CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Editor’s comment March 2015

PUBLISHED: 13:55 02 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:55 02 March 2015

Eye sore? Or just a sign that the Cotswolds isn't a museum? / Photo: Amy Willis

Eye sore? Or just a sign that the Cotswolds isn't a museum? / Photo: Amy Willis

Archant

Cotswold Life’s editor Mike Lowe explains how a car spoiling the view in the Cotswolds caused a minor upset on social media, and why a raunchy lingerie shop popping up in Painswick also caused a stir.

Mike LoweMike Lowe

How news works, Part 1: Back in October last year, a local photographer tweeted a picture of Bibury’s iconic Arlington Row in which the presence of a small yellow car ‘spoiled’ what would otherwise have been a classic Cotswolds photograph. What must all those happy-snappy tourists who descend on the village by the bus-load have thought of this unwelcome presence in their usual photo opportunity?

In January, it was tweeted again, and this time the world and his wife were soon to hear about this automotive aberration. First the local press picked up on the story, then the regional press agencies passed it on to the national newspapers, then it went ‘viral’ on the interweb, and finally the local BBC TV got round to running it. At one point, the Yellow Car of Bibury was the lead item on the Daily Mail’s notorious website, an honour usually reserved for half-naked Hollywood stars or unemployed Romanian immigrants with 17 children, a flat screen television (what other sort is there these days?), a 40-a-day cigarette habit and a brand new people carrier on the driveway.

The general reaction to this tale was one of disapproval. How dare this driver dump his ugly little intrusive vehicle where it would spoil the view of a million Japanese tourists? Don’t they know that we rely on those visitors to keep many local businesses going? But hang on a minute. Further investigation reveals that the car, a Vauxhall Corsa, is owned by 82-year-old Peter Maddox, who parks it outside his house, and has done for the past 18 months, because he has nowhere else to put it – no garage, no discreetly hidden parking bay. So what is he supposed to do?

Do we really expect this poor bloke to park his car half a mile away on the main road just to appease the tourists? While we trade on the beauty of our surroundings, the Cotswolds is not some kind of a museum. We live and work here, and I’m afraid our visitors, as welcome as they are, will just have to put up with that.

How news works, Part 2: The Cotswolds also made the national news in January when a story emerged claiming that locals in Painswick were up in arms over the sudden appearance of a raunchy lingerie shop on their High Street. The ‘shop’ turned out to be a film set created by the producers of a TV adaptation of JK Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy, which is currently on our screens.

Now call me a cynic, but something didn’t smell right about this admittedly entertaining tale. First of all, the filming of the shop had taken place for a couple of days in August – why should it suddenly make news in January just before the series aired? Secondly, the story first appeared on a BBC website, a source not renowned for breaking news, before being picked up by the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Finally, Painswick doesn’t seem to be an easily-offended place, being home to the brilliant Art Couture festival which not so long ago witnessed the marvellous Keith Allen parading through the town in just his underpants.

So who had actually complained? Well after a bit of digging, the best ‘evidence’ I could find was one unattributable anonymous telephone call to the Parish Council. Most mysterious.

Call me a cynic a second time, but I reckon we’ve all been had over here by the BBC’s publicity department.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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