Chester Weekend, 4th–6th October 2019

This forthcoming event is still being planned: more details will follow here nearer the time, and members of the George Borrow Society will receive details etc. by email.

George Borrow, his wife Mary and step-daughter Henrietta, stayed in Chester, 28th July–1st August 1854, on their way to Llangollen.  The George Borrow Society are planning to have a weekend in Chester on 4th–6th October 2019 where we’ll visit the places the Borrows did, have some talks, a Society dinner, coach trip, and our A.G.M.  There’ll be plenty of time to meet up, chat and explore the very pleasant City of Chester.

Fortunately for us, Borrow wrote about his stay in Chester in Wild Wales, and so we know a few places go:

1.  The Borrows stayed at the Pied Bull Inn in Northgate Street.  This is a very attractive old inn today, a real-ale pub. and they serve very good meals.

2.  The Borrows went to Chester Cathedral on the Sunday morning, probably more at Mary’s insistence than George’s!

3.  George walked Chester walls, which still remain.  We’ll probably not walk the entire circuit as some members might find it a bit too much, but will take in some of them.

4.  Mary and Henrietta “leaving me to go into a shop” as George put it, enjoyed the old covered shopping area of Chester, and whilst we’ll not go shopping, we’ll see The Rows as they are known.

5.  George went to see a Methodist meeting “in a field near the railroad station” where nearly two thousand people had gathered.  There aren’t any fields near the railway station these days, so we’ll perhaps look at some of the many Roman remains, where folk also gathered, and which Borrow seems to have ignored.

6.  George visited a group of Irish travellers encamped to the west of the city, near a large factory.  No doubt the site has been developed but with a bit of luck we’ll be able to see it from the walls.

7.  George crosses “the bridge” to the West of Chester a number of times.

An outline plan is:

Friday, 4th October

Those already in Chester will gather at a local pub. in Chester for an informal time from around 6.30 p.m.

Saturday, 5th October

We’ll meeting somewhere central, around 9.30 a.m. for registration and a 10 a.m. start.  They’ll be a few talks (members with talks please contact us) and our A.G.M., with the morning programme finishing around 1 p.m., when we’ll have a buffet lunch.  In the afternoon we’ll have a gentle stroll in Chester to visit Borrovian places, and at 7.30 p.m. we’ll have our Society meal.

Sunday, 6th October

We expect to have our usual coach trip visiting places of interest that Borrow saw etc.  At the time of writing nothing obvious presents itself, but possibilities are:

1.  We trace some of the route Borrow took towards Llangollen;

2.  Perhaps we visit Mold which aroused such memories for George in Wild Wales.

3.  Perhaps visit Wreham, as did George in Wild Wales.

Members with any more suggestions are welcome to forward them.

Again as usual we’ll have lunch as part of our coach trip, and would expect to be back in Chester around 4 p.m., allowing those with trains to catch them.