Tuesday, 17 April 2012

15. Otwell on the Ouse

I hope it's not considered cheating to choose a fictional place to visit!
When I was about 10, I read a book called The Family From One End Street, by Eve Garnett, which I was pleased to find is still available - here.  Then, as now, I loved reading.  In the end, my mum stopped asking me if I wanted to go out and knock for someone to play with, because I truly preferred just to sit and lose myself in a book. 

The Ruggles family who feature in the stories are delightfully chaotic and mischievous and I read it again and again.  I also had a really clear picture of Otwell on the Ouse (what a fabulous name for a place!) in my head and for many years assumed it was a real place. I was slightly disappointed to learn that it was fictional, as I had been hoping to go there one day, thinking it to be in the Cambridge area and therefore not too far away.  I have no idea why I thought that - it was the impression I got when I was 10 and it just stuck. Otwell on the Ouse is, in fact, based on the town of Lewes in East Sussex where the author lived, so I was probably about 200 miles out with my guess!  
In honour of Otwell on the Ouse, which cannot feature pictorially in this blog-post, here is the book cover followed by a picture of Lewes, which actually doesn't look too far off what I imagined Otwell on the Ouse to look like!  Do let me know if any of you have read this book - I'm going to read it again for old-times' sake.


Annalisa Crawford said...

That's a great placename. I've never heard of this book though. I was the same kind of child - always reading, and then when I hit about 9, always writing.

Bethie said...

What an interesting place. I wish it was real too: "Where are you from?" "Otwell on the Ouse"

M said...

Is a caravan like an American RV?
Yes I have had trips like that...mostly were in cheap motels.
Happy A-Z April!

Bookworm Extraordinaire said...

Read all 3 books in the series as a child. Revisiting as an adult, happy memories. My Mum made me go out for fresh air, but I was happy in some corner with my nose stuck in a book, on a journey.

Maria Stahl said...

This is a really old post, I know - but I just found it while searching to find out if Otwell-on-the-Ouse really exists. :)

I was about 11 when my father gave me The Further Adventures of the Family from One-End Street to read on a family trip to England in the 1970s. He bought me the first book in the series in a bookshop in England once we realized he had bought me the sequel. I loved those people and identified strongly with both Kate and Lily Rose, in different ways. Found the 3rd book existed only when I was an adult. I think we all would like to go visit the Wildgooses in Upper Cassington also.