North Tawton Blue Plaque for Ted Hughes.
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Blue Plaque for North Tawton Poet Laureate

On Thursday April 28th, just as the world was becoming besotted with the Royal Wedding, a simple but significant ceremony was being held in North Tawton - just a few miles east of Hatherleigh - to acknowledge the part played in our literary universe by poet Ted Hughes. Hughes lived in North Tawton from1961 until his death in 1998 and was Poet Laureate for part of that time. He worked a small farm near Winkleigh called Moortown, later to become embedded in the title of one of his poetry collections. He was also President of the Charity Farms for City Children, established by his friend Michael Morpurgo in Iddesleigh. Michael, who is now world famous for authoring The War Horse, attended the ceremony in North Tawton and graciously agreed to have his picture taken with Carol Hughes, Ted's widow, who organised the unveiling of a Blue Plaque in Hughes' honour. The ceremony was supported by children from the local primary school, who read exceprts from Hughes' poems. An exhibition dedicated to Hughes was open all too briefly in the Town Hall at the same time, showing a cross-section of artefacts and memorabilia from his life. Hughes' funeral was held in North Tawton Church and his ashes were later scattered up on the Moor, a memorial stone marking the spot. We asked a busy but composed Carol what it was like living with the legacy of Ted Hughes. "It's a privilege," she replied, "and an honour to be bringing Ted's work to a wider audience." Here are a few images from the ceremony and the exhibition - with special thanks to Carol for being so cooperative and patient.

Carol Hughes, still livng in North Tawton in the same house.


Unveiling the Blue Plaque

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North Tawton Schoool Children read excerpts from Hughes' poems as a prelude to the unveiling ceremony (top)

Ted's school cap (from the exhibition)

Carol, with War Horse author Michael Morpurgo

Hughes and family on Dartmoor (from the exhibition).


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