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COLENSO BOOKS: A selection of titles

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Friday, 31 October 2014

Greece, 1940-1941, Rare Photos

From Greek Reporter

Greece: Paxiot appointed new Defence Minister

From Kathimerini

"Former Public Order Minister and current Development Minister Nikos Dendias was appointed on Friday to replace Dimitris Avramopoulos as Greece's defense minister".

Nikos Dendias was born in Corfu, of a Paxiot family.


Czech Republic: Moravian Artist; Ornamentová babička Anežka Kašpárková

Anežka Kašpárková, nearly 80.

Well worth looking at her ornamental designs and building-painting art

Modern Greek Literature in Translation; Richard Pine; Greek Novels and Stories; Myrivilis; Theotokis

Richard Pine in the Irish Times

"It’s the power of Greek writing that makes it so rewarding. It’s emotional, it’s visceral, it’s passionate. Of course the perennial themes of love, jealousy and ambition are present, but Greek novelists seem to be preoccupied, very instructively, with the events of history in the past century, and the emotions they evoke....What these stories have in common is an earthiness, a deep sense of history and tradition, a seemingly infinite capacity to engage with social issues, and a sensitivity to what it means to be Greek, how to celebrate life in all its horrors and joys".

I will add some more titles to Richard's list. For starters, I highly recommend Konstantinos Theotokis, Slaves in their Chains. Excellent translation by J.M.Q. Davies. Angel Classics information

More books by a contemporary Greek author (

Birmingham Modern Greek Translations

Modern Greek Writing: An Anthology in English Translation, ed. David Ricks

also, try Kalamos Books in Canada and Greece In Print

Archive listing of Greek novels in English (232 entries)

Elpenor Census of Modern Greek Literature in English translation

We should be grateful to AbeBooks (, a great way to find some of the older, out-of-print translations. Today I received a copy, in its original dustjacket, of Stratis Myrivilis' "The Mermaid Madonna". I had a paperback reprint of this outstanding novel, but I'm delighted to have the original 1959 hardback translation. I am eager to re-read it. It's one of my favourite Greek novels.

AbeBooks has a number of used copies of the Efstathiadis Group paperback 1992 reprint.

These were the 1981 paperback covers of two Myrivilis novels:

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Germany and Greece: Finance Ministers on Reform Progress and an "Early Bailout Exit"

Kathimerini, Mark Deen and Rainer Buergin

"Germany denied it’s given support to proposals that would help Greece exit its bailout early, dealing a blow to a plan that’s already unnerved investors in the nation’s debt. The German government issued the statement after a meeting between Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble (photo) and his Greek counterpart, Gikas Hardouvelis, in Berlin on Wednesday. While they discussed progress on reforms, media reports that Schaeuble backed an early exit for Greece are incorrect, the German minister’s spokesman said on Thursday".

A different story

Greek News Agenda

Also relevant

A clean bailout exit unlikely

Greece: World Bank, Ease/Difficulty of Doing Business; Greek Economy Profile- and some spin

From Keep Talking Greece

Greek News Agenda

Observing Greece

Business Reforms

Greece Data

Full profile of the Greek Economy (pdf)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Australia, Tasmania, Port Arthur, Island of the Dead; Convicts from Dorset and Somerset; Edward Spicer; Henry Savery

Edward Spicer, from Poole, Dorset; died Port Arthur, 1854, aged 47:
Photo Jack Thwaites

"Affliction sore
Long time I bore
Physicians were in vain
Till God did please
That death should ease
Me from my pain"

Henry Savery, born Butcombe, Somerset,
died Port Arthur, Feb. 1842

Port Arthur: Island of the Dead

The first two stones we're shown
When we've been transported
To the Island of the Dead-
They stand alone on the lower ground-
Commemorate two convicts
Who had creative flair.
From Poole in Dorset,
Edward Spicer,
Who penned his moving epitaph,
Soon to disappear,
By erosion of the sandstone face;
Henry Savery,
A Somerset man,
Inveterate forger -
Remembered by a modern stone,
A forgery itself,
As befits the maker
Of Australia's first novel;
He cut his own throat,
And died of a "stroke".
They are part of a long tradition,
Death in custody, dishonourable graves;
From Rottnest Island
To Tasman Peninsula
The story's much the same.
The stones of soldiers, officers, guards
(Those on higher ground, along with wives and children),
Face North, not East:
Face not the rising sun, but Home. The convicts' headstones do not mark their graves.
But somewhere hereabouts, a few paces more or less,
Two sons of Somerset and Dorset share
A common plot
Of broadly
British Earth.


