The Beatrix Potter Society Committee
Pictured from front, row left to right: Sue Smith; Helen Duder, Registrar of Objects and Archivist; Miranda Gore Browne, Chair of the BPS, Angela Rijks-Bettink, Social Media; Kathy Cole, Secretary.
Back row left to right Jenny Lyon, Journal and Newsletter Editor, Janet Sullivan, ‘Pottering About’ editor and Andrew Wiltshire, Treasurer, Sales Liaison and Data Protection Officer.
Not pictured: Angela Black, Meetings Secretary; Betsy Bray, Website Manager; Donna S. Priesmeyer, Publications Chair, Robyn Watts and Liz Adams, Membership Secretary.
Festive Gathering Save The Date!
The Festive Gathering will be held on Saturday, 30 November 2019 at a place and time to announced.
Melford Hall Gathering Save The Date!
BPS Gathering at the National Trust’s Melford Hall in Suffolk on Wednesday, 31 July 2019
Details on timings and a registration form will be put on the website soon.
Celebrating the Woodlands of Beatrix Potter Photography Competition
This competition is part of Plantlife’s ‘Looking Out for Small Things’ (LOST) project to raise awareness of the importance of Cumbria’s woodlands.There are adult and children’s categories with touring exhibition of winning images.
For more information click here: plantlife.org.uk/LOST
Announcing our member’s only page!
We have included a special discount offer and videos of the Conference. Stay tuned as more content will be added. If you are a member and don’t have the password, email email@example.com.
Membership in The Beatrix Potter Society is open to anyone interested in learning more about her life and work. Our Membership page provides information on the benefits of joining. You can join online by clicking the Join/Renew button below. Welcome!
If you are a member and want to access the Members Only page and see the videos there please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get the password.Join/Renew
Pottering About- E News
Want to keep up to date with what is going on in the Beatrix Potter world? Sign up for our free e-news, “Pottering About”, an electronic newsletter. Click the Sign Up button to be added to our mailing list.Sign Up
Beatrix Potter News
News from Hill Top
Horse logging at Tarn Hows
Tarn Hows was passed to the Trust by Beatrix in 1930, after she and William bought it to save it from land developers. Read more…
How Peter Rabbit saved the Lake District
We were visited by BBC Radio Cumbria who wanted to interview Liz about the new Peter Rabbit film. Read more…
House and Collections Manager Liz dressed as Beatrix Potter
Recent visitors may have spotted a familiar figure framed by the porch at Hill Top… Read more…
Roslind Moscrop’s Recent Bequest to The Beatrix Potter Society
The bequest has the inscribed copy of The Fairy Caravan: ‘For Joe Moscrop in remembrance of Troutbeck Park and the sheep. With kind regards from the author Beatrix Heelis. May 30th 1930’. In 1929, The Fairy Caravan was published only in America, but a hundred copies were produced in the UK for copyright purposes and Beatrix distributed them to her friends and – in particular – to local farmers and shepherds.
Joe Moscrop’s copy is number 29; it also contains the frontispiece (the sketches for which are shown on the cover of the October J&N) about which Beatrix wrote: ‘This drawing and several others are not in the American edition. The first chapter was reprinted at Ambleside, for “copyrighting” purposes.’ This along with other correspondence is deposited with the National Trust in the Lake District.
Jemima Puddle-duck doll and two first edition little books
The Society is the proud owner of a charming but very old Jemima Puddle-duck doll and two first edition little books – The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher – and all are on long loan at the V&A . These were a generous donation from Member, Christine Hacklett, and were given to her family by Beatrix Potter herself. Christine’s great-aunt was Nurse Ellen Bond, who helped to care for Beatrix’s first governess, Miss Hammond, in her old age and the two women became friends. Jemima is now on long loan at the V&A, where you can make an appointment to see it by contacting Emma Laws (email@example.com) or Lizzie Jacklin(firstname.lastname@example.org).
The copy of The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher is inscribed ‘to Ellen J Bond from Beatrix Potter Oct 4th 1906 Sawrey Ambleside’, and the Jemima is one of the original dolls registered in 1910 and produced by a company called Farnell to Beatrix’s own design. In the same year she wrote to another little girl, ‘… I should like to send “Jemima” because I have taken a great deal of interest in getting her made. She is being made in hundreds at a toy factory at Acton Hill.’
Several other Jemima dolls have survived – among them one at Melford Hall (given to the Hyde Parker children by Beatrix) and another (which originally belonged to Tom Storey’s daughter, Freda) in the Beatrix Potter Collection of the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University. (See the ‘Places to Visit’ page of this website for more about Melford Hall and the Cotsen Collection. You can also read more about the Society’s acquisition in the January 2017 Journal and Newsletter, which featured Jemima on its cover.)
The background letter on the website
Visitors to The Beatrix Potter Society website might be intrigued by the background letter on each page. It is one of a group of eight letters – seven from Beatrix Heelis and one from William Heelis – written to George Walker, the manager of Troutbeck Park Farm from 1930 to 1945. They were bought by the Society at a Sotheby’s auction in May 1998 and are currently on long-loan to the V&A.(see above for making an appointment to view them)
Most of the letters, like this one written in 1942, relate to day-to-day farming matters – sale prices for cattle and sheep, wages for the men and the weather – but the collection also includes Beatrix’s initial approach to George Walker asking him to come and work for her. Her last letter to him was written on 20 November 1943, a few weeks before her death, and she says, ‘Don’t know when I will come, the wind makes me cough.’ Willie Heelis’s letter is also written a few weeks before his death – from a nursing home in York on 27 May 1945 – and encloses a cheque for the wages and enquires about the farm.
George Walker himself features several times in the letters written to Beatrix’s lambing shepherd, Joseph Moscrop, between 1926 and 1943 and published by the Society in 1998 as Beatrix Potter’s Farming Friendship.