This week’s Photo Challenge from The Daily Post is on the theme of ‘One” – http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/photo-challenge-one/
Elgar is perhaps the most famous son of Malvern and he stands proudly alone as a statue in the centre of Malvern looking down on the post office, which in his day was a piano shop.
Elgar and the Malvern Hills
Sir Edward Elgar, renowned composer of, for example, the Pomp and Circumstance marches (one of which was set to words as Land of Hope and Glory) was born near Worcester and lived in and around the Malvern Hills during his life. Visitors to the region often follow the Elgar Route or Elgar Trail, taking in such places as his birthplace (now a museum), the music shop that his father owned, and the various places he taught and lived later in life. Indeed there are prominent statues of Elgar in Worcester High Street, Malvern Church Street and near Hereford Cathedral.
Certainly the Malvern Hills and surrounding countryside inspired his music – he lived in sight of the hills for about 55 of his 76 years and routinely cycled around the country and village lanes during that time.
The large Post Office in Great Malvern was a piano shop in the Victorian times. Elgar used to give regular piano and violin lessons here and this is where he taught a pupil called Caroline Alice Roberts. They fell in love and married three years later, much to the horror of her family who disinherited her for marrying a Roman Catholic, unknown musician.
In 1903 Elgar founded the Malvern Concert Club with Arthur Troyte Griffith, a local architect, as his enthusiastic secretary. The loyal support of the membership has enabled the club to flourish over all these years, with current numbers running at over 450 and often with 600 people attending concerts.
Elgar died from cancer in 1934 and is buried in St Wulstan’s Church in Little Malvern, along with his wife Alice who had died earlier.