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Cockermouth Post Article May 2011

We came across two pictures recently, showing the commemoration in 1950 of the anniversary of William Wordsworth’s death on 23rd April 1850. Schoolchildren walked through the town, carrying bunches of daffodils, to the Wordsworth Fountain (now relocated opposite Wordsworth House) in Harris Park, where there was a ceremony that naturally included the recitation of Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’, by Annette Hodge from Cockermouth School. The pictures were taken on 22nd April 1950, which was a rather wet day. Twenty years later, on 7th April, 1970 there was a celebration of the birth of Wordsworth in 1770, which saw the unveiling of the Wordsworth bust opposite Wordsworth House by the poet’s great-great-grandson, Lt. Col. J. G. Wordsworth. Schoolchildren again walked up to the park to lay daffodils at the Wordsworth Fountain.

I hadn’t realised that it was in 1970 that there was a mass planting around the approaches to the town of around 27,000 daffodils. We can thank everyone involved in that programme, including people of the town who responded generously to an appeal for money to buy the bulbs, for the wonderful appearance of the town each year, when masses of daffodils announce that spring has arrived. Apparently, the Post Office produced a commemorative stamp, but rather disappointingly it carried a picture of Grasmere!

Gloria Edwards

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