The ALS AGM weekend

Each year we have a weekend event hosted by a different member society.

In 2018, we will be back in Birmingham (where we used to hold our annual event before we hit the road), celebrating our 45th birthday. This will be 18 – 20 May, and will include talks by local societies. Tim Robertson, the Director of the Royal Society of Literature, will be our keynote speaker.


Are you thinking of attending an ALS Annual General Meeting but not sure whether you will enjoy it?  Why not read about last year’s event:

Edinburgh with Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon in 2017

This was a fantastic weekend, with a reception in the Great Hall of the Castle, alcohol and wonderful entertainment. This followed a visit to the Camera Obscura.

The Saturday was an opportunity to visit Craiglochart, the site of the hospital for returning soldiers. Talks, an informal lunch, lots of raffle prizes, and a dinner with some interesting readings.

On the Sunday there was a guided tour of central Edinburgh, which was well attended.

Haworth with Bronte in 2016
Haworth has long been a second home to me, since I made my first visit back in 1974. It was therefore doubly exciting that we would be celebrating  the bi-centennial of Charlotte’s birth there.

The Parsonage was opened early for us, and the Baptist Church was the venue for most of the Saturday. Our first speaker was Juliet Barker, historian and biographer, on ‘Re-writing Writers’ Lives – Mrs Gaskell and The Life of Charlotte Bronte‘. Question time was very lively – particularly as we had a large contingent from the Gaskell Society!

The second speaker was Ian Dewhirst, retired librarian and well known historian on West Yorkshire and Keighley in particular. His talk was entitled ‘The Druggist and the Relieving Officer, and Other Writers in Haworth’. His natural sense of humour soon had everyone rolling in the aisles, as he described what a haven of cultural activity Haworth was during the time of the Brontes, not at all like the ‘bleak moors’ the area is often portrayed as.

The traditional Saturday evening meal took place at the White Lion, where diners gave their favourite readings. It had been an immensely full day, but very enjoyable.

On Sunday, some went to the Bronte birthplace at Thornton; some on a guided tour of Ponden Hall; and some on a guided walk to the waterfall.

I think everyone would agree that it had been a very rewarding weekend for all lovers of books and literature. I really encourage those who have not done so, to try an ALS weekend!

Other AGM descriptions:

Oxford with Barbara Pym, Nottingham with Dickens and Knutsford with Mrs Gaskell.

ALS weekends in Lichfield and Dublin