The search of archival resources for information about Reggie Cooper is coming to a close. Several sources consulted since last year have provided some fascinating insights into his personality, and his design of the orangery for Sir Philip Sassoon (1885-1939).
Posts Categorized: Projects
With archives presently closed because of the pandemic, resuming research into the career of the restorer of ancient houses and maker of gardens rose to the top of my list of projects because much of it could be conducted from my desk. Reggie Cooper first caught my attention in 2006; in between other projects I continued my ‘quest for Reggie’, returning to it full time in the summer of 2020 after completing the article on Honor Balfour.
A (very minor) contributor to an exhibition at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock. Scheduled for Spring 2020 the opening was postponed by the pandemic until October 2020 but shortly afterwards new national lockdown restrictions were introduced. The invitation to contribute information arose from my past work on Dame Irene Ward. The campaign by… Read more »
With the publication of the article ‘What Honor did next, the pioneering broadcasting career of Honor Balfour (1912-2001)’, in the Journal of Liberal Democrat History, a very enjoyable period spent researching her remarkable life comes to a close.
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.
I always believed Honor Balfour (1912-2001) was too modest about her life but even so I’ve been blown away by discovering the extent and range of her broadcasting career…
‘A home should be the centre of a woman’s life, not its boundary’ (Irene Ward).
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.
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 »
“A big, cream and white wooden structure shaped like a giant flower pedestal but with a human-size door was utterly intriguing.”