Martin Dimery’s Highlights:

Dame Felicity  Lott, the internationally famous soprano, was a delight at Cooper Hall. Morag McLaren’s patronage has proved such an advantage over the years in attracting performers like Dame Felicity and Sir Willard White, who appeared in a Festival fundraiser in 2019.

The North Sea Radio Orchestra, a fabulously talented band gave a superb concert at the Assembly Rooms and Andy Parsons was the comedy headliner.

The Edward Thomas Memorial Walk July 2017 

We walked out on a July afternoon from Rode to Tellisford along the banks of the River Frome. There were occasional stops for Crysse Morrison and Martin Bax to read poems by Thomas, poems he left for us when his short life was cut short by death on the Western Front in 1917. We passed a happy group bathing at Tellisford Weir and remembered that Edward Thomas loved swimming here, as I do still.

Anthony Battersby and Rachel Feilden entertained us to tea and cakes at Tellisford Mill. We then visited the church where the group photo of the walkers was taken and returned across the elds to Rode. We were happy. 

John Payne, Writer, Gardener and Swimmer.

Edward Thomas loved this place too 

and wrote about it 

as he travelled from London to the Quantocks 

It was daffodil time and 

the Other Man – 

the roads not taken possibilities unrealised – 

wanted to linger by the weir 

and dream of summer swims 

of running naked in the meadow by the River Frome. 

But Thomas had a book to write 

a family to feed 

a schedule to keep 

a poet to become 

Poem by John Payne