Lover of Essex
Many have loved the Essex countryside but few could thus express that love :
And as I turn the colour-plates
Edwardian Essex opens wide,
Mirrored in ponds and seen through gates,
Sweet uneventful countryside.
This is taken from his poem “Essex”, in which John Betjeman mentions just half a dozen locations. The fact that the first mentioned is Benfleet may well indicate that he had a particular soft spot for the “Village”.
“The vagrant visitor erstwhile,”
My colour-plate book says to me,
“Could wend by hedgerow-side and stile,
From Benfleet down to Leigh-on Sea.”
This popular “people’s poet” died in May 1984.
Copyright John Betjeman by permission of the Estate of John Betjeman