All posts by qm1df2

The Scottish Play comes to Landbeach!

Thursday 16th June finished with what can only be described as a quintessentially perfect English summer evening. It was then that the Tithe Barn Trust hosted in their lovely iconic tithe barn a most exciting and great event in the form of a much edited and reduced play by William Shakespeare. It was enacted by three members of the Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts in front of a large and eager audience more than 90 strong which encompassed ages from the very young to the not so young.

Shakespeare always wrote to entertain, but the actors this evening took that to yet another level. ‘Macbeth’ is considered one of Shakespeare’s serious plays but Chris McKay (on the staff of The School) and two of his 1st year students had us in fits of laughter for much of the hour-long entertainment. In fact the play was so changed by Chris’ rewriting of it that only parts had a semblance to the original work! The three performers took on at least five roles each and when necessary, calls to the audience came, when some quite young members came up and ably and confidently took on ‘as extras’!

There were two performances; the first at 4 pm for other students from the School to see, and a public one at 6 pm. Some of the audience came early to have a picnic on the Barn’s grass apron whilst others did likewise after the show. It was one of our most well attended events of the year and Chris says he will be more than happy to come again next year… which will be his seventh in bringing students to perform for us.

It was also wonderful to have in attendance our recently stepped down Chair, Gemma O’Shea with her two young girls and so many Friends of The Barn who have over these many years so generously donated to the Barn’s cause.

Grand opening of our eco-toilets and AGM

Thursday 26 May from 7.00 pm

Come and celebrate with us at this very special event – the culmination of a lot of hard work by our many friends, members, volunteers, fundraisers and donors – and a massive step forward towards our goal of making Landbeach tithe barn a valued community asset. The details are below:

Outdoor Gym and Furniture repair

Saturday 30th April. 09.00 – 13.00. Free. All welcome

Come and enjoy some fresh air and good company at Landbeach Tithe Barn this Saturday 30th April 2022.

We will be cleaning and restoring our furniture to make it ready for this year’s events. We will be working from 9am – 1pm and everyone is welcome to come at any time and to stay for as long as liked. No experience is necessary as you will be given tuition however experts in furniture restoration are particularly welcome.

Your efforts will make a valued contribution to improving the barn for our visitors. There are further details in the poster below and if you have any other questions or would like to learn more please email tithebarntrust@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday.


Carolin Göhler
Interim Chair – Tithe Barn Trust

The tithe barn’s new gates – built by Westover Woodlands

With the diverse grant funding we received over the recent years we are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in also supporting the design and installation of new entrance gate sets, making any arrival to the barn a more special experience.

To help us realise this project we are delighted to have found regional specialists Stephen and Becky Westover of Westover Woodlands. This father and daughter operation manage an ancient woodland in Essex and undertake special woodland management from tree thinning to regular coppicing to sourcing the sustainable materials they use to construct fencing and gates.

The gates and fence panels are fully made by hand using tools and techniques that would have been familiar to the barn’s original medieval builders. Using sweet chestnut shaped by hand through the use of diverse tools such as axes, adzes, froes and draw knives Stephen and Beckys’ work has resulted in our having a fully accessible pedestrian gate and field gates leading to the barn and pastures and with their rustic look they are more fitting than our old gates to invite visitors to explore the historic barn’s environment.

Useful contact – www.westoverwoodlands.co.uk

Outdoor Gym and Furniture repair

Saturday 2 April. 09.00 – 13.00. Free. All welcome

Come and enjoy some fresh air and good company at Landbeach Tithe Barn this Saturday 2nd April 2022.

We will be planting shrubs, trees and wildflowers, and restoring our furniture. We will be working from 9am – 1pm and everyone is welcome to come at any time and to stay for as long as liked. No experience is necessary as you will be given tuition however experts in furniture restoration are welcome.

Your efforts will make a valued contribution to improving the barn for our visitors. There are further details in the poster below and if you have any other questions or would like to learn more please email tithebarntrust@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday.


Carolin Göhler
Interim Chair – Tithe Barn Trust

New Chair of Trustees sought

Following a very successful first five years, the Trust is seeking a new Chair of Trustees to take us forward into the next phase of our development. This is an exciting opportunity to work with our established trustees and volunteers and lead the Trust towards the fulfilment of its mission. Below, out-going Chair Gemma O’Shea explains how she has enjoyed the role, highlighting the progress made and the future plans to be taken on by the next Chair of Trustees.

Gemma O’Shea outside Landbeach tithe barn

Nearly lost

Back in the 2010s, Landbeach tithe barn was a beautiful but decaying relic; a testament to Landbeach’s long history but also an asset in real danger of disappearing, lost for forever.

