Debt Of Honour Cast in Bronze
Tribute to Bedford Park's saviour Sir John Betjeman unveiled at St Pancras
It was over forty years ago Sir John Betjeman helped preserve Bedford Park from demolition. Developers - including Acton Council - had begun knocking down the large Victorian houses and replacing them with modern blocks of flats.
However Betjeman, who was the first patron of the Bedford Park Society, led the campaign to save the first garden suburb calling the area "the most significant suburb built in the last century, probably the most significant in the Western world".
In 1967, as a result of the campaign, no fewer than 356 Bedford Park houses were listed Grade II, together with other buildings including the church of St Michaels and All Angels.
Whilst Betjeman's contribution to Chiswick is celebrated with an annual event hosted by the Soceity, his immense contribution to the campaign against the demolitan of St Pancras Station was permanently marked this week with a statue erected in his honour.
Cast in bronze, sculptor Martin Jennings' tribute was unveiled by the Betjeman's daughter, Candida Lycett Green two days before the new Eurostar service began and is said to be a 'debt of honour' being repaid by London and Continental Railways.
November 14, 2007