LeicestersPride

Saturday 30th August 2014

Leicester has Pride

Gay Pride Leicester 2014

It’s mid-day outside Curve in Orton Square. The drumming of a marching band is echoing around the buildings, whistles are being blown and the air is filled the happy noises of people. The parade of the 2014 Leicester Gay Pride sets off towards Humberstone Gate. At the front of the procession there is a long rainbow flag, being held by twenty or so bearers. In the parade there are balloons, banners, more multi-coloured flags are being waved. Some banners proclaim the groups gathered beneath them; some people are holding placards but it’s not so much a protest, more of a carnival. A band of excited and happy people celebrating their being together.

What is so rewarding, if not joyous, about this event is that is happening and that it is happening here in Leicester. It is an event which celebrates the freedom that this country gives to people to gather together and to celebrate their lives. In a world where so many countries are ruled by tyrants and dictators, gay people are banned from showing their pride, attacked, murdered, imprisoned and denied their rights. But this is Leicester and Gay Pride has been a mark of this city for several years. It is a city that takes pride in its diversity, is happy that its peoples have freedom, that they can live in peace and parade once a year through its streets to show the world that they exist, they are proud of their community and can share that pride with the thousands of people who line the streets to applaud and join with them in their celebration.

The parade snakes its way through the warm sunshine of an August afternoon, arriving in Victoria Park for the main event of the day. Around the park there are stalls, tents offering food, drink and merchandise, a fun fair, rides for the children, and the main stage that offers music and entertainment from mid-day though to 8 pm.

The atmosphere is friendly, peaceful, happy and in party mood. It is a gathering of people of all ages. This is a family-friendly celebration. Parents are there with their kiddies, young people are their with their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. As a crowd there might well be a higher concentration of young people but its like any other crowd of local citizens. There are people from all ethnic backgrounds, the same mix of people and faces that we have seen so often in the public events of this summer.

Dotted around the park are gazebos and stalls offering information about all kinds of things: sports, health, careers, trade unions, t-shirts for sale, jewellery, flags, garlands… pretty much what you would expect to find any open-air event. On stage performers, entertainers, singers, and dancers offers a non-stop programme of free music and dancing.

The theme of this year’s event: One love, one community. LGBT Freedom.

The Pride Flag in 2013
The Pride Flag in 2013

At this year’s gay pride, stars and celebrities. Kieron Richardson, the actor bes known for playing the part of Ste Hay in the TV soap Holyoaks.

Kieron Richardson
Kieron Richardson

The 28 year old star supported the campaign to kick homophobia out of sport. Today he was on stage comparing the acts and posing for selfies with members of the audience. The gay TV celebrity is said to have been inspired to come out by X-factor winner Joe McElderry.

In 2012 we met Kieron’s Hollyoaks co-star PJ Brennan; not able to be here today because he is in New York although he had planned to be here.

PJ Brennan in 2012
PJ Brennan in 2012

In the dance tent, there was a non-stop programme of sounds. The packed tent was filled with mainly young people who where dancing – or what passes for dancing in the twenty-first century. Now, these teenagers know of disco only from television programmes.

Lisa Lashes with film crew
Lisa Lashes with film crew

Headlining the main stage was international DJ Lisa Lashes. One of Leicester’s most internationally renown music artists, Lisa told me that she will be Canada next week, spinning some disks in Edmonton, Calgary  and Vancouver.

Lisa Lashes on stage
Lisa Lashes on stage

It was good to see the star musician at pride this year, here with promoter Jazz,

Lisa Lashes and Jazz
Lisa Lashes and Paul Mitchell

Singers were on the programme, some of them local artists and some who had come down from Manchester, like the three members of Wolf Vocal Band, whose performance of a number of classic songs went down well with the audience.

Wolf Vocal Group back stage
Wolf Vocal Group back stage
Tokyo Taboo
Tokyo Taboo

Tokyo Taboo, a duo of singers from Manchester were there with a set of songs that had the crowd singing and clapping along with the music.

Wolf Vocal Group on stage
Wolf Vocal Group on stage

Three pole dancers displayed their agility. Singer Ryan Joseph was back for another year. DJ Robbie Lewis was on the stage in the run up to Lisa Lashes.

Robbie Lewis on the decks
Robbie Lewis on the decks

Singers were also part of the crowd, including the great jazz singer Carol Leeming and Leicester’s own song-writer John Anthony (he performed at Pride in 2006), plus a few faces that you would recognise from those TV talent shows. Poets, writers, musicians and artists mingled with the throng on Victoria Park.

Miss Penny

No pride event would be complete without its drag queens and their vivacious humour lifted the laughter as they performed on stage: Ms Marty, Miss Penny, May Mac, Tammi Twinkle and the intriguing artist known as Drag With No Name.

Mrs P

Pride is not all sweetness and light; take away the balloons, the flags and the party frocks and you find that the LGBT community is still struggling with its demons. A newspaper handed to me by one of the activists told of the homophobic bullying that is still rife in our schools. Other articles told about homelessness in the young LGBT community being higher than for the community generally. Leicester’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi & Trans centre In Wellington Street tackles a range of issues day in day out, providing advice, social support, counselling, a library and a cafe.

As with most cities, Leicester has its complement of pubs, clubs and bars: The Rainbow and Dove, The Dover Castle, Helsinki, Sloanes, Bossa and a smattering of businesses such as hair dressing salons and coffee houses that are gay-friendly. The pink pound plays its part in Leicester’s economy just as it does in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Brighton and across the UK. Hotels and restaurants were keen to offer their services to those coming into the city for the day or the weekend.

Lisa Lashes at Sloanes
Lisa Lashes at Sloanes

Pride is a community event and so here today on the park the same NHS, Police Force, Fire Brigade, Fostering & Adoption, that were there for Caribbean Carnival or The Belgrave Mela. Who makes all this happen? A team of volunteers works throughout the year to put on this one day event and make it the outstanding success that it was.

See also:

Leicesster Pride 2015

Leicester Gay Pride Website

Our page about What’s On in Leicester

MusicHistory

29th August 2014

The History of Music in Leicester

For most of this year I have been writing a book that is about music in Leicester; the first volume of this covers the years 2006 to 2013.  So far I have made first drafts of the chapters on the years 2006 to 2011. I am now working on the chapter for 2012.

