Birthday Weekend

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Date & time

From June 3, 2017 at 10:00 to June 4, 2017 at 11:15


Sherborne Abbey  See the map

The Birthday Weekend

Commemorating Thomas Hardy's 177th Birthday and the 130th Anniversary of the publication of The Woodlanders, the Weekend begins at 10.00am with A Summer Woodlanders Walk around Sherborne (Hardy's Sherton Abbas)

Meet at the War Memorial in front of Sherborne Abbey.  Easy terrain - paving and grass. This will be a gentle walk around Sherborne, taking in Hardy locations from The Woodlanders and from poems, including Sherborne Abbey.  We will then go on to visit Sherborne Old Castle, the setting of 'Dame the Seventh, Anna, Lady Baxby' from the short story collection, 'A Group of Noble Dames.' Total distance 3 miles approximately and the walk will end before 2.00pm.  A coffe/early lunch stop is included.  Leader: Helen Lange

3.30pm: The Birthday Lecture at the Dorford Centre, Top o' Town, Dorchester

Landscape Painting in Hardy Country    Speaker: Gwen Yarker

Tickets: THS members: £5; non-members £6

4.30pm: Tea at the Dorford Centre

5.00pm:  A  Performance by the New Hardy Players outside County Hall

5.30pm: Hardy's Statue: Hardy Readings followed by a wreath-laying ceremony led by the Mayor of Dorchester and Gwen Yarker; thence to St. Peter's Church, where a wreath will be placed on Barnes' statue.

6.00pm: Buffet Meal for Hardy Society members/partners at the Wessex Royale Hotel, followed by

7.30pm: A Portrait of Tess, Thomas Hardy and the Thornycrofts, an entertainment centred around Theodore Wirgman's portrait of Agatha Cox (later Thorncroft) 'her on whom I thought when I wroteTess', said Hardy to Edmund Gosse.  This entertainment has been created by Andrew and Marilyn Leah and will be performed by them and by Alistair Chisholm.

Sunday 4th June

10.00am: St. Michael's Church, Stinsford, Morning Service, followed by wreath-laying at Hardy's grave. Preacher: Canon Thomas Woodhouse