Valerie Eliot dies

While she and Fidel Castro lived I still felt young. Now there is just Fidel. All I remember about Mrs Eliot is that she was a secretary at Faber & Faber, idolised the poet long before meeting him and that Alan Bennett's parents knew her mother. I saw a documentary on television about Valerie Eliot and suppose she is an augury
for getting married. She made her husband very happy.

This story which I heard Alan Bennett tell two or three times on television means a lot to me because I come from a not very dissimilar background to Alan Bennett.

I was born and brought up in Leeds, where my father was a butcher, and as a boy, I sometimes used to go out with the orders, delivering the meat. One of our customers was a nice woman called Mrs Fletcher, and I used to go to her house and she had a daughter called Valerie. Valerie went to London and became a secretary and she got a job with a publishing firm and did well in the firm, and became secretary to the chairman, whom she eventually married. Now the publishing firm was Faber and Faber, and the chairman was T.S. Eliot. So there was a time early in life when I thought my only connection with literature would be that I once delivered meat to T.S. Eliot's mother-in-law. 
Some time after that, when we'd left the shop but were still living in Leeds, my mother came in one day and said, 'I ran into Mrs Fletcher down the road. Nice woman. She was with a tall fella, elderly, very refined. She introduced me and he passed the time of day,' and it was only some time afterwards that I realised that without it being the most seminal encounter in Western literature, my mother had met T.S. Eliot.