Beckley and Area Community Benefit Society

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Photograph © The William Barnes Society

Beckley and Area Community Benefit Society

‘even More than a Pub’ programme, 2021

Sunday 10th January 2021, 6.30-8.00pm, by Zoom

'A Dorset Year: the poetry and prose of William Barnes and Thomas Hardy' 

- presented by members and friends of the William Barnes Society, the Thomas Hardy Society, Oxford's Stanza 2 poetry group and local contributors. 


Poets of the Victorian era, Barnes and Hardy wrote about rural Dorset and wider subjects in very different styles. Hardy's work is better known, but Barnes championed the local dialect. His dialect verse is both evocative of rural life and a legacy of expressions and words that otherwise might have been lost forever. Taking us through the seasons readers and musicians will perform poems and prose by Hardy and Barnes, including Barnes' well-known 'Linden Lea'. Local Oxfordshire poets will read their own poems, inspired by Barnes, Hardy and the seasons. 

The Programme and the Texts for 'A Dorset Year' Barnes dialect poems can be found at:

Further information and the Zoom link are available here:


This meeting is arranged under the aegis of the Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society (BACBS) in Oxfordshire, which was established in 2016 to purchase Beckley’s village pub, The Abingdon Arms, for the community. Before Covid, BACBS held literary talks and poetry readings in The Abingdon Arms. Since March meetings have been held by Zoom, which has opened up the powerful advantage of involving participants (speakers, poets and audience) from further afield.

Further information at

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