Posts Categorized: Projects

Honor Balfour’s contribution to British broadcasting

Research into Honor Balfour’s career as a journalist continues to yield rewards. It was against the backdrop of the early rivalry between the BBC Talks and News Departments that Honor forged her contribution to broadcasting which would span over the next three decades. The research continues but with the emphasis now firmly on Honor Balfour’s role as arguably the first significant woman current affairs commentator in broadcasting.

Waldorf and Nancy Astor at Cliveden

Inspired by the depth and breadth of the Astors’ archive at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), University of Reading, my current project focuses on Waldorf and Nancy Astor’s years at Cliveden and some of the less familiar stories.

Power in Place?

February 2016 brought an invitation to return to an old favourite topic: houses and gardens with modern political associations. Discussions with a potential publisher updated the list of properties to be considered. Hughenden, Cliveden, The Wharf, Garsington, Trent Park and Port Lympne; Chartwell, Wallington, Sissinghurst, Birch Grove House, The Manor  House, Hell Corner Farm, and… Read more »

Views from the Orangery: the gardens of Sir Philip Sassoon

This research returns to the topic of gardens as ‘living documents’. It uses the orangery at Trent Park, Enfield as the starting point for an exploration of the gardens created by Sir Philip Sassoon (1888-1939). The two gardens examined (Port Lympne, Kent being the second) are ‘living documents’; cultural landscapes connected to the worlds of politics, the arts, and design and significant meetings in both world wars.

Sir George Scharf & the Orangery at Knole Park

Helen has long been interested in the history of orangeries, and so was delighted to act as one of the advisers on the re-instatement of the orangery at Knole Park in late 2009/early 2010. The position brought unexpected archival dividends for her research into historic orangeries, and prompted further research using the sketch books and diaries of Sir George Scharf as a manuscript source. This article gives a first outline of some of her findings.