The material for these chapters is being drawn from the articles and reviews of bands, singers, festivals and music events that took place in Leicester and Leicestershire and which were published in the Arts in Leicester magazine.  When Arts in Leicester website was revamped, pretty much all the music content was taken off-line and stored in an archive. It is that archive material that I am now editing into a book, which I hope to publish next year.

When it becomes available, the book will offer a detailed day by day account of live music and the happenings on the Leicester music scene.

The book, which has the working title – The History of Music in Leicester – will also have a volume that covers the music history of the city from Roman times up to the present day.

See also:

My post about local music

FindingRichard

7th August 2014

Finding Richard

A short film by Hive Films

Starring Colin Baker and David Knight
Directed by Rhys Davies
Producer Doug Cubin
Playing time: 20 minutes (approx)

This short film, shot in Leicester, was premièred at the Cannes Film Festival 2014 and shown at Leicester Guildhall in May this year.

The film was inspired by the discovery of the remains of King Richard III. It tells the story of a young boy called Gull (played by David Knight) who has an interest in history.

Director Rhys Davies said: “The film is an homage to dreamers everywhere. Stay true to yourself, follow your own path and you will succeed. To work with a legend such as Colin Baker was fantastic, and together with rising star David Knight I believe they have made the film a special prospect.”

Gull is helped by his grand father (played by Colin Baker) to start an archaeological dig. A bit of a loner at school, Gull is picked on by others for his strange interests. He stays true to himself, the central moral of the film, and pursues his love of history. Following the dig Gull sets up an exhibition of the artefacts he discovered, on a table outside his house, where he is joined by a girl from his school. This life changes at that moment. Gull find something he was not expecting.

Not a proper dig but the exploration of a field in which the young boy find a piece of metal that he believes to have been left there as part of the Battle of Bosworth.

Mr Davies said the film was about “staying true to yourself and following your own path”. The story line of Finding Richard is told in a way that is very tight, the scenes and content being focused on only the elements that were necessary to tell the story.

Producer Doug Cubin said: “This film being destined for Cannes and having such a great cast means we will do everything possible to create a wonderful experience for the audience.”

The film cost a mere £1,500 to produce, the money being raised through crowd-funding. Colin Baker played the sixth Doctor Who.

Phoenix is planning to hold a festival of short films later this year.

See also:

See our postings about film and cinema

Æthelflæd

21st August 2014

Æthelflæd

A poorly honoured woman

Leicester has many women who have left their mark on its history: Sue Townsend, Beryl Markham, Rosemary Conley, Lady Jane Grey, Alice Hawkins, Lilian Lenton…

There is one woman whose contribution to Leicester has so far gone almost uncelebrated and whose impact on the town is known only to a very few people. She was a woman who liberated Leicester from its occupation by an army that had overtaken it.

Her name was Æthelflæd and she was queen of the Mercians and one of a number of royal persons whose names have gone down in the history of our town and city.

It was in the year 918 AD that Æthelflæd led an army which liberated the town from the occupation of the Vikings. The Danish invaders had subjugated great swathes of what we now call England beneath the yoke of their Danelaw.

She has been called The Lady of the Mercians, and she ruled the Kingdom of Mercia from 911 to her death in 918. She was the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, king of the Anglo-Saxons. She gained the throne when her husband Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians, died in 911.

Æthelflæd, the Lady of the Mercians. Statue in the Guildhall courtyard.
Æthelflæd, the Lady of the Mercians.
Statue in the Guildhall courtyard.

Now a petition has been launched to put up a statue of this great woman and monarch to properly honour her life and what she did for the people of Leicester back in those far-off days. In the so-called ‘dark ages’ of the ninth and tenth centuries, women were largely ignored by the male monks who write the history books of their times. Even those who were royalty were often mentioned only in passing; the largely male writers of the time gave women only a scant mention as they chronicled the lives of the great men of their times.

In 917, Æthelflæd liberated Derby from the Vikings. Her fame as a great military leader spread like a fire through the land. So much so, that when she and her army arrived at the gates of Leicester (then a walled city) the occupying Danes capitulated without a fight. She was referred to at the time as ‘a very famous queen of the Saxons.’ With her brother Edward she drove the Vikings out of central and southern parts of what we know call England (in those days the country was divided into a variety of Kingdoms and had not yet become known by the name to which we refer to it today – England.)

In the courtyard of Leicester’s ancient medieval Guildhall there is a small status of Queen Æthelflæd. The statue had been commissioned by Leicester City Council in the late 1970s. It was made by the local painter and sculptor Jack Newport who is experienced in bronze casting. It is very much smaller than the one that was made to honour Richard III.

Now a petition has been launched to get a bigger, more fitting statue of the Saxon Queen set up in Leicester.

See also

Richard III

 

New bands starting up

17th August 2014

New bands.

How do bands cope with the pressure of starting up?

Watching a new band playing on stage for the first time, I asked myself ‘how do they cope with playing at their first gig?’

When you watch a band playing on a stage, you are looking to see how they appear – are they relaxed and confident or are they nervous? Are they enjoying being in front of people, playing their own music? Some new bands look like rabbits caught in the headlights. As a writer my task is to observe musicians intently and try to feel what they are feeling. In a way, this is about trying to empathise with them. I watch for the signs: what do I see on their faces? Do I see excitement or fear? Or both? Do I see a bunch of guys who are confident, relaxed, exited? Or, do I see a group of people who are nervous, fearful, worried? Being under pressure does not mean that they will make mistakes or play badly. When they get on a stage and lights go up the adrenaline kicks in. They probably can’t see the audience in the glare of the stage lighting. Their hearts start to beat twice as fast; their minds start to work at a furious pace. They have a lot to concentrate on, whether it’s singing, remembering the lyrics, remembering the tunes they have composed, watching the strings of their instruments to see where their fingers should go. Determination sets in. It might not be until the last couple of songs, of their half-hour set,  that they really get into the swing of the music.

You can tell when a band really wants it. Their faces and the way they perform on stage show how their ambition is burning. They want to be successful. They want their fans to love them, they want to win over people who have not seen them before, they want to leave the room with adulation and their reputation secured. They want to play a set which is going to mark them out and make a name for their music on the scene. If they are to win over audiences, they have to really want it. They have to win over the sceptical and the curious. People who might be hard to convince. People that are not there to see them. These are people who are watching closely to see what this new band is made of.so when they start to play they all have to say to themselves ‘let’s ‘av it.’

