On 17th June 2015 Sir John Major, former prime minister delivered an inaugural Sir Edward Heath Lecture at Salisbury’s very own Guildhall. With Salisbury holding the 800th year celebrations of the Magna Carta this year at the Cathedral, the topic of lecture was to be ‘The meaning and lessons of the Magna Carta Today’ and would be delivered directly to an invited audience of over 200 local people including Dame Shirley Williams and David Steele both ex MP’s.
Foundation trustees established the lecture as an upcoming opportunity for respected speakers to explore the subject of importance to Sir Edward and to his personal interests in the legacy of the Magna Carta itself.
Sir John Major spoke about why he delivered the first ever Edward Heath Lecture, commenting “I was delighted to be invited to deliver the first Edward Heath Lecture in Salisbury, the City that he loved and made his home, and in the fiftieth anniversary year of his winning the Conservative Party leadership. As our first leader to come from a non-privileged background, his election marked an important step change for our Party.
As Prime Minister, at what was a very difficult time for Britain, Sir Edward’s central legacy was entry into the European Common Market. But his administration was also marked out by his courageous, albeit ultimately unsuccessful, attempts to reform Britain's destructive industrial relations and to bring power sharing to Northern Ireland. I, myself, was especially impressed by his honorable and civilized decision to face down opposition, and to fulfil Britain's obligation to admit the Ugandan Asians.”
Sir John’s visit to Salisbury commenced in the afternoon, with a tour of Edward Heath’s former home, Arundell’s. Sir John was welcomed into the outstandingly beautiful house by a recital by the senior boys of Bishop Wordsworth Grammar School, played using Sir Edwards very own piano.
We were employed by Arundell’s to carry out the photography of the Edward Heath lecture and Sir John Major’s visit to Salisbury and were very honored and more than happy to take on the privilege of working with Arrundell’s ensuring Sir John’s visit to be as pleasant and welcoming as could be. We spent 5 hours in the company of Sir John and the trustees of Arundell are working closely with them to capture the magical significance of the delivery of the first every Edward Heath lecture.
Although hired by Arundell’s to photograph the event, we were also honored to be present and hear Sir John speak on the history. We found ourselves drawn to his voice as he spoke regarding the Magna Carta and Edwards Heath’s passion and drive for the subject, although under pressure for such a high VIP event we found that the atmosphere surrounding ourselves as commercial photographers to be pleasant and easy to work with, all aspects covering our photography were easily handled and in return received good quality and true to life pictures of the glowing atmosphere that surrounded me whilst Sir John Major delivered his lecture.