Suffolk

George Orwell's Southwold home to get new plaque

Montague House, Southwold
Image caption Montague House in Southwold was George Orwell's family home from 1932-39

Proposals have been lodged to maintain George Orwell's link with his former home with a "more legible sign".

Montague House in Southwold, Suffolk, was the family home of the author, whose real name was Eric Blair, from 1932-39.

The privately-owned Grade II-listed house already has a plaque in place to recognise he lived there.

But the Orwell Society has submitted an application for a fresh plaque because the old one is crumbling.

Image caption The Orwell Society said the current plaque is crumbling
Image copyright Southwold Pier
Image caption Orwell's image adorns a mural on Southwold Pier

Ann Kronbergs, trustee of the Orwell Society, said the planning application had been lodged with Waveney District Council with the blessing of the home's owner.

She said: "The lettering now is completely unclear and because it is crumbling Portland stone you cannot see it. Therefore it's time to be given a more legible sign.

"It's really important to commemorate the presence of George Orwell, Eric Blair, at that particular house."She said Orwell's time spent in Southwold and at the High Street house was a "very formative part of his life".

Gym mistress

The home was where the author, noted for works such as Nineteen Eighty Four and Animal Farm, lived there after returning from serving with the police in Burma (now known as Myanmar).

The Blairs moved to the Suffolk and received advance copies of Orwell's travel writings Down and Out in Paris and London in time for Christmas 1932 , while his second novel A Clergyman's Daughter was completed there.

Mrs Kronbergs said some of Southwold's influence made it into his work.

Knype Hill is the fictional name for Southwold in A Clergyman's Daughter, while the character of Dorothy Hare is modelled on the gym mistress at St Felix School in the early 1930s, Brenda Salkeld.

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