Sir John Betjeman CBE, Poet Laureate, died in 1984 but his reputation has lived on as the quintessential poet of the suburbs: evocative, jolly, nostalgic and wary of change.
He is, to thousands, the Laureate of Britain, the poet of place, one of the world's great travel writers - unique in that he did much of his work in verse.
In the course of a busy life as a poet, journalist and broadcaster, he seemed to go almost everywhere. Through his poetry and, less obviously, the reams of equally sparkling prose that he contributed to magazines and newspapers (much of which is now hidden in the archives), he wrote with humour, affection and insight about the places, the people and the buildings that he saw with a true poet's vision.
This video traces his steps and words round many of the places he enjoyed and celebrated. Anyone who loves his poems will find them greatly enhanced by seeing the actual places featured in his work; the scenes being backed by readings of his poetry and prose, with occasional glimpses of the great man himself.
This programme is written and presented by Peter Gammond, an authority on the life and works of Sir John Betjeman, who has written more than 50 books on music and the arts including 'The Oxford Companion to Popular Music'.
This DVD was previously available as a WH Smith exclusive video together with companion book.