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Uncommonly British days out 9 August 2015

I am off to a wedding in South Wales in a couple of weeks’ time, so I popped into the City of London library in Shoe Lane to pick up a couple of Ordnance Survey maps of the area (I can’t visit without thinking of Lord Denning’s trenchant comment in relation to exclusion clauses in Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd**).

And there, on the “You might be interested in these summer holiday books” display by the entrance was “Far from the s*dd*ng crowd – More uncommonly British days out“, which I picked up with alacrity.  I am a great fan of the original “B*ll*cks to Alton Towers” by the same authors, but I did not know that they had produced a sequel.  (It seems that there are only two books – the paperback version of this book was published under the title of “More b*ll*cks to Alton Towers“.)

Both books highlight curious museums, collections, landmarks and follies that are an antidote to the overcrowded and overpriced amusement parks and seaside resorts that are more typical destinations in the UK for modern holidaymakers.

This follow-up book features gems such as the Bubblecar Museum in Lincolnshire, Edward I’s uncompleted Beaumaris Castle on Anglesey, the Fan Museum in Greenwich, Port Logan Fish Pond in Galloway and the Bakelite Museum near Taunton.  I want to visit every one of them.

The books’ attraction is not just the attractions that readers are exhorted to visit, but also the writing.  It’s clever and humorous – but never patronising.  Writing a patronising review of any of these places would have been a great deal easier than what the authors have actually done.

So I encourage you to acquire these books, and then support the astonishing attractions featured within them.

** “In order to give sufficient notice, [the exempting condition] would need to be printed in red ink with a red hand pointing to it – or something equally startling

 

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