Last Thursday we had the ceremony for the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the poet G S Fraser, who lived here from 1958-1980. The plaque was installed in February but we had postponed the official unveiling for several reasons. First, we wanted to coordinate it with the Literary Leicester festival, where there was a special event for G S Fraser held at the University earlier in the day.
This included the launch of the new volume of his Selected Poems.
The unveiling was held on the 12th of November, and the 8th had been the centenary of Fraser’s birth. Waiting until November also gave us time to get the house in a complete enough state to hold the event!
I spent the day preparing. Ruby assisted. Not a single glass was broken during her leap into the (at that point empty) champagne bath. She’s extremely dextrous.
The scene was set.
It was a symbolic unveiling of a facsimile of the plaque – we couldn’t be sure of the November weather and also it gets dark by 4:30pm. The logistics of an outdoor event would have been too difficult.
We managed to squeeze about forty people into the dining room! There were three generations of the Fraser family present, along with friends, neighbours and colleagues. G S Fraser’s son, standing on the right, spoke.
Mark (centre) was MC. The Orator of the University (right), who had known G S Fraser, also spoke.
The plaque was then unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Leicester.
He was very pleased as he had never unveiled such a plaque before. See how the Mayor’s ceremonial chain contains the heraldic cinquefoil, a five petaled flower that is the symbol of the City of Leicester, which also features on the plaque.
The Mayor with G S Fraser’s daughter.
Me with the Mayor.
The actual plaque outside.
Guests then stayed on for the reception. It was a great afternoon!