Suffolk Poetry Society History Timeline

Suffolk Poetry Society History Timeline

This timeline has the most significant events in the society's history as accurately as we know them. Unfortunately there are a few large gaps due to lack of records. A further timeline of George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition winners and adjudicators is available here.

Date

Event

1928

The Suffolk Poetry Club formed by Mr Herbert Hudson and his wife, Mrs Joan Hudson, and by Mr Francis Engleheart.

1931

The Suffolk Poetry Club membership is 20.

1933

Membership is 33.

1936

Public readings of members’ poetry given for the first time.

11th March 1939

Ipswich Public Libraries hosts reading of 72 poems.

September 1939

World War II forces closure of the club.

9th October 1952

The club reformed under a new name: Suffolk Poetry Society, with 60-70 members. Mr Francis Engleheart chaired the inaugural meeting.

14th November 1952

First committee elected: 

Chairman Mr Francis H A Engleheart (Chairman 1952-1963)

Secretary Miss K Turner

Treasurer Miss Barbara Cooper

Members Sir Francis Meynell

Mrs Joan Hudson

Mr W M Morfey

Mr Hervey

29th November 1952

First full committee meeting. Membership subscriptions determined:

10/- pa Full membership

2/6 pa Schoolchild membership

2/- per meeting for visitors

 

Agreed 9-10 meetings per year in Ipswich.

1952

Sir Francis Meynell elected President (1952-1967).

30th May 1953

Membership was 42.

13th September 1953

Membership was 51.

April 1955

Portfolio created. Mr ACC Hervey was first Portfolio Group Secretary.

Unknown date

Alabaster statuette of George Crabbe given by unknown donor. Loaned to Ipswich Museum, then to Christchurch Mansion.

1954

Following a suggestion by John Anthony Alexander Rous, the 4th Earl of Stradbroke (1947-1983), formerly Viscount Dulwich and Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk (1948-1978), that a competition be held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Crabbe, the George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition was inaugurated.

7th August 1954

Fund of £300 for prize money.

1955

Silver Rose Bowl obtained from Mr W A Ager of F J Rogers, Ipswich.

1963

Eric Sandon elected Chairman (1963-1971).

1963

Suffolk Poetry 1952-1962 published by Norman Allard & Co Ltd, Ipswich.

1968

Ralph Nixon Currey elected President (1968-1979).

1969

Poems 1963-1969 published by SPS, printed by P F Barber (Printers) Haleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk.

1971

Romilly Redfern elected Chairman (1971-1976).

1976

Marguerite Wood elected Chair (1976-1988).

1978

Number of adjudicators for Crabbe Competition reduced to two.

1979

Peter Hardiman Scott OBE elected President (1979-1999).

1983

Award ceremony moved to Aldeburgh.

1986

The Poet’s Gift published. Contained poems from each of the Crabbe Competition adjudicators (1955-1985). Edited by John Smith and Marguerite Wood. Profits went to the Masefield Memorial Trust (Society of Authors).

1988

Catherine Dell elected as Chair (1988-1997).

1994

First minuted reference to a Society Library. The family of Mary Usherwood donated many of the books.

1997

Mike Bannister elected Chairman (1997-2002).

1997

John Watts proposes a junior prize in the Crabbe Competition for 16-18 year-olds. (Not implemented, but see 2000-2001).

1999

Herbert Lomas elected President (1999-2008).

2000

Terry Butler proposes Junior section to the Crabbe Competition for 14-18 year-olds with book tokens for prizes to be called the Peter Hardiman Scott Memorial Award. This was agreed, but the name later changed to The Hardiman Scott Award.

16th October 2000

George Crabbe statuette moved to Aldeburgh Moot Hall Museum.

2001

Suffolk – A Celebration, edited by Peter Hardiman Scott published. Limited edition of 500 copies. Profits to the Hospice Movement.

2001

Children’s Poetry Competition started. Silver Challenge Cup also by Mr W A Ager. Competition retitled Hardiman Scott Award.

2001

Number of adjudicators for Crabbe Competition reduced to one.

2001

Hardiman Scott Award run for the first time (by SPS).

2002

Ionne Hammond elected Chairman (2002).

2002

Beryl Sabel elected Chairman (2002-2007).

2003

Hardiman Scott Award passed to the Poetry Trust.

2005

Fairweather Stephenson and Co (renamed Fairweather Law Ltd in 2016), Solicitors, Leiston, Felixstowe and Aldeburgh begin sponsoring the George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition.

December 2006

Library of 173 books relocated to University Campus Suffolk.

2007

Frank Wood elected Chairman (2007).

2008

Gerard Melia elected Chairman (2008).

2008

Mike Bannister elected President (2009-2010).

2008

Fred Ellis elected Chairman (2008-2011).

2010

Twelve Rivers newsletter begun.

2010

Pauline Stainer elected President (2010-2013).

2011

Anne Boileau elected Chairman (2011-2014).

2012

Singing Stone anthology published to commemorate 60th Anniversary.

2012

Spanish Chestnut tree planted at The Priory, Stoke-by-Nayland to mark 60th Anniversary and to thank the Englehearts for their long support of the society.

4th March 2013

First Desert Island Poems with Dr Ronald Blythe interviewed by Dr Frances Ward.

2014

James Knox Whittet elected President (2014-). He begins a monthly e-newsletter to write about poets and significant poetry events.

2014

Ian Griffiths elected Chairman (2014-2016).

14th March 2014

Desert Island Poems with Lord Phillips of Sudbury interviewed by Dr Ronald Blythe.

31st May 2014

1st Festival of Suffolk Poetry, sponsored by The Limbourne Trust, featured three workshops, All of the Suffolk Poetry Cafés and readings by Kate Foley, James Knox Whittet, Caroline Gilfillan and culminating with the performance poet Luke Wright.

8th March 2015

Suffolk Poetry Society becomes Registered Charity No 1162298 under the guidance of Lord Phillips of Sudbury.

2015

Desert Island Poems with Terry Waite CBE interviewed by Lord Phillips of Sudbury.

30th May 2015

2nd Festival of Suffolk Poetry features Michael Laskey, Angela Locke, Mike Bannister and Anne Boileau.

2015

Twelve Rivers acquires an ISSN.

2016

Florence Cox elected Chair (2016-).

2016

Additional sponsorship of the Crabbe Competition from Alde Valley Spring Festival adds to prize money and supports the competition anthology. Additional Gift Aid raises total prize money to £1200.

2016

Twelve Rivers becomes a magazine.

2016

Membership is 127.


 

Presidents of Suffolk Poetry Society

1952-1967

Sir Francis Meynell

1968-1979

Ralph Nixon Currey

1979-1999

Peter Hardiman Scott OBE

1999-2008

Herbert Lomas

2009-2010

Mike Bannister

2010-2013

Pauline Stainer

2014-

James Knox Whittet


 

Chairmen/women of Suffolk Poetry Society

1952-1963

Francis Engleheart

1963-1971

Eric Sandon

1971-1976

Romilly Redfern

1976-1988

Marguerite Wood

1988-1997

Catherine Dell

1997-2002

Mike Bannister

2002

Ionne Hammond

2002-2007

Beryl Sabel

2007

Frank Wood

2008

Gerard Melia

2008-2011

Fred Ellis

2011-2014

Anne Boileau

2014-2016

Ian Griffiths

2016-

Florence Cox