Fortunately, in 2014 a determined group of local residents wanted to avoid such a fate befalling this unique structure. As a result, the Tithe Barn Trust was created as a registered charity in 2016 with the mission:

“Ensuring the long-term survival of the rare and ancient Tithe Barn, by breathing new life into the site, for everyone to enjoy.”

I was honoured to take the helm as the Chair of Trustees and have greatly enjoyed this sometimes demanding role. It has given me so much satisfaction and a real sense of achievement working alongside our dedicated group of fellow trustees, volunteers and supporters. Over this period we have successfully fundraised to undertake the extensive repairs necessary to save the physical structure, taking it from this:

to this:

For me a particular highlight came in Autumn 2019 to early 2020 with the repair of the barn’s timber frame, brick plinth, floor and the re-thatching of the roof. These costly measures have saved the barn from collapse and made it weathertight for the first time in many years.

Re-thatching the barn in early 2020

Through the efforts of the Trust and its volunteers, we offer free entry to Tithe Barn open days, events and diverse educational activities for all ages. Access is open to everyone. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of others and with their help we’ve trialled and hosted varied community events from theatre, storytelling, to art exhibitions, a country market, preschool visits, heritage days and more. We’ve shown what an intimate and unique space the Tithe Barn is for bringing people together.


‘Oracle’ Art installation by artist Theo Gayer-Anderson at the Barn

Country Market

Our next steps

We are now focused on the second phase of our project, that of fundraising to bring essential services to the site. Great progress has already been made through our successful ‘Spend a Penny’ fundraising campaign. The money raised is enabling the installation of two eco-friendly toilets later this Spring, before we turn our attention to the provision of the water and electricity services. These will really help to secure the barn’s long-term future through its increased use as a community space and venue hire.

We have come a long way since 2014 and none of this would have been possible without the dedication of our trustees, volunteers and supporters. I have genuinely enjoyed my time as Chair and it has been a great privilege to work with a such a committed group. I wish the Trust and all who support it every success for the future and look forward to returning as a visitor with my family to see future progress.

To find out more about this great leadership opportunity, go to https://reachvolunteering.org.uk/opp/chair-trustees-290

Spend A Penny campaign hits its target

We’ve done it! A year after its launch the ‘Spend a Penny’ campaign has reached its £30,000 target – thanks to the Postcode Places Trust, a major anonymous personal gift and donations of all sizes from many other local supporters.

‘Spend a Penny’ will enable the installation of two eco-friendly ‘Kazubaloos’ for use by all those visiting or using Landbeach tithe barn, greatly enhancing its value as a local community asset. A great fundraising effort has been capped off by a generous £17,819 grant by the Postcode Places Trust that will enable these loos and also cycle racks to be put into place.

Gemma O’Shea, Tithe Barn Trust chair commented: ‘It is thrilling that we have reached our target and our greatest thanks go to all who have contributed. We are especially pleased that the Postcode Places Trust has recognised the added community value that these loos and cycle racks will bring via the tithe barn to Landbeach and our surrounding communities.’

A BIG thank you to the Postcode Places Trust

The rest of the funding came from donations from the general public via our TotalGiving page so we’d also very much like to thank all 66 donors, one of whom donated a massive £10,000. We couldn’t have done it without you all. 

Also many thanks to our team of fantastic volunteers for all their work and great local publicity by local media outlets, including BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Cambridge 105 FM, Cambridge News, and Cambridge Independent.

We very much hope that our new loos will be in place by May 2022 so watch this space for news of events next summer that will celebrate this major step forward and capitalise on these enhanced facilities.

Landbeach tithe barn welcomes you to Heritage Open Days 2021

Landbeach Tithe Barn is excited to join in the 2021 Heritage Open Days festival on Saturday 18th September with events and activities on offer throughout the day.

As an agricultural building formerly involved in food production and storage, the tithe barn is the perfect location reflecting this year’s Heritage Open Days theme of ‘Edible England’. The timber granary where food was stored is still visible as is the brick threshing floor where crops including wheat were beaten to extract the grain.

In addition to viewing our wonderful barn, this free event offers events and activites for the family. There will be knowledgeable trust members on-site to answer questions and all activities are free for children and families to enjoy. Doors open at 11.00 a.m. with last entry at 4:30 p.m. There’s no need to book; just turn up and enjoy.

There will be lots to do:

11.00 Doors open

11.30 Story Reading

For children there will be a reading of the delightful tale of ‘The Little Red Hen’ and her determination to bake some bread to be followed by a demonstration of how to produce flour using a ‘quern’ – a traditional gringing stone.

