Inward green (for Ivor Gurney)

by Jon Hamp

That copse I know from the ridge to the north
A last late Cotswold fold
That gentle valley,
The laughing stream,
That fence of twisted gold.

Still, I know a landscape torn apart
Strewn with blood and hurt.
I know a thousand words
For pain
Yet dirt is always dirt.

The bees may hum,
The  berries ripe,
All worldly grief at stay.
But wire sharp in sinew taut
from Somme to Cotswold way.

There’s background on the Cotswold poet and composer Ivor Gurney here. For a samples of his music see eg A Gloucestershire Rhapsody, Severn Meadows and more. Much of his work remains unrecorded.

Meanwhile Kelston Records‘ first CD, Thee Cane Whale live at the Old Barn, launches 3 Oct 2016 at the Green Note club in Camden, includes two tracks inspired by Ivor Gurney. It also features Jon Hamp’s first Kelston trilogy.

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Kelston Roundhill invites partnerships with local schools


Immie and Alice identify wildflowers, June 2016. The Kingswood year 5 pupils also hunted fossils and flints, and composed reflective poems.

Kelston Roundhill supports a thriving dairy cattle business but it also serves a range of wider evolving purposes. We think it’s also a great asset for local schools.

We’d like to work with perhaps up to four local schools in more depth.We’ve prepared an invitation to local schools to partner with us for a range of science, humanities and personal development activities, and started sending it to local schools we know. You can download it here – kelston-roundhill-school-partnership-proposal-sept-2016. If you know a local school this might be right for feel free to share it with them.

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“Day of Quiet” on Kelston Roundhill (with added དགེ་བཤེས་ཡེ་ཤེས)

Bath Quakers held a “day of quiet” in the Old Barn on Kelston Roundhill Saturday 3 Sept 2016.We used the new furniture acquired in the B&B Marquees liquidation.

The Meeting used the barn as a place to unwind, reflect in peaceful quiet, enjoy contemplative walks and reflect on pictures and objects in a carefully facilitated light-touch programme. We were pleased to be joined by a distinguished Tibetan guest from Dharamsala, Geshe Yeshi Gawa.

We considered the distant and more recent past of the place, including the change in purpose and the disruptive works necessary to get on that path, and the many memories held on the hill. It’s clear that the hill has many happy associations for people who have engaged with it over time: childhood memories, romantic engagement, the wonder at the view and the sense of place, the joy of a beautiful memorable walk, or the sense of homecoming. There are also more sombre memories of lost loved ones or episodes of self-harm.

We considered all of this, also our own busyness and concerns, and how powerfully the peace, quiet and beauty met our immediate and deeper needs.

For lunch we ate local cheese with wild mustard leaves from the abundant flowering plants that have self-seeded among the newly sown rye grass and clover. During the afternoon a large hare came and stopped outside the window and stood still while we admired its flecked colouring, its poised strength and its clear unblinking eyes giving nothing away.

2016-09-03 13.46.49

Friends in the Old Barn, using pictures in a contemplative frame of mind.

The feelings shared as the rain beat down outside included that the barn was a place of safety, the well-tended farm suffused in caring compassion. Instead of the inevitable element of anxiety that comes with rebuilding and transition the Meeting shared a quiet confidence and joy.

It seems ideal to use the barn as a safe space for contemplation and reflection.

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Date for the diary: 29 Sept Gas Giants

There’s serious Kelston fun brewing up over at our new project Kelston Records. Check it out, and mark 29 Sept in the diary for Gas Giants.

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Wallscourt Farm Scouts visit back in spring

Just caught this from May 2016 on the not-to-be-mentioned social network 


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Bath skyline sunset pic by Andrew

Top photo by Andrew Stevens

A gorgeous sunset over last night from Bath Skyline Walk

And another cracker below. Want to join Tim’s Kelston Flickr group?

Continue reading

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AWT gets out the Batmeters at Kelston

See this below from recent AWT bat survey.

Our plan is to work with Bath Spa University and reach out to schools and to get a series of conservation projects going. First of all we need to get a clearer grasp of the range of plant and wildlife on the site.

The survey last Thursday was the best I’ve been on for wildlife for some time – several Serotine bats were foraging around the ash tree and we also recorded common pipistrelle, noctule, brown long-eared and lesser horseshoe either commuting or foraging over the site. There was a little owl perched in the western gable end, which seems to be a regular visitor looking at the evidence in the main barn too. I think it probably roosts and may even have nested this year in the wall itself (accessible from the alcove in the western gable).

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