John Clare Festival 2009

Not too long to this year's John Clare festival at his birthplace in Helpston. 10th - 12th July the weekend is packed with events.

2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the Helpston Enclosure Act, therefore 'Enclosure' will feature in much of the programme.

1.30pm at Helpston Parish Church
The Midsummer Cushion Ceremony. The pupils of the John Clare Primary School, Helpston bring the cushions of flowers to place around the grave of John Clare. The pupils’ prize winning poems are read, followed by a song and prayers.
6pm – a guided walk around Helpston.
6.30 pm – a guided walk around Maxey Pitts
An opportunity to experience this wonderful, brand new wetland reserve being created between Maxey and Etton. Meet outside the old Post Office at 6.15 pm. Transport provided.
8pm Folk music in the Barn at the Exeter Arms.

From 9.30am – coffee in the Botolph’s Barn – behind the church!

10:00am Festival opens in the school hall
Stalls include the John Clare Society sales, booksellers, local tourist offices and exhibitions.
Book for the Coach Tour and the evening performance of ‘Common Ground’ with the poet and story teller Hugh Lupton and the talented musician Chris Woods

10.30am (Marquee)
Welcome and Introduction to the Festival from the Chair of the Society. The Annual Meeting of the Society.

11.15am (Marquee)
President’s address by Ronald Blythe.

12noon – 1:00pm and 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Poetry Workshops in the school for children aged 6 -12 years led by Keely Mills – teacher and Poet Laureate of Peterborough.

Lunches in the Village Hall: John Clare Cottage open, Botolph’s Barn open: Morris Dancers and the Peterborough Folk Dance Society perform.

2:00pm (Marquee)
'Who Hung the Moles?', the story of enclosure – an illustrated talk with poetry readings by Richard Keymer and Richard Astle, from the Langdyke Countryside Trust.
3:00pm Coach outing
To Glinton where Clare went to school and Mary Joyce is buried. There will be a short village walk, poetry and song and teas in the church.

3:00pm Guided walks round Helpston - meet at the Butter Cross

3.15pm – 4pm In the church
Read your favourite poem.

Teas in the Village Hall

In the church another chance to your favourite Clare poem

7:00pm (Marquee)
‘Common Ground’ [Not to be missed]!
With story teller and poet Hugh Lupton
And the renowned musician Chris Woods

Tickets (£10 and £8 concess.) are available in the school hall or from Stamford and Peterborough Tourist Offices.

Later the Northamptonshire folk group Ock 'n Dough play in the Blue Bell.

11:00am Family service in St. Botolph’s Church
Celebrating Clare led by Vic-Chair of the Society Revd. Ron Ingamells.

1 comment:

sally said...

This looks stunning. So sorry I can't be there...