Next Village Society Talk

hedgerowTuesday 19th May 2015 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall

After a short Annual General Meeting, Mike Petty will talk about the life of James Reynolds Withers, the Cambridgeshire Hedge-side Poet  (1812 – 1892).  Mike Petty has been helping people research Cambridgeshire for 50 years.  He has a daily “Looking Back” column in the Cambridge News, and a weekly “Memories” page.

James Withers’ mother was a seamstress at Hall Farm, Weston Colville, and his father was the village shoemaker.  James was sent into the fields at the age of five to watch sheep.  He had a variety of early “careers”, none of which was successful.  He was taught to read by his mother and endlessly wrote rhymes and poems.  During his lifetime James Withers was a contemporary of John Clare, and became as famous a poet as Burns and Byron.  He came to the notice of Queen Victoria, who granted him a pension.  Until recently he was sadly forgotten.

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