Back in the late 1980’s I was invited to The Round House in Sudborough, East Northamptonshire to see if I could do some framing. Little did I know that I was to meet and frame the work of ‘BB’, the British naturalist, children's writer, and illustrator. I had read one of his books a while back, but I did not know of his vast knowledge of the countryside and creative abilities until I began to research about this man I had just met. He had won the Carnegie Price for Literature and gained an MBE.
Then three years ago (2008) I started talking to Matthew Oates, Head of Conservation at The National Trust and found he was also a great fan of BB. So this project unfolds with partners that include Northamptonshire County Council, National Trust and Northamptonshire Theatres to build the profile of this author and to engage with the natural environment through working with quality contemporary artists. We hope this year’s activities will take us forward to a large festival next year.
The project idea is to raise the profile of this Northamptonshire author, giving him contemporary meaning and resonance. We will develop his legacy to encourage people to engage with the countryside through contemporary art. The commissioned artists (particularly literary-based), will research, develop and create high quality new work and deliver events for the public and schools which in turn will inform a much larger festival in 2012.
Who was ‘BB’
Denys Watkins-Pitchford (who wrote under the pseudonym 'BB') was an author who is highly regarded by many generations, but needs to be more highly recognised. He was awarded an MBE for his contribution to literature in 1989, won the prestigious Carnegie Prize in 1942 for his story The Little Grey Men and should be acknowledged alongside other great county literary figures such John Clare, HE Bates and JL Carr.
BB had a strongly evocative ability to write and illustrate stories and factual prose often inspired or about Northamptonshire, for children and adults - as confirmed in the Radio 4 programme about him 'The shape of things to come' presented by Kate Best in October 2010.
BB 2012 Events Archive: