Chamber Choir perform at 3rd Worsted Weavers’ Guild concert in support of CLIC Sargent

dsc_0764-1The University of Warwick Chamber Choir performed at St James’ Church on the Packington Estate in support of children and young people with cancer at the third charitable musical evening organised by the Worsted Weavers’ Guild. The outstanding Chamber Choir, led by its Conductor Lucy Griffiths, performed Spiritual and Shakespeare song cycles and A Child of Our Time. The programme at St James’ Church on 20th July 2016 was enhanced by an impromptu series of solos and duets by scholarship students within the Choir. The performance was followed by a reception in the Pompeiian room at Packington Hall, with wine, soft drinks and canapes. Use of St James’ Church and the Pompeiian Hall was by kind permission of Lord and Lady Aylesford.

dsc_0778-1CLIC Sargent Fundraising Manager Lydia Buckmaster said: “It’s great that the Worsted Weavers supported CLIC Sargent again with this fantastic event.

Concert organiser and Past Master of the Worsted Weavers Guild of Coventry Donald Singer said: “The Guild supported CLIC Sargent for a 3rd year because of its excellent clinical and practical work, both nationally and locally, to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment on children and young people.

dsc_0770“Our guest musicians – the University of Warwick Chamber Choir and their conductor Lucy Griffiths – provided an outstanding musical evening in the dramatic setting of St James’ Church on the Packington Estate, which was made available through the generosity of Earl and Lady Aylesford. We are very grateful to everyone who supported the charity, both by coming to the event and by donations to CLIC Sargent. We look forward to our fourth charity concert, to be held in the summer of 2017, once again in support of CLIC Sargent.”

CLIC Sargent Logo UK P CMYK HITo find out how you or your company could help support CLIC Sargent, please contact CLIC Sargent Fundraising Manager Lydia Buckmaster on 01509 673 881 or email:

St James’ Church

dsc_0762St James’ Church is a red brick building with four domes topped by finials in neo-classical style. The church was built in 1789 to a design by architect Joseph Bonomi for the Earl of Aylesford as a private family chapel and to celebrate the return to sanity of King George III. Its design was inspired by the Baths of Diocletian in Rome. The church houses an organ built in 1749 by Thomas Parker to designs by Handel in 1749 for his librettist Charles Hennens, who was the cousin of the 4th Earl of Aylesford. There is evidence to suggest that Handel himself played the organ. The church does not belong to a parish – it is owned and maintained by the Aylesford family. The church is a Grade I listed building.

Joseph Bonomi

The church’s architect Joseph Bonomi was born on 19th January 1739 in Rome. He was the first of five children born to Giovanni Giacomo Bonomi and his wife Teresa Corbi and was christened Giuseppe [portrait by John Francis Rigaud (see below) – Public Catalogue Foundation]. He was educated at the Collegio Romano and studied architecture with Girolamo Teodoloi, a nobleman and successful Roman Architect. Bomomi was clearly talented and impressed Robert and James Adam when they visited Rome. This resulted in an invitation for Bonomi to move to London in 1767. Joseph Bonomi worked as a draughtsman for the Adam brothers and later as an assistant to the Architect Thomas Leverton. In 1775 he married Rosa Florini a cousin of the painter Angelica Kauffman. In 1783 Angelica persuaded Bonomi to move back to Rome where she was then living but it was only a short stay and he returned to London in 1784 with his family, remaining there for the rest of his life.

In 1784 his earliest known independent work was carried out. From this date he became a successful designer of country houses in England. In 1789 he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy with the help of his friend Joshua Reynolds, President of the Academy. He exhibited a number of perspective drawings at the Royal Academy exhibitions.He is also nationally known for the Pyramid Mausoleum at Bickling Park, Norfolk for the Earl of Buckinghamshire in 1794. In 1804 he was appointed Architect of St Peter’s Rome but this was probably an honorary post as no evidence has been found of him working there. In 1808 at the age of 69 he died in London and was buried in Marylebone Cemetery. His son Ignatius Bonomi also became a successful architect. His work in Warwickshire includes: • Design of the gallery at Packington Hall for the Earl of Aylesford in 1772. • St James Church in Packington Park for the Earl of Aylesford in 1789-92 • The redesign of Barrells Hall at Ullenhall for the Newton Family in 1792.

