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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Train to carry famous poet's name
Sir John Betjeman
Sir John Betjeman at Diss on the line into Liverpool Street
The 100th anniversary of the birth of late poet laureate Sir John Betjeman will be marked by the naming of a train at Liverpool Street station in London.

The event commemorates the poet's fight to save the station's architecture from destruction by re-development.

He also travelled regularly from the station to visit Cambridge and Norfolk.

He made a famous film "Something about Diss" in 1964, which saw him getting off a train at the town's station on the Norwich to Liverpool Street line.

The locomotive, owned by One Railway, will pull trains on the commuter line through Essex and Suffolk to Norfolk and will be named by the poet's daughter.

Passion for architecture

It is one of a number of events taking place to celebrate his centenary.

Betjeman was born on 28 August 1906, near Highgate, London. The family name was Betjemann, but he dropped an "n" during the First World War to make it sound less German.

He studied at Magdalene College, Oxford, but did not complete his degree, having failed a divinity exam.

He became a teacher and then an assistant editor of The Architectural Review - a job which inspired him throughout his life to support campaigns to save many famous but decaying English buildings.

One of Sir John's most famous poems, A Mind's Journey to Diss, reflects on the views from the carriage window on a train journey from London to Diss, in Norfolk.

It opens: "Dear Mary, Yes, it will be bliss to go with you by train to Diss, your walking shoes upon your feet; we'll meet, my sweet, at Liverpool Street."

Dominic Booth, One Railway managing director, said: "Sir John Betjeman, railways and the East Anglia region were an evocative mix."




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