Walks

London Walk – Hampstead and Keats’ House

This year’s annual London walk on May 13th was our 19th and we have had only one wet day in all that time. After a murky start – and a late one due to Southern Rail – the sun shone on us as we left Hampstead underground station and gathered outside for Charles’s introduction to our walk. . We meandered around – and up and down – the streets of Hampstead taking in the lovely houses, many adorned with blue,…

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In Keats’s Footsteps

On a fine September day members Nigel and Wendy Gossop led a delightful walk through the village of Old Bedhampton where poet John Keats spent his last night on English soil. He stayed at the Old Mill House. Unfortunately the house is privately owned so the group could only peer through the trees as Nigel told the story of Keats’s visits to the area. The group enjoyed a lovely walk through the village and a look at the church of…

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The London Walk – Chelsea Part Two

Following on from last year’s walk a group of members under the leadership of Charles Kay, explored a bit more of Chelsea – the ‘slummy end’ as John Betjeman said. Despite his comment there is still a slight air of grandeur about the area with many beautiful houses, although mostly now turned into apartments. As usual there were blue plaques aplenty commemorating the many writers, artists and musicians – too many to mention – who had congregated in this area…

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‘Behold This Dreamer’

Anne Harvey made a welcome return to the society in September to talk about Walter de la Mare. Member David Tregear gave an interesting talk about this now not so well-known poet although many of us must surely remember the poems learned at school in our youth. de la mare was an imaginative and creative child who enjoyed walks in the countryside (as it was then) around his south London home. At school he edited the school journal, a task that…

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Wilde about Whistler – the London walk

Our walk this year took us to Chelsea where we learned about the many literary and artistic connections of this part of London. Blue plaques adorned many of the beautiful houses we saw and our leader Charles had stories to tell about all of them. We stopped outside the Cadogan Hotel which is currently being re-furbished and heard how Oscar Wilde was arrested there. Then on through quiet squares and roads to Tite Street, home to many late 19th and…

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A Walk Round Old Portsmouth

Instead of our usual coach outing, this year a small group of us took the train to Portsmouth where we were met by local guide David Baynes.Our purpose was to seek out the Portsmouth connections of two literary luminaries, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle. Both spent very little time there but they certainly left their mark and Portsmouth is very proud of them. Sadly, due to World War Two bombing and subsequent redevelopment, very few of the original buldings…

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In the Footsteps of Shakespeare and Dickens

This year’s London walk covered some familiar territory as we went in search of two literary greats. William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens both had links with Southwark and, although there are few visible signs of their lives left today, our leader Charles Kay managed to paint a picture of what life must have been like for them. Leading us down hidden alleys ways and courtyards he showed us where the theatres stood which Shakespeare had acted in and written for,…

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Adlestrop Revisited

Popular speaker Anne Harvey returned to the society in February with a talk about Edward Thomas’s much-loved poem, ‘Adlestrop’. Accompanied by our Patron, Simon Brett, Anne traced the origins of the poem, which had its genesis in a bright summer’s day in 1914, shortly before the start of the First World War.  After giving a brief outline of Thomas’s life, Anne went on to tell us of the many poets who had subsequently been inspired by the poem, writing their own…

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Holland Park and Environs – the London Walk May 2013

Fifteen members and friends joined walk leader Charles Kay on a pleasantly warm day for our literary and artistic walk around the beautiful area of Holland Park in Kensington. This year’s late spring meant that the wide avenues and front gardens were in full bloom with wisteria, lilac and crab apple blossom.  Blue plaques adorn many of the houses – this area was home to a host of writers, artists, architects and musicians, known as the Holland Park Circle. We passed the…

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‘The Pitman’s Lass’ September 2012

The talk at the September meeting was by Ann Dover who was making her third visit to the society, this time to talk about her life growing up in a mining village and giving an insight into the life of a ‘pitman’s lass’. Ann’s career in the entertainment industry spans over thirty years as an actress and radio and television presenter but she is now best known as a narrator of audio books. Ann’s talk gave an insight into what…

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