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Members will receive a newsletter three times a year. They can also contribute to the newsletters
February – We start the year with a talk at the Friends’ Meeting House, Newcastle-under-Lyme. The talk this year will be by poet and retired psychiatrist Dr Roger Bloor: ‘Molloch Songs – the literature of coal and clay’. Further details in the Newsletter and under Events tab here.
March – We had our annual dinner on 30 March 2019 at the Potbank Aparthotel, Stoke on Trent and our guest speaker was Lord John Bird (Big Issue). Our speaker(s) for the 2020 dinner will be Shaun McKenna and Lin Coghlan, the writers of the BBC 4 broadcast China Towns, the 11 hour adaptation of Bennett’s Five Towns novels. Speakers have included Deborah Moggach, John Suchet, A N Wilson, Baroness Williams of Crosby (Shirley Williams), Theresa Heskins, artistic director at the New Victoria Theatre, Harshill, Alan Johnson MP and Charlotte Higgins (Journalist with the Guardian). We had a change of date for the 2017 dinner and celebrated AB’s 150 birthday on 27 May 2017 (his actual birthday) at the Jubilee Hall, Stoke on Trent. the guest speaker was Mr Simon Heffer, writer and journalist with the Telegraph.
June – A one-day conference is held at the North Staffs Conference Centre in Hartshill with speakers contributing papers on Arnold Bennett. The 2020 conference title is ‘Arnold Bennett’s Social Conscience’. Application form will be with the May newsletter and via email.
October – Our 2019 AGM was held on 19 October at Swan Bank Methodist Rooms, Burslem. The 2020 AGM will be held on Saturday 24 October. Details to follow in the newsletter.
December – A Literary Lunch is held the first week of December with a guest speaker. On 4 December 2019 Martin Tideswell the Editor-in-Chief of the Sentinel gave a very interesting talk on the history of the newspaper and Arnold Bennett’s connection. Other speakers have included Dr Jonathan Taylor (University of Leicester). Deborah McAndrew (Claybody Theatre Company), Theresa Heskins (New Victoria Theatre), Bert Flitcroft (poet), Sathnam Sanghera (journalist and writer – Marriage Material).