We had a jolly drinks to celebrate 110 years of Country life in all its glory; it was a very good party and in the way of best parties, I wanted to talk to everyone there and found myself only able to talk for a few minutes to people I had longed to see for months (and as I am to leave Country Life in September to pursue a freelance career it was a good chance to say some thank-yous too). I did enjoy introducing people however and having a round of applause to Marcus Binney, celebrating 40 years of writing for Country Life, and a brilliant writer and support to us all, he is too.
We also applauded the , in which Marcus’s SAVE campaign was to have been a decisive factor and led to the Prince of Wales’s amazing intervention, putting up a loan to help the Art Fund buy it for the nation (it goes straight to a charitable trust from them). This has sadly been rather overlooked in the press because of the timing of the event of the hand over from one Scottish prime minister to another, neither give much indication of real interest in the heritage. I believe more passionately than ever that historic buildings: country houses, churches, town halls will become ever more important because they can be shared as experiences by diverse audiences and offer a focus of experience and historical perspective in a disconnected world.
The Marquess of Bute’s Dumfries House at Cumnock in Ayrshire