I'd like to think that people in pubs would talk about my poems
Words: Pipe and Glass
A fascinating story about the connection of one of Hull’s most famous sons and The Pipe and Glass has emerged in a recent biography.

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love, published earlier this year, is by James Booth, a former professor of English at Hull University and Literary Adviser to the Larkin Society. 
Larkin was, of course, the university’s librarian – as well as being arguably the greatest British poet of modern times, and something of a ladies’ man.

James told The Pantry: “There is one famous occasion on which the Pipe and Glass features in Larkin's biography. Betty Mackereth relates that it was after a meal at the Inn in 1975 that their affair began. They were both then in their early fifties and she had been his secretary for eighteen years."

In the book, James writes:  “At this point Larkin transformed his situation in the most dramatic and creative way. He brought a third woman into his life by initiating a love affair with his secretary of eighteen years, Betty Mackereth.

“Betty's description shows how deliber.ate the 'seduction' was on his part. Philip had driven Betty and Pauline Dennison, who was in charge of the Library issue desk, to a dinner at the Pipe and Glass Inn in the village of South Dalton with repre.sentatives of Castle Park Dean Hook, the architects of the new Library. 

“Driving back at the end of the evening, Betty was puzzled that he contrived to take a circuitous route which involved dropping off Pauline first.
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"When they arrived at Betty's house he surprised her by asking if she was going to invite him in for coffee. He later revealed to her that he had worked out the whole sequence beforehand." 

She told Andrew Motion later: 'Nothing much occurred that evening, though Philip did break a saucer! But once on the slippery slope, there seemed nothing I could do to stop (nor did I want to).'

The broken saucer seems oddly signifi.cant. Was it a sign of his guilt and nerv.ousness, a symbol of transgression; or was it a careless assertion of masculine assurance?"

Larkin Society member Phil Pullen was able to add a bit more to the story.
"There are two references to the Pipe and Glass in Larkin's letters to Eva [his mother]," he tells us.

“The first is dated 14th February 1960, when he took Betty there in gratitude for her typing his application for Reading University. 

“The second is 14th June 1970, when he tells his mother that he is planning to take the Library staff out ('More expense!’).

He doesn't write to her about the very significant 1975 visit though!"

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love is published by Bloomsbury. James Booth will be signing copies in Waterstone’s on Hull’s Jameson Street between in December (date to be announced): www.philiplarkin.com


PUBLISHED :November 2014
TAGS : AUTUMNCULTURE
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pipe and glass
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beverley
east yorkshire
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Christmas opening times - food served

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Christmas opening times - BAR OPEN

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SUNDAY 24TH (CHRISTMAS EVE)
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MONDAY 25TH (CHRISTMAS DAY)
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CLOSED FOR OUR ANNUAL HOLIDAY,
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