Saturday, January 07, 2006

Richard Jefferies and Coate Water

In this morning's issue of The Times, Simon Barnes writes on the scandalous development proposed at Coate Water just outside Swindon.

It is a scandal, not just because a growing town like Swindon needs all the recreational space and beauty it can get, but because Coate was the childhood home of the great 19th century nature writer Richard Jefferies.

More than that, it was the landscape immortalised in his novel Bevis: The Story of a Boy. This is the book that revolutionised writing about children and gave birth to the whole genre of holiday adventure fiction for children - Arthur Ransome, Malcolm Saville and all the way down to Enid Blyton.

I could go on about this at great length, as I wrote my MA dissertation about Jefferies some 10 years ago. But I sense I have delighted you long enough.

So instead I shall refer you to the Save Coate group.

2 comments:

Mark Wheaver said...

Thank you.

Mark Wheaver

LibDem activist and webmaster, www.savecoate.org.uk

Anonymous said...

I had some professional involvement in development issues in Swindon, a few years ago.

The development at Coate, and the way in which it has been stitched up, is nothing short of criminal. It's not just Jefferies but there are two stone circles on that land. It's also one of the few green lungs in an otherwise desolate town.