The ladies of the Ullesthorpe W.I. had another zoom meeting in June. John Florance, retired BBC Radio Leicester presenter gave a very interesting talk about Sir John Betjeman. Sir John Betjeman was born in 1906. He became well known during the fifties, sixties and seventies as a result of a breadth of activities as a journalist, critic, writer, radio, and appeared in television programmes. He would always wear trilby hats which would make him look somewhat eccentric. He became a national treasure and was also called the nation’s teddy bear!
He developed a keen interest in conservation, particularly of historical architecture not least Victorian and churches giving a sense of continuing history. He campaigned to save the deteriorating St. Pancras Station, this succeeded and gained Grade One status. A statue was created by Martin Jennings of Sir John which can be seen at St. Pancras, which captures his character and causes people to smile. He was a keen railway enthusiast and loved train journeys and the stations he passed through. He was an important figure in post war cultural life and was a great modernist.
His poems show a neat observation expressed in clear, witty language and often have a pleasant nostalgic tone. He died in 1984 and is buried in St Enodoc Churchyard on the Camel Estuary. His coffin had to be carried through the golf course where the church is located. He had great affection for the area as he spent many happy holidays in that area. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1972
We are hoping to resume meetings at the Village Hall on July 8th, when our speaker will be Carol Roberts who will be talking about Haunted Leicester.
New members are welcome (Tel. No. 01455 202322)