Edward Thomas was born in Lambeth on 3rd March 1878 and served, and died, in the First World War. He was a literary critic and country writer who came late to writing poetry, now being one of the War Poets commemorated in Westminster Abbey.
Thomas was encouraged by American poet Robert Frost, after they met in 1913, to write poetry and verse. He and Helen had moved to Steep, just outside Petersfield, in 1906 where they lived in three different houses around the village. Edward drew inspiration to write his poems from the beautiful Hampshire countryside which surrounds Steep.
The Birthday Walk, held annually in March on the Sunday closest to Edward Thomas’s Birthday, retraces his life and shares collected poems and prose of his work.
All participants in the Birthday Walk, or other Walks organised by the Fellowship, are advised to read the Fellowship’s latest Health and Safety procedure and risk assessment which can be found here.
The 2022 Birthday Walk will take place on 6 March 2022
Participants should assemble in the car park of Bedales School, Church Road, Steep, GU32 2DG at 10:15 am for a safety briefing. The walk (a fairly strenuous 5 ½ miler) will start at 10:30 am prompt and will include a visit to the memorial stone on the Shoulder of Mutton Hill.
Members of the fellowship will read appropriate poems and prose during the walk. There will also be opportunity for participants to volunteer to give a reading.
This year, the theme is: ‘The Woodland Life’ and ‘Poems of place around Steep’.
We will return to Steep Memorial Village Hall for lunch around 1 pm.
Please bring your own packed lunch and a drink to eat in the hall.
It is important that any social distancing rules that may be in force at the time of the walk are observed. Please bring hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands after touching surfaces. Although no longer a requirement, we recommend taking a lateral flow test before you come and if you test positive or have Covid symptoms, please stay at home.
We would also advise walkers to read our Health and Safety procedure (which may be found here). Please wear suitable clothing and footwear (walking boots or sturdy trainers).
Parking and toilet facilities will be available at Bedales School throughout the day. Please wear a mask or face covering when entering the building.
After lunch the Fellowship Annual General Meeting and Birthday Tea will take place in Steep Church around 3 – 3.30 pm.
All those participating on the walk do so at their own risk.