Henry Savery biography


South-West Dorset; Powerstock; The Independent Walk of the Month; Saving Toes Hiking Downhill

A good walk

"It takes a while for Mark Rowe to find Powerstock, but he’s rewarded with a revelatory walk amid sublime scenery".

Saving your toes hiking downhill

An American Poet: Denise Duhamel

I bought an anthology called "The New Young American Poets"  (edited by Kevin Prufer) at an open-air bookstall in Dorchester a few weeks ago.

It looked brand new, but it was published in 2000, so the poets are no longer quite so new or so young. But they are relatively new, compared to the Beat Poets!

I particularly liked the poems of Denise Duhamel

This poem is both witty and effective.

This one too.

More poems


Greece: Acropolis, Ancient Athens, Virtual Tours

Virtual tour of the Acropolis

Ancient Athens 3D

UNICEF: Children of the Recession; including Greece

Unicef Report (pdf)

"In relative terms, the severe child material deprivation rate doubled in Greece and tripled in Iceland, albeit from a very low base"

See Figure 6, Child poverty and severe material deprivation in Greece and Iceland (2008 and 2012)

See also Box 3, The Crisis in Greece Through a Child's Eyes

Summary, A Gael in Greece blog


Corfu, Greece: Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Corfu Paintings, Sketches, Works of Art

The Benaki Museum Collection and Archive webpages (to which I had linked) time out quickly, so I suggest you go to the Benaki Museum web-site and do a search for Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, to find his Corfu paintings and drawings. The Ghika Gallery is here. For his Corfu works, this is the link:

I recommend:

Stones and Thistles (Watercolour, 1970)
Olive Trees on Corfu (1978)
The Chef in Corfu (c 1977-1980)

Greece: Photography, Past and Present

Mostly past postings:

Spyros Meletzis

Kostas Balafas (1)

Kostas Balafas (2)

Takis Tloupas

Spyros Vangelakis

Fred Boissonnas

Voula Papaioannou

Costas Zissis


Nelly's (2, Benaki)

Nelly's (Body and Dance, Benaki)

Nelly's, Crete, 1927

Enri Canaj (1) 

Enri Canaj (2)

Marwan Bishara on changing attitudes in the USA, France and the UK; Patrick Cockburn in LRB; Edward Said, Orientalism Documentary; Samuel P Huntington, The Clash of Civilisations

Seen on Al Jazeera this morning, "Empire" with Marwan Bishara.

Empire asks if the global fight against terrorism is eroding the democratic principles it set out to defend.

Another perspective. Politicians should watch and be aware.

A further substantive and controversual piece, by Patrick Cockburn in the London Review of Books

Some more controversial background positions:

Edward Said, Orientalism, Documentary Film

Edward Said Lecture on "The Myth of the Clash of Civilisations"

Said, Lecture Part 2

Samuel P Huntington on "The Clash of Civilisations"

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

"First Year Blues" (Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb)

Hank Williams, First Year Blues

Lyrics (should be "broke in two")

Ernest Tubb original

Witty but sexist?

Those were the days! Corfu 1967-1970

Corfu 1970

Corfu 1967

Greece: Takis Tloupas, Photographer

Τakis Tloupas, 1920 - 2003

The Two Foscari, Lord Byron; I Due Foscari, Verdi

Having seen Verdi's opera, I Due Foscari (libretto), I am reading Byron's excellent play.

All things are so to mortals; who can read them

Save he who made? or, if they can, the few

And gifted spirits, who have studied long

That loathsome volume – man, and pored upon

Those black and bloody leaves, his heart and brain,

But learn a magic which recoils upon

The adept who pursues it: all the sins

We find in others, Nature made our own;

All our advantages are those of Fortune;

Birth, wealth, health, beauty, are her accidents,

And when we cry out against Fate, ’twere well

We should remember Fortune can take nought

Save what she gave – the rest was nakedness,

And lusts, and appetites, and vanities,

The universal heritage, to battle

With as we may, and least in humblest stations,

Where Hunger swallows all in one low want,

And the original ordinance, that man

Must sweat for his poor pittance, keeps all passions

Aloof, save fear of famine! All is low,

And false, and hollow – clay from first to last,

The prince’s urn no less than potter’s vessel.

