Calverton Manor Farm
-The Horse and the Tractor
‘The first new work by the band since 2002’s ‘Milton Keynes-The Musical’,
-a CD interspersing fascinating interview recordings of memories of life on Calverton Manor Farm before, during, and after the Second World War, with twelve new songs written especially for the project.
In 1922 Richard Fountaine’s family bought Calverton Manor Farm, and farmed there for the rest of the century. In 2007 the Manor House, farmyard and neighbouring acres were sold to Jeanette and David Lock who undertook to restore the buildings. During this process they made the acquaintance of many of the locals who had worked on the farm. Many of these people were interviewed, their words transcribed. The first fruit of this collection of memories was Marion Hill’s book ‘Calverton Manor Farm’. Now comes this new project by the Living Archive Band, an ambitious ‘Radio Ballad’ style of production, which is due for completion this year.
The CD will consist of interview footage with Richard Fountaine, now into his seventies, and with three other people who grew up, lived and worked in Calverton. They are Dick Webb, his sister Bet, and Eric West. Their recollections of life on Calverton Manor Farm during the thirties, forties and fifties were recorded by Roger Kitchen, and it is these recordings, interspersed with twelve new songs by the band , that you will hear on the final CD.
Click here for a a trailer
All of the songs are written and at June 2013 most of them have been recorded. Some of them have already been aired in public, and recently three of them were sung in the presence of Dick Webb and his wife Alma, and Dick’s sister Molly, in the Cock Hotel, Stony Stratford. We are pleased (and relieved!) to say that the songs were heartily approved of!
David Lock wished both to restore the building and to discover as much as he could about it and the community in which it stood. Excitingly, he was invited to participate in the BBC TV programme ‘Restoration Home’, presented by Caroline Quentin. The relevant episode was broadcast on August 2nd 2011.
Watch a clip from Restoration Home episode 5
on theBBC i-Player here
Judy, Mick and Jane Webb with their mother (and cat!) at the door of the ‘cottage on the bank’ in Calverton
The Living Archive Band’s 2010 ‘New Communities’ tour of eight community venues in and around Milton Keynes was made possible by a Heritage Lottery Fund project delivered by Living Archive, Milton Keynes.
Living Archive was funded by HLF to catalogue and put on-line three major areas of its massive archive which record the many ‘new communities’ that have arrived in the Milton Keynes area since the middle of the 19th century:
Wolverton and the coming of the Railways;
Bletchley and its expansion from 1945 –1966;
Milton Keynes and its original ‘new city’ residents
Part of the project was also to create a Teachers’ Resource Pack. Living Archive’s Education Officer created lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations to cover the local history units of the National Curriculum Key Stage 1 and 2.
The Living Archive Band received support to promote the New Communities archive both through the performance of their songs – some of them brand new – and through readings from the archive which inspired the songs.
The Band perform at in the ballroom at Bletchley Park- March 2010