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Burwardsley to host poetry event featuring former villager

Mary Thomson, who left Cheshire in 1961 to pursue successful writing career, returns on April 1

Writer Mary Thomson is to return to Burwardsley where she was born(Image: Mary Thomson)

A writer is to return to the village where which she was born to support its gem of a sandstone church.

It’s back to Burwardsley for Mary Thomson, born Mary Proudlove at Burwardsley Hall Farm in 1943.

Mary left Cheshire in 1961 since when she has lived in many different parts of England and for the last 11 years in Scotland.

She returns to the Sandstone Ridge landscape to visit Burwardsley’s grade II listed St John’s Church on Saturday, April 1.

Writer Mary Thomson pictured as a child in Burwardsley(Image: Mary Thomson)

St John’s was built in 1730, according to local historian Terri Hull. It has room for just 90 worshippers with oak pews.

There is also a remarkable inscription on the west wall which states that in 1793 the chapel ‘was put in perfect repair’ by the Rev John Price, the then incumbent.

Noted Chester architect John Douglas is said to have carried out a further restoration in 1871 which included the addition of a bell turret and other work followed in 1878 with the addition of a chancel which has been attributed to the same architect.

During the evening of words and pictures, Mary will read from the six collections of poetry she has published.

Illustrated by projected images, her poems will take her audience on a journey to the Yorkshire dales, Norwegian fjords, Istanbul’s domes, Scottish islands and great European cities.

Writer Mary Thomson once lived at Burwardsley Hall Farm(Image: Mary Thomson)

The evening will also mark the launch of her newest collection Behind the Idyll, a short sequence of poems based on childhood memories of life on Burwardsley Hall Farm and in the village itself.

Two of her collections have been short-listed for a prestigious poetry award and she has successfully presented similar evenings in London, Glasgow, Jersey and at the Ilkley Literature Festival Fringe. Books will be available to purchase with a donation from sales to St John’s preservation fund.

Tickets £6, including refreshments, are available from Burwardsley and Tattenhall post offices or enquiries to Betty Simpson 01829 770406, Pam Moyle 01829 771229 or Jeanne Parsons 01829 771227. They will also be available on the door for the evening which starts at 7.30pm.

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