John Betjeman – A Characteristic Fragment
This morning (13/8/09), pricing-up books in the sun on the Prom., out of a copy of Cox and Ford’s The English Parish Church popped a postcard from John Betjeman. The card is printed with the heading From J.Betjeman, The Mead, Wantage,Berks. and is dated 24/2/62, when the blind destruction of so many fine buildings was at its height (partly fuelled, it is not often pointed out, by the Rating System which made it almost essential to demolish promptly any large vacant or under-used building, a classic example of The Devil in the Detail).
The card is addressed to Dr. J.A.Wood of Sheffield 8 and reads:
I am grateful for your kind letter & so glad you have written to protest. I think it is all one can do & one must do it.
Fight on. John Betjeman
Was it the sweeping away of one of those Jacobean farmhouses, formerly in North Derbyshire, that Dr. Wood was protesting about? I’ll photograph the card, and also put in an interesting link when I’ve time.