Gathering Marks The 80th Anniversary of Edward Carpenter's Death.
On Sunday June 28th 2009, a group from the Forum met at Guildford to mark the 80th anniversary of Edward Carpenter’s death.
A beautiful sunny afternoon, as it is recorded was also the day that Carpenter died, we went first to the grave in Mountside Cemetery. There we read Carpenter’s Farewell Message, listened to his poem ‘Into the Regions of the Sun’, which had been read at his funeral, and sang together ‘England Arise!’ We each placed a flower onto the grave from a bunch grown on a London allotment, and created a circle for a few minutes of quiet reflection and comradely embrace.
After a short walk out onto ‘the Hog’s Back’, we then went to accept an invitation for tea at Carpenter’s former home on Mountside. Here we were made wonderfully welcome by Peter and Pam, whose home it now is. Two members of our party, Lionel (sporting Carpenteresque attire) and Alan, were also celebrating their own 80th anniversaries; each having been born in March 1929, a few months before Carpenter died – and it was therefore felt appropriate that they should cut the splendid chocolate cake that our hosts had made! A strawberry cream tea followed in the sunny garden where Carpenter’s writing hut had once stood. Our party of 15 was joined by friends from the neighbouring house, who had helped in retracing the history of the house and restoring its lost link to Carpenter.
Indeed, Peter and Pam had recently decided to restore the name of “Millthorpe” to the house; this and the chance to admire the newly arrived name plaque added to the celebrations.
We also took the opportunity to ‘recreate’ in the sitting room the original group photograph had marked the visit of the young Gavin Arthur to Carpenter there in 1924. With Lionel playing Carpenter and Edward sitting on the floor as Gavin, John stood in for George Merrill and Lynn for Ted Inigan.