31 May 2011
The iconic Westgate Towers have played a role in Canterbury's history for more than 600 years and last Friday saw the start of a new era in their story.
Charles Lambie with Matt Sherwood, Professor Paul Edlin, Anna Hillary and Amy Hughes
As part of an agreement between Canterbury Christ Church University and new owner Charles Lambie, music students from the University will perform a trumpet fanfare every Friday morning at 11am, during term time, from the roof of the towers.
Charles, Chairman of Trustees of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, also owns the Victorian gaol next door to the Towers when he stepped forward last year to save Canterbury’s Westgate Towers Museum from closing by agreeing a new 40 year lease from Canterbury City Council. Since then the two buildings have undergone refurbishment
The old gaol has been a part of music in Canterbury for 45 years, since a music school opened there in 1966, a tradition continued today by Canterbury Christ Church University music students using the building.
Professor of Music at Canterbury Christ Church University, Paul Edlin, said: "For over 40 years the old gaol has had an association with Kent music and in recent years there has been an association with Christ Church as we needed more space for the students to practice in. When Charles took over the building last year, the partnership began to grow.
“The University is building relationships with many organisations, but this one is very special as it is a public/private partnership which is essential at this moment in time of reduced funding. Because of this there is a need for greater joining up between organisations and by doing so we can achieve many more things that can't be done alone.
"The experience of performing every Friday is a wonderful opportunity for our students. Not only will it give them the chance to perform, but it will also give them experience of organising the event themselves. They will have to be self-motivated and self-organised and that is a fantastic lesson to learn, to prepare them for work in the future.
"Just as important this partnership allows us to give something back to Canterbury. It is through that cycle of taking and giving that you actually gain far more in the end."
Fanfares at the Westgate Towers
Music student Matt Sherwood, who wrote three out of the four fanfares that were played on Friday morning, said: "This is a great opportunity for us to not only perform in public, but it also gives us the opportunity to play our own compositions, which is sometimes really difficult to get when you are starting out. It's a great experience and a really good way to promote our music."
Charles Lambie, owner of the Westgate Towers and goal, said: “Built in 1380, the Westgate Towers are the largest medieval gatehouse remaining in England, and is the only survivor of Canterbury’s seven original gateways.
“It’s been great fun to be able to work in partnership with the University staff and students to put the Canterbury Westgate Towers at the heart of the city’s cultural events.”
For more information on the Towers go to: www.canterburywestgatetowers.com.
Notes to Editor
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services. With nearly 18,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.
- In 2010 the Faculty of Education’s Initial Teacher Education received top grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
- Over 90 per cent of our graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating.
- Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
- Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.