The Pompeiian room

The Pompeiian room, hall, music room, staircase, dining room, library and small dining room all have schemes designed by Bonomi. The music room originally housed the organ (now in the church) which was played by Handel. The Pompeian room was intended as a sculpture gallery but was remodelled by Bonomi as a setting for the Etruscan vases collected by the 4th Earl. The Roman wall paintings in the Pompeiian Room are by John Francis Rigaud, a history, portrait and decorative painter of French descent who studied painting in Florence and in Bologna. Rigaud was born in Turin, his father’s family having first fled from Lyon to Geneva after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Within a year of arriving to work in England, Rigaud was made a fellow of the Royal Academy and went on in London to decorate Somerset House, the Guildhall and Trinity House. His portraits included paintings of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Lord Nelson and St James’ Church architect John Bonomi. Rigaud was elected to the Royal Society in 1784.

Capability Brown

2016 is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the most influential English landscape gardener in history. “He changed the face of eighteenth century England, designing country estates and mansions, moving hills and making flowing lakes and serpentine rivers …” [1]. As epitaph Horace Walpole wrote [2]: “Brown shall enjoy unsullied fame For many a Paradise he regained” Brown is associated with more than 250 landscapes across England and Wales. He often described landscapes as having “great capabilities”, hence “Capability”. By using the sunken fence or ‘ha-ha’ he gave the illusion that discrete areas of parkland, though managed quite differently, were one. The 300 acres of magnificent parkland surrounding Packington Hall were landscaped by Capability Brown in 1751, at the height of his career, when in his mid-thirties. Packington Hall is one of a group of sites in Warwickshire at which Brown advised in the mid and late 18th century. These include Charlecote Park, Compton Verney, Combe Abbey, Newnham Paddox, and Warwick Castle. Lancelot Brown [portrait (in public domain) by Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, Bt)] was baptised on 30th Aug 1716 at Kirkharle in Northumberland.

He was the fifth of the six children of yeoman farmer William Brown, and Ursula who worked in the big house on the Kirkharle estate, where Brown began work as a gardener. It was while working at Stowe gardens that he first became responsible for executing architectural and landscaping works. While at Stowe, Brown also began working as an independent landscape designer, contractor and architect. In 1744, he married Bridget Wayet, with whom he went on to have 9 children. In autumn 1751, the year he worked on landscaping the Packington Estate, he was able to move with his family to Hammersmith in London. Brown offered a range of options to clients: a) for a round number of guineas, a survey and plans for buildings and landscape, leaving his client to do the work; b) a foreman to oversee the work, carried out by estate labour. c) overseeing and refining the work himself, by visits for a certain number of days each year. By 1753, he was employing four foremen and by the end of the decade he had over twenty foremen on his books. In 1764 he was appointed to the gardens of Hampton Court, Richmond and St James, allowing him to move home to live in style at Wilderness House, Hampton Court. Throughout his life, Brown suffered from asthma, the possible cause of his death in 1783.

  1. Find out more at
  2. “Capability Brown” by Dorothy Stroud. 1975, Faber and Faber. ISBN 0 571 10267 0

CLIC Sargent – the Children’s Cancer Charity

The children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. CLIC Sargent provides clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. Lydia Buckmaster, Fundraising Manager for CLIC Sargent for Herefordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire said: “ Last year CLIC Sargent helped to support over 1100 children and young people with cancer in the Midlands. It costs CLIC Sargent around £4,000 to support each child or young person through their cancer journey. To continue to do this we must raise a significant amount of money each year and we can currently only support 2 out of 3 of these children and young people.” “Today, 10 children and young people in the UK will hear the shocking news that they have cancer.

Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Being diagnosed with cancer is a frightening experience and the emotional, practical and financial implications of treatment are intensely challenging for the whole family.” CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for children and young people with cancer. CLIC Sargent’s mission is to change what it means to be diagnosed with cancer when you’re young. We believe that children and young people with cancer have the right to the best possible treatment, care, and support, throughout their cancer journey and beyond. And they deserve the best possible chance to make the most of their lives once cancer treatment has ended. CLIC Sargent provides vital emotional, practical and financial support to young cancer patients and families during and after treatment, and we take what they tell us about the impact of cancer on their lives to service providers and policy makers to help change things for the better.

Worsted Weavers’ Guild of Coventry

Worsted WeaversThe history of merchant guilds in Coventry goes back at least to 1267. The original roles of the guilds included providing training for their professions and ensuring the quality of what was produced. The National Archives record a Company of Worsted Weavers, Coventry, from circa 1448; and a Company and Fellowship of Worsted Weavers and Silk Weavers, City of Coventry, from 1628. In 1703 the worsted weavers of Coventry, whose trade was then improving, were separated from the silk weavers to form their own company as a member of the guilds of the city. In modern times the Worsted Weavers and other guilds of the City of Coventry continue in a charitable role.


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