Sunday, July 08, 2018

A Southampton blue plaque for John Arlott

Yesterday Mark Pack posted a 1950 film celebrating cricket with narration from Ralph Richardson and John Arlott.

Attentive reader's voice: Didn't you post that film yourself a few years ago?

Liberal England replies: It was seven years ago, but who's counting?

Watching the film again on Mark's blog, I was struck by how quickly Arlott established himself as the voice of cricket. Only five years before it was made he was a police sergeant in Southampton.

Arlott made the leap to cricket broadcasting via the BBC Overseas Service, where he produced poetry programmes for Indian listeners. (He was an accomplished poet himself and had cultivated the friendship of John Betjeman and others.)

The post Arlott was given at the BBC in 1945 sounds very like the one George Orwell vacated in 1943.

Yesterday a blue plaque was unveiled on the house in Lodge Road, Southampton, where Arlott and his wife lived when he was still a policeman.

Read more on the Bevois Mount History Facebook page, from which I have borrowed this photograph.

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