Image: Wikimedia Commons/Vauxford

Leamington is still lovely

This letter was written in response to a letter titled “Lovely Leamington” which was written in February 1978

Lovely Leamington

Dear Bore,

Having spent three delightful terms in Leamington last year, we, the undersigned, should like to express our shock and distaste at reading Ms. J. Hardman’s misconception in last week’s Boar.

Anyone who has sought a decent place of imbibation or even a chip shop, or even any shop (bar, V.G. and Sainsburys) within reasonable walking distance of their habitation could extol endlessly upon the virtues of this Jewel of Warwickshire. Its wide tree-lined boulevards, and its melowing grandeur compare favourably with the concrete canyons of campus. Let’s face it: Leamington is Bloody Marvellous.

Ex-residents of 51 Russel Terrace and Breton Lodge, Roger, Anne, Frances, Tim and Roy.


Leamington is still lovely

Dear Roger, Anne, Frances, Tim and Roy, 

I need only skim your account of Leamington to gauge that it was written before the genesis of Stagecoach and its generous issues. In my second year of habitation in the town so widely considered the gem of the Midlands that it received its own Monopoly game, I have never met such a life-affirming bus-taker (or, rather, bus-awaiter). 

Clearly, I accept this is not the fault of our beloved town, but merely a symptom of Stagecoach’s market monopoly. If anything, our pub-studded vape-shop-spotted Parade is the ideal wallpaper to wait against.  

Indeed, it is the duality of Leamington that intrigues me: how one minute the Parade can smile on you, as the breezy cedar trees pave your stroll, and the next you’ve Crossed The Frontier into the South; the clouds menacingly gather above your head and ominous music starts playing. It’s never sunny in the South. 

Leamington is the kind of town that has been touched by modernity yet hasn’t embraced it fully. Anyone who has strolled home from a night out on the bridge over Jephson Gardens can sense this: Parish Church stands at the throne over the River Leam, lamps from surrounding establishments light the path, yet the predominant noise in the crisp air is the water flowing, the overlord of the town.  

Regarding modernity, dear Bore, I think Roger, Anne, Frances, Tim and Roy should know their former residence at 51 Russell Terrace presently hosts a software company. I would be amused, but I know better: why should I conceive my home now has been dealt a better hand? 

My home, above The Old Library Pub (yes, I can sleep, and no, I don’t go there that often), might very well turn into an office building for the latest plant-based locally sourced start-up in half a century. Perhaps this is the disillusionment you face now.  

I imagine life outside the “bubble”, as we self-indulgently like to call it, is bittersweet. I couldn’t find what Ms. Hardman wrote that called for such an impassioned Letter to the Editor, but for what I know Leamington to be, I will join ranks with your cause.  

Here’s to our chip shops and our (sometimes) decent places of imbibation! 





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