Flora's Peverel

a dramatisation of the period when Flora Thompson won the 'fight to write'

Flora Thompson, author of "Lark Rise to Candleford," lived in Liphook, Hampshire, from 1916 to 1928. The play brings to life this period of her life when, against the odds, she won the fight to write.

Performed in four locations in East Hampshire during May 1997
to commemoratethe 50th anniversary of her death.

Click here to see details of play and sample scene – Photos from a performance in 2007

See also Flora's Heatherley

Cast List – Flora's Peverel (ages in brackets)

Postman, at Bournemouth
Flora Thompson (39-51 and 60 in 1937)
John Thompson (42-54 and 73 in 1947)
'Louie' Woods, a postgirl (19)
Sergeant John Mumford, a Canadian soldier (24)
Harry Envis, a postman (30s)
'Joe' Leggett (8 in 1916)
Bill Tidy, a tinker (say 60s)
Maggie Tidy, his wife (say 60s)
Dr Ronald Campbell Macfie (50)
Corporal, cockney (say 30s)
Two Canadian soldiers (say 20s)
Gypsy woman (spry late 80s)
Mrs Parkhurst, from 'Heatherley' (62)
Elsie Parkhurst, her youngest daughter (18)
Winifred ('Diana') Thompson (22)
Peter Thompson (8 in Oct 1926)
'Joe' Leggett (18 in 1926)
Eileen Leggett (16)
Mrs Leggett, their mother - Irish (51)
Capt. Byfield (60s)
Sam, a retired shepherd (70s)
Chairman of cable company (60s)
Peter Thompson (18 in March 1937)
Richard Brownlow (60, non-speaking)
Crowd at presentations (non-speaking)

List of Scenes – Flora's Peverel

Act I - 1916-18

Prelude - Flanders, April 1916
Scene 1 - Flora's garden in Bournemouth, April 1916
Scene 2 - Canadian army camp, near Liphook, September 1916
Scene 3 - Liphook Post Office, later that morning
Scene 4 - Lynchmere Common
Scene 5 - Flora's room, Liphook Post Office
Scene 6 - On the road from Forest Mere
Scene 7 - The Postmaster's House, soon after
Scene 8 - On the Road with Maggie Tidy
Scene 9 - Liphook Post Office, summer 1917
Scene 10 - On Bramshott Common, later that day
Scene 11 - Liphook Post Office, soon after
Scene 12 - On the Road with Bill & Maggie Tidy
Scene 13 - Flora's room, Liphook Post Office, early 1918
Scene 14 - A street in Liphook, at the same time
Scene 15 - Flora's room, Liphook Post Office, at the same time
Scene 16 - Split scene - Flora and Louie

**** INTERVAL ****

Act II - 1926-28

Scene 17 - An open space near Liphook, summer 1926
Scene 18 - Liphook Post Office, a few days later
Scene 19 - In the garden of the Postmaster's house, a few weeks later
Scene 20 - Liphook Post Office, at the same time
Scene 21 - On Weavers Down soon after
Scene 22 - The Leggett's farm, Griggs Green, a few weeks later
Scene 23 - 'Woolmer Gate', Griggs Green, soon after
Scene 24 - Liphook Post Office, early morning a few weeks later
Scene 25 - Weavers Down, early spring 1927
Scene 26 - The Telephone Exchange, Liphook Post Office
Scene 27 - 'Woolmer Gate', Griggs Green, soon after
Scene 28 - Lynchmere Common
Scene 29 - The Leggett's farm, Griggs Green, a few weeks later
Scene 30 - Hewshott House, Liphook, summer 1927
Scene 31 - 'Woolmer Gate', Griggs Green, some time later
Scene 32 - 'Woolmer Gate', Griggs Green, autumn 1928
Scene 33 - April 1937
Scene 34 - May 1947

The play runs for approximately 2 hours

Extract from Scene 4

Bill & Maggie Tidy arrive home on Lynchmere Common - he is a tinker and grinder,
Bill (Entering) Now then, Mrs Tidy, you'd best leave the donkey out there. There be no room for 'un in here.
Maggie (Off) I do know that, Bill Tidy - I weren't born yesterday you know.
Bill Well there's times when I do wonder. Where's me 'baccy?
Maggie (Entering) Where he always is, I 'spect.
Bill searches his clothing and finds it - starts filling his pipe.
Bill You making tea?
Maggie Soon as I gets the fire going. Don't be so fretful.
Bill I'm not being fretful.
Maggie Ever since the author'ties came round.
Bill They can't do a thing. I've no time to waste worrying about they.
Maggie Stop being fretful then.
Bill They wants to turn us out, but they'll find they can't do it. (He lights up his pipe) We've got squatters' rights. Squatters' rights - you know what that means?
Maggie You'se going to tell me - again.
Bill Nearly forty years we've been here. (Waving his pipe) The King of England hisself couldn't turn us out now.
Maggie It's not the King of England as is trying to do it.
Bill Nor lords of the manor neither. T'would take more than a lord of the manor to shift such as we.
Maggie You hopes.
Bill I knows. It's the law of the land. Your magistrates and lords of the manor can't go against the law of the land. It's in violet.
Maggie It's in what?
Bill In violet.
Maggie What's that mean?
Bill Don't you know anything? That's the colour they write laws in - in the law books. A sort of deep purple . . .
Maggie I knows what violet is. I just don't think you know what you're talking about sometimes. I'll go and make your tea.
Bill Donkey needs feeding.
Maggie So do I. The donkey can wait.
Bill He's had a hard pull today. Up to Hindhead and back.
Maggie If you got off and walked up the hills he wouldn't have to pull so hard. You and the grindstone.
Bill He'll be all right so long as he's fed. How much did us take today?
Maggie Before us stopped by at the last pub, you mean?
Bill A man needs his drink - grinding razors and scissors all day. And you were putting the gin away too.
Maggie I'm not going to sit outside in the cart a'waiting for you to come out, am I.
Bill Bit of drink does a wight no harm.
Maggie A bit of drink! The donkey stops by hisself every time he goes past a pub these days, to save you the trouble of doin' it.
Bill (Going to exit) I'll go and feed him if you're not.
Maggie Going to get rid of your beer more like. And take yerself well away from the doorpost a'fore you do it this time. (To herself) How much did us take! Some of us can't even hold what we do take.

Return to top of this page
Return to the Plays Page or Home Page