Sir John Betjeman was a founding member of The Victorian Society and campaigned to save and preserve many of the period's buildings, perhaps most notably St. Pancras Station and its attached Midland Grand Hotel (which in its new incarnation was my home last week).
And in the shadowless unclouded glare
Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where
A misty sea-line meets the wash of air.
Last Thursday, the 28th. of August, would have been Sir John's 108th. birthday, and someone who recognises his contribution to the country's architectural and cultural heritage left flowers and a birthday card beside his statue - a sweet gesture, I thought.
I missed Monday night's A.N. Wilson documentary Return to Betjemanland, but thanks to iPlayer (and a timely comment from Kaggsy) I watched it last night and greatly enjoyed it. Just by the way, Wilson's last television film was on C.S. Lewis*, Betjeman's tutor at Magdalen College, Oxford, and a man with whom he did not get on; Wilson has written biographies of both.
*If you haven't already seen it, this post may be of interest.