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eNews Note – June 2020

Hello Everyone and welcome to our latest E-Bulletin, which is issued in a situation that many, if not all, of us, could not have foreseen when the last one was sent on 19 March 2020.

In this note:

  • An update from the Chair
  • 2020 Birthday Walk
  • 2020 AGM
  • News from other Literary Societies
  • Autumn newsletter – call for content
  • Edward Thomas Study Centre – update – work starts again

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Hello Everyone and welcome to our latest E-Bulletin, which is issued in a situation that many, if not all, of us, could not have foreseen when the last one was sent on 19 March 2020.

Since then we have experienced and learnt, a variety of new phrases and changes to our everyday lives – furlough, lockdown, social distancing, Coronavirus, self-isolating – to name but a few. Incidentally, ‘Coronavirus’ was actually the name of the First Charioteer in the Roman’s Chariot in ‘Asterix and the Chariot Race’ – and his co-charioteer was ‘Bacillus’!

These have not, however, been good times. As a nation, we have seen too many succumb to this dreadful virus and many others have lost family members or friends – and to anyone who is in that situation the committee pass on their condolences.

Thankfully we do seem to be coming out of the current phase and whilst we do not know whether there will be a ‘spike’ or recurrence in the winter, I know we will all be doing our best to ensure we follow government guidelines to minimise that risk.

Because of where we are with Coronavirus, it is still difficult to make firm plans for events later in the year, such as the delayed Birthday Walk and Fellowship AGM – please see later.

Many other Literary Societies have seen their plans similarly disrupted, including the Friends of the Dymock Poets whose March event with the Alfred Williams Heritage Society also fell victim to the lockdown. There is more information about this and other societies below.

The Autumn Newsletter, for paid-up members of the Fellowship, will be published in August and Julia, the Editor, is looking for contributions.When scheduling these newsletters, I had always planned to send one about now as it would have followed the Study Day and also coincide with the completion of the building work at Petersfield Museum. Unfortunately, at the same time as we were postponing the Study Day for twelve months, all work on site at the Museum stopped on 24 March as the country went into lockdown.

I am pleased to say that work has now started again and there will be a full update on progress later in the newsletter.

Finally, the Fellowship Committee are looking for one or two members who would like to join the Committee. If you would like to join please speak to any current member of the committee on the Birthday Walk or at the AGM, or email me, Jeremy, on mitchjd.etf@outlook.com.


The Edward Thomas Birthday Walk – Sunday 4 October 2020

It is currently proposed that, subject to Coronavirus restrictions having been lifted (we will folllow Government / PHE guidance and also that of national organisations such as The Ramblers Association, that the re-scheduled 2020 Birthday Walks will be held on Sunday 4 October.

Should it not be possible to hold the walks on that day it is likely, and very reluctantly, that they will be cancelled for this year – this policy decision will be confirmed or changed at the July Committee meeting and an update placed in the Autumn Newsletter.

For more information and details about the two walks please go to … https://edward-thomas-fellowship.org.uk/event/edward-thomas-birthday-walk-2020/


The Edward Thomas Fellowship

Annual General Meeting

To be held at All Saints Church, Steep, Hampshire
(or by ‘virtual’ means if Coronavirus restrictions are still in place)

On Sunday 4 October 2020 at 4.00 pm

1. Chair’s opening remarks.
2. Apologies
3. Minutes of last AGM and matters arising.
4. Membership Secretary’s report.
5. Treasurer’s report.
6. Outreach Secretary’s report
7. Members vote on resolutions
8. Poetry Competition
9. Study Centre / Petersfield Museum
10. Election of Committee Members.
11. Study Day 13 June 2020
12. Any other Business

The resolutions referred to relate to the proposed Purchase Fund and will be finalised at the Committee Meeting in July. The current draft is as follows:
A proposition is put to the AGM that:

I. The Edward Thomas Fellowship create a purchase fund (the Purchase Fund) from which books and other items felt to be of interest and benefit to the Fellowship may be purchased for retention in the Edward Thomas Study Centre in Petersfield Museum;

II. The Purchase Fund will be established through voluntary donation and a maximum contribution of 10% of the annual Edward Thomas Fellowship membership subscriptions – subject to there being a sum equal to this amount available by way of annual surplus;

III. Any items so purchased shall at all times remain the property of the Edward Thomas Fellowship; and

IV. All members of the Edward Thomas Fellowship may nominate for purchase by the Fellowship books and other items felt to be of interest and benefit to the Fellowship. Such nomination to be made to a serving Committee Member of the Edward Thomas Fellowship (whose names are displayed on the Fellowship’s website).


