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The making of Stories of Green Knowe

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Stories of Green Knowe by Hamish Anderson and Annabelle Draper got a 4-Stars Award at BIAFF 2009.

Picture of Hemingford Grey manor.

An inspirational house

Stories of Green Knowe is a feature exploring 'the manor' of Hemmingford Grey, a picturesque, historic house on which a series of children's books by Lucy Boston were based.

The manor is a inspirational house which served not only as a muse for Lucy Boston's series of books, bringing life to a relatively unoccupied house with fictional children of the past but serving as a location for RAF soldiers to attend gramophone recitals escaping the chaos of war. *

Portrait of Hamish Anderson.
Hamish Anderson

The gallery at Hemmingford Grey.The gardens at Hemmingford Grey.Our aspirations to create atmosphere and life for someone who was no longer living, and addressing the audience with drama introduced the recreational aspects to the piece, basing them on relevant passages from the Green knowe books paralleled with their inspired locations in the manor. These intertwining elements of fiction, biography and visual exploration aimed to evoke a triangular relationship between content, storyteller and viewer.

Within this non fiction examination we avoided a biographical feature of Lucy Boston's history, instead basing the piece on the literary world and the visual connotations involved within it.

It deemed preferable to recreate the world and mentality surrounding the literature inspired by the vast history and atmosphere contained within the manor. Using elements of observational reactivity and recreation with standard interview, archive images, Peter Boston's original illustrations and Diana Boston's narration we were able to establish authenticity to the era, as well as an element of biography to the piece.

Visit the house's website: www.greenknowe.co.uk where you can buy copies of Lucy Boston's books and a video tour of the house which is over 900 years old and possibly the oldest continuously inhabited house in Britain.

- Hamish Anderson

* During World War II, Lucy Boston organised the gramophone recitals for airmen twice a week. The 1929 EMG gramophone she used is still in use in the house as the picture on the left shows.

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