John Clare Society website

to promote a wider and deeper knowledge of the poet, John Clare

Festival 2021

Please note that due to current events, we have taken the decision to cancel this year’s formal Festival.

However, there will be some informal celebrations taking place in Helpston over 9 to 11 July 2021.

On the Friday and Saturday some members of the Committee and other friends will be in Helpston to meet any members of the JCS who may like to be in Helpston for this year’s limited celebrations.

Friday 9 July
12.45pm: the children of The John Clare Primary School will lay their Midsummer Cushions around Clare’s grave.
7.00pm: John Clare Folk Evening (including some of the 260 songs which Clare wrote out) at The Bluebell, West Street, Helpston. Food will also be available.

Saturday 10 July
10.00am: informal meeting at the Buttercross in Helpston to discuss any later events.
11.00am: service in St Botolph’s Church (numbers restricted to 30 due to current regulations).
12.00-2.00 pm: Peterborough Morris will be dancing outside The Bluebell.
12.00-10.30pm: The Bluebell will be open for food and drink. To book a table please phone The Bluebell on 01733 252394 or 07766 616961.
The John Clare Cottage will also be open for drinks.

David Smith, the JCS Sales Officer, will be in the village with some items for sale, hopefully from a sales table on West Street, close to The Bluebell, during the afternoon. If you want to order before the weekend and collect on the day please get in touch with David this week: 01462 631285 or

For queries about the above please contact Ann Marshall, Publicity Officer on 01522 788656, or 07815 640033, or


Consequently, our 2021 AGM will be held at 2.30pm on Sunday 11 July on Zoom.

The papers can be found at:

Agenda –

Minutes of last AGM –

Auditor’s Report –

Audited Accounts –


The formal proceedings of the AGM will be followed by Carry Akroyd’s 2021 Presidential Address. So, it will definitely be worth attending the AGM!

If you want to view her 2020 Presidential Address, it is still available on YouTube here.

We hope that all friends of John Clare are keeping safe and well in these trying times, and look forward to being to hold a Festival in Helpston again next year.