2019 Hopkins and Betjeman Societies at Highgate School

UK Hopkins Society: Sat 31 August 2019  – HAPPIEST DAYS

A joint meeting with the Betjeman Society at Highgate School, London; site of attendance as schoolboys by both poets; Betjeman attending the junior school and Hopkins the senior – both boys fell foul of their Highgate headmasters and a re-enactment was staged of their most fearsome encounters. But was there little positive in their schooldays? We were able to make our own assessment. The school archivist showed us where they did their learning and how the school remembers them today. The Highgate school museum has several artefacts relating to Hopkins on display. We heard what they wrote while at school and what they said about it. We also heard the results of a competition to suggest JB’s most Hopkinesque poem and Hopkins most Betjamanesque!  The day included a tour of the school and the impact of the schools on their poetry. Both were summer babies, and the day finished with a shared celebratory cake.