From Rosebriars to The Rowing Eight: 25 Years of The R C Sherriff Trust

Thames Ditton Infant School, Surry Arts ‘Brooklands in Sound’, Pond-Grainger Performing Arts, Jake Fryer, The Trifarious Trio, Oxshott Choral Society, Cobham Free School, Hinchley Wood Secondary School, Earthly Voices, Cold Dinner Theatre Company, The ‘It’s Not Your Birthday But’ Project, Sophie Aston, Claygate Music Festival, Walton Voices, Three Rivers Academy, Walton Oak Primary School, Esher High School, Promenade Choir, St Mary’s Church in Stoke D’Abernon, Flora Espiand, Janet Shell, St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Bantu Arts, Home-Start Elmbridge, Rebacca Lacey, Patrick Philpott, Lucas Dick, Riverhouse Arts Centre, Music in Hospitals, The Princess Alice Hospice, The Vera Fletcher Hall, Elmbridge Community Link, Elmbridge Youth Theatre, Love of Learning, Esher and Dittons Youth Orchestra & The Elmbridge Drama Festival.

What do these organisations, schools and individuals all have in common? They have benefited from the £50,000+ awarded by The R C Sherriff Trust in arts grants over the last 12 months.

If we were to list the organisations, schools and individuals who have benefitted from £2,000,000 in arts grants awarded by The R C Sherriff Trust in the last 25 years, then the list would be considerably longer!

This year, 2018 sees the 25 Anniversary of The R C Sherriff Trust which was established in 1993 to provide project, underwriting and capital grants to local artists, schools, community groups, arts organistaions and arts venues such as the ones who have benefitted over the past 12 months. However, it does so much more.

The Rosebriars Arts Initiative is a project focused on using the arts to address issues of health, well-being and isolation amongst older people in Elmbridge. Over 500 residents benefit from the weekly singalongs, and monthly art workshops and free film club.

The annual Literary Festival run in partnership with Elmbridge Borough Council is now in its 14th year.

Three years ago, The Trust and EBC launched the Elmbridge School Choir Festival which this year saw over 400 children from schools across Elmbridge perform at ACS Cobham.

And thanks to a legacy left to The Trust, 2018 will see young singers compete for the title of the R C Sherriff Young Musician of the Year.

The Trust also produces “Elmbridge Arts Focus”, a free listings magazine for the borough, three times a year.

R C Sherrif lived for most of his life in “Rosebriars”, his house in Esher, which, in his will, he bequeathed to the District Council, for cultural purposes. In 1993, Elmbridge Borough Council, as it had become, invested the proceeds from the sale of the property and established the R C Sherriff Rosebriars Trust.

The Trust has spent the past 25 years, not only fulfilling the wish of R C Sherriff to advance the arts in Elmbridge, but also in bringing thousands of residents together to encourage their creativity and highlight the importance of music, theatre, dance, visual arts and literary arts in their everyday lives.

There is a packed and exciting programme of events, throughout September to December, to celebrate the 25 Anniversary, which reflects many aspects of Sherriff’s and the Trust’s achievements and activities.

Highlights include:

An exhibition, “From Rosebriars to the Rowing Eight” (featuring a photographic retrospective of the Trust’s work and new artwork from the Rosebriars Initiative art workshop) at Riverhouse Arts Centre, from 23 Oct-4 Nov.

Elmbridge Youth Theatre in a celebration concert at the Cecil Hepworth Playhouse on 29th September.

“Four Families of the Fallen” a specially commissioned piece of theatre, performed by Quick Fix Theatre, based on the lives of real Elmbridge people to commemorate the centenary of the ending of The Great War. Riverhouse Arts Centre, St Georges Church, Esher & St James’ Church, Weybridge 8/9 September.

A Sherriff Film Retrospective, 5th September – 5th December, including the screenings of the winning entries in the ‘Shadow’s Fall’ Short Film Competition at Riverhouse Arts Centre on 4th November.

Two talks, ‘The Real Journey’s End’ & ‘From Hampton Wick to Hollywood’, by R C Sherriff’s biographer, Roland Wales on 11th & 25th of October.

The Anniversary year will be brought to a Grand Finale with a presentation of “Journey’s Other End”, the sequel to ‘Journey’s End’ that Sherriff was commissioned to write in 1930 but was never realised and “SingalongaSherriffTrust”, a celebration of The Rosebriars Initiative and the people of Elmbridge who have helped make the R C Sherriff Trust what it is today.

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© 2018 by The RC Sherriff Trust. (Registered Charity No. 272527 England and Wales)