Home Department of Planning & Idea Generation Department of Railed Transport Department of Sleeping Department of Staying-in-Bed Department of Comment, Satire & Tripe Fun Stuff How To... Wye Valley Railway Seasonal area 

Seasonal area

May 2015

Current Seasonal Area is here

The flowers that bloom in the spring
Bring promise of merry sunshine...

Pink spring blossoms are delightfully pretty things, even if you're the sort of total philistine who hasn't the foggiest what sort of blossom they are. This particular set were spending May Bank Holiday Saturday filling a camera lens that was popping round to the village of Chawton (Mid-Hants).

Chawton is one of these outrageously pretty little Hampshire villages, with a wonderful collection of historic buildings scattered along the village roads and centring on the green. The church, which is next to the farm and the manor house rather than in the village, was unfortunately burned down in 1871 but the replacement is a sweet affair, with flint rendering and a backing of yew trees. A main road from London to Winchester once passed through it; this now bypasses the village, cutting it off from adjacent Alton.

The local lord of the manor at the beginning of the 19th century thoughtfully provided his mother and sisters with a house to live in in the village. The peaceful surroundings no doubt provided some inspiration regarding life out in the sticks with relatively few other people around and where half the people of the same social standing were relatives. Chawton thereby got to be where six notable pieces of English literature were revised or written between the arrival of their author, Jane Austen, in 1809 (from Bath) and her departure in 1817 (for Winchester, where she died soon after). She seems to have considerably preferred the area to Bath, although whether Emma is as much of a wind-up of living in rural south-eastern England as Northanger Abbey is of visiting Bath is open to much possibilities for academic debate.

This being an election year, one cannot close without remarking that the railway opened many years later between nearby Alton and more distant Winchester would have greatly aided Austen's access to decent medical care - and would continue to do so if some nincompoop hadn't shut it. However, it does add a nice little sideline to Alton's tourist industry in the form of the Mid-Hants steam railway.

And that's what I mean when I say or I sing,
"Oh, go bother the flowers that bloom in the spring..."

(With additional words by W.S. Gilbert.)

<<<Seasonal Area April 2015<<<

^^^Current Seasonal Area^^^

>>>Seasonal Area June 2015>>>

Last modified 03/05/2015

© The Order of the Bed