AN AMATEUR drama society based in Goodworth Clatford has created a show about a local girl who might have been the inspiration for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Clatford Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS) is telling the story of Sarah Dowdy, who wrote letters to Jane Austen between 1800 and 1804.

The show, recorded as a movie because of lockdown restrictions, is being used to raise money for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA).

READ MORE: History of Caldecott House in Andover

The movie named The Clatford Letters will premiere on YouTube at 7.30pm on Thursday, February 10, and will be available to watch for free for several weeks.

Andover Advertiser: From the movie The Clatford LettersFrom the movie The Clatford Letters

Alan Willens, a spokesperson for the society, said the show is based on works by historian Lotty Wordy.

Mr Willens said: “During work to plant a commemorative oak tree in The Park at Goodworth Clatford, the remains of an old trunk were found, containing a silver box. The Andover museum concluded it must have fallen off a mail coach at a time before Church Lane became the main road which then skirted the park behind the vicarage.

“When the museum opened the box, they were amazed to find a bundle of letters; correspondence between Sarah Dowdy, a local girl and Jane Austen. The letters covered the period 1800 to 1804 for which very few of Austen’s letters exist, presumably having been destroyed by her sister Cassandra.

SEE ALSO: Ludgershall salon in English Hair and Beauty Awards final

“The well-known historian Lotty Wordy has been commissioned to make a television programme about the letters. In this era of leaks CADS were lucky enough to get hold of early footage of the programme while it was still in rehearsals some of which had to be carried out on Zoom.”

Andover Advertiser: From the movie The Clatford LettersFrom the movie The Clatford Letters

Andover Advertiser: From the show The Clatford LettersFrom the show The Clatford Letters

In both 2020 and 2021, CADS had raised nearly £1,000 for the Andover Food Bank. The society had raised around £700 for HIOWAA in 2019.

Further information and details on how to donate, click here.

Message from the editor 

Thank you for reading this story. We really appreciate your support. 

Please help us to continue bringing you all the trusted news from Andover by sharing this story or by following our Facebook page

Kimberley Barber