In the centenary year of the birth of author Laurie Lee, we visit the Slad Valley, the rural landscape that inspired his poetic memoir, Cider with Rosie…
In the summer of the last year of the First World War a small boy came with his six siblings and scatty mother to live in a ramshackle 17th-century cottage in the south Gloucestershire village of Slad:
“The valley was narrow, steep, and almost entirely cut off; it was also a funnel for winds, a channel for the floods and a jungly, bird-crammed, insect-hopping suntrap … having been gouged from the escarpment by the melting ice-caps some time before we got there,” he later wrote.
The boy was Laurie Lee (1914-1997) and his hauntingly beautiful recollections became the classic memoir of a Cotswold childhood, Cider with Rosie. Published in 1959, the book perfectly captured the bittersweet moment of village life in the final days of horse and cart, and of deference to church and squire before the intrusions of the motorcar and modern world.
In the latest issue of BRITAIN magazine we revisit this forgotten land and here are some beautiful photographs to whet your appetite.
For the full feature on the Slad Valley and south Gloucestershire see the November/December 2014 issue of BRITAIN (January 2015 issue for our overseas readers)
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