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Archive: Poet John Betjeman’s fight against huge Vale airport

1969: Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman in Market Square, Aylesbury, preparing to express his views about plans for an airport at an inquiry in the town

1969: Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman in Market Square, Aylesbury, preparing to express his views about plans for an airport at an inquiry in the town

Back in the late 60s the fight against a third London airport near Aylesbury was dominating the headlines.

An inquiry into the airport, which would have meant the complete destruction of Cublington, was held in Aylesbury in July 1969.

A succession of speakers went up before the Roskill Commission held at the Borough Assembly Hall, including Poet Laureate John Betjeman, seen above in Market Square.

He said ‘only Stansted would be a worse choice than Wing for an aerodrome near to London which would destroy the peace of a maximum amount of genuine English landscape’.

Also speaking before the inquiry were composer John Dankworth, jazz singer Cleo Laine, author Geoffrey Household and actress Margaret Rawlings, while Roald Dahl and his actress wife Patricia Neal also joined protestors outside the hall.

The plans were eventually shelved to mass celebrations.

 

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