‘Why town’s famous poet changed my life’

dAVE Brock said his love for DH Lawrence began in 1969 when he went to see a film at the cinema aged 18.

He had been to see Women In Love with a friend in Stockport and decided ‘whoever wrote the story, was the greatest writer of all time’.

From there, he went to the library to hire out all his books and went on trips to Anglesea to stay in his parents caravan, where he would just sit and read.

“I had a baptism of fire,” he said.

“I came out of that cinema a completely changed man.

“Lawrence was a complete revelation to me.”

Mr Brock said Lawrence’s work changed his way of thinking and made him feel ‘more alive’.

“Reading Lawrence can change your life,” he added. “He awakens the senses and helps you live life more fully.

“Lawrence makes life very vivid. His characters are so alive it’s like he knows the secret of coming into being and how to be true to yourself.”

Mr Brock said Lawrence repeatedly questions why man considers himself a superior being, which in turn helped him re-connect with nature.

“Lawrence has an uncanny interest in what it is to be a wild animal, or a plant or a tree,” he said.

“No other writer has been able to write about nature so powerfully.

“Every day I go for the longest possible walk. You are in another world. You are getting away from the world of humanity and nature restores you.

“Through reading Lawrence you see the natural world more vividly,” Mr Brock said.

But the Lawrence fan said many people, including those in Eastwood, were still not aware of the writer’s ‘greatness’, and told how some critics argued it was nothing short of a miracle for a poor miner’s son, who continually suffered ill health, could write so well.

“Some people have the theory that Lawrence could not have possibly written what he did,” he added. “A working class child from Eastwood. It’s nothing short of a miracle, they say.”

Mr Brock is a member of several animal rights organisations and has an interest in Paganism – both interests inspired by Lawrence. The 61-year-old is also a member of the Lawrence Society which meets on the second Wednesday of every month at Durban House in Eastwood.

Mr Brock said the group needs local people from Lawrence’s hometown to get involved.

“What the society needs now is new members locally,” he said.

“We need fresh young blood. There are plenty of people in Eastwood reading Lawrence I want to appeal to them to come along.

“He is the most exciting writer by far that I have ever come across and I want to promote interest and understanding of his life and works,” he added.

Mr Brock spent £4,000 at auction on a phoenix embroidered by Lawrence and has spent £6,000 on original letters by the writer.