Sir George Trevelyan: memories and observations

Memories of Sir George and the Wrekin Trust

Barbara Siddall

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It was a time of gathering and gatherers, before the time of networking and a while before that word had ever been coined. Sir George Trevelyan, holding high a great 'Rainbow Umbrella', brought so many speakers and seekers together from all over the world. Father and herald to the new age that we know now, bubbling with enthusiasm, expounding and charging us with electric inspiration and the Grandeur of God! (apologies to G. M. Hopkins). Tall angular figure, silvery hair, pink cheeks and sparkling blue eyes fixed upon one with great intent and challenge.

Sir George with Barbara SiddallI first met Sir George at an early Wrekin Trust conference in 1971 entitled 'Michael, Arthur & the Living Christ'. It was held at High Leigh, Hoddesdon, a large country house. Speakers included Sir George, Rev. Peter Dewey, Rev. Gordon Baker, Bernard Nesfield-Cookson of Hawkwood with his beautiful slides of Russian icons and Renaissance art. Until then, like many others over the years, my search had been a lonely one. That first conference transported me to 'countries from which I never returned'! It infused me with a great happiness and sense of pioneering.

I have memories of Sir George with the 'Man of the Trees', Richard St. Barbe Baker, on a hot summer day in the early eighties. A group of us sitting under the shade of a magnificent old spreading tree, sharing stories of the Nature Kingdoms. This was one of the Health & Healing conferences at Loughborough University.

Earlier, in 1978, we travelled to Florence in February experiencing perfect spring weather for the 'Congress of the New Age'. There were participants from all over the Globe: Buckminster Fuller with his Geodesic Domes, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Joyce Purcell O.B.E., Baroness Edmee and Baron Killi di Pauli, Victor Spinetti, Diana Cilento filming all, and many more. Held in the medieval Forte Belvedeo across the Arno. It was a very heightened time, with powerful angelic presences and experiences. Sheer magic to follow Sir George around the churches of Florence, eyeing up his 'Active Eye in Architecture', and much much more to tell...

Earlier still, at the first Wrekin Trust Michaelmas pilgrimage to Cornwall in 1973, the first of many which were eventually to become the Gatekeeper Trust (named after the Gatekeeper butterfly by Stanley Messenger), Sir George returned to the seat of his ancestors for the first time in 300 years. Locals presented him with an oil painting of St. Michael's Mount at the Trevelyan Arms. There was Sufi dancing at St. Hilary vicarage, tales of Jesus and Joseph of Arimathea in Cornwall bartering tin at Marazion, discovering anew stone circle with John Michell. Then, on St. Michael's Mount, a thunderbolt and huge hailstones railed at us in the Chapel as Kitty Trevelyan, George's sister, heralded in the new age in ringing tones. The Mount shook. At any moment, it seemed, a Trevillion would emerge on his white charger out of the waves and froth. And it was such fun... and then peace and golden days. The weather was always so appropriate on those occasions. (Somewhere, I have this service recorded on tape.) I have fond memories of walking across the causeway with him to the Mount as the tide came in, squeezing through the Men an Tol and his recital of the whole of 'The Wreck of the Hesperus' against a huge green crashing sea, with only a window behind and the spray. This was at Porth en Als, the castle on the edge of the cliff. At Chapel Carn Brea hill, standing high on the rock, newly dedicated to the memory of the Bard Maghteth Myghal (servant of Michael), Margaret Thornley, he told her story of pilgrimage. She had travelled all over Europe in the decade following the war, linking all the St. Michael hermitages. In the late eighties, he recited the whole of Shylock in 'The Merchant of Venice' at the Minack Theatre on the rocks against a back drop of dazzling blue sea and sky. All pure bliss!

Way back in 1974, Sir George was invited to have his brain waves measured on Maxwell Cade's 'Mind Mirror', which then registered an entirely brand new brain pattern – a circle in lights, joining together the left and right brain, showing us, as Max said excitedly, “Vast Creativity!” – how could it have been otherwise?

I have resplendent memories of Sir George in 1987, striding up Glastonbury Tor, as he had done so many times, and meeting up with crowds of us at dawn at the Harmonic Convergence in a great greeting of hands stretched out (Kevin Redpath captured this beautifully on video and has copies). His mammoth story telling with great eloquence of Parcival and the Fisher King. Also, the story of 'a great army of white knights on horseback' turning the tide for England in northern France during the Great War. Then fond memories of an evening when he visited some of us at the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, when we performed our poems for him. Needless to say, the delivery and timing was firmly re shaped to our great advantage with much merriment.

There was a last and very happy time I saw Sir George. I drove him from his home to a feast at Geseke Clark's home in Warwick to meet old friends about a year and a half ago. I had missed his presence a great deal when he stood back from the Wrekin; but the spirit of aliveness and inspiration he transmitted to all is still with me. His entering and enriching my life has enabled me to imbue this energy into my work ever since... I can feel this aliveness now as I write this at 2 am in the morning!

Barbara Siddall

PRAYER OF ST. MARTIAL  AD 290
(from the Michael Office) always said by Sir George in Cornwall on St. Michael's Mount and on Chapel Carn Brea

Ye hosts angelic
by the high archangels led,
with heavenly power beneficent,
mighty in the music of the Word;
Great ones entrusted with the sovereignty
of infinite celestial spheres
marshalling the Cherubim
and the flaming Seraphim;
Ye, O Michael Prince of Heaven,
and Gabriel by whom the word is given,
Raphael with healing ministry
(to those who yet in bondage are),
Guide our footsteps as we journey
onward into Paradise.




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