How do young, inexperienced musicians cope with that kind of pressure, at the start of a music career as a performing band? Can they get to that level of stage craft where they can portray themselves as a strong, confident, determined group of people who believe in themselves and their music? How do they do that? Maybe that is not what they are actually feeling on the inside, but what do we see on their faces? As a group of people, do they all share the same level of commitment? Do they want it, individually and collectively? Are they really ready to make the sacrifices needed to become a serious band?

When you watch a band performing on stage, it is not always easy to tell what is going on their minds. Some musicians have a knack of smiling and looking happy, whatever they are really like on the inside. Do they look like they are just playing another gig or is this a special event for them? Are they feeling the crowd and are they getting that buzz, that reaction,  that is flowing on to the stage? The older a band gets in its musical career, the more difficult it is to see what they are feeling. Mature musicians tend to get used to live performances (just another gig) and have a professional manner that hides anything going on inside. If something goes wrong,  they joke about it and carry on. It’s just what happens to bands. It comes with the job. They appear as polished professionals, doing a job, well rehearsed, steadily working away at their chosen craft. Some young bands can also look like this.

You can never really tell what’s happening on a stage. You might be able to watch carefully and write about it in such a way as to convey (to readers) what it was like to be there. But all gigs have layers of experience, seams of reality, and you can never really report everything. Fifty people might go and see a band; they will take home with them fifty different reactions and experiences.

(Written at a festival in July between gig slots)

NightOfFestivals

13th August 2014

Night of Festivals this weekend

This page forms part of our archives

Seventy local community participants are gearing up to join the exciting line up of music,  theatre,  carnival interventions, storytelling, moving image and visual artists that makes up the diverse and colourful Night of Festivals which, following a successful year touring across the UK, is set to land in Leicester this weekend (16th & 17th Aug) to open the City Festival.

The  ArtReach produced event comprises two days of intensive FREE arts activities on Humberstone Gate, Leicester, with extraordinary carnival characters and musicians parading the High St, Granby Street and Humberstone Gate areas throughout both days.

The talented teams from the internationally renowned Mandinga Arts and Paraiso Samba (Europe’s only original Rio samba company) will be joined by local performers who are busy rehearsing routines with carnival costumes inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations and by George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Leicester audiences will meet the huge “Giant Skeleton”, the dancing troupe of “sexy cows”, the delightful cats, mice and LED lit frogs, the golden birds and the scarily voracious pack of dog puppets. Carnival troupes are accompanied by an itinerant band of musicians cycling in a decorated rikshaw!

The weekend is brimming with free activities for all the family. As well as carnival there is a full programme of magical live storytelling from around the globe, with stories in the Festival Yurt every hour from 11am to 5pm each day. The Festival Performance Dome hosts children’s theatre, world music, a capella vocals and exciting opportunities to participate in South African Gumboot Dance workshops and an amazing Drum Circle led by talented South Asian percussionist Sandeep Raval.

Don’t miss also the Haitian voodoo statue and the quirky little moving image gallery, the Nanoplex, hosted in a standard touring caravan!

ArtReach Director, and Night of Festivals Producer, David Hill, said “the team can’t wait to wow Leicester. The Festival offers something for all ages, it’s fun, colourful, noisy….and also a little bit challenging. We aim to celebrate the values of freedom through exciting artistic innovation. Come and find out more.”

The Night of Festivals fun kicks off from 11:00am – 10pm on Saturday 16th and 11:00am – 5:00pm on Sunday 17th August.
To find out more about Night of Festivals, visit the website http://www.nightoffestivals.co.uk where you can view or download the full weekend programme, or visit Twitter: _ArtReach or Facebook: /ArtReachEvents

CityFestival

20th August 2014

Square fills with song

SONGS from the shows will fill Jubilee Square on Friday night (22 August) as the second weekend of Leicester’s City Festival gets under way.

More than 30 performers from the Leicester Theatre Group will take to the stage to entertain the crowds with some classic songs from the country’s best-loved musicals.

Soloists will perform songs from Chicago, Miss Saigon and Les Miserables, the youth group will bring Matilda the Musical to Jubilee Square, while eight dancers will perform to music from Burlesque the Musical and Cabaret.

Karl Strickland, founder of the Leicester Theatre Group, said: “We’re all looking forward to performing in this unusual environment.

“As long as the weather’s kind to us, it’s going to be fun!”

An Outdoor Night at the Musicals takes place at 7pm on Friday (22 August) in Jubilee Square. The performance will last for approximately 90 minutes and admission is free of charge.

More information about Leicester Theatre Group, and details of its programme of forthcoming events, is available at www.leicester-theatre-group.co.uk

Jubilee Square is also one of the venues for Saturday’s Cosmopolitan Carnival (23 August). Live music from By The Rivers, Curtis Clacey and Carol Leeming will be followed by a large-scale projection onto the Radio Leicester building. Activities for all the family will also be taking place in St Martin’s Square, Silver Arcade, High Street and at BBC Radio Leicester.

Leicester’s other new open space, Cathedral Gardens, will host World War One At Home on 23-24 August, while the Cathedral will join the Guildhall to host the Old Town Food Fair on Bank Holiday Monday (25 August).

Sunday 24 August will see the return of SkyRide – a five-mile family-friendly route for cyclists of all ages – SportsFest, Our Leicester Day, Journeys Festival (also on Monday) and the Humberstone Gate City Music Stage, which will showcase some of Leicester’s top musical talent.

And on Bank Holiday Monday (25 August), the Leicester Belgrave Mela – bringing the best of Indian food, fashion and culture to the city centre – and the Old Town Festival will bring the second City Festival to a close.

Throughout the festival, there will also be special events taking place at Leicester’s museums. These include Castles, Gargoyles and Clay Fun Day at the Guildhall (Thursday 21 August), Meet the Medieval Barber Surgeon at Newarke Houses (Sunday 24 Aug) and Gladiators at Jewry Wall (Bank Holiday Monday).

Tours of Wygston’s House, the Magazine and Leicester Castle will take place on Bank Holiday Monday (25 August).

There will also be live performances at the Guildhall and Hansom Hall, with a number of city pubs and other venues showcasing the best in live music throughout the festival. A charge may be made for these events, so check with venues for details.

Other events taking place include an outdoor screening of A Hard Day’s Night at the Phoenix on Friday 22 August, and a look behind the scenes at BBC Radio Leicester on Bank Holiday Monday (25 August).

