Poetic irony

SIR - It was only recently that I fully appreciated the irony of the name given to the new Persimmon housing development in Upper Woolbrook.

By calling it “Laureate Heights”, the developers are, no doubt, attempting to associate it with one of the most prestigious past inhabitants of Sidmouth, Sir John Betjeman.

However, in doing so, they invoke thoughts of what is probably his most famous poem, “Slough”, published in 1937, which was a tirade against mass building development and the ambitions of planners and developers. His thoughts are as relevant now as they were so many years ago. It is well worth a complete read, but the final stanza:

“Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough

To get it ready for the plough.


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The cabbages are coming now;

The earth exhales”

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This reflects the views of many in Sidmouth. A fat chance of it happening, but one can dream!

Bob Warren

Green Mount, Sidmouth

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