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Sir Frederic J Osborn memorial event 2022: The poetry of place

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24th November, 2022 : 5:30 pm 8:30 pm

New rescheduled date (due to rail strikes)

Join us for an evening of poetry, drinks and discussion for our annual event in memory of Sir Frederic J Osborn. Osborn was an important figure in the TCPA’s history. A passionate campaigner for healthy places and social justice, Osborn was instrumental in securing the New Towns legislation, which enabled 32 new towns to be established across the UK as part of creating and rebuilding homes and communities following the Second World War. Alongside his campaigning work – Osborn wrote prolifically including satire and poetry, and a book of his verses – ‘Can Man Plan?’ – was published in 1959.

With performances from poets Zena Edwards and Emily Hasler with Jonathan Glancey, architectural critic, writer and Patron of The Betjeman Society, this event will explore how poetry and the arts can help us understand people and place. The event will touch on some of Osborn’s work and correspondence with Sir John Betjeman, one the pre-eminent poets of the 20th century who enthused people about the value of Britain’s cities, landscapes and architecture, alongside contemporary perspectives on creating a sense of place. This subject complements TCPA’s wider work, particularly on reuniting art and planning, and on exploring how the foundations of the Garden City movement can give practical hope to 21st century communities.

The TCPA are grateful to the Lady Margaret Paterson Osborn Trust for supporting this event, which is being held in partnership with The Betjeman Society.


17:00–18:00 – Arrivals

18:10 – Welcome from Andrew Pritchard, Chair of the TCPA

18:20 – The Poetry of Place, with Zena Edwards, Emily Hasler, and Jonathan Glancey

19:20 – Drinks and canapés


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Inner Circle, Regent’s Park
London, NW1 4NS
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Cover photo: An early performance at The Dell natural amphitheatre, part of the vibrant cultural life of the Osborns’ home at Welwyn Garden City (Courtesy of the Welwyn Garden Heritage Trust)