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National Lottery Heritage Fund Supports Harewood

Harewood is delighted to have received just under £50,000 of National Lottery support to help sustain the Trust and fund crucial projects following the impact of Covid-19 on the heritage industry.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began, Harewood has, like many culture and visitor attractions, seen irreparable financial impact, with 14 weeks of unavoidable closure. The Trust now faces £1 million deficit this financial year. Despite major efforts to offset such losses, through encouraging Membership, launching bespoke premium events and tour opportunities, and launching an Appeal for the Harewood Bird Garden raising £8,000 generously donated by members of the public, the Trust is incapable of bridging such a gap without assistance.

Jane Marriott, Director of Harewood House Trust, said:
‘We are delighted to be the recipients of this crucial funding and thanks to National Lottery Players we can now move forwards with renewed positivity and vigour as we plan Harewood’s future and its vital place in our community just outside Leeds. The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s support has become a vital lifeline at this time in ensuring this country’s world-renowned heritage places, something we and all our colleagues are passionate about sustaining for everyone to enjoy for the future.’
The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector. The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
‘Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to
be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

‘Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as Harewood during this uncertain time.’

Harewood House Trust plans to use part of this fund to launch a significant Member engagement and recruitment campaign, ensuring the Trust’s long-term future with sustainable, secure income whilst continuing to grow its community.

My Books – By Lady Emily Shard

Harewood_House_booksEmily_ShardContinuing Harewood’s journey through the books that define the people who work with the Trust, Emily Shard, Trustee and daughter of the Earl of Harewood, shares some of the books she has loved.

A coffee table read you return to again and again. Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Wall. The British Ceramicist takes you on a Journey though generations and across Europe, following his family’s netsuke collection (miniature ceramic animals). A incredible reflection on both Art and Human history.

A book that has inspired you. So many books inspire me – Hopefully we take some kind of inspiration from lots of what we read, and that this is an ongoing process. Recently I read American Poet Ross Gays’ Book of Delights. Gay wrote a short piece every day for a year about something that has delighted him – his meditations on the sometimes tough world and unexpected places where delight can be found, are inspiring. He encourages us all to look carefully, take time and stake out space for joy.

A book you enjoyed reading to children. All of Oliver Jeffers’ books. We started with Lost and Found (The story of a lost Penguin) but they are all brilliant and the author and illustrator has humour and warmth that kids love. His stories often touch on more challenging themes than most children books.

A book that has related to your life path. The Lord of the Rings by J RR Tolkien – this classic was read to me by my dad as a child as my bedtime story. Dad cut out some of the more wordy, boring bits and the magic and characters of the Middle Earth World totally captivated me. I had the good fortune of working on the films in New Zealand, which was an amazing experience. My Children have recently started reading the series too.

A book you didn’t think you would like, but surprised you. The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver – a dystopian novel which uses dark humour to give us a terrifying vision of the future through one family experience, and an insight into what the human impact might be of changing global economics.

A book you would take to a desert island. Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. This story about love, identity, memory and guilt, can be read and reread with new meanings unearthed every time. Alternatively, I might take a recipe book. This might prove to be torture if there is no food on the island, but something like Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen shares traditional and long-forgotten recipes for making all kinds of food from scratch, and with very basic equipment.

A book that in your opinion everyone should read. Living Planet Report by WWF is released every two years and is a breakdown of global trends in species diversity and humanities pressure on important habitats. I have been working with WWF on a few projects in the last few years and the importance of placing ‘value’ on nature and world resources has become even more clear to me, and should be to everyone.

A very English bookThe Salt Path by Raynor Winn is a true story of the writer and her husband’s walk along the south west coast path, following the loss of their home, health and sense of purpose. She evokes the very British south coast land and seascape and makes you want to walk the path and connect with nature. There’s such a power of nature in creating wellbeing and a sense of self.

Favourite Shakespeare play – I love so many of them, Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream but I prefer to watch them than read them.

A book someone passed to you and you passed on. Lift as you climb by Viv Groskop. The comedian, presenter and public speaker gives guidance about approaching personal progression and bringing others along with your success. It’s thought provoking, supportive and reassuring. My neighbour gave it to me and then I passed it on to a friend.

What are you reading next? – I am shortly going to start reading The Feather Thief: The Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson. It’s the true story of obsession that lead to an amazing and very weird theft. I heard a brilliant podcast about it and the story sound really bazaar and fascinating.

Emily is a film producer for Silverback Films, whose work includes the Netflix Our Planet series, Disneynatures Elephants, Penguins and Dolphin Reef as well as various programmes for the BBC. She cares passionately about the environment and lives in Bristol with her family.

Read more Book Blog podcasts on the Harewood blog. 

