The Apple’s Rounded World

Laurie Lee

Laurie Lee

The Apple’s Rounded World, a unique guided tour of the Slad Valley in poetry and music, comes to the garden of Rosebank, the house in which Laurie Lee spent his formative years in Slad, this July. The show marks the 20th anniversary of Laurie’s death, not to mention the centenary of his arrival in the Slad Valley, and is a fundraiser for nearby Sheepscombe Primary School, which has served the children of Slad since the 1970s.

Originally commissioned for Laurie Lee’s centenary in 2014, the Apple's Rounded World is a non-stop lyrical guide to the valley performed by poet Adam Horovitz and fiddle player Becky Dellow. It features poetry and prose from the Slad Valley written by Laurie Lee, Frank Mansell, Horovitz and his poet parents Frances and Michael, and covers nearly every decade from 1914 onwards.

Woven in among the poetry and prose are English folk tunes, many of which would have been played by Laurie Lee. “The tunes selected to complement the poems are from the traditional English dance music repertoire with the majority chosen from an old handwritten manuscript book which belonged to my great-great grandfather, thought to date from the mid-1850s,” says Becky Dellow. “This hand-stitched and well-worn tune book was passed on to me by my grandfather, Charles Hampton in the 1990s. During the late 1920s and early 1930s Charles and Laurie Lee met regularly to play fiddle together and most likely would have played tunes from this book.”

Sheepscombe Primary School are hoping to develop an outdoor area for the children and Hester and Iain Collins, owners of Rosebank, are keen to support them. “The plans include creating a covered woodworking area to be used by the whole school, improved access and an all-weather surface to enable the children to use the planned new equipment all year round,” says Hester. “Their plans can only begin to come to fruition with the help of fundraising support.”

The Apple’s Rounded World takes place at Rosebank, Slad, near Stroud on Saturday July 8th from 2.30 p.m. Please bring blankets and chairs to sit on, and an umbrella if needed! Tickets are available in advance from Eventbrite here and can be picked up from the school for £10, to include a glass of Pimms and nibbles. Places are limited, so advanced booking is advised. Click here for the facebook event page for further info and updates.