Full details of all events taking place at the 2014 City Festival are available in a free brochure – available from Visit Leicester on Gallowtree Gate, local libraries, and city centre shops, bars, and venues – or online at www.visitleicester.info/cityfestival

On Sunday 24th August Leicester’s bands and artists will be performing live on the stage in Humberstone Gate (close to the Clock Tower).  Music venues from all over the city will be presenting their selected bands and artists for this free show; find out more about the City Stage.

13th August 2014

Aerial performance in city

A GRAVITY-defying aerial performance will help to kick off Leicester’s City Festival this weekend.

Safe House is a stunning large-scale, open-air theatrical performance taking place in Southgates, off Peacock Lane.

Norwich Festival 2014 Photo: Pamela Riath and Norwich Arts Lab
Norwich Festival 2014
Photo: Pamela Riath and Norwich Arts Lab

It tells the story of a mother and her son and their relationship with their home from the 1970s to the present day. For the mother, the house represents putting down roots, while for the son, the house is somewhere to play, and later, somewhere to escape from.

The production has been created by Leicester-based theatre company Metro-Boulot-Dodo.

Esther Simpson from Metro-Boulot-Dodo said: “The house structure will be going up on site from Wednesday (13) this week. It’s 12 metres high and 10 metres wide, performers appear out of skylights, scale the walls and fly around the house as large scale projections turn the house into a series of stunning backdrops.

“The aerial performance adds a real wow factor, there’s one moment when the teenage son runs towards the city and begins to leap, summersault and fly across a series of skyscrapers. It’s a spectacular moment. Safe House is a visual spectacle that tells an emotive story which appeals to a wide audience, of all ages.”

Safe House takes place at 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with gates opening at 8.45pm. It’s free to attend and no booking is required. The performance lasts about 45 minutes.

The production has being touring the country and was commissioned by Leicester City Council as well as by other festivals up and down the country.

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor responsible for culture, leisure and sport, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to experience something very different – a large-scale, open air performance that will appeal to all ages.

“It’s a fantastic way to begin our City Festival and I hope that lots of people will come along. I’m proud that this piece has been created by a Leicester theatre company and I’m delighted that we can bring this performance home to Leicester.”

Alongside Safe House, a photography installation called ‘My Home’ will be on display in St Peter’s Square, in the Highcross, from Friday until Sunday. It will feature the work of local young people who have learned traditional analogue camera skills to photograph what ‘home’ means to them.

The production and installation are just two of a host of events taking place for the City Festival.

Leicester’s City Festival celebrates the communities, culture and heritage that help make Leicester unique. Launched by the City Mayor in 2013, the festival has now expanded into a major event in the heart of the city, offering 10 days of fun and entertainment in Leicester’s pedestrianised streets and open spaces.

The 2014 City Festival runs from August 16-25. Printed brochures are available from the tourist centre and other city centre outlets

More information is available at this website

Local music: does it matter?

Trevor Locke asks if local music really matters

If you watch the television you might choose to watch a programme about rock music in the 70s or 80s. If music is your thing, there is no shortage of programmes in which famous musicians are interviewed and clips of bands and singers playing songs of the time are shown. These programmes are very interesting and informative but they are all about the big bands that made it into the charts.

What is largely neglected by both the media and by historians is music at the local level. It is assumed, most probably, that anything about live music in one town or city will be of interest only those who live there. Unless of course it is about Liverpool and the Beatles or possibly even Sheffield and the Arctic Monkeys or Manchester during the days of the Hacienda. These are subjects worthy of programmes or books because, in the opinion of their producers and authors, they have had an impact and influence on the national music scene.

I want to argue that music at the local level is both fascinating and important, in its own right. I would say that, wouldn’t I? After all, I have spent over ten years of my life writing about the music of Leicester for the magazine I created and now am compiling all that work into one enormous book on the subject.

Given that I am engaged in writing about local history, why is it that historians largely ignore music when they analyse and discuss the life of local communities? Local history has established itself as being an area of study that is credible and interesting, as much as the history of the nation as a whole. Local history of any kind is not just of interest to people who live in the area; those who research and write about local history like to consult works by others who are engaged in similar projects. Local history is a legitimate branch of learning in its own right. The life of any nation is not just about kings, politicians and battles. No understanding of a nation is possible without an awareness of the culture and life of people whose daily lives creates that nation. We cannot understand England without understanding the ordinary common folk who comprise it.

People who write about local history often focus on the areas of human activity that have been established in the accounts of the nation as a whole: commerce, industry and economics, politics, transport (trains and roads), women, race, battles and armies, etc. You do sometimes get studies of art or culture at the local level and that, by and large, concerns itself with pictorial art and sculpture. That stance on local history is often bolstered by the view that something at local level is of national importance. That take on history pivots around the assumption that something must have that magical national significance to justify it and give it credibility. Who arbitrates what is of national significance?

My interest is in music; my two great passions in life are music and history. So, writing about the history of music would be completely natural for me. The shelves of libraries are well stocked with books about periods of musical history, accounts of specific bands, studies of specific genres and so on. If, like me, you want to read about music in a town or city, you will have to search extensively to find anything. The shibboleth about local needing to be national haunts music and art history as much as anything other aspect of life at the level of street and town.

This situation needs to change. Historians and musicologists alike need to recognise that music has always been an important part of the life of any local community. If you want to understand what daily life was like in the past, as now, you have to look at the music that the people in a community were listening to. Art is about painting and statues, but it is also about music – and not just classical music. There are endless books about the great classical composers but almost nothing about the work of the countless men and women who have made music, composed and invented it throughout the ages at the local level. History is organised around notoriety. It is the legacy of how academia has been organised since Greek and Roman times that only the great artists and composers are worthy of study because they have defined the cultural landscape of The West, Europe, England … well of course that is true but I want to see credibility given to the study of the art and culture of common people, everyday country folk, the people, the masses, what ever you want to call them – the people whose lives come and go but leave little behind them. Historians tend to work with what is stored on library shelves. What gets on to library shelves is arbitrated by the shibboleth of national significance.

Archaeologists however are much more likely to unearth the remains of everyday life. Modern approaches to history are becoming increasingly concerned to reveal what life was like in the streets of a village, town or city. We can have a fairly detailed view of what happened in the streets of a Roman town, how food was produced and distributed, how people were housed, the tools they worked with, what people ate, how they dressed and cooked, how they were entertained and, to my mind, what music they listened to.

