DH Lawrence Society Festival Saturday September 12th

Recordings of all events can now be found at

9.30am Welcome from DHL society chairman Alan Wilson
9.45am David Game: 'DH Lawrence and Australia'
11am Paul Eggert: ‘Birds, beasts and flowers’

2pm  Malcolm Pittock: 'Lawrence's Jessie poems' 
3pm Interview with Clive Leivers, president of the Haggs Farm Preservation Society who talks about his own life and a forthcoming publication of his new book, a collection of Jessie Chambers' writing
4pm  The premiere performance of the new Cantata, ‘The Voice of Nethermere’ (based on ‘The White Peacock’) by Alan Wilson and Malcolm Gray 

7pm  Judith Ruderman The Lawrence Birthday Lecture, ‘A life of illness and resilience: Reflections on Lawrence’s letters in a time of pandemic’ (by zoom ending with interactive chat, not only about this topic, but about the whole day)

Lawrence online

The DH Lawrence Society have responded bravely to the current pandemic by deciding to hold their meetings online and, even if you aren't in the society, you can access the recordings via the website


The July meeting is an audio recording by Alan Wilson of  a ‘virtual’ journey around Eastwood and the surrounding countryside. Alan explores the Eastwood of his childhood interviewing ‘a wonderful array of Lawrentian devotees made up of social historians, academics and loyal local people’, alongside poetry readings and of course, music. Of particular interest to members of the HFPS is our chair Andrew Cooper talking about the history of Haggs Farm and its surroundings and Ruth Templeton talking about her interest in Jessie Chambers.

On Saturday September 12th 2020 the DH Lawrence Society will be online for the day with podcasts and zoom events on a range of Lawrence related topics. In the afternoon, Malcolm Pittock will give a talk on Lawrence’s poetry and Jessie Chambers, there will be a feature on Clive Leivers, president of HFPS, and in the evening the birthday lecture will be “A Life of Illness and Resilience: Reflections on Lawrence’s Letters in a Time of Pandemic” by Judith Ruderman.

New chair for the DH Lawrence society

Our very own Alan Wilson has now become chairman of the D.H. Lawrence Society, taking over from Malcolm Gray. Alan has been an active member of both the Haggs Farm and D. H. Lawrence Societies during the last three years, especially in connection with the annual festivals.


Born and bred in Eastwood, he is now firmly rediscovering his roots, and has been involved in considerable local sociological and musical research.

He still lives in the London/Kent area and is dividing his time between the two centres. He comes from a mining family going back several generations, although his father was a framework knitter at Aristoc in Langley Mill (now defunct). There was much ‘genetic’ music in the family passed on to Alan, and he left Eastwood to take up scholarships in London and Amsterdam, leading to a highly successful career as a composer, performer and director of music.


Revisiting Eastwood, he loves interviewing people both young and old, gathering up research information as well as delving through all the archives at the libraries. He has also discovered some neglected names from the past, especially Arthur Linwood, and is combining his own composing and performing skills with the output of such newly discovered gems.


There is something deep and profound about revisiting one’s childhood; 1950s Eastwood was not so different from when Lawrence and Jessie lived there.


Alan regards it very humbling to be the new chairman, following the steps of Malcolm and all the great leaders beforehand. And he is looking forward to working closely with DHLS, HFPS and the Birthplace Museum, as well as developing links with the Eastwood Historical Society. There are so many talented and visionary people around and Alan greatly looks forward to a vibrant united team spirit!


Look out for our next blog to find out more about Alan's career and interests.

Jodie Holmes, photographer 

Photograph by Jodie Holmes

One of the many pleasures of our recent visit to the University of Nottingham Libraries, Manuscripts and Special Collections Department (see blog from December 10th Up Close and Personal with DHL), was meeting Amy Bowler who told us that her great-great-great uncle, Jodie Holmes took the picture of the Chambers family outside Haggs Farm which we have on our home page. Jodie's photography studio (and house) was one of the semi-detached houses on the corner of School Road and Middlebrook Road in Bagthorpe. 

Amy has sent us two more of Jodie's photos; one shows the Three Horseshoes pub Rambling Club in 1912. The pub was in Lower Bagthorpe and is now a cottage. The older man on the extreme right is Amy's grandad’s great uncle Bill (the brother of the photographer J. Holmes) and his sons Ned and Cliff are also present. 
The other photograph shows a group of women (including some of the Holmes family) outside the Red Lion pub on Church Lane around 1910. 

What a great legacy left by Jodie and thanks so much to Amy and her family for sharing it.

Photograph by Jodie Holmes 

Christmas Concert

A few pictures from the DH Lawrence Society and Haggs Farm Preservation Society Christmas Concert at St Mary's Church, Eastwood. Lawrence captures the spirit of Christmas, the food, the decorations, the entertainment, in many of his novels but he also reflects on what Christmas actually means and we had time for that too. We had readings not just from Lawrence but from Laurie Lee, Willie Hopkin and John McCutcheon amongst others, mixed with rousing carols. A great start to Christmas - thanks to everyone who took part and made it so special. Let's make it part of our Christmas tradition!

It was bitter, though, that Christmas Day, as it drew on to evening, and night, became a sort of bank holiday, flat and stale. The morning was so wonderful, but in the afternoon and evening the ecstasy perished like a nipped thing, like a bud in a false spring. Alas, that Christmas was only a domestic feast, a feast of sweetmeats and toys! Why did not the grown-ups also change their everyday hearts, and give way to ecstasy? Where was the ecstasy?

DH Lawrence The Rainbow

Happy Christmas everyone!

