Dr Brian Hinton MBE sitting inside the Dimbola Museum & Gallery, Isle of Wight

Inspirational Islanders: Dr Brian Hinton MBE, Dimbola

Brian Hinton MBE is a poet, musicologist and the author of more than 30 books on various topics including the Isle of Wight Festival. His primary interest has been literary research into the circle of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the renowned 19th century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. He is chairman of the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust and curator at Dimbola Museum & Galleries, Freshwater Bay.

“I first came to the Island in 1970 for the Isle of Wight Festival which was held at Afton and fell in love with the West Wight. Years later I saw a job advertised on the Isle of Wight and decided I wanted to go back to where I had visited. What most appealed was the peace here and the heritage of the Island. One of my favourite poets, David Gascoyne, was living here at the time and the job gave me the chance to meet him, so it was a combination of living artists and intellectual heritage, as well as the connections with the past greats such as Tennyson and Julia Margaret Cameron.

My favourite place on the Island is Totland Bay. I live just above the beach and when I am working, my desk faces out towards the sea and further on to Dorset and The Sway Tower. I can see the most fabulous sunsets and often have red squirrels and foxes in the garden – I don’t see another human being.

I absolutely love the spectacle of the Isle of Wight Festival and am the historian of the original ones that took place between 1968-70. We have a Dimbola tent and I love meeting different people and experiencing new music. I have an extensive music collection and am always on the lookout for something undiscovered. I also enjoy the smaller scale the Rhythmtree Festival offers, it reminds me of festivals of old.

Living on the Island has inspired me tremendously, it got me back to writing poetry. As well as the Island’s natural beauty, I have been inspired by the history, mystery and ghosts of the Isle of Wight, all who feature in my works.”

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