Epping Weekend, 8–9th October 2016.

Epping, October, 2016

We’ll be holding a joint meeting with the John Clare Society at Epping.  George Borrow met his Gypsy friends there at the Bald Faced Stag above Fairlop during Fairlop fair (see Romano Lavo-Lil in the Kirk Yethom passage).  John Clare was in the asylum there, and David Nuttall, at our Peterborough Weekend, has traced the two lives and their many connections.

The programme and other details are below, and you do need to register if you wish to attend: note the registration forms are to go to the John Clare Society, not us!

‘Clare, Borrow and the Gypsies of Epping’

 hosted by the John Clare and George Borrow Societies

 in Epping

 8 – 9 October 2016


Saturday 8 October


At Epping Hall, St John’s Road, Epping,
Essex CM16 5JU

 9.30 – 10.00

Registration – tea/coffee.


Jessica von Kaenel-Flatt on ‘Borrow’s representation of gypsies in Lavengro and The Romany Rye’. The speaker is this year’s winner of the George Borrow Trust Essay Competition.


Dr James Canton, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, on ‘Relics of John Clare’s Time in Epping’.




David Price on ‘Borrow in the Sixties’. This will be an illustrated lecture delving into the local history of the area and what we know of Borrow’s activities in the 1860s.


Pete Relph from the John Clare Society will give an introduction to his guided walk round High Beach after lunch.


Lunch break.


At High Beach, Epping Forest


Travel to High Beach.


Pete Relph leads a walk in the Forest, including a visit to Dr Allen’s Asylum, now a privately owned house (by kind invitation of the owner).


Leave Epping Forest.


In the evening (18.30 for 19.00), there will be a formal dinner for those who want to join us, to celebrate the George Borrow Society’s 25th anniversary. All welcome. Cost of dinner to be notified.


High Beach. The address for the Visitor Centre is Nursery Road, Loughton, Essex, IG10 4AF. For more information see their website.

Saturday evening meal. The booking form contains a box for you to indicate your interest re attending this. We will then contact you separately by email, with details.

Sunday activities. For those wishing to explore the Forest and environs further, suggestions will be provided about possible places to visit under their own steam. Alternatively, we are hopeful that David Price will be able to give us a guided tour of Borrovian places in the area. The Forest is likely to be at its best for autumn colour.

Charges. There will be a non-refundable registration fee of £25.00. Several attendees will be taking cars and we are confident that we will be able to organise enough lifts for those on foot, when we go to High Beach on the Saturday afternoon. The formal Saturday night dinner will be notified separately.

Accommodation.  As we start fairly early on the Saturday, you may wish to arrive on the Friday if you are travelling any distance. There are lots of places to stay in the area. Particularly recommended is the Marriott at Waltham Abbey. The Visit Epping Forest website has details and contains a wide choice of accommodation.