What a wonderful sunny day to celebrate Mary’s birthday and the unveiling of the blue plaque in our 50th anniversary year. A record 40 members attended Leighton village hall to hear the morning lectures from Professor Deborah Wynne and society president Dr Gladys Mary Coles.
After lunch we walked up the hill to Leighton Lodge, the beautiful Georgian house where Mary was born in 1881. The handsome plaque hidden behind the ingenius curtain (rigged up by owner James Elwell), was unveiled by Gladys Mary and life-member Jancis Barlow who generously funded the plaque. A “Shropshire Lass” rose was presented to James and Kate which we hope will grow well.
Gladys Mary then gave a short talk on the fascinating history of the house before moving on to the historic church of St Mary’s where Mary Meredith was baptised. We were treated to a beautiful performance of Mary Webb’s poem “Green Rain” by Shropshire soprano Holly Teague, accompanied by Michael Matthews. It was magical and left us wanting more.
The day finished back at the hall with birthday cakes made by Sue Hotchkiss and a welcome cuppa. We are really grateful to the Elwell family for making us so welcome and for their interest in the society and the significant history of their home. It was such a special day on many levels not least to have 2 young ladies from the Mary Webb school join us with their teacher. It was a joy to share their excitement in their short speeches to the audience, confirmation that Mary Webb can connect with a younger generation. Well done Ana and Leah!
Took place on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Leighton Shropshire