Lin­colnshire love

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

WITH so much press cov­er­age of the West Coun­try, my heart leapt at the re­dress promised by Clive Aslet’s piece on the county Bet­je­man re­ally loved (Au­gust 17). This fil­lip was short-lived. Mr Aslet re­vealed Bet­je­man’s east­ern spir­i­tual home was Nor­folk, when it has, in fact, been ac­cepted as Lin­colnshire—land of his ma­ter­nal an­ces­tors. His hero Ten­nyson left Lin­colnshire, but Bet­je­man be­came a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor—of­ten set­ting out on church crawls and town­cen­tre in­spec­tions from the house of his friend Henry Thorold, au­thor of the county’s Shell Guide.

Bet­je­man loved Lin­colnshire, be­cause ‘it is so un­ob­tru­sively beau­ti­ful’ and ‘lit­tle has changed’. He cel­e­brated its pla­ce­names in po­ems, but all this seems trumped by his delight at the sign ‘To Mavis En­derby and Old Bol­ing­broke’ near the Na­tional Trust’s Tattershall Cas­tle(right), which, when he saw it, bore the crudely in­scribed foot­note: ‘The Gift of a Son.’ Si­mon Ch­esters Thomp­son, Lin­colnshire

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