Celebrating Leeds United Success


Footballer Eddie Gray with David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood

On the celebration of Leeds United’s Championship Win and promotion to the Premier League, David Lascelles, Honorary President of Leeds United,

“Leeds United have been part of my life since my father first took me as a boy. I have early memories of an ageing but still majestic John Charles, a gangly centre-half called Jack Charlton and a teenage Billy Bremner scoring the winning goal against Liverpool. I’ve watched Don Revie’s great side dominate teams all over England and Europe and sat disbelievingly through the bizarre, wind-swept game when we beat Sheffield United 3-2 to become the last 1st Division Champions before the Premiership. I’ve cheered David O’Leary’s young tearaways overcoming the odds and Jermaine Beckford scoring a late winner to haul us out of the 3rd tier at last. And that’s just picking a few highlights.
“But I can’t say I’ve enjoyed anything more than this Leeds team, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds team, and the way they’ve played this season. Thrillingly exciting to watch at their best and full of character and fighting to the very end when things were going against them. What a team! What a manager! Thank you – I’m so proud of you all! Let’s take the Premiership by storm!
“Marching On Together!”
David Lascelles, Honorary President of Leeds United 2019-present.

The books that shaped me – Pauline Mayers

Pauline Mayers is an independent writer, theatremaker and choreographer based in Leeds and currently working on projects with the Geraldine Connor Foundation and Leeds Playhouse that link to Harewood.

1. A coffee table read you return to again and again.
I don’t generally tend to return to the books I’ve read unless it’s related to making performance. The themes I have had in my work have centred around British history, identity and care. Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga is one that comes to mind. The way that history is taught in schools is currently being hotly contested in light of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks. Olusoga’s book with the accompanying BBC series re-integrates British history, recording the 18 centuries Black Britons have been present in the UK.

2. A book that has inspired you.
Last Night On Earth by the American choreographer Bill T. Jones, is like a meditation on his methods of making dance and his journey to becoming a choreographer.

3. A book that has related to your career or life path.
I was gifted a biography on the late Josephine Baker called Jazz Cleopatra by Phyllis Rose. Baker was an American dancer who took Europe by storm. Through this book, Baker became a mentor to me during my dance training at one of the top ballet schools in the country, the Rambert School in London.

4. A book you didn’t think you would like, but surprised you.
Recently I read (in a matter of hours!) Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. It’s a trilogy about a young student called Binti who is the first from the Himba people to gain a place at the most prestigious university in the galaxy, Oomza University. However, in order to attend, Binti must leave her home and travel the stars. Binti is about her journey. Okorafor creates a world that is fantastic and dark. I really loved the world and the characters created.

5. A book that in your opinion everyone should read.
A book I love to read again is Angela Saini’s Superior. A brilliant book about the origins of science from the 1700’s. This I feel is required reading for everyone in the UK.

6. A book someone passed to you and you passed on.
A book that relates to the work I make is Slavery, Family and Gentry Capitalism in the British Atlantic by Simon D. Smith. It’s about how the Lascelles family, the original owners of Harewood House, built an extensive business empire centred on the slave trade and finance in the West Indies. It’s a fascinating book, that shines a light on the main business interests of Henry Lascelles, which included his involvement in the transporting of the enslaved from “Floating Factories” off the Ghanaian coast to Barbados in the West Indies.


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A volunteer researcher with a mission for equality

Me as a baby visiting Harewood House.

This photograph was taken during the first of my many visits to Harewood House.

We explored its opulent rooms and marvelled at the extravagant furniture, oblivious to the origins of the Lascelles’ wealth. My enthusiasm for history began as a child in primary school. I could not wait to read the informative display boards at the historical sites I visited, but I rarely found myself represented in these displays – and this was the case for Harewood House.

My school rarely taught us about the contributions of Black and Asian people, and therefore I did not expect any different from public history. The curriculum trained both myself and others to see the colonial histories of India and the Caribbean as detached to British history – despite their involvement in the British Empire. To a young me, I was never truly British. It was only when I was a teenager that I learned about Harewood House’s historical connections to Caribbean slavery. And it was only when I was an undergraduate student that I understood that these slaves were just as entitled to be recognised as part of Harewood House’s history as the lords and ladies on its walls.

A friend encouraged me to write to Harewood House to express my disappointment at the lack of informative material about the Lascelles’ involvement in slavery. In addition to having sections in the visitor guide at Harewood and online, the Trust published the remnants of the Lascelles’ West Indian papers at the Borthwick Institute at the University of York, which has allowed members of the public to access these crucial documents. I am a history undergraduate student at the university, and the work I conducted for my dissertation introduced me to the rich possibilities of this Harewood archive.

The team at Harewood invited me to the house multiple times and I eventually became a volunteer researcher. It is important to include an historian of Black heritage, because quite often we are the subjects, not the researchers of history. Local Black communities also need to be involved in the representation of this history – a history that still has repercussions for Black populations around the world. My aim is to ensure that the next Black child who visits Harewood House sees themselves represented, and sees their ancestors credited in a house they helped build but could never visit. And for visitors to understand that although slavery took place thousands of miles away, this is their history – this is British history too.

Olivia Wyatt, Volunteer Researcher, Harewood House Trust.

Editor’s Notes: Since engaging further with the Harewood House Trust, Olivia has learnt about Carnival Messiah, which was performed at Harewood in 2007 as part of the abolition of slavery bi-centenary, and the ongoing work with the Geraldine Connor Foundation.