Thursday, May 04, 2006

Stone Readings at Burderop Downs Memorial Stone

Yesterday over thirty people gathered at the Richard Jefferies/Alfred Williams Memorial Stone at Burderop Downs to pay tribute to the writers as part of the Swindon Literary Festival celebrations.

A sky-lark singing in the background, the breeze, the setting and the ambience made the event special to remember.

The Swindon Advertiser recorded the occasion as follows:

  • Hillside tribute to authors

    Anonymous said...

    earth lovers by Tony Hillier

    thirty folk
    rise above the breeze
    float indeed on the breeze
    the free breeze of free words
    Williams’ words
    Jefferies’ words
    sliding the Barbury slopes
    singing around the Stone
    the Memorial Stone
    the Writers’ Stone

    earth lovers
    writers now
    listening to the festive larks

    Anonymous said...


    From Burderop Down stone readings I descend
    Through fields of yellow rape and spring green wheat.
    Then prompted by old memories of my childhood days
    I turn into a narrow lane to Hodson - almost unchanged.
    The old thatched cottages nestling in shady dells
    With primroses peeping through lush grass and bluebells -
    In what remains of Hodson Wood - rudely, crudely cut in two
    By the mad M4 motorway.
    Jefferies' fond writings about life around Coate long ago
    Gives a bitter-sweet view of long lost tranquillity.
    At least I also knew how it was
    Fifty years ago - peaceful and slow.
    My soul set free in field and hedgerow,
    Woods and sky - watching sun through traceries of leaves
    And clouds of butteflies floating on warm summer air.
    Then on to Liddington castle - the familiar clump of trees
    Surrounded on all sides by alien crops of rape and wheat -
    Oh! for the unploughed sheep downs of years gone by
    With cowslip carpets and mushroom rings.
    At least the trees are still intact
    Just as I remember seeing them from afar
    From my bedroom window when I was a child.