Not a great deal has been happening over the last few months, hence the lack of updates. We are making preparations for Stage Two of the renovation so I hope to share some more news with you over the next few months.
Ned Heywood, the maker of London’s blue plaques – and the most recent blue plaque in Leicester, for Ernest Gimson – produced and installed this plaque commemorating the poet who lived in this house for twenty-two years. I have been working with the City of Leicester and the Fraser family to make this all happen and I am really happy to see this endeavour realised. GS Fraser was an important mid-20th century poet and critic who also taught at the University of Leicester. I have blogged about him and the Fraser family here. Not only did GS Fraser live here but this house was an unofficial centre for Leicester’s literary life during the sixties and seventies. The famous sociologist Richard Hoggart desribed this house in his autobiography, A Measured Life, as “the nearest thing in the area to a literary salon”. Of GS Fraser he wrote:
His central quality is best summed up in a favourite word he took from Yeats’s use of it: ‘companionable’. An enduring snapshot is of him at one of the parties in their Guilford Road house, glass in hand, in a group, he talking cheerfully all the time…He died in January 1980 and was buried outside the city, at Oadby. Afterwards we all went back to Guilford Road for drinks and snacks, and moved through the rooms and hall, and sat on the stairs; all very much like it had been at parties in the old days. George would have approved.
And how it looks from the street. Now to do something about the garden and that wonky side fence! We hope to have an official unveiling of the plaque later in the year to coincide with the publication of a new collection of GS Fraser’s poetry.
Fascinated by Joan Collins on the shopping channel. She watched non-stop for forty-five minutes. It’s the first thing she’s ever shown interest in on the television. Typical. Oliver enjoys watching the ‘funniest home video’ shows like You’ve Been Framed and Ruby likes documentaries of wildlife, so it was only natural that Rose would discover beauty and make-up – she was a beauty queen and Premier Champion on the cat show circuit after all.