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Sir John Betjeman centenary celebrations

TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track

Of Sir John Betjeman's (pictured) many centenary celebrations this year, two are open to all. Eleven to 14-year-olds in the UK and the Republic of Ireland have until June 30 (despite the earlier date on the entry form) to enter The John Betjeman Young People's Poetry Competition on the theme of the poetry of place, sponsored by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. And Sir John's Cornish Birthday Party in aid of Padstow lifeboats kicks off at Carruan near Polzeath at 11am on August 28. Only the evening's celebrity auction and reception requires tickets (on sale from June 1 on 01841 533 449). For details of these initiatives and more, see

If you can't make it to Carruan, August 28 is also Betjeman Day on Radio 4.

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