Michael Morpurgo’s books are enjoyed and celebrated by thousands of readers. Many of Michael’s stories are re-told in different ways, from stage performances and blockbuster films, to concerts with his wonderful words set to music. Michael supports many charities and always finds the time to meet his fans at special reading events.
Tuesday, 22nd April 2014
Parsonage Farm, which has been farmed by the same family for nearly 100 years, has opened a museum dedicated to the story. In the centenary of the start of the war, visitors are invited to pause and reflect as they view the collection of wartime and local history.
The farm’s 500-year-old cob barn now houses a War Horse exhibition, along with World War One artefacts and local residents have contributed letters and photos from 100 years ago to the exhibition.
Parsonage Farm is a working farm, which invites visitors to meet the animals as well as the farm’s very own, ‘Joey’.
Graham Ward, from the museum, said:
“Michael Morpurgo is a neighbour and he based his book on this farm. He has lived here since 1974, Iddesleigh is his home. There are several people that Michael spoke to when he was writing his book.”
In the book, which has been turned into a film and stage play, the main character Joey the horse grows up at the Wards’ family farm. Several fields mentioned in the story belong to the farm.
The museum also looks at farming in Devon, 100 years ago, showing off a variety of machinery.
Mr Ward said:
“Life would have been hard work, lots of manual work. People worked together in large numbers. To milk one cow would take about a quarter of an hour manually, now with machinery we can milk 14 cows in 10 minutes.”
The farm was also once home to the Reverend John “Jack” Russell, the first breeder of the terriers to which he gives his name.
The new museum, called War Horse Valley Country Farm Park, opens to the public each weekend from Easter until the end of September.
Visit www.warhorsevalley.co.uk for more information
Discover how Rae Smith’s designs for the internationally-acclaimed production of War Horse were created and watch as she brings her illustrations to life, in an on-stage demonstration of work from her new illustrated hard cover edition of War Horse. Michael Morpurgo joins Rae on stage, reading extracts from his beloved novel and sharing personal insights into the extraordinary journey from page to stage.
Thursday 29 May 2014, 5.30pm.
Cityread London will run throughout the entire month of April with events in every London borough. 2014 will see, for the first time, a children’s book celebrated as part of the scheme, with a programme of activities around Michael Morpurgo’s phenomenal bestseller Private Peaceful due to take place across London.
This special exhibition at St Barbe Museum, Lymington, marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. It follows horses from peacetime occupations to the Remount Depots, revealing their contribution to the war effort in a remarkable and moving story.