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 2023 Birthday Walk will take place on 5 March 2023
Participants for both walks should assemble in the car park of Bedales School, Church Road, Steep, GU32 2DG at 10:15 am for a safety briefing. The Main Walk (a fairly strenuous 4 ½ miler) will start at 10:30 am prompt and will include a visit to the memorial stone on the Shoulder of Mutton Hill.
The second walk (some 2 1/2 miles), which will depart at the same time, will divert from the Main Walk at Lutcombe Pond and return to Bedales School past Berryfield Lodge.
Members of the fellowship will read appropriate poems and prose during both walks. There will also be opportunity for participants to volunteer to give a reading.
We will return to Bedales School for lunch around 1 pm.
Please bring your own packed lunch and a drink.
Please remember that Covid has not ‘gone away’ and if you wish to take any precautions please feel free to do so. Also if you have tested positive within the last five days 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.
Afternoon Talk and Fellowship AGM
After lunch there will be an interactive talk by the Poet Suzanne Conway at around 2 pm, followed by the Fellowship Annual General Meeting at around 3 pm. We hope to live-stream both events.
Owing to capacity limits in the venue it is necessary for both Members and Non-members to register using the form available here.
The AGM is expected to finish by 4 pm when there will be Tea and Biscuits available for those who wish as attendees depart.
All those participating on the walk do so at their own risk.
Mike Cope and Jeremy Mitchell