12th June 2018
A visit to Elgar’s birthplace “the Firs” in Lower Broadheath started well with lunch in the courtyard of the property which has been operated since last year by the National Trust.
A tour of the gardens revealed a statue of Elgar gazing out over the Malverns in the distance together with a fresco of him on his much loved bicycle.
A short video detailing the families history was viewed followed by a guided tour of the cottage of Elgar’s birth by very informative guides. Elgar was born in the cottage in 1857 the only one of 7 siblings born there and where he lived for the next 2 years before the family moved to No. 10 High Street,Worcester where his father opened his music shop.
Elgar eventually became a piano tuner and was able to display the royal seal of approval from the Dowager Queen Adelaide living then in Great Witley Court.
Elgar was known for his love of nature, riding his bike and flying a kite whereas writing music was seen as a chore. He wrote the scores with a fountain pen as they were never altered the music already composed in his brain ready for documentation. International fame came his way after he wrote the Enigma Variations in 1899, although his wife Caroline Roberts was always convinced of his talent. She acted as his business manager and social secretary, dealt with his mood swings and was a ‘perceptive musical critic’.
Elgar was awarded a baronetcy in 1931 choosing the title Sir Edward Elgar 1st Baronet of Broadheath – after the village where he was born