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