Hanbury Hall closing celebration

Hanbury Hall exhibition was closed on Monday 30th October with a small celebration, that includes trophy exchanging, poetry reading and food. The general feeling is, and the numbers proved it, that this year’s exhibition is the best so far. The quality of artworks, number of visitors (3358!) and their positive feedback, as well as enthusiasm of all stewards during the three weeks of the exhibition, was the best ever. The spirit of Droitwich Arts Network was clearly visible at all points and the success was a natural result. 

Peter Hawkins (DAN vice chair), Julia Hunt (2016 winner), Kenneth Robinson (2017 winner) and John Bodley

With a few technical improvements such as better lighting, easier hanging method and more printed catalogues, Hanbury Hall exhibition seems to be an ideal for DAN as an organisation to learn and raise the standards of the presentation. The financial outcome this year was also much better than in previous years with almost £3000 earned in sales. 

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The peak of the celebration was the moment of announcing The Best in Exhibition competition.  The third place belongs to Malcolm Wakeman for ‘Urban Jungle’ – 83 votes, the runner-up is Julia Rollit for ‘Highland Heather’ – 98 votes and the winner is Kenneth Robinson for ‘Royal Scot 66113 Cameronian’ – 101 votes. The little trophy is given to Kenneth by Julie Hunt, the winner of the 2016 exhibition. Kenneth gets to exhibit at no cost in the exhibition next year, at which he will pass the cup to the new winner of the competition.

‘Royal Scot 66113 Cameronian’, the winning painting by Kenneth Robinson

During the exhibition, several local poets have been inspired by particular artworks to create poems and Nina Lewis and Polly Stretton have read theirs on the closing day.  

Inspired by Stephen Evans’s “Dragon Series At full speed on the Solent”


We set off.
Low 49 North 54 West…
we did not need the shipping forecast
to tell us of wind, the sails did that
and the invisible walls our bodies
powered against.
Winds will reach storm force 10
or violent storm force 11 in all quadrants.
Just Dad and I on board,
two men in a boat.
Moderate or rough
We’d taken this journey before,
let the sea absorb our confessions.
I saw pride in the ocean of his eyes,
all he’d ever dreamt
me becoming he.
South Westerly 5 or 6 to gale 8
It was the only time he’d mention mother,
becoming very rough later
I felt weathered by his storm,
the boat his voice-box
and I, willing ears.
The darkest parts now behind us
Fog patches later in the West.
© 2017 Nina Lewis
Inspired by  Chris Walker’s “Squirrel”
She owns it:
the branch.
She’s ready for summer
in a lighter coat.
Her curves tell
of coppery kittens
to be born later today,
two, three, or four will arrive
to inhabit the drey.
The painter’s sable brush,
soft as a blush
to define the narrow
smart face in a tuft-eared embrace.
A picture to enhance the repeated romance
of a cheeky red squirrel
in Norfolk.
The artist describes,
in faint, refined strokes,
sharp arced claws
curved in applause,
and a tail, balanced to guide
a talent that tints
the nut connoisseur,
against the bark
and spiky cones of the conifer.
© 2017 Polly Stretton


Thank you for all the artists and stewards, Musicians, Poets and Hanbury Hall staff! 

All photos ©Andrew Jenkins and ©Tamara Jelaca


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One Response to Hanbury Hall closing celebration

  1. Roger Noons says:

    I love this poem Polly. It’s beautiful. I’ve only ever seen and photographed red squirrels in Formby, Lancs.

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