News from other Literary Societies

The Friends of the Dymock Poets AGM and joint meeting with the Alfred Williams Heritage Society originally planned for 28 March in Swindon was postponed and a new date has yet to be chosen. If you are planning to attend please keep on eye on their website for any futher news: https://dymockpoets.org.uk/Events.htm

The Alliance of Literary Societies (https://allianceofliterarysocieties.wordpress.com/), of which the Fellowship is a member, is the umbrella organisation for literary societies and groups in the UK. It was formed in 1973 and currently has around 125 members.

They provide support and advice on a variety of literary subjects, as well as promoting cooperation between member societies and each year has a weekend event hosted by a different member society (cancelled this year).

In the current climate, why not have a look at their member society listings (accessed via the alphabet links in the right hand column on their ‘Home’ page) for ideas for ‘new’ writers that might interest you.

Their website also contains a range of ‘useful’ links to other organisations and events.


Autumn Newsletter – call for content

Julia Maxted (ethomasfellowshipnewsletter@gmail.com) is in the process of compiling the Autumn Newsletter.

This will be in its usual printed format and will be distributed in late August.

Julia is keen to hear from any Members who would like to contribute an article – perhaps they have read a book featuring Edward Thomas, or been to a performance (pre-Covid) or heard something online that they would like to share with the wider membership.

If you do have something please get in touch with Julia by 15 July, which is the cut-off date for contributions.


Edward Thomas Study Centre / Petersfield Museum and the ‘Pathways into the Past‘ project

As mentioned earlier, building work at Petersfield Museum, including the Edward Thomas Study Centre, came to a halt on 24 March in line with the Government’s lockdown of the economy. As a small site there was no way the contractors could comply with government guidance and they had no alternative than to close the site.

This was a great shame as the contractors were on-track to hand the site back to the Museum for fit-out to start at the end of this month (June), which meant the re-opening would have taken place as planned in mid-October.

Happily, they are now back at work but social-distancing means that instead of 24 men on site at a time they can only have 8 and they are now anticipating completion of the building work in mid-October. This will have a knock-on effect on the fit-out and the Museum team are now looking at a formal opening in late March 2021.

This will mean a similarly delayed opening for the Study Centre, although as it is in a stand-alone building I am endeavouring to have an agreement from the Museum that we can bring visitors or researchers in before March. I will keep members appraised as negotiations proceed.

Alongside the building work, the Museum has to deliver a comprehensive Activity Plan, common to National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) funded projects. This is wide-ranging in its reach and several strands involve the work of Edward Thomas, in which I am keen to involve the Fellowship (as well as being Chair of the Fellowship I am a Trustee of the Museum).

One of these activities featuring Edward Thomas had been planned to run alongside the June Study Day, and has been postponed accordingly. As the NLHF Plan requires an event to be held this year, the Museum team have proposed, and are planning, an Edward Thomas Digital Festival between 1st (National Poetry Day) and 3rd October.

As a Trustee (and as Chair of the Fellowship) I have been asked to help in the planning of the main events on the Saturday and I am hopeful that as a result we can brand the Festival as a joint one between the Museum and the Fellowship.

These are early days yet, the idea was only brought to my attention in the last two weeks, and as event planning progresses I will add information to the Edward Thomas Fellowship website. In the meantime, if you would like to know how work is progressing at the Museum, and see some more photographs please visit: https://www.petersfieldmuseum.co.uk/news-category/pathways-into-the-past.

Jeremy Mitchell


Inclosure

I mentioned earlier content for the Autumn Newsletter, the same applies to content for these e-Bulletins which we aim to send out 3 / 4 times per annum (avoiding the same months as the Newsletters which come out in August and January).

With that in mind, I have received this link to a delightful paen to the Nightingale from fellow member, and a previous Secretary of the Fellowship, Colin Thornton: available here. The relative part to Edward Thomas commences at 28 minutes.

The part relative to Edward Thomas commences at 28 minutes and you may need to highlight the full link before clicking on it – thank you Colin.

Thank you all once again for your support of the Fellowship and your interest in seeing the organisation continuing to thrive as we celebrate our fortieth ‘birthday’. Keep safe and stay well.

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