Thursday, 18 September 2014

Delderfield Plaque unveiled


Visitors to Fairlynch who enjoyed the R.F. Delderfield Centenary Exhibition in 2012 will be pleased to know that the author, pictured above, has been honoured with a blue plaque at the house where he lived from 1918 to 1923 in Addiscombe, Surrey.

The Addiscombe & Shirley Park Residents’ Association funded the plaque to commemorate the distinguished novelist and dramatist who later moved to East Devon.

The plaque, at 22 Ashburton Avenue, was unveiled on 4 September by the Worshipful the Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, by kind permission of the present owners of the house and in the company of members of the Delderfield family. 

R.F. Delderfield’s The Avenue novels, comprising The Dreaming Suburb and The Avenue Goes to War, were directly based on his life in the Addiscombe area and were later made into the successful London Weekend Television series ‘People Like Us’ (1977-8) starring John Duttine. He also wrote about the area in his autobiography, Overture for Beginners.

In another autobiography, Delderfield wrote amusingly about his life in Budleigh Salterton, which he disguised as Pebblecombe Regis. You can read about this here

His move to East Devon from the London area was a profound change for Delderfield. But he remained a great champion of the suburbs, which he referred to as “Arcady.”  Of its residents, he wrote:

“These people are for the most part unsung, and that even though they represent the greater part of Britain’s population. The story of the country dwellers, and the city sophisticates, has been told often enough; it is time somebody spoke of the suburbs, for therein, I have sometimes felt, lies the history of our race.”

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