Our board

Our patrons

Lauren Child is an award-winning writer and artist. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola. She was awarded an MBE for Services to Literature in 2010, and was announced as the 10th Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate in 2017. Lauren has been at the forefront of innovation in the arts for 15 years, pioneering text as an integral part of illustration and collaborating with artists across different fields. She is a trustee of The House of Illustration.

Actress and activist Joanna Lumley has been passionate about John Betjeman's poetry since she was a schoolgirl. She led readings of his poetry at the 1996 unveiling of a stone tablet to JB at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey and performed at The John Betjeman Variety Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2006.

Our trustees

JB's grandaughter Lucy Rose Singh is an interior designer living in New York. 


Julie Beck-Richards had a railway career spanning twenty-three years before playing a crucial role in the planning of the two John Betjeman Centenary train events, and organizing the BPP annual prize-giving at St. Pancras Station.

Justin Gowers worked in publishing, firstly as an assistant to the late publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, then as an assistant to the literary agent Clare Alexander. He was the administrator of the Betjeman Poetry Prize from 2006-2014.  He now works in further education. 

Rupert Lycett Green was married to Candida, the founder of the competition, for 51 years. He runs his own oil business, breeds racehorses and is an occasional contributor to The Oldie magazine. 

Author Nick Peto, fundraising advisor, was a pall bearer at John Betjeman's funeral in May 1984, when he helped to  carry the poet's coffin across a golf course in driving rain to the church of St Enodoc.

Our founder: Candida Lycett Green (1942-2014)

The Betjeman Poetry Prize was founded in 2006 by John Betjeman's daughter. Candida Lycett Green was a writer, horsewoman, mother of five, gardener and conservationist. She wrote hundreds of articles and over sixteen books on gardens, the countryside, architecture and England, as well as editing two acclaimed volumes of JB's letters. She also published two memoirs (Over the Hills and Faraway and The Dangerous Edge of Things) and wrote the 'Unwrecked England' column for The Oldie magazine for over twenty years. She died at home in Uffington, Oxfordshire in 2014.

Photograph: Andrew Crowley

Copyright © 2019 Betjeman Poetry Prize   |  All Rights Reserved

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