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Plea for help to trace Larkin mystery artist.

Byline: ARRYN BUGGINS

DEVOTEES of Coventry-born poet Philip Larkin are trying to trace a mystery woman from the Warwick area.

Pam Evans made a sketch of the poet who stayed with his parents in Coten End, Warwick, in the 1940s.

Called Nightcap, it bears the inscription on the rear: "The artist is the model for a poem in the North Ship".

The sketch was found in a second-hand book shop in Warwick in the 1990s and shows Larkin in a chair next to a table.

Don Lee, from the Philip Larkin Society, said: "We are intrigued by the reference to Pam Evans. We have studied the North Ship again and again and don't understand the link."

He thinks the mysterious Pam Evans would probably be at least 80 now, if still alive.

He said her work refers to 1922-1985, the years of Larkin's birth and death.

Mr Lee was one of 30 people who took part in a walk around Warwick at the weekend looking at points of interest that have connections with the poet.

Their research found that his 1948 poem An April Sunday Brings The Snow is based on the family home in Warwick, while Hospital Visits, from 1953, refers to the town's hospital where his father was treated.

Each year, members of the society pick a different location where the poet lived or worked, and visit it on the anniversary of Larkin's birthday.

Mr Lee said: "He had a lot more links with Warwick than most people realise. He lived in the town after his family was bombed out of Coventry and came back while on leave from Oxford."

Mr Lee said Larkin's first job application was to be a clerk with the former Leamington Borough Council, but he was unsuccessful.

Work recently published in Larkin's name was written by him in Warwick in the 1940s, under the guise of Brunette Coleman. Mr Lee described it as "soft lesbian porn" which did not appear under Larkin's name in his lifetime.

Anyone with information about Pam Evans should phone Mr Lee on 0161 273 4995 or write to him at 51 East Park Close, Ardwick, Manchester, M13 9SD.

CAPTION(S):

SKETCH: Philip Larkin
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 13, 2002
Words:365
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