My creation Bertie Ramsbottom is best known as ‘The Poet Laureate of the Boardroom’ – so-called by theFinancial Times for his long weekly series in the FT and Harvard Business Review in the Eighties.
Books followed (The Bottom Line, The Poetry of Business Life, Boardroom Ballads etc); and, through continuingpress reproductions, radio and live presentations in the UK and USA, he built a wide and influential following among ‘thinking’ professionals – men and women – in our business, educational, arts and science communities. Musical settings by New York composer, Joyce Hope Suskind, were performed in Oxford and atThe Savoy, London .( see What They’ve Said About Bertie Ramsbottom: www.ralphwindle,com)
Yet Oxford, Washington DC , BBC and other insiders know, (hence his name) that Bertie began and continues life as the canny Cotswold sheep commentator on human affairs. The contents of ‘The Bertie Ramsbottom Book of Improbable Sheep’ (‘your felicitous muttonings’ as the great Frank Muir described them) have delighted young and old in halls and homes around Oxfordshire and Georgetown; and enlivened Money Box, the Today programme, The World Tonight and other BBC audiences.
It was in the little known role of Poet Oveate – and in friendly complicity with the then Poet Laureate John Betjeman, who was unhappily ill at the time – that Bertie stepped in to celebrate the Royal Nuptials in 1981.
His ‘Bertie at the Royal Wedding’, which drew warm thanks from Prince Charles and the Palace, established a precedent which a responsible Oveate cannot decently ignore as Prince William and Kate now prepare to confound the Age of Austerity and rescue a grateful Prime Minister from death by a thousand cuts.