Bridport & West Dorset News, Views, Videos & Curiosities

How Green Was My Quarry? BBC tells the story of the late Gerard Morgan-Grenville

That rarest of things – a TV programme not to be missed – TONIGHT!

THE late Gerard Morgan-Grenville lived at Milton Mill in West Milton near Bridport.

He was a charming and fascinating man who had an enviably vivid career in many different areas; the military, kitchenware, French barge holidays, luxury train journeys, Saharan treks, and – for a while – book publishing. In the days when I too used to publish books, I helped to edit his memoirs called Breaking Free.

That title gives a clue to another side of Gerard’s character. He was a very successful businessman, but also a radical and pioneering environmentalist. He founded the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, and was active in the Protest and Survive anti-nuclear movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Locally, after he moved to West Milton in the mid-1990s, he was – among many other things – a founder member of the West Milton Cider Club, one of the most generous supporters of the Centre for Local Food in Bridport, and a campaigner against second homes. I remember him writing about the latter to Country Life, which certainly counts as taking the fight to the enemy’s heartland (if enemy you judge second home owners to be).  

Anyway, on BBC Wales tonight at 10.45pm, Gerard’s life and work is covered in a half-hour programme called How Green Was My Quarry. If you’ve got Sky, you can get BBC Wales on 972.

I have not seen the programme, but according to his widow Margaret it features archive film footage from nearly all parts of Gerard’s life, and Margaret also discloses rather shyly that it may even include excerpts from a recently filmed interview with her.

To quote, finally, the BBC’s own blurb: “David Williams goes on the trail of the late Gerard Morgan-Grenville, founder of the Centre for Alternative Technology near Machynlleth, in How Green Was My Quarry on Wednesday 16 December on BBC One Wales.

“The English aristocrat was a highly successful businessman who turned his back on high society to start a green revolution in an old slate quarry in North Wales.”

David Williams and Gerard first met many years ago in the aftermath of the mysterious death of the CND campaigner Hilda Murrell.

Note: You can read Gerard’s obituary in The Guardian – and it has a picture of him – by clicking on this link.