November 2019 Canadian Connections

The Haggs Farm Preservation Society have recently made contact with the Chambers family in Canada & in particular with Bernard Chambers great granddaughter, Alison. She has kindly provided us with two photographs taken in September 2017 when her family visited the Eastwood area. The family group is taken outside the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum.

Sadly they were unable to see their old family home at Haggs Farm but did take a photograph  of New Haggs.

From left to right: 

Alison Chambers Heidel - great granddaughter of Bernard Chambers

David Bray - great nephew of Elizabeth Marsh Chambers (wife of Bernard)

Clarice Bray - niece of Elizabeth Marsh Chambers

Lorna Chambers - wife of Allan Chambers

Allan Chambers - grandson of Bernard Chambers

Deborah Millwater - great niece of Elizabeth Marsh Chambers

Scot Heidel - husband of Alison Chambers Heidel

You can read more about the story of the Chambers who emigrated to Canada in the Haggs Farm Preservation Society publication Miriam’s Farm by Clive Leivers. Hubert and Bernard arrived in Canada in 1914, accompanied by Bill Holbrook, May Chamber’s husband. They had several labouring jobs before taking on a homestead but then joined the Canadian army and fought in France, eventually returning to Canada in 1919. May arrived in 1915 and spent her life out there as a teacher.  Molly also emigrated to Canada in 1938 with her two sons and reportedly ran a Christmas tree business.

Look out for our blog series ‘What happened next’ for the full story of what happened to Bernard, Hubert, May and Molly Chambers and their lives after Haggs Farm.

Friday 25th October - Scarthin Books

What a great event this was. Despite the pouring rain, the café at Scarthin Books was packed full. As we went round the room and introduced ourselves it was cheering to see so many Lawrence fans keen to know more about the inspiration he found in Haggs Farm – a setting he returns to time and again in his writing, and his intense and complex relationship with Jessie Chambers. Watch out for a full write up on this website and in our next newsletter.

October 2019 Two New Blog Series

Look out this month for two new blogs by Haggs Farm Preservation Society members. The first is by Steve Newman, a writer from Stratford, who is going to write a series of blogs about artists and their creative influences. In his October blog he draws links between DH Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway through the influence of their first loves, Jessie Chambers and Agnes von Kurowsky. Our second blog series will be by local historian, Carol Mills; we know a lot about Jessie Chambers' life after Haggs Farm but Carol will write about what happened to the other members of the Chambers family. 

Autumn 2019 Display at Scarthin Books, Cromford

Scarthin Books at Cromford, near Matlock have created a wonderful new display exploring the relationship of Lawrence, Jessie Chambers and literature. Based on the books they picked up at The Mechanics Institute Library, Eastwood and discussed as they walked across the fields to Haggs Farm, which Jessie writes about in such detail in her Memoir - DH Lawrence: A Personal Record, it offers a fascinating glimpse into Lawrence's early influences. Check out our September blog to see the full reading list. 

September 2019 The DH Lawrence Festival

The DH Lawrence festival is coming soon and has a whole host of interesting events as always. Two in particular are linked to the Haggs Farm Preservation Society.

On Friday 6th September at 6.30pm at St Mary's Church, Eastwood, Ruth Templeton will open the festival with a talk on Jessie Chambers. 

On Tuesday 10th September at 11am, Carol Mills is leading a walk around Eastwood on behalf of the society 'looking at premises associated with family and friends of Lawrence and at buildings which feature in his novels and short stories.' The Breach House is also open on this day.


You can pick up a programme at The DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum or at The Breach House, Eastwood.

New Publication for 2020

The society has recently been given access to previously unpublished letters from Jessie Chambers to Dorothy Plowman, wife of Max Plowman, who wrote a foreword at the front of Jessie's memoirs. We hope to make these more widely available next year. 

Summer 2019

Two special items from Haggs Farm are now on display at the Breach House

You can now see this beautiful pastel drawing of delphiniums by Jessie Chambers at the Breach House. 


Jessie Chambers and DH Lawrence became close friends in their teenage years. They both loved to paint and write, inspired by their countryside walks together and the nature all around them.  

The yellow corn was dipping and flowing in the fields, like a cloth of gold pegged down at the corners under which the wind was heaving. Sometimes we passed cottages where the scarlet lilies rose like bonfires, and the tall larkspur like bright blue leaping smoke.


From ‘The White Peacock’ by DH Lawrence 1911

The Haggs clock ticked away in the kitchen at Haggs Farm all the time Lawrence spent there between 1902 - 1908. For a number of years it has been in the possession of Ann (Chambers) Howard, the niece of Jessie Chambers and stalwart of the Haggs Farm Preservation Society. Ann sadly died in 2018 and left it to our President, Clive Leivers, who has kindly loaned it to the Breach House as part of the Haggs Farm exhibition.

An Anglo-American drop dial, veneered in rosewood, this style of clock was manufactured in England c.1880 and fitted with an American imported movement.

This date would suggest that the parents of Jessie and her siblings either bought the clock when they were married or were given it as a wedding present. The dial was replaced during the period 1952-1963 as the name inscribed on the dial, G Bateman of Beeston, relates to a watchmaker who traded between those dates.

Autumn 2018 Haggs Farm Preservation Society exhibition at the Breach House

Haggs Farm was featured as October's property of the month by Save Britain's Heritage. Read more about it here

You can find out much more about the work and the progress of the society in a new exhibition at the Breach House.

The Mayor of Eastwood, Pat Hamilton at the opening ceremony & the Haggs Farm exhibition at the Breach House during the D.H. Lawrence Festival in September 2018. 

Haggs Farm

Home of Jessie Chambers 

Where DH Lawrence found his 'first incentive to write.'

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