Each year from 2nd – 11th September Eastwood in Nottinghamshire celebrates its most famous (or infamous) son D H Lawrence. The theme for 2022 was “The Mining Heritage” and respect for the local environment. Throughout this former mining town, there were free exhibitions, a conference entitled “The Countryside of Our Hearts”, talks, walks and live music in various locations. We went to the open day at the D H Lawrence Birthplace Museum and Breach House, which was one of his family homes.
To be perfectly honest, we were not aware of this festival when we booked into a hotel in Eastwood for the weekend. Also, apart from knowing vaguely that he wrote a controversial book “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”, I knew nothing about him. However, I soon learnt that not only was he a novelist, but also he wrote poetry, short stories, letters, plays, non-fiction books and travelogues. He was also a painter. The son of a miner and a lace maker, he was the first pupil from his local primary school to win a scholarship to Nottingham High School and then he went on to university. His travels and life experiences influenced his literary works.
The guides in the Birthplace Museum and Breach House were very knowledgeable. The buildings housed some of the original artefacts of the Lawrence family. Now, having learnt about his life and works, it seems strange to me that, compared to today’s modern society, Lawrence faced such opposition in his day. To quote him, “If there weren’t so many lies in the world, I wouldn’t write at all”.
So, it transpired that this unassuming former mining town of Eastwood turned out to be very interesting