Our fame is in men’s breath, our lives upon

Less than their breath; our durance upon days,

Our days on seasons; our whole being on

Something which is not us! So, we are slaves,

The greatest as the meanest – nothing rests

Upon our will; the will itself no less

Depends upon a straw than on a storm;

And when we think we lead, we are most led,

And still towards Death, a thing which comes as much

Without our act or choice as birth, so that

Methinks we must have sinned in some old world,

And this is Hell: the best is, that it is not Eternal.


If Venice was as corrupt and brutal during the period that Francesco Foscari was Doge of Venice (1423-1457), as it is portrayed in the play and opera, one wonders about conditions on the island of Corfu (a Venetian possession) at that time.

UK: Mapping Languages Most Spoken at London's Underground Tube Stations; Tube Tongues; Second Languages at Tube Stops

From MSN

See the map, "Tube Tongues"

Where do you most often hear the following languages?

French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian,

Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Panjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil

Cantonese, Chinese ao, Japanese, Tagalog, Somali

German, Dutch, Russian, Hindi, Telugu, Nepalese, Korean, Yoruba, Afrikaans

Greece: State Auctions, Unrealistic Prices, No Buyer Interest

From Greek Reporter

"The website of the General Secretary of Public Revenues is packed with properties belonging to known businessmen who have outstanding debts to the Greek state. Their starting prices are very high, as Greek law sets the starting prices of auctioned properties at their assessed value, not their commercial value. The result is little or no interest from buyers, an inability of the State to sell properties and the reluctance of borrowers to ease the burden of their debts".

Monday, 27 October 2014

Dylan Thomas Centenary: Do Not Go Gentle

A great poem - for the centenary of Dylan's birth (October 27, 1914, Uplands, Swansea, Wales)

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light".

I still prefer the Richard Burton rendering

Anthony Hopkins

Cerys Matthews

Stravinsky, In Memoriam Dylan Thomas

As a counterpoint:

Fixin' to die

Bukka White original

Dylan Thomas and Corfu (from a Dylan Thomas letter to Lawrence Durrell, December 1938?)

Blushford, Ringwood, Hants

Dear Lawrence Durrell,

I think England is the very place for a fluent and fiery writer. The highest hymns of the sun are written in the dark. I like the grey country. A bucket of Greek sun would drown in one colour the crowds of colours I like trying to mix for myself out a grey flat insular mud. If I went to the sun I’d just sit in the sun; that would be very pleasant but I’m not doing it, and the only necessary things I do are the things I am doing. Unless by accidents, and my life is planned by them, I shall be nearer Bournemouth than Corfu this summer. It will need a nice accident for us to live anywhere: we are stages beyond poverty; completely possessionless; and we are willing but angry; we can take it but we don’t want it. I liked your Stygian prose very very much, it’s the best I’ve read for years. Don’t let the Greek sun blur your pages as you said it did.

Dylan Thomas

Epirus Lecture in Stockholm, Photos by Spyros Vangelakis

I am grateful to Spyros Vangelakis for sending me a selection of the photos he took at my lecture at the Mediterranean Museum in Stockholm. Here a few.

Spyros has a wonderful exhibition of his photographs of Epirus on show at the museum.

Olga Jegunova and Elisabeth Leonskaja: Schubert Impromptus

From YouTube Impromptu in G flat Op. 90 No. 3 (Olga Jegunova)


Elisabeth Leonskaja Impromptu in E flat op. 90 no 2


BBC iPlayer

Greece: Tourist Arrivals to reach 27 million by 2021?

From Kathimerini

I thought the beaches were too crowded

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Greece and the Oligarchs (Foreign Affairs, "Misrule of the Few")

Quoted by Observing Greece

Misrule of the Few
How the Oligarchs Ruined Greece

By Pavlos Eleftheriadis,

Foreign Affairs, November/December 2014 issue

Dorset, UK: The Costs of Caring, a Trading Company or a Care Cost Tsunami?

From Dorset Echo

"PLANS to transform the way adult services are delivered in Dorset will help to tackle a ‘financial tsunami’ facing the authority, the leader of the county council has said.

A proposal to form a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) was put before Dorset County Council’s cabinet at a meeting at County Hall in Dorchester".

Read about the risks.

Albert Camus, The Jukebox and Football (and Johnny Hallyday); France and American Pop Culture

According to Ian Critchley, in his review of Peter Conrad's "How The World Was Won, The Americanisation of Everywhere", Albert Camus "detested jukeboxes, but devoured American ice cream" (Sunday Times Culture Section, 26.10.2014).

