Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sir John Betjeman & the St Pancras Station

После фильма, в частности, кадра со станцией метро и скульптурой - нагуглилось.

Сэр Джон Бетчеман (Sir John Betjeman; 28 августа 1906 — 19 мая 1984) — британский поэт и писатель, один из основателей Викторианского Общества.

Sir John Betjeman was one of the people principally responsible for saving both the St Pancras Chambers and the St Pancras Station from demolition in the 1960s. In tribute to the famous poet and railway lover the sculpture by Martin Jennings has been designed to stand at platform level to celebrate the man and his lovely nostalgic poetry for a bygone 'railway age'.
The poet is looking up in awe at the magnificent Victorian engineering splendour of the Barlow shed whilst catching hold of his hat.
- source
John Betjeman, who helped to save St Pancras station from demolition in the 1960s, has been honoured with a seven-foot high bronze statue on the main concourse of the new station next to the arrival point of the Eurostar. The statue, created by Martin Jennings and commissioned by London and Continental Railways, owes its existence to the daughter of the late poet laureate and the keeper of her father's flame, Candida Lycett Green. It was opened in 2007.

The larger than life-size statue of Betjeman depicts him walking into the new station for the first time. He is looking up at the great arc of the train shed - which he always did because it took his breath away. He is leaning back and holding onto his hat, his coat tails billowing out behind him, caught by the wind from a passing train. He is carrying a Billingsgate fish basket containing books. There was some discussion about having Archie, Betjeman's beloved teddy bear, in the fish basket but it was felt that no one would know who he was.

The statue is standing on a disc of Cumbrian slate inscribed with Betjeman's name and dates and the words "Who saved this glorious station". Round the rim, Jennings has chosen words from the poem Cornish Cliffs:
"And in the shadowless unclouded glare /
Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where /
A misty sea-line meets the wash of air."

The lines aptly describe the arching roof of St Pancras station. Surrounding the statue and base is a series of satellite discs of various sizes set into the floor and hand-inscribed by Jennings with quotations from Betjeman's poetry.

The inscriptions on the discs are carved without the addition of poem titles.
Martin Jennings says:
"I want texts that have a particular meaning but also point to something bigger, so some hint at the joy of trains and travel and stations and architecture, some the seascapes at the other ends of the lines, and one or two the feelings of yearning associated with stations and life."
- source

Archibald Ormsby-Gore, better known as Archie, was the teddy-bear of English poet laureate John Betjeman. Together with a toy elephant known as Jumbo, he was a lifelong companion of Betjeman's.
Betjeman brought his bear with him when he went up to university at Oxford in the 1920s, and as a result Archie became the model for Aloysius, Sebastian Flyte's bear in Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited.

In the 1940s, Betjeman also wrote and illustrated a story for his children, entitled Archie and the Strict Baptists.

Betjeman also wrote a poem "Archibald" in which the bear is temporarily stuffed in the loft for fear of Betjeman appearing "soft" to his father.

Archie and Jumbo were in Betjeman's arms when he died in 1984.

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