My Suffolk - roger wright
Roger Wright, formerly the Controller of BBC Radio 3 took over the reins as Chief Executive of Aldeburgh Music six months ago. He talks about his life in Suffolk
Tell us about moving to Suffolk
One of the joys of thinking about coming to a new job and a new challenge was getting to know a wonderful new county as well. I was familiar with Aldeburgh and Snape because I had previously visited and had also seen something of the Suffolk coast. Also, I have relatives in the Hadleigh but beyond that there was little more that I knew about the county. When we were looking for somewhere to live we looked all around the place and then found somewhere in the Waveney Valley - which we have since discovered is known as ‘Bows and Arrows’ country but we thoroughly enjoy the experience of being here. I started at Snape on September 1 and since then have got lost on many occasions through the Suffolk Lanes on the way to work but that is just part of the joy of being here.
What makes the county special?
All sorts of things for me. My wife Rosie and I have been incredibly struck by the welcome and friendliness of the people who live here. But of course there's also the beauty of the coast and country, the freshness of the air, the food and drink and the quality of local produce. The other thing that's really special is being in a place of work that’s locally, regionally, nationally and internationally relevant.
How do you like to relax?
Walking in the area and by having friends and family come to visit our new home. We live between Mendham and a little hamlet called Withersdale Street and we mostly walk from home as we are still exploring the area. So we still have a lot of Suffolk to discover. Recently we have actually taken two groups of friends to the Alde Valley Spring Festival, it's really special.
Where do you eat out?
Of course we eat in Snape and Aldeburgh at places like The Crown and the Plough and Sail and all the restaurants around and about, but we also go to the Fox and Goose at Fressingfield, which is close to home.
Do you have any hobbies?
My wife is a yoga teacher and still has classes in London and Cambridge. So I do some yoga stretches, it has real benefits and helps keep my back in order. I am also looking forward to trying to find a cricket team as I am a keen cricketer although I'll probably end up umpiring rather than playing. When I lived abroad in Germany and America I couldn't play cricket so got involved in baseball instead. Also I would like to take up tennis again and I'm pleased to see that our local village hall has got a good all-weather strip. We also play a lot of music at home and the whole family is involved including my two children, Alice, 23, who works for English Touring Opera and Will who is at university studying music. Together we are quite multitalented and we play piano duets, piano for six hands or we sing together in four parts.
What do you think about Suffolk and the arts?
We are incredibly lucky with arts in the county. One of the great joys of moving here has been to discover how many artists there are in the county working in so many different areas and we have been thrilled to meet them. In the Waveney Valley there is an art walk for instance and there's real localness there but we have also loved visiting Ipswich with Dance East, the New Wolsey Theatre and all the exhibitions too. There’s really so much going on.
Have you got a favourite pub?
I have not had enough time to visit many local pubs so far so couldn't possibly pick a favourite. My local however is Sir Alfred Munnings.
Is there a picture which sums up the county?
That's difficult but it would have to be a picture that expresses the beautiful richness of Suffolk. It would have to show the countryside on one side and the coast on the other. There would also be people singing and making art. It would be busy and relaxing at the same time.
Has there been anything that’s surprised you about the county?
One hopes for warmth and welcome when you move to a new county but it’s the people here who have made a real difference having really been so friendly.