Earlier this month a gathering of the extended Barbour family and invited guests, celebrated the publication of the much anticipated history of the Bolesworth Estate and Barbour family.
Ten years in the making, the book, entitled 'Bolesworth and the Barbours – A History of the Bolesworth Estate and the Barbour Family', was the vision of Anthony Barbour who died in 2007.
History is very much about the art of good story telling and the book sets out to share the story of the Barbour family and of the estate which came into Anthony's custodianship in 1989.
The book not only records the nuances of household and estate management, but is filled with fascinating information from the Bolesworth Castle Archives including personal letters, scrapbook entries, newspaper cuttings, reports and a myriad of photographs. Importantly too, as with any family, it shares moments of intimacy and of acute difficulty throughout the political, social and economic upheavals of several generations. Without doubt it is a legacy to times past where life was filled with days of pleasure but countered by moments of extreme heartache. That Diana Barbour has succeeded in bringing the entire Barbour family back together is testimony to her skills and determination. Importantly too, that Anthony Barbour was an inspiration to his daughters, Nina and Cleo, and that he was successful in shaping the future of Bolesworth, is never in doubt.
Family and guests enjoyed a champagne reception, followed by what is fondly known as a 'Barbour Breakfast' as recorded in a document written by Pamela Payne, the niece of Ida Payne (Ida Payne married Robert Barbour in October 1909). Pamela's reflections of life at Bolesworth in the 1930s included a detailed account of a 'Breakfast at Bolesworth' and Diana, Nina and Cleo very successfully replicated this typical hunting breakfast as the 'Book Launch Lunch'. Pamela's descriptive detail of the dining room is also a nostalgic gem. Her comments on the Georgian table, the need for two starched cloths to cover its length, the breakfast china, the damask napkins modestly monogrammed, the panelled and painted green interior of the room and its bay window looking over the lake to the Welsh hills beyond, are as accurate now as they were then.
A book of this type is the outcome of the work of many, not least Wendy Bawn who has been the archivist at Bolesworth for many years and the diligence of whom has been successful in not only cataloguing the Bolesworth archival records but who, together with Diana Barbour, has ensured that Anthony Barbour's vision has become a reality.
Copies of the book may be purchased from The Bolesworth Estate, Bolesworth Castle, Tattenhall, Chester CH3 9HQ, email@example.com or telephone 01829 782210.
The price is £20 per copy, plus postage and packing of £4.
The first 300 copies sold will be in aid of Cancer Research UK's work in Manchester, supporting research at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre in memory of Anthony Barbour, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2007.