Delving into the history of music can be very difficult; the further back we go the harder it becomes to find remains because music just happens and unless people at the time wrote about it, nothing survives from music-making, apart from a few instruments or fragments of them that happened to be preserved in the earth. Such investigations become easier in recorded history when we can find manuscripts, writings, music scores, accounts of concerts or festivals to give us an idea of what people listened to. With the advent of film, recordings and the Internet, there is now a huge amount of material to work with if we want to write accounts of the musical culture of today or recent times.

At the local level however material about music is ephemeral and volatile. Vast quantities of videos, tracks and gig flyers flood through the pages of social media but few people see all this as being grist to the mill of historical research. Like many with an interest in music, I spend many hours of every day on Facebook, Twitter or websites watching what is going on, mainly in my own locality but also at national level. As a music journalist, my task is to watch, record and annotate musical culture in my local area.

The present is what is happening now. What happened yesterday is history.

Music, in my view, is an integral part of local history, just as much as food, buildings, clothing, work, politics, trade or anything else that forms an understanding of the life and experience of a community. This is not a perspective that I see in the output of the majority of local historians. Local history, I would argue, is the poorer for its lack of recognition of the significance of music to accounts of what happened at the local level in the lives of everyday people.

Anthropologists, who went out to study and research the life of tribes, cultures and peoples in foreign countries often recorded and noted the music that they made. They, like archaeologists, got down to the nitty gritty of everyday life and they found music in every social group they visited. Anywhere in the world. Whether it was part of religion or ritual, part of social gatherings or the transmission of culture and collective memory, or the expression of collective identity, musical activity was found everywhere that anthropologists went. From the Trobriand Islands to the high mountains of the Incas, anthropologists went to see people living their ordinary everyday lives and to record what they saw, whatever it was, and they all saw music being made.

Academically, local history shares many interests and sources with anthropology and archaeology. It is therefore somewhat odd that local historians have neglected music as much as they have in their understandings of the life of local peoples. Researching the history of music in an area can be challenging and difficult because of the dearth of source material with which to work. The further back in time that one wishes to go the less there is to work with and the harder it is to unearth. Yet, the more fascinating and informative it becomes. Music is an activity that tells us a lot about the people who make it and those that listened to it or took part in it, through religion, ritual, dance, social gatherings or just plain old entertainment. Music is a key definer of social identity; what music you like marks you out as a person. The gigs you go to are part of your social identity. The kind of music that is found in a community defines much about its culture, belief systems and cohesive tissues. The lyrics of songs are capsules of what people believe, celebrate and remember. The status given to music makers tell us something about the way a community is organised. This is as true at the local level as it is at that of the nation state.

Even when not focussing specifically on music, local history is incomplete unless it has tried to account for the everyday life of a community and that must, I argue, include how people were entertained, fed, clothed, educated and how they socialised. Music should be a topic that is always included in accounts of life at the local level. Without an account of a people’s music, the picture is inherently incomplete.

Trevor Locke

9th August 2014.

 

About this article

It might appear that I have assumed that no one has ever written about local music. I know that not to be the case because I have found studies in my own area of Leicester and have searched for and read material relating to other towns and cities in the UK, both in the form of books and articles on the Internet. The present article forms a précis for a more substantial article that I have planned. I offer it at this stage to see if I can evoke some comments or even make contact with like-minded individuals who share both my agenda and my interest in this topic.

Art and Music

Art and music in the time of Richard III

As part of our contribution to celebrating the history, culture and heritage of Leicester, this page looks at the art and music of the 15th century, and especially that which was prominent at the time of King Richard III.

Introduction

Leicester has a rich and varied cultural history. This is due largely to the successive waves of people who settled here over the two thousand years of the area’s time as a place of residence, industry and commerce.

The art and culture of the area changed as people came to live here from mainland Europe – the Romans, the Saxons, the Normans, right up the contemporary migrations of those from the Asian and African continents.

Leicester today is a melting pot of cultural traditions and a rich diversity of people currently contribute to the amazing variety of our city’s music, dance, visual arts and theatre.

Our magazine does it best to find and document the arts and culture of the city today but of no less fascination is our heritage and history.

When we started this section, we had only to walk through the city and look up to see several centuries of the built environment.

The life that went on in those buildings is much more difficult to curate but there are clues that can fuel our imagination as to what entertained our ancestors – the music, painting and drama that would be have been going on in these buildings for several centuries.

This article begins that journey, probing back into medieval times to ask about what people were listening to then and what part art played in their lives.

We want to understand what our ancestors ate, listened to and looked at and what clothes they wore, what books they read.

A great deal of that cultural heritage has evaporated into the past but enough clues have survived to give us some kind of sense of what their cultural was likely to have been like.

18th August 2013

Project launched to trace musical history

Today saw the launch of this magazine’s project to trace the History of Music in Leicester.

28th July 2013

Music from the time of Richard III

A concert was given at Leicester Guildhall today. The musicians performed songs from the time of Richard III. On stage were singers, lute players and percussionists. It was this that gave us the idea of filling in some of the cultural background to the life and times of Richard the third.

The group performed songs in English and French. Two types of lute were being played; these were modern versions of the type of instruments that would have been common at that time. One musician played a recorder and others played a variety of small hand drums.

Musicians performing in Leicester Guidhall
Musicians performing in Leicester Guidhall

The musicians working with The Orpheus Project (see web site link below) plan to release an album of music – The Last Plantagenet – from the era of King Richard III. Today’s programme included songs from the planned album.

From left to right Maryann is on recorder, Andy Jenkinson is playing Lute, then Tabatha Pegg singing lead, Michael on Lute and Alex on drums.

Musicians from the Orpheus Project performing in Leicester's Guildhall
Musicians from the Orpheus Project performing in Leicester’s Guildhall

From left to right Maryann is on recorder, Andy Jenkinson is playing Lute, then Tabatha Pegg singing lead, Michael on Lute and Alex on drums.

On 8th December, a concert was held at Leicester Guildhall, including story telling, music and carols. The musicians working with The Orpheus Project plan to release an album of music – The Last Plantagenet – from the era of King Richard III. Today’s programme included songs from the planned album.

On 8th December, a concert – A King Richard III – will be held at Leicester Guildhall, including story telling, music and carols.

 

RichardIIIBackground

King Richard

King Richard III of England
British history

7th august 2014

Richard III – The Story

This page is about the discovery of the remains of King Richard III, here in Leicester.

Who was Richard III?