Camus may not have liked jukeboxes, but he loved football:

"All I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football".

British teenagers started to be 'corrupted' by the jukebox around 1955.

Had he lived, Camus would not have approved of Johnny Hallyday's 1962 version of Be-Bop-A- Lula

I thought it was rather good, for a French-speaking rock singer.

Johnny Hallyday's first record release, Laisse les filles, was released in March 1960. Albert Camus died in a car crash in January 1960. More Johnny Hallyday: Elle est terrible

Let that jukebox keep on playing!

On Sartre and Camus in New York

European Banks and the Stress Test

From The Telegraph

From Reuters

The real stress comes from the EU budget adjustment procedure (Observing Greece)

The Stress Tests (Observing Greece)


The 14 banks that still need to raise capital

Austria: Oesterreichische Volksbanken

Belgium: AXA Bank Europe, Dexia

Cyprus: Hellenic Bank Public Company

Greece: Eurobank Ergasias, National Bank of Greece

Republic of Ireland: Permanent TSB

Italy: Banca Carige, Monte dei Paschi, Banca Popolare di Milano, Banca Popolare di Vicenza

Portugal: Banco Comercial Portugues

Slovenia: Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor, Nova Ljubljanska Banka

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Leaving Sweden again (or Viking Ships Search for Submarine)

What's been lurking in the Baltic Sea? (Chris Morris, BBC) :

"On a long warm summer evening when the sun refuses to set, there are few finer places in Europe than the Stockholm archipelago....But it's not necessarily where you'd choose to be when - like this week - the rain is lashing down, the wind is whipping off the Baltic Sea, the skies are a forbidding grey and you're looking for the naval equivalent of a needle in a haystack".

Sweden has proof

 Strindberg outside Dramaten

In Stockholm, ten years ago:

Swedish friends in Epirus and Dorset:

Friday, 17 October 2014

UK, EU, US: TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership); TTIP Negotiating Mandate Made Public; Transparency Issues

The TTIP needs much more close analysis (The Independent)

Transparency issues (Euro Observer)

Update, George Monbiot, The Guardian 5 November

TTIP negotiating mandate made public, De Gucht delighted

    The Council of the EU published the negotiating directives on the EU-US trade talks (TTIP). The decision "further underlines our commitment to transparency", says EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
  • More
  • The mandate

TTIP: ’I’m delighted that EU governments decided to make the TTIP negotiating mandate public’ – says EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht

The Council of the EU today published the negotiating directives for talks on an EU-US trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnerships (TTIP). Commenting, European Commissioner Karel de Gucht said:

"I'm delighted EU governments have chosen today to make the TTIP negotiating mandate public – something I've been encouraging them to do for a long time. It further underlines our commitment to transparency as we pursue the negotiations. And it allows everyone to see precisely how the EU wants this deal to work, so it contributes to economic growth and jobs' creation across Europe while keeping our commitment to maintain high level of protection for the environment, health, safety, consumers, data privacy, or any other public policy goal."

The European Commission is negotiating the agreement on the basis of negotiating directives issued by the Council in June 2013. It consults governments, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and civil society throughout the process. The talks started in July 2013 and seven rounds of negotiations have been completed so far.

The mandate (other languages)

More on TTIP

What is the TTIP?

UK: Botched Outsourced Cataract Operations

An alarming report in The Independent

Greece: Omnibus Bill Corruption Immunity Provisions

From the New York Times (link alert from June Samaras)

"The omnibus bill, more than 100 pages long and titled “Measures of Support and Growth for the Greek Economy,” won passage here in the middle of the night in March, as Parliament raced to meet a deadline set by Greece’s creditors. Only afterward did a legislator from the governing New Democracy party notice an unsettling provision. Buried on page 78 was language that essentially gave retroactive immunity to thousands of workers in state-funded organizations that could shield them from future corruption prosecutions. That change is among a flurry of new immunity provisions, often slipped into complex or unrelated bills this year, that have triggered outrage among law enforcement officials and critics of the government, who fear that long-awaited efforts to clamp down on corruption are being stymied".

Bermuda: Hurricane Gonzalo

In calmer days, Horseshoe Bay and Shelly Bay

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Greece and Eurozone: Bond Market Turbulence; Has the Bubble Burst?

