Sitting pensively beside the ‘milestone’ monument to Helpston nature poet, John Clare and the midsummer ‘cushions’ (turves stuck with flowers) made by the children from the primary school, is Carry Akroyd, new President of the John Clare Society.
Carry gave her first Presidential Address to the members’ AGM on Saturday, an inspiring talk which showed how much she is in tune with the countryside known to Clare.
She is recognised as a unique artist in our area, living near Oundle and concentrating on print-making depicting the surrounding landscape, taking exhibitions of her work to various parts of the country.
Carry pointed out that John Clare had work published in the Stamford Mercury during his lifetime (1795-1864).
This year’s annual John Clare Festival featured the Big Fiddler Band and a talk by poet Edmund Blunden’s daughter, Margi, along with the usual folk evening at the Bluebell and stalls in Botolph’s Barn.
Each schoolchild brought a turf along to a special outdoor service, when medals were presented to the winners of the poetry competition.
The medals were donated by the late Peter Moyse, a photographer and founder member of the Society and a turf in memory of him was laid by head teacher, Rachel Simmons.