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June 17th, 2011


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08:32 am - Archive
Fred left behind a lot of papers, including a diary (spread over many, many, books) which seems to date back to 1940, which means it covers his experience of the Coventry blitz, and a lot of poetry and other writing. I went to see the local Museum yesterday, and they are keen to take the papers into their archive. I think that's a good first step, to save the papers, and then it may be that one of us can take the time to edit some of them into publishable form. I think the diary might be quite interesting in its own right. The funeral is today so I am going to talk to his executors to make sure they retain the papers and books when they clear the house, and I'll take them to the museum.

My poetry group met up for a meal on Wednesday to remember Fred and then we had a meeting at the Town Hall, in the usual way. One of my friend's played a recording of Fred reading some of his poetry, and with my eyes closed it was like he was there in the room as we have heard him so often.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:happytune
Date:June 17th, 2011 09:23 am (UTC)
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I'm so glad they would like the papers! Something published one day would be great.
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From:communicator
Date:June 17th, 2011 10:42 am (UTC)
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I think he was a very interesting man. The poem that they read was full of regrets about never settling down and having a family, but I think in reality the life he led was the one he wanted - staying footloose and never having any plans more than a few hours ahead.

Edited at 2011-06-17 10:42 am (UTC)
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From:matildabj
Date:June 17th, 2011 11:59 am (UTC)
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Oh brilliant, I'm so glad his legacy will live on. I really do hope that they get edited and published some day as it seems he was a fascinating man who led an interesting life.
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From:communicator
Date:June 17th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
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I spoke to his executor today, who wants to go through the papers himself first, but I think they will still come to rest in the museum.
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From:happytune
Date:June 17th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
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That sounds promising. Possible the executor wants to look through the papers to ensure there isn't anything in there that might damage Fred's reputation were it to surface in the future. Which is, of course, the role of the executor. But I /really/ hope it doesn't put any spanners in any works...
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From:communicator
Date:June 17th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
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Yes. It's always a difficult one. I think Fred could and would have said if there was anything he wanted to be suppressed.
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From:happytune
Date:June 17th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
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Yes, although I think the legal responsibility is to obviously take primary account of that, and then protect the memory as the next priority. Hopefully he'll see the riches that those papers represent, and not be silly about it.
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From:katlinel
Date:June 17th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
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That's a good way to remember Fred and thank you for sharing that with us.

I hope the diary does get published. I am sure Fred's account of the Coventry blitz and other experiences are well worth preserving and making available.
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From:communicator
Date:June 18th, 2011 07:45 am (UTC)
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of course - I should have consulted you about this kat, but luckily it all worked out, they have it all set up in a sensible way. I spoke to the chief archivist who was like a caricature of a chief archivist, but very friendly and helpful.
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From:katlinel
Date:June 18th, 2011 08:48 am (UTC)
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Goodness, it sounds to me like you found the right place and people to speak to anyway about Fred's diary. My only suggestion would have been to try the county record office, because even if they didn't take in such records, they would know who else might be interested in the area. I'm also enjoying your 'caricature of a chief archivist' and am dying to know if he wore stripy socks of many colours, as does one of my supervisors who was the university chief archivist for many years and is an archetypal absent-minded professor.

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