Arts in Residence, private limited company, Company Number 05243582
Incorporated 28th September2004, Current Status: Inactive.
Following the death of Terry Barfoot on August 12th, 2020 the company "Arts in Residence" has been closed, after nearly two decades of operation. Many thanks to the devoted clients of Arts in Residence over the years.
A SHORT HISTORY OF ARTS IN RESIDENCEArts in Residence had two beginnings. First, in the early seventies, when they were both at college in Exeter, John and Jill Couth attended residential poetry weekends in the Beaford Centre in North Devon. Two poets, John Moat and John Fairfax were founders of the "Arvon Foundation" who organised the courses. Later, they had their own centre, a King John hunting lodge, near Sheepwash and, for a time, John Couth worked as an administrator for them. There were lectures, workshops, visiting speakers such as Ted Hughes and Henry Williamson and a communal meal around a large dining table every evening. This then, was behind the idea for the successful 'Arts in Residence' formula.
Secondly, John Couth, Terry Barfoot and Tim Gwyther all lectured at South Downs College at the same time and as friends and colleagues they discussed the possibility of running arts courses for adult students. The first was held in the Beaford Centre, with catering by the in-house staff. In addition to residential events, Arts in Residence also held both day and evening events in the south of England.
Over the years the courses flourished, with John and Jill Couth taking over the bookings and catering in some magnificent large country houses in the UK and Europe. Terry and Tim often worked together, occasionally with visitng performers or visits to live music events. When John and Jill Couth retired, 'Arts in Residence' continued under Terry's leadership to provide a wide range of courses in various venues, in the UK and abroad. In the UK, courses were held in impressive country houses hired out by minor aristocracy or other important local families. Typical examples were Grade II listed Perridge House, a Regency house built c1831 on the site of a former cob-walled farmhouse, situated between Exeter and Dartmoor, and Grade II* Sheafhayne Manor near Yarcombe, East Devon which was used as a shooting lodge by Sir Francis Drake. Abroad, a popular venue was Château Marouatte, dating back to the 12th century and situated in the "Perigord Vert" region of the Dordogne, France, while Arts in Residence events were also held in The Somme, Prague, Budapest, Berlin, Dresden, Nuremburg, Lahti (Finland) etc.
Throughout its existence, Arts in Residence courses offered extremely good value. To this end, the use of country house venues, where outside caterers had to be brought in, was gradually phased out in favour of hotels. A further economy was provided by changing the Friday afternoon arrival to Monday after breakfast dispersal schedule to Friday afternoon to 3pm Sunday dispersal. Pricewise, Terry had great leverage by being able completely to fill a hotel outside the high season.
During the weeks leading up to Terry's death, amongst others Dave May visited Terry twice, and reports:- "Being housebound and largely immobile due to a stoma, Terry was grateful to all those who visited him at home. On my first visit Terry was quite cheerful, making plans for events in the following year and beyond. However, on my second visit, some weeks later, he was noticeably subdued and I got the impression he was accepting the inevitability on his impending end."