Richard was the last King of the Plantagenet dynasty and the last king of the House of York. He lived in the fifteenth century, from 1452 to 1485, in what we call the Middle Ages. He reigned for only two years, being killed at the Battle of Bosworth, the final battle in the Wars of the Roses, a date regarded as being the end of the Middle Ages. Richard reigned as King of England for only two years (from 1483 to 1485.)

The Battle of Bosworth took place on the 22nd August 1485

He is also known as Richard Plantagenet and was a member of the House of York. The Wars of the Roses, as we now call it, was fought between the two dynastic houses of Lancaster and York. Those of Richard’s time would have called it the ‘Cousins Wars’ because it was fought between members of the York and Lancaster families.

Richard’s brother was King Edward the fourth. When Edward died in 1483, Richard was named Lord Protector. His role was to protect Edward, 12 year old son of the late king. Richard placed Edward and his brother Richard (who was 9) in lodgings the Tower of London, as was the custom for kings prior to their coronation.

In 1483, Richard of Gloucester was crowed King of England, becoming Richard III, instead of the young Prince Edward.

The Princes in the Tower.

The two young princes – Edward and Richard – were not seen again after 1483. It was rumoured that the young princes had been murdered, some accusing Richard of being behind this. It is not clear that the two boys in the Tower of London (a royal residence) were in fact both the sons of Edward IV. Some claim that one of them was switched with a boy of similar age.

The young Prince Edward is referred to as Edward V (the fifth), and his brother as The Duke of York, the sons of King Edward IV (the fourth.) There is no historic evidence that the princes were in fact murdered and their bones have never been found, conclusively. There is no record of a funeral. Some historians claim that the Princes posed a threat to Richard III’s claim to the throne. No formal accusation was ever made against Richard III for the (assumed) death of the two Princes. The fate of the boys remains a mystery.

When their uncle Richard, the Yorkist King was killed at Bosworth, Henry Tudor, the Lancastrian, claimed the throne of England and became Henry the Seventh.

Richard III’s life

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was born in 1452, in Northamptonshire. His father was Richard Plantagenet, the third Duke of York, a contender to the throne taken by King Henry VI. His mother was Cecily Neville, daughter of Richard Neville and Alice Montacute. She was a cousin of Richard of Gloucester.

The young Richard spent some of his childhood at Middleham Castle in Yorkshire, being tutored by the Earl of Warwick (known as ‘the kingmaker’). Also living at the Castle Living was Anne Neville, the Earl of Warwick’s daughter, who would later marry Richard.

Richard’s wife Lady Anne Neville was crowned with him at his coronation at Westminster Abbey in 1483. Their son, Edward, was made Prince of Wales in a ceremony held at York; the only son of Richard III, he died at the age of ten in 1484.

Richard III’s death

Richard III died in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field, just south of the presentday town of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire.
The battle was fought between the Yorkist army (whose emblem was the white rose) led by Richard and that led by Henry Tudor (whose emblem was the red rose.) It was the last battle in the Wars of the Roses and led to the rise of the Tudor Dynasty that included Henry the Eighth and Elizabeth the First. Followuing his victory at Bosworth, Henry became King Henry VII, the first monarch of the Tudor dynasty.

Henry Tudor, who has been exiled to France, gathered an army and he and his men landed in Milford Haven in Wales in August, 1485. Richard gathered his army together and they assembled in Leicester on August 20th. Richard arrived in Leicester shoertly before the battle and it is said that he stayed at an Inn, then called The white Boar. Richard’s battle emblem depicted a white boar. In previous visits to Leicester, he had stayed at Leicester Castle but at the time the building had not been in a good state of repair.

After the Yorkist’s defeat, the story goes, the landlord of the White Boar repainted the sign to show a blue boar and renamed the building The Blue Boar Inn, also changing the name of the street in which it stood to Blue Boar Lane. Blue was a colour associated with the House of Lancaster.The building stood in Highcross Street, near to where the Travel Lodge hotel now stands. The Blue Boar Inn, once the principal Inn of Leicester in the 16th century, was demolished in 1836.

The two armies met near to Market Bosworth. The Yorkists were defeated and their king was killed. Richard’s corpse was stripped naked and taken, strapped on a horse, back to Leicester, where the king’s body was exhibited for two days to prove to people that he had died, before being buried in the Church of the Greyfriars in a plain, unmarked tomb. The location of the tomb was eventually lost. The Church was destroyed during the reformation and the masonry plundered by local builders, so that it was lost for over five hundred years.

The discovery of Richard’s bones

Richard’s bones were discovered, buried beneath the car park of the Social Services building in the centre of Leicester. The archaeological dig that unearthed the bones was said to be the biggest archaeological discovery of recent times.

On 4 February 2013, it was announced that DNA testing had conclusively identified (“beyond reasonable doubt”) that the bones unearthed in the Leicester car park were in fact those of Richard.

After his death, the King’s body was brought to Leicester, so that the victor of the battle, who became Henry VII, could allow the people to see that the king was in fact dead. Richard had been crowned King of England in 1483 but his claim to the throne was seen as contentious by many powerful barons. Henry Tudor organised a rebellion against the king and it was this that led to the Battle of Bosworth Field where Richard’s was killed and his army defeated.

Eventually, Richard (sometimes called ‘the warrior king’) was buried in the church of the Greyfriars Monastery, which is where his bones were found in 2013, 528 years later. He was the last English King to die in battle. During his life he was said to be a skilled military commander.

In 1471 Richard claimed the Dukedom of York. It was because he was the Duke of York that the city made a claim to become the rightful resting place of Richard’s remains, rather than Leicester.

25th April 2014

New director takes over at King Richard III visitor centre

A MAN who was part of the team responsible for marketing Alton Towers’ world-famous theme park is bringing his tourism expertise to Leicester’s new King Richard III Visitor Centre.

Iain Gordon, who previously spent eight years in marketing and operations at the hugely-popular Staffordshire theme park, has been appointed as the director of the King Richard III Visitor Centre Trust.

The trust is responsible for the new exhibition, entitled Dynasty, Death and Discovery, which will tell King Richard III’s fascinating story when it opens its doors this summer.

The visitor centre is currently being developed in the dramatic former Alderman Newton’s School building, opposite Leicester Cathedral and overlooking the grave where King Richard’s remains were discovered in August 2012.

Former Leicester University graduate Iain has also previously worked for two years as general manager of Snibston Discovery Park in Coalville, and eight years managing outdoor education centres for young people including one at Alton Castle, near the Alton Towers theme park.