1.30 & 2.30 Medieval dance

Members of the Capriol Society for Early Dance will be on hand in period costume to demonstrate medieval-themed traditional dances – with audience participation encouraged! For more details see their website ( https://capriolsocietyforearlydance.wordpress.com ).

Capriol Dancers at Stourbridge Fair. Used with permission.

Throughout the day

Demonstrations of how grain was ground into flour using a traditional grinding stone – or ‘quern’ with opportunities for children to try their hand.

For smaller children and their parents there will be a ‘small world’ touch tray with a selection of wooden toys to play with.

Grinding wheat.

4.30 Last entry

All events and activities will be Covid-compliant with hand sanitisers available and regular cleaning and clear signage to help ensure both visitors and organisers stay safe and can enjoy a relaxing day out. We request that visitors bring a mask with them.

Make a day of it

Beyond the tithe barn, Landbeach is full of history; why not make a morning or afternoon of your visit and also look at the lovely parish church of All Saints which dates back to the 13th century with much medieval woodwork remaining. Also worth a look is Worts Meadow. Now a local nature reserve the meadow is a former medieval settlement site, with a surviving homestead moat and fish pond, and earthworks showing the location of roads and houses.

Melanie Hale, Chair of Landbeach Parish Council and trustee says:

“The Trust is delighted to be contributing to this year’s Heritage Open Days festival. Landbeach tithe barn was an integral part of local food production for hundreds of years and this makes it a perfect location for this year’s festival theme of ‘Edible England’.

Pop-Up Market success!

A busy morning at Landbeach tithe barn

We are very pleased that around 150 people shrugged off the mixed weather to visit Landbeach tithe barn on Saturday May 22nd to admire, enjoy and purchase the fruits of local producers’ labour.

A wide range of lovely things were on display; home-made foodstuffs, jewellery, hand-made cards, artworks, toiletries and much more were all available for purchase. All the items were made by members of the Histon Country Market, a group of local crafters producing high-quality goods for sale whose visit to the tithe barn was supported by the National Lottery Heritage Find. To find out more, go to: https://histoncountrymkt.org/

Art at the barn

ART AT THE BARN

On Sunday May 30th the Trust is very excited to welcome several local artists to showcase their work in the atmosperic environment of Landbeach tithe barn. The exhibition is free to everyone and runs between 11.00 and 4.00 (https://tithebarntrust.org.uk/learning/2021-events/). The artists are profiled below. All are members of, or associated with, the Cambridge Drawing Society.

The Society is believed to be one of the oldest of its kind in the UK, having been founded in 1882. Throughout its long history the society has fostered the aims of its founding members, “To encourage the arts of drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture in Cambridge and district and to promote exhibitions of members’ work”.  The Society currently has 180 members, both amateur and professional artists. 

Exhibiting Artists

Maureen Mace (Painter & Print-maker / Cambridge)

Maureen’s paintings are about colour, detail and ideas. They tell stories that can be magical and surreal. Cambridge is her home and a huge influence on her work. She loves the beautiful, historic city with its wide, open spaces, great architectural buildings, old university traditions and, of course, its cows. Maureen adds into her works rich night skies and shining moons. Her taste for Medieval manuscripts and tapestries forms the basis for these intricate, dream-like paintings.

https://www.maureenmace.co.uk

http://www.instagram.com/maureenmaceart

Tracey Ashman (Printmaker / Cottenham) – I have practiced printmaking for a decade and as a printmaker, my creativity is limitless. Printmaking processes and techniques can be combined, which provides an endless artistic journey, practising an art form that constantly inspires. My preferred printmaking techniques are mono-printing, silkscreen and linocuts.  
I’m inspired by form, line, colour and texture, and my prints are informed by a fascination with nature, both home and abroad.  My recent print projects have been inspired by an abiding interest in textiles, which comes from my childhood legacy left to me by my mother. I spent many hours in her sewing room, where I was taught to sew and knit at the age of five. I have begun to incorporate stitch into my printmaking processes; the texture and form of stitch, both hand and machine, creates beautiful, unexpected marks. Cotton is now my prefered drawing medium to create line and texture in my prints, and paper is the perfect medium for capturing the beauty of the mark. 

Ann Biggs (Painter & Illustrator / Haddenham) – I trained in the 1970’s and worked as a professional illustrator ever since.  I have worked with educational publishers specialising in Natural History for schools, also taking on commissioned work with private customers. 

Nowadays I take on private commissions, as well as running workshops for various art groups and Haddenham Arts Centre. I focus on subjects such portraits of pets, children, people’s houses as well as my first love, painting wildlife of all shapes and sizes. 

