Model loft find will be used to boost charity - The Evesham Observer

Model loft find will be used to boost charity

Evesham Editorial 8th Dec, 2019   0

A HANDMADE to-scale model of a local historical building has been returned to its original home 35 years on, after it was found stored in a family attic.

Local artist Jane Rogers was commissioned in 1984 to build a to-scale model of Bretforton’s Grange, a medieval grange with a long gallery and a vaulted stone undercroft.

Jane was commissioned by the original owners of the Grange, James Wellman an actor at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre and his partner David Swift an Escoffier chef, and made the model over many months to be an exact replica in clay, painted to accurate colours and detail.

The model has been in the loft of the artist’s brother Maurice Rogers at his home in Pershore for many years.

Maurice has now decided to use the model to raise funds in memory of his late mother who passed away from motor neurone disease and it has been purchased by the Grange in Bretforton where it will be displayed in pride of place.

Under James and David’s tenure, the Grange was used to present theatre and the opening performance starred Dame Peggy Ashcroft and James Walker in October 1979. They proceeded to present theatre to audiences of about 100 in the long gallery, renamed the Theatre Room, with James choosing the artists and David creating superb dinners for the patrons afterwards in the undercroft.

There were many distinguished performances by actors like Rita Hunter, Paul Scofield and Emlyn Williams.

In the early 90s, James and David bought the group of barns behind the house. These included a magnificent medieval barn.

This was converted into a 180 seat theatre and the adjoining barns became the foyer and restaurant and is run today as Theatrebarn, attracting theatrical names such as Barry Cryer, Kevin Whately and Alistair McGowan.

“We wanted to return the model to its intended home,” said Maurice.

“Alongside that, I was keen to find a way of raising some funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of my mother and when Theatrebarn offered to buy the model in the form of a donation to the charity, it presented the ideal opportunity.”

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