From Kathimerini

Greek economy in the news again (and the rest of the world)

Yanis Varoufakis (strong words)

Huffington Post

Update, Kathimerini

Greek News Agenda

On Trust and Credibility (To Vima)


Reuters, Interview with PM Samaras

CRETE: Map drawn by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Read here (

Ebola: Nothing New? A Swedish Perspective

Svenska Dagbladet on some of the myths surrounding the Ebola Virus (in Swedish)

The perspective of Inger Atterstam:

"The truth is that Ebola has been known for forty years, a devastating aggressive killer virus found in Africa...which occasionally results in outbreaks in humans, particularly in Congo and Uganda. There is an outbreak that kills perhaps a hundred people each time, and then burns itself out and wanes. Ebola has long been deemed not to be a threat to the rest of the world, and therefore irrelevant in terms of the well-established commercial logic that has for decades influenced the view that we in the rich world could neglect diseases in poor countries. The poor simply cannot pay for treatments and medications, and therefore no profits are generated for the pharmaceutical industry. This 'logic' dominates both in industry and in international medical research in general".

Related article: David Heymann in The Guardian

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Bermuda and UK: Insurance and Reinsurance Hot Topics

West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland Local Plan Amendments: 775 Houses Per Annum; Revised Plan Examination in Public Period

Read about the revised plan examination

The final summary (last sentence and blue link) below is of special interest

Examination - Important Update
"The Hearings relating to the West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland Local Plan Examination are due to commence on Tuesday 25 November 2014 and will last for three weeks. The Hearings will take place in Committee Rooms A and B, West Dorset District Council Offices, South Walks Road, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1UZ. The sitting times are Tuesday to Thursday from 10am-1pm and from 2pm-5pm and on Friday 10am-1pm.

The Draft Examination Programme (pdf, 219kb)(opens in a new window) shows the Matters and Issues identified for discussion by the Inspector although it is important to note that the draft programme is subject to change. An Examination Guidance Note (pdf, 80kb)(opens in a new window) explains the Examination process in more detail. If you expect to be informed of the Examination Hearings by email please check all incoming email folders carefully as the notification has been sent from an external source and may not automatically appear in your inbox.
Consultation on Further Proposed Changes - Summer 2014

Additional evidence on housing was prepared during the suspension of the Local Plan, this can be found in the Examination Library. The results of this additional evidence required Further Proposed Changes (pdf, 99kb)(opens in a new window) to be made to the Local Plan. The majority of changes relate to chapter 3 (pdf, 749kb)(opens in a new window) (Sustainable Pattern of Development).

The councils consulted on these further proposed changes and an accompanying Sustainability Appraisal Update (pdf, 168kb)(opens in a new window) between 31 July and 11 September 2014 and the individual Further Proposed Changes Consultation Responses were sent to the Inspector for his consideration. The Further Proposed Changes Consultation Summary (pdf, 512kb)(opens in a new window) provides an overview of all the individual issues raised during the consultation period".


"Residents and stakeholders across West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland were asked for their
views on further proposed changes to the draft joint Local Plan. The changes were in response to
new housing evidence prepared to address matters highlighted by the Local Plan Inspector Paul
Crysell at an exploratory meeting held in January 2014. The changes were agreed by West Dorset
Full Council on 3rd July and Weymouth and Portland Management Committee on 1 July 2014. The
following table summarises the changes proposed.

FPC1-3 An independent review looking at the relationship between houses and jobs has
recommended an increase in the rate of housing development using a single target for
the plan area. As a result, it is proposed that the housing requirement will increase to
775 units per annum (FPC1), across the whole plan area (FPC2), and that the plan refers
to an estimated increase to the resident labour force of 2,300 (FPC3) between 2011 and

FPC4 Reducing the plan period by 3 years from 2031 to 2028 will help us meet this increased
level of housing provision without the need to identify and consult on additional development sites at this stage, which could further delay the delivery of those sites already identified in the plan. Additional development sites would be identified and consulted on in a future review.

FPC5-7 Revised housing land supply evidence has been prepared to help inform the Local Plan
and ensure that the understanding of land supply is consistent and fully up-to-date
across the plan area. As a result, some changes are proposed to the components of the
supply to take account of the most recent information available.

The consultation period ran for a 6 week period from 31 July to 11 September 2014".


