Blue Plaque erected at Castle Top Farm
Derbyshire County Council has erected a Blue Plaque to commemorate the life and work of Alison Uttley at the farm where she was born and which inspired so much of her work. On Monday September 24th, a stalwart party braved the downpour to witness Councillor Andrew Lewer and Professor Denis Judd unveil the plaque, which is on a fine dry stone wall by the footpath and close to Castle Top Farm. The owners of Castle Top, Louise and James Brennan, kindly invited us all in for a warming cup of tea. Councillor Lewer spoke of Alison’s achievements as a scholarship winner from Derbyshire in 1903 and her success as a writer; Professor Judd quoted from Alison’s writings, saying how much she loved the old farm and the life of the Derbyshire countryside. It was a memorable occasion. How proud Alison would be to see her beloved Castle Top and her own work so honoured.
Our thanks go to Sally Furness, of Derbyshire Council, for her splendid organization of the event; to the Brennan’s for their hospitality and to Gilly and Simon Groom of Manor Farm, who proposed Alison for this honour. Thank you, too, to all the Alison Uttley fans who voted on line in the competition.
Sheila Griffiths, Ashburne Hall, University of Manchester