The King Richard III Visitor Centre will tell the story of the king’s life and times, his reign and his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, using a stunning array of interactive exhibits and displays.

Visitors will also be taken through the extraordinary story of the science, forensics and archaeology behind his rediscovery, while a quieter, contemplative area will allow visitors to see the gravesite at the long-gone medieval Greyfriars church. The visitor centre is due to open in summer 2014, as a key part in the wider Cathedral Quarter, facing onto the new Cathedral. [Souce: Leicester City Council]

23rd January 2014

Stained glass window will commemorate King Richard III

A LIFE-sized stained glass window depicting King Richard III and his family is being created by a local artist for the forthcoming new visitor centre telling the story of the king’s life and death.

The dramatic stained glass window, by Leicester artist Brad Cooke, will portay the king along with his wife Anne Neville and their son Edward. It will be one of the centrepieces at the King Richard III visitor centre in St Martin’s Place, which is due to open in July 2014.

Knighton-based Brad, who runs a specialist stained glass and glazing firm, is currently in the process of designing the stunning window, followed by about six to eight weeks of painstaking work to turn the sketches into the finished product.

The completed window, which will be about 2.8m high and 2.3m wide, is likely to be lit from behind and will feature prominently as part of a display telling the story of the king’s life and the Plantagenet royal dynasty.

The commission came about after Brad contacted Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby offering his services to create a suitable item of artwork. Brad said: “I do a lot of work around the area restoring Victorian front doors, as well as restoration work on some stained glass at Leicester Cathedral, but a big commission like this isn’t something that comes along every day. The window is expected to be completed in May. [Source: LCC]

3rd September 2013

New boards will highlight city’s historic links to King Richard III

Leicester’s historic links with King Richard III will be brought to life by a series of new interpretation boards. The boards, placed at 10 city locations including the Guildhall, Leicester Castle and the Magazine Gateway, will be officially unveiled by city mayor Peter Soulsby on September 4th.

They will accompany a new Richard III walking trail, launched this week. It guides visitors on a circular route around Leicester, taking in all of the new interpretation boards and pointing out further sites of interest such as Leicester Cathedral, the site of the new Richard III visitor centre and the Richard III statue.

City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “I’m delighted to be unveiling these new boards, which represent another step in our ambitious campaign to tell the story of Leicester. From the historic Bow Bridge to the dig site at Greyfriars, these panels are a rich source of information which I am sure will capture the interest of visitors and locals alike.

“Combined with the new walking trail, these interpretation boards help us to re-imagine Richard III’s final days while highlighting some of Leicester’s fantastic heritage buildings and pointing out locations of historical interest that might otherwise remain hidden.”

The boards will be located at the Magazine Gateway, in the Newarke; the Guildhall, the church of St Mary De Castro, Trinity Hospital and the Turret Gateway, which is also in the Newarke. They will also be at the site of the Blue Boar Inn, in Highcross Street – now Leicester Travelodge – and at the Bow Bridge, Leicester Castle, the site of Greyfriars Friary and the site of the Church of the Annunciation, which is now the Hawthorn Building at De Montfort University. The first board will be unveiled at the Magazine Gateway on September 4th, with the others put into place on September 5th and 6th. The walking trail brochure will be available from the Guildhall and the Visit Leicester centre in Gallowtree Gate. The brochure costs 50p. More information and a free downloadable version of the walking trail can be found at http://www.visitleicester.info/richardIII – to download the trail, click on ‘Leicester’s search for a King’. [Source: Leicester City Council]

16th August

Challenge to burial location

The BBC TV news reported today that distant relatives of Richard II have been granted a judicial review over where his remains should be interred.

The Mayor of Leicester hopes that they will be buried in Leicester Cathedral and plans have already been drawn up for a tomb to be constructed there following a government decision in May.

The Plantagenet Alliance are campaigning for the city of York to be the king’s final resting place.

A judge today decided that there is a duty to consult widely about where the remains should be finally laid to rest.
9th August

Season of events heralds anniversary of King Richard’s death

A SEASON of historical events is due to take place this month [August] to commemorate the anniversary of the death in battle of King Richard III.

The king – known as the Last Plantagenet – was slain at Bosworth Field in Leicestershire on August 22, 1485, bringing to an end the Wars of the Roses and marking the start of the Tudor era.

His body was brought back to Leicester, where it lay buried and lost for over 500 years before being dramatically rediscovered in 2012 in a project involving the University of Leicester, Leicester City Council and the Richard III Society.

Now, as the first joint anniversaries of both his death and his rediscovery approach, a series of events will take place at key sites across the city and county. The commemorations will combine colourful celebrations of King Richard’s life and times, with solemn remembrance of his death and burial.

Young visitors to Leicester’s Guildhall can take part in a medieval fun day, featuring knights, castles and princesses, on Thursday, August 15, from 11am to 3pm. Visitors can make swords, shields and medieval princesses’ hats, taking inspiration from the Richard III exhibition which is on display at the same venue.

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre will host the 528th anniversary re-enactment weekend, bringing to life the sights and sounds of the tumultuous clash between the Lancastrian and Yorkist forces which cost King Richard his life and the crown of England. It takes place on August 17 and 18, from 10am to 5pm daily, and also includes guided walks, displays and activities. Pre-booking is recommended, and can be done by calling 01455 290429.

Leicester’s Newarke Houses Museum will host a talk by Robert Gregory exploring King Richard III’s connections to Leicester, both in life and death. It takes place on Sunday, August 18, from 2pm.

Commemorations will take place on the actual anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth itself. On Thursday, August 22, a rose-laying ceremony in memory of the those killed at Bosworth will take place at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre’s sundial, at 11am. It will give an opportunity for visitors to remember those who lost their lives on the battlefield and to reflect on the impact of war and battles throughout history.

In the afternoon, Leicester Cathedral Precincts will host a family afternoon of events from 3pm to 5pm, including entertainment by puppeteer Bill Brookman and medieval recorder players. The event is free to attend. Later that evening, the cathedral will host a commemorative choral evensong, from 5.30pm, marking the anniversary of King Richard’s death.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This year’s commemorations of the Battle of Bosworth have taken on an extra significance given the extraordinary work over the last 12 months which has discovered and identified the remains of the Last Plantagenet king here in the city. “While visitors are rightly fascinated by the story of his life and times, the details we now know about his death and burial are worthy of more solemn reflection, and the tone of these commemorations strikes the correct balance.” According to tradition, King Richard’s body was brought back to Leicester where it was put on public display before being buried in the Greyfriars church on August 25, 1485.

