The JB Priestley Society was founded in 1997 by a group of JBP enthusiasts and with the support of Tom Priestley JBP’s son. The son of Jacquetta Hawkes, JBP’s third wife, Nicolas is very involved in the Society too and adds his own unique dimension to our work.
Many of those original members are still active in the society today and work to promote the legacy of this great writer. JBP is as topical as ever as we move into the 2020’s and his famous morality play An Inspector Calls is widely performed and is currently on the GCSE national syllabus.
The society produces an annual Journal and a quarterly newsletter which promote debate and discussion, and keeps members in touch with each other and topical issues around JBP’s work.
JB Priestley’s work has wide appeal and while there has been debate about where he fits into the literary pantheon, there is surely something to satisfy every taste in his vast repertoire. His time plays were an exploration of that unfathomable dimension, whilst his political acuity was layered into many of his writings too. The Image Men was a prophetic work that heralded the world of political spin. But at heart he understood people, knew what made them tick and described characters with a wry perception. Many of his works are compelling tales drawing on the world of theatre and his own indelible traits and his experience of growing up in Bradford. These Bradford roots can be glimpsed in his autobiographical work. He is famous for his English Journey and he also enjoyed literary criticism; it might be said that he was a literary polymath.
All societies need active and committed members and a turnover of new members and ideas. New members are encouraged to join and to become part of the great man’s legacy.
JB Priestley Society Officers 2019
President: Tom Priestley
Vice-Presidents: Kenneth Cranham, Roy Hattersley, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Barry Cryer, Roger Pringle, Stuart Maconie, Nicolas Hawkes.
Chair: Lee Hanson
Secretary: Rod Slater
Treasurer: Andrew Greathead
Membership Secretary: Tony Reavill
Information Officer: Roger Statham
Council members: Michael Nelson, Ken Smith, Lyndsay Sutton, Jenny Reavill, Bill Lawrence, Lorraine Howarth, Ann Nelson, John Baxendale, Janice Slater, Trevor Johnson and Wendy Statham.