menu

April 2024 From the author’s desk…

4 April, 2024 in From the author's desk

Never far from the headlines, Housing – 70 years ago – just three miles from Bath…

The bus dropped them off at the main gates and Yann was lulled into complacency by the imposing entranceway and long drive up to and past the main house. Then they reached the neglected cottage. An idyll in the summer when surrounded by wild flowers and roses rambling over the doorway, it looked drab and unwelcoming in the freezing drizzle of a dull December afternoon. Ruth leant her weight against the front door to coax the warped wood across the uneven threshold and Yann followed her into the gloomy front room.

Even to the child’s inexperienced eyes in the dark interior, it was apparent that as little as possible had been spent on fitting out and furnishing the cottage. He started to wonder if there was even electricity until he saw his mother reach up to a metal box by the front door and push some coins into it. Then, a bare overhead bulb glowed yellow above a few shabby items of furniture. He rightly assumed that the brightly patterned curtains hanging at the window had been made by his mother because they were so incongruously cheery in the dingy setting. He swallowed hard and did his best to conceal the growing horror he felt, as his mother showed him around the hovel that was now their home.

They managed to manoeuvre his school suitcase up the narrow staircase and into the cupboard-sized bedroom. There was just enough space for it to stand on its end and Yann wondered how they would manage in the summertime when his whole trunk would need to be accommodated.

Then there was the lavatory, or rather the lack of one. The tin Elson chemical bucket was in a small garden shed behind the cottage. Ruth quickly explained that it had to be emptied each week, but didn’t dwell on what that meant.

 

An extract from chapter twenty six of – ‘ Go Swift and Far – a Tale of Bath’ The first book of The Westcott Chronicles

From the Noticeboard

July 2024 From the author’s desk…

2 July, 2024 in From the author's desk

THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF UNIVERSITY SIXTY YEARS AGO… Ian gently laid his beloved Raleigh bicycle, gear side up, on the gravel to the left of the front doors of Widcombe House,…

June 2024 From the author’s desk…

4 June, 2024 in From the author's desk

From the author’s desk… The late, great queen mother… ‘It now gives me great pleasure to declare this magnificent new classroom annexe, built for the Hope Venture by the boys…

Reviews

“Westcott has done it again, masterfully capturing the essence of magnificent Bath”

Jenny Lippett

‘An absorbing read with a mix of history, emotion, ambition, suspense and soul searching’

Michael Bywaters

“A compelling story of the ups and downs of a Bath property developer. A great evocation of time and place, providing a fascinating history of beautiful Bath Can’t wait for the next instalment.”

Dr Tim Bamford

‘A masterly weaving of ambition and growing conscious both personally and publicly.’

Anna Jacka-Thomas

Website by Bookswarm