by Laurie Lee, Frank Mansell, Horovitz and his poet parents Frances and Michael and covers nearly every decade from 1914 onwards.
Woven in among the poems are English folk tunes which would have been played by Laurie Lee.
The show is a non-stop lyrical guide to the valley performed by two people with long-standing connections with Laurie Lee and the Slad Valley.
Adam Horovitz grew up there and has just released a book celebrating the valley for Laurie Lee’s Centenary, A Thousand Laurie Lees.
Becky Dellow’s connection to Lee is her grandfather.
“The tunes selected to complement the poems are from the traditional English dance music repertoire with the majority chosen from an old handwritten manuscript book which belonged to my great great grandfather, thought to date from the mid-1850s,” she says.
“This hand-stitched and well-worn tune book was passed on to me by my grandfather, Charles Hampton in the 1990s. During the late 1920s and early 1930s Charles and Laurie Lee met regularly to play fiddle together and most likely would have played tunes from this book.
"There are thought to be a few hundred family tune books such as this surviving in England and they would have been used by amateur musicians, to provide entertainment in their local villages.”
A Century of Slad in Poetry and Music takes place at the Museum in the Park on Thursday, June 12 at 8pm. Booking is required from the museum on 01453 763394.
Laurie Lee (1914 -1997) is Stroud’s most celebrated writer and his centenary of is being marked with a host of events throughout the year in Stroud and the surrounding valleys.
Details at Laurie Lee events at laurielee.org and stroudartsfestival.org