Spring Meeting, May 2019



The Henry Williamson Society Spring Meeting



17–19 May, 2019



Folkestone 1919–2019




In January 1919 Henry Williamson was posted to Folkestone, briefly at Shorncliffe Military Camp and then as adjutant at No. 3 Rest Camp on The Leas. Henry remained in Folkestone until the end of July 1919, which means that he was in Folkestone in May 1919. This makes Folkestone a highly appropriate setting for the Society's May 2019 Spring Meeting.


Henry recorded this period of his life in two novels: firstly in The Dream of Fair Women (the third volume of The Flax of Dream tetralogy, first published in 1924); and secondly in A Test to Destruction (volume 8 of A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, 1960). Chronologically, the stories are reversed, as Phillip Maddison is in Folkestone from January to July 1919, and Willie Maddison from July to September. Henry's two fictional doppelgangers' narratives overlap at the Peace Day Ball on 19 July 1919, as Phillip bids his bitter adieu to Eve Fairfax, just as Willie enters into Folkestone life.



spring19 clifton gardens           spring19 HW in Folkestone



We shall be staying at the Clifton Hotel, the venue for the 2008 Spring Meeting, and we shall focus on the people and places mentioned in the two novels, primarily The Dream of Fair Women, which has the lion's share of the Folkestone material. There will be scene-setting talks on the Friday and Saturday evenings, and a leisurely guided tour of Henry's Folkestone on the Saturday (see the full programme for details of the itinerary). We will lunch on the Saturday in the Harbour Arm area, which is currently going through a process of regeneration, with Folkestone Harbour Railway Station being brought back to life.


I hope that you will be able to join us for this Spring Meeting, which promises to open a window on Henry's life in the first part of 1919, exactly one hundred years ago.



Robert Walker

Chair and Acting Events Secretary






Follow the links below for full details about the weekend:


Programme and itinerary


Registration Form


Risk Assessment


Clifton Hotel (rooms are being held for the HWS until the end of March only)