CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Editor’s comment June 2014

PUBLISHED: 14:39 22 May 2014 | UPDATED: 14:39 22 May 2014

Cotswold Life magazine's editor, Mike Lowe

Cotswold Life magazine's editor, Mike Lowe


Cotswold Life’s editor, Mike Lowe, remembers his own schoolboy experience with the work of Laurie Lee, whose centenary is celebrated this year

As an unruly, reluctant 14-year-old at school in a northern industrial city, being handed a copy of Cider with Rosie as one of my O-level set books was about as welcome as a raid by teachers on the unofficial smoking area behind the woodwork room.

What on earth could this tale of strange people in a strange time in an equally strange landscape possibly mean to me? What a load of old tosh.

I was wrong, of course. The book was, and still is, an absolute joy. And as we celebrate the centenary of Laurie Lee’s birth, I would urge you to persuade your children to put down their phones and tablet devices and spend a few hours having a good, old-fashioned read. (If this proves impossible you could always download it for them, although that really isn’t the same.)

The spirit of Laurie Lee is woven through this month’s issue of Cotswold Life, from the cover picture of The Vatch to the house for sale in the Slad Valley on Page 37. I particularly like the innovative use of illustrated wayposts set up by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to encourage people to get out and about in Laurie Lee’s countryside. What a splendid idea.

(While we’re on recommended reading, another book on the essential Gloucestershire list is A Child in the Forest by Winifred Foley. And, in other media, Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven featuring the sadly departed Bob Hoskins, is a televisual feast with a superb soundtrack.)

Let Sunday truly be a day free of petrol-driven pestilence

One of the problems of living in a relatively affluent area is that people are constantly upgrading their homes and gardens. In my small village there is always one major building project going on and often as many as three or four. So you become accustomed to the churn of cement mixers and pneumatic drills throughout the week.

You would think that we were then assured some weekend peace but no, once the builders have gone home, a new menace shatters the silence – power tools: lawn-mowers, chainsaws, strimmers, leaf-blowers and hedge-trimmers. Hardly a minute passes without someone firing up one infernal device or another.

In some parts of Germany there is a total ban on such machinery on Sundays. In Quebec, Canada, the use of lawn-mowers has been banned on the Sabbath. On the Isle of Capri, noisy machinery is banned for the entire summer so as not to upset the tourists vital to the local economy.

Surely then it is time to introduce similar rules in the Cotswolds. You’ve got every weekday evening and all day Saturday to play with your toys.

Let Sunday truly be a day free of petrol-driven pestilence.

Just like it would have been in Laurie Lee’s day.


This article by Mike Lowe is from the June 2014 issue of Cotswold Life

For more from Mike, follow him on Twitter: @cotslifeeditor


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search