Shop own­ers’ trib­ute to ‘poet of the poor’

Hun­dreds of peo­ple watch mu­sic video on YouTube

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger

AN Uxbridge shop-own­ing duo have turned their artis­tic eye to a famed 19th cen­tury poet and printer who lived in the town.

John Bed­ford Leno, known as the ‘poet of the poor’, was born in Uxbridge in 1826 and owned a print­ing press in Wind­sor Street.

After an un­pub­lished poet called The Bells of Uxbridge was dis­cov­ered by Uxbridge Li­brary, Scott Bal­cony and Chris Tay­lor from Bal­cony Shirts de­cided to pay trib­ute to the fa­mous res­i­dent.

Scott said: “We did it as a bit of a laugh and we didn’t think any­one would care. It’s got a re­ally good re­ac­tion.

“He owned a shop just down the road and wrote po­etry and songs, so he did what we’re do­ing 200 years ago.”

Scott and Chris have owned the shirt print­ing shop, in Wind­sor Street, for around seven years and re­lease their own songs through their YouTube chan­nel. Their ren­di­tion of The Bells of Uxbridge has been watched al­most 1,400 times.

John Bed­ford Leno wrote the poem in 1870 about St Mar­garet’s Church. Leno was best known for his po­ems and songs but also pub­lished fic­tion and non-fic­tion books as well as news­pa­pers.

Scott added: “He was a bit of a leg­end.

“We de­cided to turn it into a song and friends came in to help us out.”

n REN­DI­TION: (Right) Mu­si­cians from Bal­cony Shirts; (left) John Bed­ford Leno

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