Monday, June 30, 2008

Coate Water

Wandering around this tranquil oasis, searching for the places that Richard Jefferies mentions in his book "Bevis", it suddenly strikes you how much smaller it is than in the book. I had read his other book "After London", in which Coate has become an inland sea, forested, mountains, people living in settlements,a whole adventure story wrapped round this magical place.
But "Bevis" was on a smaller scale, an adventure story about two boys camping in the wild on an island. The island is there though very small; The cliff is there, an old sand quarry, the place where his father taught him to swim because of the sandy beach at this particular spot; the swampy land "and so thick with sedges and grass and rushes that they walked in a forest of green up to their waists"
Its all there but you have to look for it, a magical retracing of a story.
Ducks and swans congregate to be fed under the ugly concrete diving tower, a dear old man with his leaflets for the Jefferies Land Conservation Trust, and his board of the latest threat to Coate Water, it is to be developed in one part, people wandering round with children and dogs, a quiet backwater to the hustle and bustle of the busy roads round Swindon.
An idyllic childhood? perhaps, or maybe he idolised a place he loved so much, when the harsh realities of being grown up and earning a living grated against his sensitive soul and he looked back with happy memories.

Monday, June 23, 2008
House builders submit revised plans

Persimmon Homes and Redrow Homes have submitted a revised planning application to Swindon Borough Council for 1800 houses, 41 hectares of employment land, a university campus etc etc.

It is virtually the same at the application submitted in August 2007 and they still haven't found a university partner.

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