TE Lawrence

Lawrence's Broughs
RE: Bygone Days article about a Raleigh link with T E Lawrence.
Lawrence actually met his untimely death while riding the Brough Superior a 1932 1000ce 58100 (GW 2275) he named George VII.
From September 1922, Lawrence owned eight Brough motorcycles; he had names for each of them:
1922 -'Boa', short for Boanerges 'Sons of Thunder', the title Jesus gave to disciples James and John.
1923 - George I that cost £150, more than the price of a house at the time.
1924 - George II.
1925 - George III.
1926 - George IV.
1927 - George V (RK 4907).
1929 - George VI (UL 656).
1932 - George VII (GW 2275). This machine has been in the sole possession of Mr John Weebly of Ringwood for the past 23 years.
George VIII was being built when to Lawrence died and it was never delivered.
MALCOLM MEGOWAN Salisbury. Extract from a newspaper.

Lawrence picture sold

A pencil and crayon drawing of a young tribesman befriended by Lawrence of Arabia was sold for £9,887.The drawing of "Dahoum", to whom TE Lawrence is thought to have dedicated The Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Selim Ahmed is thought to have been the "SA" said by Lawrence, in a postscript to the book, to have inspired him to help the Arabs fight for independence. (10/04/01)

Lawrence sleeping bag returned
The sleeping bag which served as a guest bed to some of the 20th century's most distinguished authors at TE Lawrence's weekend retreat has been returned 36 years ago after it was stolen. National trust custodians of Clouds Hill, the author's cottage in Dorset, were amazed when a from Belgium arrived containing the sleeping bag along with a note which said: "This is yours." The bag, embroidered with the word "tuum", was provided for guests at the cottage, while Lawrence slept on the floor in the other sleeping bag, marked "meum". According to Jeremy Wilson, Laurence's biographer, 'tuum's' occupants included George Bernard Shaw, EM Forster and Robert Graves. Frances Chapman, the custodian of Clouds Hill, said: "We do not know who had the bag all these years, but we are thankful it's back. It's in good condition, a lot better than 'meum'. The bag's disappearance in 1965 coincided with the release of Lawrence of Arabia, the film which immortalised its owner. It was thought the theft could have been inspired by the publicity and excitement generated by the film. (10/04/01)

"The most delightful of English counties"
A new display entitled "Lawrence of Arabia’s Dorset" which provides an introductory guide to visitors to Purbeck seeking information on the legendary T. E. Lawrence, has opened at the Purbeck Heritage and Information Centre in South Street, Wareham.

The display covers Lawrence’s glittering wartime career, which earned him a recommendation for the Victoria Cross. Also featured is Lawrence’s enlistment as a private in the Tank Corps at Bovington in 1923, his cottage Clouds Hill, his friendship with Thomas Hardy, other literary friendships, his affection for Dorset, described by him as "the most delightful of English counties" and the places he regularly visited in the county. Also included is his return to the RAF and subsequent retirement to Dorset, his tragic death in 1935, his enduring legend, a detailed chronology, and a guide to the places associated with him in Dorset. A Lawrence of Arabia trail leaflet accompanies the display.

The Purbeck Information & Heritage Centre’s opening times from June to end of September are Mon-Sat 9:30 am - 5:00 pm. Sundays 10 am – 1 pm and 1.45 pm to 4 pm. October to May: Mon-Sat 9:30am – 1pm and 1.45pm - 5:00pm. For further information telephone: (01929) 552740.

Vintage rally for friendship from the Dorset Echo
The friendship between Dorset war hero T E Lawrence and playwright George Bernard Shaw will be celebratedat a special vintage rally which will include Lawrence's favourite motorbike. Motor bike enthusiasts will leave Lawrence's former home, the National Trust property at Cloud's Hill, at 10.30am on Sunday May 21 for a rally to Hertfordshire, where Shaw lived. Riders will be wearing period clothes similar to those in Lawrence's day.
He was better-known as Lawrence of Arabia and he was the most famous owner of a Brough Superior. But the great man was tragically killed on his Brough in 1935. Pictures of this event

