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Annual Birthday Walk

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 2021 Birthday Walk will take place on 18 July 2021

Edward Thomas Memorial Stone, Shoulder of Mutton Hill, Steep, Hampshire
Image Credit and copyright: Matt Cook
The Edward Thomas Birthday Walk will take place at 10:30 am on Sunday 18th July 2021.

Participants should assemble in the car park of Bedales School, Church Road, Steep, GU32 2DG at 10:15am 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. In order to minimize the risk from Covid-19, lunch will be eaten outside on the hill. Please bring your own packed lunch and a drink, as no drinks will be provided on the day.

Members of the fellowship will read appropriate poems and prose during the walk. There will also be opportunity for participants to volunteer for a reading.

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. We would also advise walkers to read the Fellowship’s Health and Safety procedure. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear (walking boots or sturdy trainers).

All those participating on the walk do so at their own risk.

Parking and toilet facilities will be available at Bedales School throughout the day. Please wear a mask or face covering when entering the building.

We will return to Bedales car park between 3 and 4 pm. In order to minimize the risk from Covid-19, we will not be organizing any further activities after the walk has ended.

Mike Cope

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