I work from a studio at Haddenham Arts Centre near Ely, Cambs and welcome visitors to my studio where I sell cards, prints and original paintings. 

Rob Ellis (Painter / Cottenham) – I am a figurative painter and I paint rather precisely using transparent watercolours – “pure watercolour”.  I like to mix my paints on a palette and to decide exactly where and how to put them on the paper to achieve my aims.  I first learned the trick of drawing what I could see around me during school holidays some sixty years ago but after that I never studied art and very rarely drew or painted anything. Then, in 2017, I started painting and drawing seriously and have devoted considerable time to it over the last few years. I am particularly interested in working out how best to replicate different textures and the effect of light on them.  I see each new painting as a technical challenge rather than an expression of my passions.  

Iona Howard (Printmaker / Cottenham) – My prints use figuration and abstraction to portray the landscape of places I know well. The sources can come from working en plein air or expressing landscape filtered through memory. The physicality of my approach to the printing process combined with a contemplative exploration of surface makes the subject spontaneous and vibrant whilst capturing an intimate connection with the landscape.  


I have lived on the Fen Edge near Cambridge for the last twenty years and the focus of my work is the meeting point of land, horizon and sky, their flatness altering the perception of distance. My prints have gradually evolved from monochromatic studies by introducing colour to reflect the Fens’ ever-changing mood and light.  

My monochromatic work has developed in parallel to this as a result of my three-year collaboration with the 2017 Fenland Poet Laureate, Kate Caoimhe Arthur. Our work explores the concept of the sublime, the senses of home and alienation in a humanly fabricated natural space, and the precarious relationship between the ecological and the human. From these early walks in the spring of 2017, our collaboration has since taken a variety of forms: staging talks and exhibitions, sound recording and creating numerous prints and poems.  

Christine Lockwood (Painter / Fen Drayton) – Ever since I can remember I have always loved messing about with paints.


I live in the small village of Fen Drayton in Cambridgeshire, working in a lovely light sunny studio where I can concentrate on my love of watercolour painting. I have a passion for colour, the luminosity & vibrancy is reflected in my work. I love to let the colours blend & mix together on the watercolour paper giving that element of surprise & looseness.

Flowers have always been inspirational for me. You will often find me with a sketchpad and camera in the garden on bright sunny days capturing the vibrant petals of the Delphiniums & Hollyhocks or the bees on the Echinacea. These are the perfect subject matter for my paintings. I also enjoy painting landscapes, particularly around the nature reserve where I live and trips to Cornwall, Scotland, Wales & France have all provided me with a wealth of inspiration for me to explore, sketch and paint.

http://www.instagram.com/maureenmaceart

Rita Morton (Printmaker / Bourn) –
 My work spans drawing, illustration and printmaking. On returning to England in 2009, I revived my printmaking skills, primarily through lino and silkscreen. My art derives from my sense of place, predominantly where the man-made harmonises with the natural environment. I am inspired by the imagery, techniques and colours of Japanese prints, especially in a favourite subject of mine, water reflections.

Giulia Quaresima (Painter / Fen Ditton) – Giulia Quaresima is an Italian figurative artist and portrait painter.

The women’s universe is the main theme of her painting season: the relentless passage of time, the laceration of abandonment, the fascinating moment of conception are the subjects on which she reflects. She uses painting to analyse our fears and hopes, and her works do not hide behind intellectual games. The artist believes that her works can show her love for tradition and her respect for the craft, because, in her opinion, modernity should be find through the old rule of art. She is very faithful to the “poetic of realism” with which she carries on her own idea of reality.

Paul Rodhouse (Painter / Burwell) – As a youngster, I was fascinated by both art and natural history and followed a career in biological oceanography.  More than 30 years on, inspired by a visit to the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, I dug out the brushes and palette of my school days and started painting again.   

I largely use oils and I mostly paint marine and polar subjects, the wildlife, the seascapes and icescapes that have been such an important part of my life.  Starting to paint again was a challenge, but the possibility of having work accepted by the Cambridge Drawing Society provided an incentive.  Becoming a member has encouraged me to develop my skills and artistic imagination. 

Alice Thomson (Multimedia Artist / Girton) – My work has developed as ‘reportage’ drawing directly and spontaneously from life. I  carry a sketchbook and camera constantly with me, and I aim to capture a place and its essence. I use effortless but sensitive use of line, mark making and color with an expressive quality.

Experimenting with different techniques and materials with no strict rules, I enjoy looking for new and surprising effects. I work in a combination of collage, ink, printing, crayons and paints, (gouache oil and acrilic) sticks and pencils to add layers to add interest to my compositions until it feels complete. My work speaks of the sense of places.