Beatrix Potter

join-us31 July Meet-Up for BPS Members, Family & Friends at Melford Hall

The Society will hold an informal Meet-Up at Melford Hall on 31 July 2019, as part a special ‘Peter Rabbit Day’ that the National Trust has planned. Bring your children and grandchildren, or other family and friends, and share your interest in Beatrix Potter with them. A Beatrix Potter exhibition celebrating her connection to Melford Hall will be set up in the Banqueting Hall, and there will be some activities especially for children. You are welcome to bring your own picnic basket or purchase a bite to eat in the Hall’s café. 

At 12:10 pm and 12:40 pm, National Trust docents will give ‘Introducing Melford Hall’ tours.  Each tour can accommodate a maximum of 15 people and will be on a first-come-first served basis, so be sure to line up by NOON to get your spot! You will see the bedroom where Beatrix often stayed, as well as many of the architectural and garden scenes that she painted while visiting. The Hall opens to the public at 1:00 pm, so if you cannot arrive in time for a tour, you will still be able to see the house, grounds, and special Beatrix Potter exhibition.

Melford HallAdmittance to the tours does not require additional payment – but the general entrance fee of £9 per person will be collected at the entrance. Entry is free of course for National Trust members.

As many of you know, Melford Hall (located in the village of Long Melford) was the home of Beatrix’s cousin, Lady Ulla Hyde Parker, who wrote Cousin Beatie, A Memory of Beatrix Potter.  If you don’t have a copy, it’s well worth trying to find one  – check out Amazon, eBay, or the Society’s bring and buy table.   

Please plan to join us for this Meet-Up!  We will have a sales table set up in the gazebo, with special discounts for Members only.  The closest train arrives at Sudbury, and Melford Hall is just twenty-five minutes away by taxi or local bus. 

Note:  We’d love to know if you plan to attend.  Please register by sending an email to, and simply say “Will be at Melford Hall on 31 July.”

A Day at the Victoria & Albert Museum

Our annual AGM and Linder Lecture was held at the V&A. We were thrilled to have our Patron, Dame Patricia Routledge, D.B.E. attend. Annemarie Bilclough, Frederick Warne Curator of Illustration for the V&A presented the Linder Lecture and had many original Beatrix Potter illustrations for us to view.

If you would like to see the Linder Lecture and more interviews go to the Member’s Page. If you are not yet a member join now for access to the member’s section where you will find videos of last years conference, AGM 2019 with the Linder Lecture and interviews with members and some of our committee.

Here is an overview of the day.

AGM and Linder Lecture overview

Save the dateNeedle, Paintbrush & Trowel:
Texture in Beatrix Potter’s Needlework-Tales-Gardens

Saturday, August 22, 2020

San Francisco School of Needlework & Design, San Francisco, California



San Francisco School of Needlework and Design

Why:  The Beatrix Potter Society’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

Theme:  Needle, Paintbrush & Trowel:  Texture in Beatrix Potter’s Needlework-Tales-Gardens

Speakers:  Liz Hunter MacFarlane and Marta McDowell will focus on needlework at Hill Top and plants and flower textures in Beatrix’s illustrations, artwork and needlework.  A special 40th Anniversary needlework project, for you to take home, will be taught by Lucy Barter, Lead Instructor and Co-Founder of the school.

A flyer will come out later in the year with all the pertinent information.  Event will be limited to 50 people, so Members first. For questions contact: Dale Schafer 

members onlyAnnouncing our member’s only section!

We have included a special discount offer and videos of the 2018 Conference, AGM and interviews with members. You can gain access to the Warne Image file of low resolution images as well as see an inventory of Beatrix Potter Society owned items. Stay tuned as more content will be added. If you are a member and don’t have the password, email

Click the symbol to go to our Members Only section

Hay Making
Hay making at Lang Parrock Little Langdale c1910 Bill Birkett GS

LANGDALE In a Time of Change

An Exhibition at the Armitt Museum and Library

1st May – 31st October 2019.

The Armitt Museum’s exhibition for summer 2019 is an exploration of issues surrounding local identity within the heart of our most popular National Park. The valleys of Great and Little Langdale in the Lake District have seen massive social and economic change in the last few generations and are to a large degree representative of much of the central Lake District. While the views remain largely unaltered, the changes have been fundamental and the valleys at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries are very different places.

At the opening of the 20th century Langdale had a working population employed in the quarries and the gunpowder works as well as on the land. There were 25 farms in the two valleys, those farmers with smaller holdings working part-time in the quarries. At its height before the First World War Little Langdale School had an average of 46 pupils. The development of Langdale as a centre for walking and climbing in the 1930s took up some of the slack left by the closure of the gunpowder works and the fluctuations of the quarrying industry. However, by 1965 only nine school aged children remained in Little Langdale and by the close of the 20th century the majority of the houses in Langdale, with the exception of working farms, had been converted to holiday or ‘second’ homes.

This story is largely told through photographs and the words of local people. These accounts of the everyday detail of their lives as well as the major events, have been collected by the Ambleside Oral History Group since 1972. In Langdale these memories stretch far back to before the First World War and include May Bowness’s account of the life of her mother, Mrs Allonby. Her story, even with such a distance of time, is unsentimental. “Life was very raw in the valleys … of course poor people suffered”.

This exhibition is about ‘sense of place’, the connection between land and community which is at the root of our sense of identity

Membership in The Beatrix Potter Society is open to anyone interested in learning more about her life and work.

Join The Beatrix Potter Society

Click the Join/Renew button to join online now.



Beatrix Potter Studies XVIIBEATRIX POTTER A Lasting Legacy

Beatrix Potter Studies XVII Is Now Available 

The Seventeenth Beatrix Potter Society International Conference coincided with the  150th anniversary of Beatrix’s birth and celebrated her legacy. This new addition to the Studies series publishes the talks given at that Conference.

For more details including Members special offer please go to our Books and Merchandise page or go straight to the Shop.

BeatrixThe 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.

Christmas Tree CardSave the dateThe Festive Gathering

The Festive Gathering will be held on Saturday, 30 November 2019 at a place and time to announced.

Castle Cottage, Beatrix Potter’s marital home

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.

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Beatrix Potter with Benjamin Bunny on a lead
Courtesy of private collector
Beatrix Potter with Benjamin Bunny on a lead Courtesy of private collector
Beatrix and Bertram with their father
Beatrix and Bertram with their father
Esthwaite Water at Harvest TimeBeatrix Potter, c.1895
Esthwaite Water at Harvest Time
Beatrix Potter, c.1895

Roslind Moscrop’s Recent Bequest to The Beatrix Potter Society

Fairy Caravan
The Beatrix Potter Society Photo Janet Sullivan
Janet Sullivan
Frederick Warne & Co.

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

Cultural Heritage Digitisation Ltd, London

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 ( or Lizzie Jacklin (

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

Photo by Betsy Bray

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. 




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