Chairman’s Progress Report

Our next event is the “highpoint” of our year, 2013 Lawrence Festival. All the arrangements for this are now in place and details can be got from Durban House in Eastwood, or from the Festival brochure.

I would like to record my thanks to Dr. Andrew Harrison, and to Sally Nightingale and the staff at Durban House and the Birthplace for all their ideas and the work they put in on the Festival. We also need to recognise that the Festival would not run without the financial support of Broxtowe Borough Council, and without our access to resources and facilities at Nottingham University.

As Chairman of the Society I would to express my gratitude for the support of our Festival Patrons Robert Lindsay, Lynda Baron, William Ivory,John Holmes, Prof Christopher Miles and the Ashfield M.P. Gloria de Piero. We value their support and trust that they feel proud to be associated with the Festival. We are also very fortunate that Prof Michael bell of Warwick University has agreed to  give our Birthday lecture at Eastwood School on Wed 11th Sept.

Partly because this is the 100th anniversary of the publication of “Sons and Lovers”, the Society has been given some advantageous oublicity, and members of the Society aslked to make contributions to newspaper articles, radio and T.V. programmes and new books on Lawrence and his heritage.

The August/September edition of “Discover Britain” carried an ilustated article “Readionmg Between the Lines” on D.H.Lawrence the “breakthrough”  novepist. As well as pictures and 4 pages of printed text iit gave details of how to plan a visit to Eastwood. Radio Nottingham recently did a programme on Lawrence, and the local paper has also featured two articles on Lawrence.

Two writers,Stephen Bailey and Chris Nottingham, have recently published a new book “Heartlands – A Guide to D.H.Lawrence’s Midlands Roots”. In the 1960s. as two thirteen year old pupils, they followed Lawrence through Nottingham High School. Their book (pub by Matador ISBN  978-1-78306-3 at £9-75) gives a real insight into Lawrence’s background and the inluences on his writing. The two writers have kindly dedicated the book to the staff of the Heritage Centre.

During the last year we have been able to develop our links with U3A (The University of the Third Age) and groups in Nottingham and Leicestershire. In March 2013 Prof. Christopher Miles led a full day course at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Leicester when he showed the film “The Virgin and the Gypsy”. Some 70 people from U3A groups and from the Lawrence Society attended the course. The plan is to run a similar course in March 2014. In recent months a number of U3A have met to study D.H.Lawrence. Dr. Hilary Hillier gave a very interesting talk on dialect in Lawrence’s plays to a group at Papplewick. (The Hutt Inn is a great place for meetings!) and we have held discussion groups on “Sea and Sardinia”, “Odour of Chrysanthemums” – the text and film – and “The Rocking Horse Winner”.

I am grateful to David Hale for creating our web site. Our aim is to keep the site up to date so that Lawrence Society members, and others can use it as a resource. At our recent A.G.M. we agreed to keep the Journal in its present form. We feel proud of the quality of the articles in the Journal, and I would like to thank Ollie Taylor for his editorship of the Journal last year. We are pleased to welcome Sue Read as the new editor (from 2013) and Dr Catherine Brown as a new member of the editorial team. Sue Read is already an active member of the D. H. Lawrence Society. Congratulations to Dr Brown on being invited to give a lecture at the Oxford University Ed. Course on 12th October.  Her lecture is not on Lawrence – next time perhaps – but  should be good. Details are available from I would again like to thank Dr Andre Harrison for his 7 years as editor. He set a very high standard. Dr Harrison must also be congratulated as he has been invited to write a new biography on Lawrence, so has time off from his university role. We wish him well with his research, and liik forward to the new book. It will be a labour intensive study period and we are grateful for his continued support and input to the Lawrence Society.

During the year Ron Faulks has moved to live with his son near Chester, so we will miss him at meetings, but he does keep contact and would love to get letters from Society members. I have his new address.

It seems likely that John Worthen will spend an increasing part of his time in Germany so we will and miss his input at meetings.

I am sorry to have to report that {Prof James Boulton passed away earlier this  year. John Worthen kindly represented the Society at the funeral in N. Wales. John’s obituary will be in the next Newsletter. Jim Boulton was Prof of English Studies at Birmingham University and General Editor of the Letters of D. H. Lawrence. He was a greatly valued and supportive past President of the Society. We are grateful for the major contribution that he made to Lawrence studies, and to the Society. His lectures were always interesting and informative.

As Chairman of the Society one activity which seems to take up an increasing part of my time is responding to various planning applications which are forwarded to me by Broxtowe or Nottingham Councils.

In the past year we have had to consider a reaction to a planning application for the extraction of coal and clay by mining between Cossall and Trowell. We opposed this, but I believe it will no longer go forward because of financial problems at U. K. Coal Ltd. We wait and see.


A second (or third) application for change of use at Travellers Rest, Felley Mill lane. We opposed this in June, but I am concerned that a “creeping” take over may be occurring so we need to keep a watch on the site. I am grateful to Society members who have also expressed strong opposition.


There are a number of potential schemes for new residential dwellings around Eastwood and Brinsley. We need to respond in a reasonable way to any proposals which may dramatically change the character of Lawrence’s “Country of My Heart”.

The Society has always been very active. Given the limited number of local people who are directly involved I believe we punch above our weight. I will do best in future to pass on news of any activities more frequently.

Malcolm Gray

By DH Lawrence Society

The DH Lawrence Society, based in Eastwood Nottingham.