Victorian Fayre

William Barnes Society Fund-Raising Event to celebrate the life of William Barnes the Dorset dialect poet.

Saturday 24th February 2018

Tea, Scones and Poetry

By Marion Tait

Brian Caddy, ‘As I Spied Swallows Scything’ by Felix Dennis and ‘Hay-Meaken’ by William Barnes.
Brian Caddy, Chairman of the William Barnes Society reads
‘As I Spied Swallows Scything’ by Felix Dennis and ‘Hay-Meaken’ by William Barnes.

On a very warm, sunny afternoon in July, members from the William Barnes Society visited Pine Lodge for a cream tea and poetry readings.

Pine Lodge is situated in the beautiful Dorset countryside in Lower Bockhampton not far from Dorchester.

Thirty members were warmly greeted by Brian Caddy, Chairman, at the Tea Rooms. After viewing and purchasing from the merchandise stall members made their way to tables which had been carefully prepared for the tea.

In no time at all the plates of delicious scones, jam and clotted cream were served accompanied by refreshing pots of tea. The scones certainly played centre stage being freshly baked straight from the oven and as light as a feather. The discussions centred round how to eat a cream tea: was the jam spread first on the scone and then cream on top or was it the other way round? Not forgetting the pronunciation of the word SCONE which proved to be hilarious.

After tea, members relaxed and listened to chosen ‘poetry’ readings including:

  • Alan Chedzoy, Eclogue ‘The New Poor Laws’, William Barnes ‘The Curate's Kindness’ and ‘Rose Ann’ by Thomas Hardy.
  • John Tait, ‘Clearin oot da Handbag’ by Rhoda Butler. Shetland dialect.
  • Keith Hooper, A humerus look at Whitehall Wisdom, Let Us Pray,
  • Hymn O Thou Who Seest All Things Below and Benediction.
  • David Guy, ‘Haven Woone's Fortune a-twold’ by William Barnes.
  • Devina Symes, ‘Uncle an' Aunt’ by William Barnes.
  • Brian and Anne Button, ‘A Bit o' Sly Coorten’ by William Barnes.
  • David Downton, A sketch ‘Surely Sam’ and poem entitled ‘Zummer’ taken from GPR Pulman’s ‘Rustic Sketches’ written in the East Devon dialect.
  • Brian Tait, ‘Adlestrop’ by E Thomas.
  • Brian Caddy, ‘As I Spied Swallows Scything’ by Felix Dennis and ‘Hay-Meaken’ by William Barnes.
  • Marion Tait, ‘Solace of the Fields’ by William Barnes.
Marion Tait, reads ‘Solace of the Fields’ by William Barnes
Marion Tait, Secretary of the William Barnes Society reads ‘Solace of the Fields’ by William Barnes

The reading by Secretary, Marion Tait was of a recently discovered and unpublished poem in National English by William Barnes ‘Solace of the Fields’. It had been purchased at a sale in Dorchester in April by Julian Nangle a very well respected book dealer. The four verse poem was in Barnes handwriting and framed between two sheets of glass with a footnote W.B. Mrs Hodding with kind compliments.

It was not dated. Barnes handwriting was still relatively neat and the poem was obviously written prior to rheumatism causing Barnes handwriting to deteriorate quite dramatically. Rod Drew, Brian Caddy and Julian Nangle were able to produce a transcript before the item itself was sold to the Cushing Memorial Library Archives, University of Texas.

Marion’s reading was the first time ‘Solace of the Fields’ had been read to members at a William Barnes Society event.

Time came too soon for fond farewells. It had been a very relaxing afternoon spent with like minded people enjoying delicious cream teas, listening to readings and at times the dulcet tones of a clock chiming and the gobbles from a turkey heard through an open window, who had decided to join in the merriment.


JUL 2017

Tea, Scones and Poetry

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Forthcoming events

Victorian Fayre William Barnes Society Fund-Raising Event to celebrate the life of William Barnes the Dorset dialect poet. Saturday 24th February 2018
What’s the point of William Barnes in 21st Century? For the many years of the dominance of Received Pronunciation (RP) it was easy to see William Barnes as an irrelevant eccentric. With more recent developments in linguistics, and a growing interest in national and regional diversity, it may be time for Barnes to reclaim his place as a significant figure in the world!! Dr Richard Bradbury will also discuss his more socially engaged prose works. Tuesday 27th March 2018
Annual Service of Remembrance of William Barnes Morning service, with dialect reading and wreath laying at William Barnes and and his daughter Laura grave Sunday 22nd April 2018
The Serpent and it’s Local Connections Come an listen to musician, Philip Humphries talk on the history and development of the strange bass wind instrument known as the 'Serpent' due to its curious shape. This talk will be interspersed with music and poetry. Tuesday 15th May 2018

Latest news

John Blackmore captivates Society members Following the recent William Barnes Society Annual General Meeting, John Blackmore presented 'Music and Song' to the audience. Sunday 15th October 2017
Service of Remembrance to William Barnes On Sunday 8h October 2017 10:30am, at St Peter’s Church, Dorchester, the Morning Service to commemorate the anniversary of the death of William Barnes took place. It was followed by a wreath laying at the statute. Monday 9th October 2017
Crossways Library opens its doors to welcome William Barnes Poetry On 19th September 2017, a group of William Barnes Society members gave an evening of poetry, music and song at Crossways Library for the Local History Group and guests. Wednesday 20th September 2017
Stock Gaylard Oak Fair 2017 Once again Members of the William Barnes Society were invited on August 27th to The Stock Gaylard Oak Fair. for the special event celebrating woodcraft, timber, conservation and the countryside. Monday 28th August 2017


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