February 2023: Local History – Minnie Haskins

Minnie Haskins
Spring is just around the corner, and the snowdrops are already in bloom. The photo shows a view of the “balcony room” of Warmley House, with a carpet of snowdrops in the foreground.

It was in the balcony room that the well-known local poet Minnie Haskins is reputed to have composed her famous poem “The Gate of the Year”. The poem was read by King George VI as part of his 1939 Christmas broadcast, and struck a chord with a country facing the uncertainty of war.

The poem has been used at other royal occasions, including at the funeral of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2002.

The words of the poem are inscribed at the entrance to the George VI memorial chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, and in a window at the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy.