We're still here at Croome, where in one of the former bedrooms, we come across a bit of an installation. I'd seen a picture of it in the leaflet we'd been given but hadn't paid it much attention till now. What's this all about then?
Well, we are readers. You know, the kind of people who, given a cereal box or any other piece of paper with words on it, will find themselves reading what's there and you may have noticed that on the walls of this room are several columns of writing. Being logical souls that we are, we looked for and then started to read at number 1, above.
Now, of course, we read more closely. We looked at the little "saplings" on the floor, noting that each one was attached to a plum stone and had a name tag on it.
We read a few of the leaves, wanting to know more about the people who'd contributed to the project and what it was all about.
Thankfully, the story was well told on the wall, by means of the poem there. Plum Lines is a project to celebrate the Centenary of the Women's Institute and in particular, the formation of Pershore WI by Virginia, Viscountess Deerhurst.
In addition to the poetry on the wall and the saplings, there's an ongoing project with local young writers, whose work features on a bookstand in the corner, cleverly disguised...
I'd have happily spent longer reading the saplings, but satisfied for now, I simply determined to find out more once at home, which is how I've discovered one of the poets who inspired the saplings (and co-authored the poem on the wall) was none other than Brenda Read-Brown, with whom Gloucestershire Federation worked on our Big Read in 2005.
What a great project and such an original and appropriate way to tell the story.
I loved it.