Sunday, March 24, 2024

I owe Earl Shilton an apology

Not Earl Stilton, who is probably an old friend of Lord Bonkers, the father of the Rutland heiress Paris Stilton and quite capable of being rude himself, but the Leicestershire settlement Earl Shilton.

Writing about one of those forgotten disasters or scandals that intrigue me, I described it as "a fairly nondescript village".

First, Earl Shilton is a town not a village. Second, I don't know how I thought myself qualified to judge it when I'd never been there.

Well, I went there on Friday and it's not "fairly nondescript at all". No place is dull to someone with eyes to see and a little knowledge or curiosity.

As you can see here, I found plenty of interesting buildings, including the headquarters of the town building society above. And I didn't get to the church, which has a castle mound nearby.

And the visit, whose first purpose was to photograph the town's Edward VIII postbox, also cast new light on my horror at Desborough's decision to demolish its high street.

Both Earl Shilton and Desborough have populations a little over 10,000. Earl Shilton has a long and straggling hight street lined with shops. Some are the result of piecemeal redevelopment, some are smart, some are shabby, some are empty, but the centre is as busy as the centre of a market town should be.

Desborough, by contrast, is quiet and empty.

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