Plans to build on school fields (Dorset Echo) in Dorchester

Greece: Property Tax and Objective Values

An update from Kathimerini by Prokopis Hatzinikolaou and Nikos Roussanoglou:

"Property tax will continue to be based on present-day values until early 2016 even though these are far higher than going market rates, according to a document signed by Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis and forwarded to Parliament on Monday. The reason is that it will take around a-year-and-a half for a new system allowing the automatic adjustment of so-called objective values to become operational"

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Greece: Amphipolis Tomb; Giant Mosaic with Hermes and Charioteer - The Abduction of Persephone

From Kathimerini

Greek News Agenda

The Guardian

Kathimerini update

To Vima with video

Kathimerini with video inside tomb

Much ado? (Keep Talking Greece)

Underground vault found

The dead man who wasn't there Pantelis Boukalas

Viking Jewellery and other Treasure Found in Scotland

From BBC News

Dorset: Charlton Down (formerly Herrison Mental Hospital/ County 'Lunatic Asylum'); Herrison Hall, Charlton Down Village Hall

"Dorset County Lunatic Asylum, founded in 1832 in Herrison. In 1920 it became the Dorset County Mental Hospital, and in 1940 was renamed Herrison Hospital" Dorset Asylums

A survey (Pdf) of the conservation area available here (Dorset For You)

"Herrison Hall/Ballroom – built in 1894/5 to the design of G T Hine, an architect who along with the design of asylum buildings (see Greenwood House and Herrison House above) acquired a reputation for large and ornate recreation halls. In 2004, the hall was handed to the residents of Charlton Down to become their village hall and ballroom. At the northern end of the building, as part of the refurbishment, a new entrance, meeting rooms and other facilities were built, allowing full view of the hall from the new square and Sherren Avenue.

On plan, the red brick hall/ballroom is rectangular with a double pitched slate roof finished with decorative roof tiles that at either end have stone coped gables with stone kneelers and apex finials. The hall’s new red brick, north gable with its decorative panel overlooks the square, rising above the equally new red brick and slate lean-to front with its central gabled entrance and gabled slate and brick end wings that return alongside the hall itself. This still leaves both sides of the hall visible (stone weathered brick plinth, brick and stone weathered buttresses defining six window bays, tall round brick arched windows [some modified to provide side entrances] with timber frames and
stone cill banding, single brick banding above arches and above that, a moulded and dentilled brick eaves cornice).

The hall’s south gable end has three buttressed bays. The outer bays have a similar window arrangement to the sides. The central bay is defined by two taller brick buttresses with stone weathering that become piers supporting stone scrolls that abut either side of a raised brick panel with a brick pediment weathered with stone. Below the panel are two bands of moulded brick (stretching the full width of the gable) and a round headed, tall central window with its two tiers of uncusped tracery. Like the adjacent windows, the central window has moulded brick banding at the spring line of the arch and stone cill banding. Stained glass fills the top tier of the central window, whereas all other ballroom windows have a stained glass fanlight.

Inside the ballroom at the north end is the stage (basement underneath) with a moulded proscenium arch. Looking south from the stage, the window bays and piers are wrapped by a wainscot that meets a wooden floor.

Corresponding with the piers are eight timber trusses. Each pier has a moulded impost supporting curved braces to the lower of two collars. Between the two collars are seven turned struts and between the brace and principal rafter behind it, further timber uprights. A ceiling follows the line of the principal rafters and upper collar, thereby hiding king posts above. All the internal elements – roof trusses, form and rhythm of the windows, stained glass, wainscot, wooden floor, proscenium arch - come together to create an impressive communal space.

The Recreation Hall/Ballroom had an important recreational and convalescence role in the life of the hospital and today has significant communal use. It was designed by Hine, an architect renowned for asylum buildings, including halls, and has considerable historic and architectural interest as well as group value."

More information about the Asylum

BBC report

Greek Short Films

A useful website

Worth exploring

Go to Oi Tainies

Friday, 10 October 2014

Dorset, Charlton Down: Russian Choir from St. Petersburg, 11 October 2014

On YouTube  "Voskresenije" performs Rachmaninov's "Now Lettest Thou."

My first visit to the impressive ballroom, ideal for a concert, especially a sell-out with standing ovations.

"This magnificent Victorian Ballroom was originally designed by the architect G. T. Hine, and was built in 1894/5 for the community at the former Herrison Hospital. It has been recently restored to its former glory thanks to tireless campaigning by local residents after threat of demolition during the redevelopment of the hospital site".

See also this posting about Charlton Down