Edward Thomas Birthday Walk Weekend 2023
4 – 5 March 2023
2023 sees the first post-pandemic expansion of activities taking place over the Birthday Walk weekend and a return of the Fellowship Supper on the Saturday evening beforehand.
As always, the Fellowship Committee will have their ordinary meeting on the Saturday afternoon and invite Members to join them for supper in the evening from 7 pm. At present the venue is not known and the final choice will depend upon numbers attending – which should be advised by completing the booking form available here.
Most of the activities are detailed below but just to flesh out what is available to visitors to Petersfield on the Saturday:
- There is a market every Wednesday and Saturday – Petersfield is a traditional Market Town – https://petersfieldmarket.info/
- There is a Physic Garden – a hidden gem – http://petersfieldphysicgarden.org.uk/
- There is Petersfield Heath with its large pond (22 acres), play area and Bronze Age Barrow Cemetery which has recently been excavated in part.
- There is Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery. Admission charges apply but a good two-hour visit.
- Finally, there is the Edward Thomas Study Centre which is based at Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery and which will be open on the Saturday between 10 am and 5 pm.
A full outline of the weekend is as follows:
Saturday 4th March
At leisure in Petersfield. The Edward Thomas Study Centre at Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery will be open between 10 am and 5 pm – to coincide with the Museum and Gallery opening hours.
7.00 pm Fellowship Supper
An informal gathering of Fellowship members in convivial surroundings. Venue will be advised when numbers confirmed. Booking required using booking form please.
Sunday 5th March
10.15 am Annual Birthday Walk
Meet in the Car Park at Bedales School (Church Rd, Steep, Petersfield GU32 2DG – care when using SatNav as you may be taken to the Junior School (Dunanie) Car Park – for either a strenuous 4 ½ mile walk (Walk 1) or a less strenuous 2 ½ miler (Walk 2).
Both Walks will depart together and split at Lutcombe Pond. Walk 1 will continue up the Hangers to visit The New House and then return to Bedales via the Memorial Stone. Walk 2 will return to Bedales passing Berryfield Cottage and with an option to visit Steep Church.
It is not necessary to pre-book for either walk and full details may be found here.
1.00 pm Lunch – please bring your own picnic lunch or make other arrangements. Picnic lunches may be eaten in The Reading Room in Bedales School, where there will be books and other items for sale from the stock held in the Edward Thomas Study Centre (card payments accepted).
2.00 pm The Longing of Thomas Hardy and Edward Thomas – an interactive talk – looking at ‘Like the touch of rain’ and Hardy’s ‘At Castle Boterel’. (Registration required)
Suzanne Conway is a poet, writer and teacher. Her poems, articles and essays are published in Acumen, The Poetry Review, The Dark Horse, The Rialto, The Moth, Ambit, Newspaper Taxis: Poetry after the Beatles (Seren), The Result is What You See Today: Poems about Running (Smith/Doorstop), The North, The Journal of the Friends of the Dymock Poets and elsewhere. Suzanne teaches Literature at the University of Exeter and is working towards a Ph.D in Creative Writing. She is writing a collection of poetry, and a series of essays on ‘Tantalising Vagueness’ – Intimacy and Distance in the Poetry of Edward Thomas. Suzanne has taught creative writing for over sixteen years at GCSE, ‘A’ level and University level. See www.suzanneconway.co.uk for more details.
3.00 pm Edward Thomas Fellowship 2023 Annual General Meeting
4.00 pm (approx) – Tea and Biscuits and departure.
If you are a non-member of the Edward Thomas Fellowship and wish to attend the Sunday afternoon talk by Suzanne Conway – either in person or online – we would love to see you.