A Meeting: Saturday 8 October 2022,
Shirley Village, Derbyshire

A meeting is planned at St Michael’s Parish Church Community Space, Church Lane, in Shirley village, Derbyshire, for Saturday 8 October, to celebrate, in the parish church where his father C. F. Powys was vicar between 1872 and 1879, the 150th anniversary of the birth of John Cowper Powys, at 1:15 pm on 8 October 1872 .

The Vicarage, Shirley
The Vicarage (now known as the Old vicarage), Shirley. (Photo: Paul Cheshire)

The event which includes refreshments is free except for optional lunch at the Saracen’s Head in Shirley. All are welcome. In the afternoon, following lunch, we plan to visit the grounds of The Old Vicarage, Shirley JCP’s birthplace where we have kindly been granted access to the garden by the present owners, Dave and Tanya Allsop. Members may wish to make their own arrangements and take the opportunity of visiting nearby locations, described by JCP in Autobiography, such as Dovedale, Mount Cloud and Osmaston Park.

Chris Thomas, Hon Secretary


St Michael's Church, Shirley
(photo: Paul Cheshire)

10.00 Arrival, tea and coffee at St Michael’s Parish Church Community Space, Church Lane, Shirley

10.30 Welcome address and talk, JCP in Derbyshire, by Chair of the Powys Society, Paul Cheshire

11.00-11.20 Readings from Chapter 1 of JCP’s Autobiography and A Blank Verse Autobiography (Kevin Taylor and Chris Thomas)

11.20-11.45 Tea and Coffee break

11.45-12.45 Open discussion of Chapter 1 of JCP’s Autobiography

13.00 Pre-booked lunch at the Saracen’s Head, Shirley

14.30 Visit to Shirley Vicarage garden, including photo opportunity, and readings (selected by John Hodgson) from Autobiography (Chris Thomas and Paul Cheshire: John Hodgson’s presence being thwarted by rail strike).

15.30 Tour of Shirley village

17.00 Departure


(taken by Marcella Henderson Peale, Robin Hickey, Paul Cheshire)

Our presentation to Dave & Tanya Allsop, of the Old Vicarage, Shirley, who kindly allowed us access to their garden
Vicars of Shirley — from St Michael's Church. See C.F. Powys 1872-79
Discussion in St Michael's Church
Deep reflection in St Michael's Church
Mirth in St Michael's Church
On left: Our guest John Fletcher (Parish Council) contributing to discussion in St Michael's Church
closing discussion in St Michael's Church
Fly Agarics between the graves in St Michael's Churchyard
Celebratory Feast at the excellent Saracen's Head, Shirley
Toasting JCP at precisely 1:15 pm -- the exact time of his birth 150 years ago
More toasting of JCP
The Old Vicarage
The Old Vicarage, Shirley
"The magic of literature" — Chris Thomas reads from Autobiography
The Old Vicarage seen from the east
Chris Thomas interrupts his reading to scrutinise the photographer
The group of members enjoy the perfect weather, the perfect lawn, at the end of a perfect day!