As a life-long admirer of Charles Dickens, I am saddened by the lack of celebration and occasion given to his birthday, February, 7 by those of us who live in the city of his birth – here in Portsmouth.
We are told that the Dickens Birthplace Museum would be open free of charge on February 7 and that Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor, Ken Ellcome, would be laying a wreath there at 10.30 in the morning (Birthday bash for Dickens, February 6).
Later in the day another wreath appeared around the neck of the great man’s statue in Guildhall Square (although this looked suspiciously like something left over from Christmas).
Incidentally, the time of this wreath laying was not publicised in The News the day before, or I would have made every effort to attend.
But I have to ask why wreaths are being laid in the first place?
We are celebrating the day of Charles Dickens’ birth, not the anniversary of his death.
Perhaps somebody can enlighten me?
In any event, can we please make an effort to make February 7, 2019 a real day of joy and celebration for the birth of the man I believe to be the greatest writer this country has ever known – and to let the world know that he was born in Portsmouth and we are proud of that fact.
Armory Lane, Old Portsmouth