Last year, the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) excavations at the site of the lost church first uncovered remains, which later were identified as those of King Richard III, on August 25 – the 527th anniversary of his burial. The dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society. The originator of the search was Phillipa Langley of the Richard III Society. [Source: Leicester City Council]

8th August 2013

King Richard III visitor centre plans approved

PLANS have been approved for the creation of a new King Richard III visitor centre in the heart of Leicester’s Old Town.

Proposals to transform the former Alderman Newton’s School building at St Martin’s Place into a stunning new permanent exhibition and visitor experience telling the story of King Richard’s life, death and rediscovery, were approved at a meeting of Leicester City Council’s planning and development and control committee on Wednesday, August 7.

The £4million project will transform both the inside and outside of the Victorian Gothic building to create two floors of exhibition space and a new covered area allowing visitors access to the grave in which Richard’s remains were discovered last summer.

Designs also include a new courtyard garden, glass entrance hall, viewing balcony, cafe and visitor entry from Peacock Lane. The stunning 150-year-old former Alderman Newton School building, which is right next to the Greyfriars grave site, was purchased by the city council last year with a view to breathing new life into the building as a King Richard III visitor experience.

Architects Maber and design company Studio MB were appointed to the project to turn the derelict former grammar school into the dazzling visitor centre. Three new creative specialists with extensive backgrounds in heritage and tourism projects were also appointed. The completed visitor centre is scheduled to be opened in time for the planned re interment of King Richard’s remains at Leicester Cathedral, just across the road in Peacock Lane, in spring 2014. Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “I am very pleased that these stunning designs to bring new life to this beautiful old building has been approved, and work can now progress on creating a very fitting visitor experience telling the story of King Richard.” [Source: Leicester City Council]

10th July 2013

Play explores Richard’s reputation

A NEW play taking to the stage in Leicester will examine whether or not King Richard III deserves his dastardly reputation. The production, entitled ‘R-3: Hunchback or Hero?’ delves into the history books to try to understand the mind of the man, whom history portrays as a scheming, deformed villain responsible for the murder of his two young nephews in the Tower of London. Inspired by the new evidence unearthed by the discovery of King Richard’s remains in 2012, the play will re-examine the man and the myths surrounding him.
The performance is a one-man show, using some of Shakespeare’s text but also challenging the traditional Tudor view of the much maligned monarch, as well as bringing Richard to life to answer his accusers and re-write his reputation for the history books. R-3: Hunchback or Hero? will run at the Mayor’s Parlors in Leicester Guildhall from from July 15 to August 4.

The play, by Centre Five Productions, is coming to Leicester following a highly-successful run in London year. Historian and writer John Ashdown-Hill, whose book The Last Days of Richard III inspired last year’s dig for the last Plantagenet’s grave, said: “If you should get the chance to see it, I would strongly recommend doing so. It is certain to inspire both thoughts and feelings.”
4th February 2013

Bones set to tell story of royal remains

Archaeologists are set to tell the world the results of their tests on the bones found under a car park in Leicester, in a programme to be broadcast this evening by Channel Four. The programme will include a reconstruction of the king’s face, allowing comparison to portraits.

Many experts appear to be confident that the bones are those of the king who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. This is based on a preliminary examination of the bones.

Today the results of DNA tests might give us the final proof that many people are hoping for that these bones are in fact those of the last of the Plantagenet kings, whose death saw the end to the war of the roses.

DNA testing was developed by researchers at the University of Leicester.

Interest in this story is world wide, placing Leicester on the International map in many western countries. Images of the skull found in the excavations has been released. The archaeology is being lead by a team at the University of Leicester.

Part of the process by which the bones are to be verified involved obtaining DNA samples from a current day descendent, a man who lives in Canada.

Commenting in History Extra, Tracy Borman said ‘Richard III is one of the most controversial figures in history. Demonised by the Tudors (and Shakespeare in particular) as a crook-backed murderer, he has since been at least partially rehabilitated by the likes of the Richard III Society. But the debate continues to rage amongst historians today.’

If the find is confirmed, it will finally put to rest the legend that the bones were dug up in the Middle Ages and thrown into the river Soar.

A press conference is being held at 10 am and is being broadcast live by BBC Radio Leicester.

Once the remains have been fully examined, they are to be interred in Leicester Cathedral. A plaque commemorating the king has been in place in the church for many years.

The press conference has attracted media from all over the world, reports Radio Leicester.

Tourist chiefs foresee a Richard III experience offering a “whole day out for the family”, turning both county and city into a money-earning theme park.

Vice Chancellor says this is a “research adventure”, bringing together a wide range of disciplines.

Richard was buried in the Greyfriars Monastery, which is where the car park now stands. The bones that were found showed signs that suggested they were those of Richard III. The skeleton was in good condition and showed curvature of the spine. It was been buried in a shroud rather than a coffin.

The bones were subject to radio carbon dating that suggested that they could be traced back to around 1485.

The skeleton confirmed to be those of a male, late 20s to late 30s and with a slender build. There was curvature of the spine. These findings are consistent with what is known about the dead king.

The skull shows a wound at the base of the skull, made with a bladed weapon. Most likely cause of death.

Other wounds are consistent with warfare injuries or by attacks that took place after death – post-mortem defilement.

Richard’s naked body is reputed to have been thrown on a horse before being taken back to Leicester.

“Taken as a whole the skeletal evidence confirms that this is likely to be Richard III” said Dr. Jo Appleby.

Prof. Kevin Shurer looked into the genealogical work that lead to the discovery of the king’s living descendents including Michael Ibsen.

This allowed DNA from the skeleton to be compared with that of living descendents.

Dr. Turi King, the project’s geneticist, said that DNA had been extracted from the remains but it is too early to confirm a match.

There is a DNA match between the family of RichardIII and the bones from the excavation, pointing to these being indeed the remains of the king.

About this page

The story of Richard III and the discovery of his bones under a Leicester Park was featured in Arts in Leicester magazine from 2013 onwards.

Originally on the Historic Buildings page, we developed so much copy on this subject that we decided to devote a whole page to this subject, as part of the Architecture section of the old magazine.

See also:

#Date set of re-interment

#Heritage news

#Richard III centre to open

#Leicester to bury king

#Richard III