The new Lawrence of Arabia exhibition at Bovington

The Tank Museum's new Lawrence of Arabia exhibition was launched on 12 April in an exclusive VIP ceremony, hosted by Col John Woodward, museum director, with Revd Graham Perryman, vicar of St Nicholas Church, Moreton, very fittingly opening the display. Graham had been scheduled to arrive in great style in the museum's armour-plated Rolls-Royce, but heavy rain and sleet prevented this. Col Woodward said that although the museum specialises in the history of the Royal Armoured Corps, Lawrence had a legitimate place there because he had served in the Tank Corps at Bovington, his house Clouds Hill, was a short distance north of the camp, his fatal motorcycle accident occurred not far from the museum, and he had died in the Bovington military hospital.
The display has been designed to be of interest to the general public, to make the current generation aware of Lawrence, and to point them in the general direction of other Lawrence sites in Dorset. He paid tribute to the efforts of assistant curator Kate White and the museum team who helped put the display together, and also to the designer of the display.
Revd Perryman said that many thousands of visitors visit Lawrence's grave every year and although he felt he should point them towards the church and God, he was equally happy to point them towards the Tank Museum and its new display. He said that Lawrence had been an inspiration to the men he led in the desert campaigns and that he was still an inspiration to people today.
The Lawrence display has been put together beautifully by the Kate White and her team and should not to be missed. I won't spoil it for future visitors by saying what is in it, apart from the fact that it features an 1150cc Brough Superior with a ghost rider amongst its exhibits, and it is both modern and impressive. The museum's extensive gift shop contains a wide variety of Lawrence items for sale.
A buffet and drinks were laid on for guests who were given free access to wander around the museum afterwards and given souvenir books and other items to take away.
For more information on the special display and the Tank Museum in general, visit their website here

Notes of TE Lawrence
Abbreviated extract from 'Exorcism' by Peter Underwood 1990
Henry Williamson, to whom Lawrence had sent a telegram of welcome in answer to a note suggesting he should visit, minutes before his accident, told me that he was convinced that Lawrence's death was no accident; indeed the coroner at the inquest said it was 'a most unsatisfactory situation', but perhaps it is appropriate that the man whose whole life was something of a mystery should meet his death in mysterious circumstances, for Williamson was by no means alone in his suspicions.

Since his Death in mysterious circumstances many people claim to have seen the white-robed figure of Lawrence entering his cottage at Clouds Hill. One witness said he distinctly heard the roar of Lawrence's machine coming towards him. At any moment he expected to see a motorcycle but he saw nothing and then, all was suddenly quiet. Because of concerns that these ghostly noises might be a danger to road-users, an exorcism was performed at the place and repeated each day for seven days. The first exorcism was carried out on 13 May 1985, fifty years to the day after the fatal accident, and since this series of exorcisms there have been no reports of the 'ghostly' sounds.
Grave stone.jpg (16949 bytes) Grave stone at Moreton
Notice.jpg (18137 bytes) Opening hours
Cloudshill_back_small.jpg (2180 bytes) Clouds Hill
Morton church.jpg (11976 bytes) Morton Church

Other places of interest
Various Lawrence books
TE Lawrence is featured at this address: http://www.castle-hill-press.com/teweb/index.htm
TE Lawrence Society: 88 Park Road, Rushden, Northants, NN10 0LH. 01933 413200.
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Hardy's Tooting House

Ever since the former residences of the famous and important were first commemorated by The Royal Society of Arts with blue plaques back in 1867, they have spread throughout London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Southampton. Recognising individuals as diverse as George Orwell and Jimi Hendrix. But what's it like to live in the house where a famous author, politician or' entertainer once lived?

Felicity Hope bought author Thomas Hardy's former Tooting residence three years ago and is in the process of renovating it. "I was looking for somewhere when the estate agent told us that

Thomas Hardy's house was available. Apparently Hardy lived here when he was working as an architect in Tooting, but didn't stay for long because he was so miserable. I'd studied Hardy for A-level so 1 thought I'd go and have a look, and 1 absolutely loved it. I rang the bank and begged and begged for extra money and bought it for about £82,000, and it's now been valued at around £180,000.

"A lot of people are quite interested in it. We're forever getting people taking photographs. "Quite a few times people have rung on the doorbell, asking if we'd ever found one of Hardy's manuscripts here. When we took the carpets up I did find something underneath the floor that looked like a letter. 1 got really excited and spent an hour with a pair of chopsticks trying to get it out, thinking, 'Yes, this is it'. When 1 finally got it out, it was a letter-dated from 1981, which was very disappointing. Also, one of the girls who lived downstairs was convinced she had seen his ghost. She got hysterical one night, when she thought he'd walked through her kitchen."

Even without supernatural visitations, blue plaques do have the potential to increase the value of a property. "They make a house sell, mainly because it gives the property a focal point says Tony Halstead, a residential property consultant. "It helps to create an interest, helps in advertising which makes it easier to sell, and ultimately might result in a slightly better price. "Of course a lot depends on who the blue plaque commemorates as to whether it will increase the price. But were two houses which identical and one had a blue plaque and the didn't I'd certainly buy the one with the blue plaque." Ultimately however it is important to keep in mind that no matter which poet, singer or superstar lived there, the blue plaque is just a bonus.