Gifted to a Grateful Nation
‘Gifted to a Grateful Nation?' featuring Cliff Burnett and Matt Jamie is a creative performance and panel discussion capturing the moment when Wallington Hall was formally gifted to the National Trust.
2018 marks 50 years since the National Trust opened its doors to the public at Wallington. It was the first estate of its scale to be given to the National Trust. The gift was formally made in 1941 on the understanding that Sir Charles and his family could continue to live here – this proved to be a challenging arrangement for all concerned! The whole property was eventually opened to visitors in April 1968. ‘Gifted to a Grateful Nation?’ will take a closer look at the handover through a short performance by Cliff Burnett and Matt Jamie, capturing a moment in time when Sir Charles came to Newcastle to make his announcement on the BBC. The broadcast was called “The Bequest of Wallington” and in it Sir Charles explained his decision to leave his 13,000 acre Northumberland estate in its entirety to the National Trust.
The event, held at King’s Hall, Newcastle University on Friday 5 October, 6pm is in collaboration with Newcastle University, National Trust Wallington and November Club, celebrating and challenging Sir Charles’ vision.
The second part of the evening leads into a wider discussion with a panel of experts framing it within a contemporary discourse. Dr Tom Shakespeare, Chair of the panel said: "This event is about a creative exploration of the nature of the National Trust and bodies like it through our nation’s stories. How Britain thinks about its environment and heritage are critical issues, raising both interesting and difficult questions now and in coming years. I am delighted to chair a panel offering great expertise and sure to prompt a lively debate on the night."
The confirmed panel members are:
• Chair: Dr Tom Shakespeare, University of East Anglia
• George Trevelyan CB, named after his grandfather who was the brother of Sir Charles.
• Jill Taylor-Roe, University Librarian, Newcastle University
• Richard Wheeler, Gardens & Parks Historian at the National Trust
• Megan Wilson, PhD candidate, Newcastle University
• Michael Hall, editor of The Burlington and former architecture editor, Country Life magazine
Gillian Mason, Visitor Experience Manager, Wallington adds: “‘Gifted to a Grateful Nation?’ is a fitting finale to the 2018 programme celebrating 50 years of the National Trust at Wallington. Working in partnership with November Club, the story of Sir Charles’ gift has been shared with visitors to the property through a series of installations, activities and pop-up theatre. Now ‘Gifted to a Grateful Nation?’ holds a lens up to Charles’ decision exploring its ramifications, not just for Wallington but the National Trust and the management of heritage sites in general. There are always stories to share but whose voice are we really listening to?”
Gifted to a Grateful Nation? is on Friday 5 October, 6pm – 7.45pm at King’s Hall, Newcastle. Tickets to the event are available via ticket source or on the door, priced £5, including a welcome drink. https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/novemberclub