About the F W Harvey Society

A photo of A group of family members and friends of F W Harvey at the Memorial Bench at Norchard Steam Centre in March 2010.
A group of family members and friends of F W Harvey at the Memorial Bench at Norchard Steam Centre in March 2010.

Objectives of the society

  • To develop and maintain a publicly accessible archive of documents, information, scholarship, oral history, essays, photographs, etc., pertaining to Frederick William Harvey.
  • To encourage new poetry, writing and participation in the arts in the Forest of Dean and beyond.
  • To ensure the legacy of F.W. Harvey is remembered through performances, discussions, lectures and publications about his life and work and inform young people about him through formal and informal education.
  • To encourage scholarship and research into the life and work of F.W. Harvey developing a critical reassessment of his work through publications and discussions.
  • To ensure more access to the work of F.W. Harvey through encouraging publication of known and rediscovered material.

Launch of the society

The F.W. Harvey Society was launched on 31st January 2010. The formation of the Society follows a suggestion made by Yorkley resident David Adams, a serious student of Will Harvey and his work. In 2007 Yorkley held its first Festival which included a presentation by David about the life and work of Harvey and a history of the village.  The small Yorkley Memorial Hall was packed with local people keen to hear David’s lecture and share their own memories of Will Harvey. Some of those recollections, like David’s, had been passed down to the next generation from Harvey’s friends in the village. David’s father was a particularly close and trusted friend of Will Harvey, sharing his literary interests.

Patrick Harvey

One of the triggers for so much interest in this event was the death of Patrick, Harvey’s son. He was a wounded veteran of the Second World War, and although that conflict had left him a quiet, reserved man, he represented the ‘memory’ of Harvey to many. His demise left the beautiful old family house empty. It is now being refurbished and stands near the Bailey pub on a short track recently named ‘Harvey’s Lane’ by the District Council.  That evening several Harvey works were recited and it was clear that they had lost none of their relevance and David’s suggestion of a Society had a great attraction to many in the room. Hence work began to form a Society that could promote the legacy of Will Harvey and become as successful as the Ivor Gurney and Herbert Howells Societies, which perform the same function for his contemporaries and friends.