The Alliance of Literary Societies (ALS) AGM Weekend in Nuneatonhosted by The George Eliot Fellowship celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of George Eliot
Friday 17 – Sunday 19 May 2019
It was extremely useful to be able to get into the Town Hall on Friday afternoon.
Ourselves, Marty and Linda from the ALS and several delegates from member societies took the opportunity to set up as much as possible in advance of the main event on Saturday.
The Town Hall staff were incredibly accommodating, even to the extent of removing the exquisite but rather too heavily-scented lilies from the floral displays they had kindly left from the mayor-making to adorn our event!
The Welcome drinks and nibbles at the Heritage Centre in the early evening set the tone for the whole weekend, with nearly 30 people soon chatting like old friends (as indeed some of them were!) and creating a wonderful ambience which strengthened as the weekend evolved.
Everything went to schedule!!
It was delightful to have Will Adams present the framed photograph of his parents to the ALS and to hear ALS President Claire Harman focus our minds on the issues we all believe in.
GEF Chairman John Burton amused and educated us with scenes and anecdotes about the first centenary in 1919.
Kathryn Hughes, as always, held the audience spellbound, on this occasion with her story of George Eliot’s right hand!
Lunch went off without any issues which were not speedily and effectively resolved by the excellent catering staff, headed up by Bedworth Civic Hall Manager Tim Norton.
After lunch came the business of the day, the AGM itself –our excuse for having a great weekend!, followed by the drawing of the raffle, eagerly awaited as there were some amazing and unique prizes kindly donated by member societies.
On to the afternoon speakers, headed up by Emma Claire Sweeney with her extremely fascinating revelations about female literary friendships.
Beverley Rilett and Bailea Kerr followed with a breathtaking survey of the many possibilities opened up by the process of digitisation.
Finally, to wind down and prepare us for the evening’s relaxation, Simon Winterman brought actors from Sudden Impulse Theatre Company and let us into some of the secrets of first contact with a script and characters, as his actors came to grips with Silas Marner – the Musical for the very first time!
Decamping from the Town Hall was achieved with consummate skill and many of us regrouped at Bedworth Civic Hall at 7pm for the formal dinner.
We were very honoured to be greeted there by the new Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, Councillor June Tandy.
A delicious and beautifully served dinner followed. The readings were well-chosen and well delivered, to the entertainment and edification of all present, and made a fitting finale to the day’s activities.
20 plus hardy souls reassembled at the Heritage Centre for coffee before a short trip across the road to the graveyard of Coton Church.
We set off in a convoy of cars to Astley. We sat in the church and Viv gave an inspired and inspiring reading from Mr Gilfil’s Love Story before we gave our visitors the history and a tantalising glimpse of the award-winning Astley Castle.
On to Astley Book Farm where we descended with great glee! Fortunately, it was a pleasant day so we were able to sit outside, talk and eat between forays to stock up our bookshelves!
It was a weekend of great fellowship on all levels and, as the instigator and main organiser of this bicentenary event, I cannot thank enough all my fellow members in the George Eliot Fellowship who all did their part to make this event run so beautifully; the ALS committee for their help and support; Slightly Foxed for their extremely generous donation of goody bags; Handheld Press; Tim Norton and all his amazing staff; Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, the Mayor and all the staff at the Town Hall, especially Dave Leach and Lorraine Allen; our incredible guests and speakers – have I missed out anyone?!Please forgive me if I have, it was such a wonderful team effort!
I am sure the friendships and fellowship we created and experienced over this weekend will grow and bear fruit in the years to come.
Thank you all.
attend the welcome drinks and nibbles
Saturday 18 May at 1.45pm
Full day event
Saturday 18 May, 10.00 am - 5.00 pm
I would like to be allocated table space
display member societies’ promotional material.
12.30 pm Saturday 18 May
Saturday evening dinner at Bedworth Civic Hall
7.00 pm Saturday 18 May
|I would like to read at the Saturday evening dinner||£0.00|