Hilaire Belloc bought King's Land (in Shipley, Sussex), 5 acres and a working windmill for £1000 in 1907 and it was his home for the rest of his life. Belloc loved Sussex as few other writers have loved her: he lived there for most of his 83 years, he tramped the length and breadth of the county, slept under her hedgerows, drank in her inns, sailed her coast and her rivers and wrote several incomparable books about her. "He does not die that can bequeath Some influence to the land he knows, Or dares, persistent, interwreath Love permanent with the wild hedgerows; He does not die, but still remains Substantiate with his darling plains."

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Monday, 25 June 2018

Henry Douglas RIP

Dr Grahame Clough, the former Chairman of the Hilaire Belloc Society, has some unwelcome news for us. He writes:

''The sad news to report is that our good friend and originator of The Hilaire Belloc Society, back in 1996, Henry Douglas has passed away. Henry never missed a committee meeting and thank goodness for that because he was the epitome of calmness and was always able to quench even the most heated debates on every subject and would you believe that even included the genius of Buffy the Vampire Slayer versus that of Charlie Chaplin - there were many other obscure subjects that got out of hand but dear old Henry shepherded us into order. The Belloc Society meetings were always held in Guildford and many thought that this because that is where Hilaire Belloc died - that is not true, the real truth is that I did not want to give Henry any excuse! He never knew I had an ulterior motive but although I did I just loved his company. Henry very kindly donated his entire collection of books, by Belloc, to the Hilaire Belloc Society and I am absolutely certain that he will be so pleased that his collection now resides at Kings Land and with his own bookplate. From a personal point of view Henry's journalistic skills were very welcome and are what made The Bellocian newsletter so well received because although perfectly polite he would never shy from telling me that I was wrong and so for that Henry, I will raise a glass of red, toast a very good friend and make sure that this obituary is grammatically incorrect so that I can imagine that last rye smile.''

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