Papers of James Farrar: BBC broadcasts about 'The unreturning spring'

Scope and Content

This collection consists of three original BBC broadcasts about James Farrar and 'The Unreturning Spring'. The contents include two vinyl records and one audio-cassette copy of the broadcasts.

The first broadcast [n.d.] is entitled 'Unreturning Spring' and is a twelve minute programme which features interviews with Farrar's mother, discusses the writer's connection with Cornwall, and features readings of his poetry and prose.

The second broadcast (which is split into two parts and is a thirty minute programme) probably dates from 22 Sep 1967 and is also entitled 'Unreturning Spring'. It features readings of Farrar's poetry and prose, interviews with Henry Williamson, Charles Causley, and Margaret Farrar (the writer's mother), and a biographical sketch.

The third broadcast (which is forty-five minutes in length) was first aired on 13 May 1983 and is presented by Christopher Palmer. Entitled 'Spring Returning', it consists of readings of Farrar's writings, biographical information, and interviews with Henry Williamson (repeated from the broadcast from 1967). The programme is split into two parts.

All three broadcasts have been transferred onto recordable CD. There is a brief 'sticking' of the recording on the second part of the second broadcast, after 9 minutes 35 seconds (during an interview with Charles Causley).

Administrative / Biographical History

James Farrar (1923-1944), poet and airman, was born on 5 October 1923 at Woodford in Essex, the second son of a father who had served in the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War. He matriculated at fourteen years of age, and soon after began to write poetry and prose. Despite his youth, his work was of an exceptional maturity and skill. Tragically, he was killed in a RAF mosquito aircraft trying to destroy a V1 flying bomb at the end of July 1944. He was twenty years of age. His work was later discovered by Henry Williamson, who published an edition of the works in 1950, with the title 'The Unreturning Spring'.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Acquisition Information

Donated to Special Collections in 2005.

Other Finding Aids

No lists are available.

Archivist's Note

Description created by Rob Ford, 22 Dec 2006.

Related Material

Other papers of Farrar's are also held at Exeter University Library (EUL MS 51, EUL MS 260, EUL MS 355, EUL MS 361, EUL MS 368).


It is not known whether publication has arisen as a result of use of this item.