Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 27 (1996) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/
I would like to begin this report with something exciting to say but Annual General Meetings, with which our year inevitably begins, are never exciting events. In 1995 it all went smoothly - the only change being the retirement of Kathleen Porter as Vice Chairman and the appointment of Joan Bunn in her place. After the business meeting John Smith, Curator of Stamford Museum, who had closely followed the filming of the TV Middlemarch in the town, showed us his collection of slides and entertained us with an interesting commentary. Middlemarchmania had not quite died.
In March we heard of the death of Dorothy Edmands who, for very many years, had been one of our most supportive and generous members of the Fellowship Council. We continue to miss her very much.
Also in March we were present at the planting of another tree in memory of George Eliot in the George Eliot Memorial Garden and were pleased to see the refurbishment of the garden which placed a stronger emphasis on the memorial itself. The Borough Council's Leisure and Amenities Department do a fine job and, during the summer, created a model of George Eliot in flowers and tiny plants on the platform at Nuneaton's busy railway station. A splendid idea but, sadly, the model's face left a lot to be desired, but perhaps one can't have everything.
June was an exceptionally busy month, beginning with the Nuneaton Wreath-laying in the George Eliot Memorial Garden on 11th. In the past thirty years we have had only a mere handful of wet afternoons for the ceremony - and the 1995 afternoon was one of them. Just as we were about to begin the heavens opened, but we carried on and it was the usual pleasant occasion. Fortunately, the Mercian Consort, who accompany our singing and entertain us with their music before the service, were under a large tree. Our Guest of Honour in 1995 was Richard Thompson, estate manager at Arbury and, therefore, a natural successor to George Eliot's father, about whom he spoke. Tea was served afterwards to our guests at Nuneaton Museum.