“We Love It In The Arts”

“We love it in the arts!” I’m rather pleased with that. It’s the new tag line for the Lapselater Foundation, which I’ve just been invited to manage. It was originally “We love it up the arts”, which I thought was really bloody funny but my brother, Neville, who is in charge had me change it.

It was a tricky moment as Neville thinks I’m not up to handling this side of the family business. Neville doesn’t think I’m up to much generally.

But bloody hell if I can organise a shooting party of 10 guns, off their tits on the Kings’ Ginger Liqueur, I’m damn sure I can front up a to a bunch of arty buggers!

Now then, “Lapselater, that name rings a bell.” I can hear some of you mumble. Well of course it does. We are the family that built (About 260 years ago!) and owns, nay, belongs to the mgnificent Castle Lapselater in North Yorkshire. Much visited by many of you who enjoy the great treasures of the house, the wonderful grounds, garden centre, farm shop and the rest. It’s also a legendary pheasant shoot – Edward VII said of one drive it was his ’second favourite wooded valley in which to discharge his weapon’. His favourite presumably being  the nether regions of Wally Simpson.

What some of you may not know is that the Lapselater Collection is the largest private collection of art in the world! Much of it is on loan to galleries throughout the world but with still enough for any connoisseur to enjoy at the Castle. (Goodness me, who else can boast their first taste of art being Goya’s  Saturn Devouring His Son. I can!  Papa hung it in the nursery above my cot. We’ve leant it to the Prado.)

And did you know that The Lapselater Foundation is one of the biggest sponsors of the arts in the country – possibly the world? I suspect you didn’t which is why Neville has brought me across from the forestry/sporting side of the estate to up the profile of the Foundation.

The  Lapselater Foundation subsidises art galleries, orchestras and theatres. It sponsors exhibitions, community projects and individual artists.  It brings art to people and people to art. It brings artists to the community and community to the artist. To this end we’ve had the great and the good pass through the Grand Hall at Castle Lapselater – presidents, politicians, artists, writers, scientists, sportsmen and women. Tout le monde! We’re facilitators. We facilitte… facilate… we… (I get rather tired rather quickly). You get my drift. Everyone’s better off with a bit of arts.

Papa, used to say, ‘We’ve got more people interacting than the Third Reich ever managed!’ I’m not sure it’s entirely appropriate but I thought I’d share it with you.

Anyway, things have been quite tricky for the family and the foundation of late so it’s down to me to restore a bit of momentum. To whit, the use of this blog will be but one tool. To whoo, the bloody hell will read it though!? Ha! Did you see what I did there.  Sort of owl joke.

And I’d like to thank ‘Jimbob!,’ that’s Jamie by the way, for accommodating me on his little website. Of course he has to. The Foundation is his sponsor! Ha! And as if that wasn’t enough he’s renting a property on the Estate. I might call on him later when I take Vodka and Tonic for a walk.

So, you know where to come for news of  Lapslater ‘doings’- and ‘dones’ come to that. I’m longing to share with you how my brother Neville acquired a priceless pair of Tracy Emin panties (On display up the Main Stairs) and how the Gusset Movement was born.

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