The Symposium

Scenes from rural life: the Great Totham Symposium, 1 November 2014


With thanks to Roger Allen for the photographs


‘Miss Hayter, Mr Gower, and Mr Clark: Great Totham in 1821 (or thereabouts).’ 

St Peter’s Church, Great Totham, Essex CM9 8NP

Saturday 1 November 2014, 2.30–6.00

An afternoon of short talks and related events to celebrate the restoration of

Miss Hayter’s painting of Great Totham Church and ‘The Adoration of the Magi’

CC ribbon scroll

Admission to the symposium is free, although there will be a charge for tea, which will be provided by the Friends of St Peter’s.  Those who stay to the end (and there is no obligation to attend the whole afternoon: latecomers will be admitted, and welcomed) will be rewarded with a glass of port.

Provisional programme:

2.30  Welcome and general introduction (James Bettley)

2.45   Great Totham in the 1820s: setting the scene (Clive Potter)

3.30  The Gowers and the Hayters (James Bettley; download the paper Symposium paper JB)

4.00  Tea

4.45  Charles Clark and the literary world (Carrie Griffin and Mary O’Connell, delivered by Henry Bettley)

5.15   Charles Clark the printer (Alan Brignull)

6.00  Port

The above items will be interspersed with readings of Charles Clark’s poems by Adam Crick, as well as a new poem written (and, deadlines permitting, printed) for the occasion


Dr James Bettley is an architectural historian and has lived in Great Totham since 1991.

Alan Brignull lives in Wivenhoe and is the proprietor of the Hedgehog Press and creator of Adanaland.  In 1990 he printed and published Charles Clark: the bard of Totham.

Adam Crick is a poet and art historian who lives in Dorset but would rather live in London. Or Aldeburgh, where he has featured a number of times at the Literary Festival.

Dr Carrie Griffin is Teaching Fellow in English at the University of Bristol.  She and Dr Mary O’Connell, Leverhulme Visiting Researcher in the School of English at the University of St Andrews, are developing a research project on Charles Clark.

Clive Potter is Clerk to Great Totham Parish Council and has an unrivalled knowledge of the history of Great Totham and surrounding villages.



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