Sunday, 20 May 2007

Back in the Five (?) Towns
After our trip to Bristol yesterday we drove down to see our friend Ruth in Sturminster Newton. As we did not give her any notice she could not produce the usual gourmet meal for us. However, Sturminster has another culinary secret - the best curry restaurant in Dorset. It is very unassuming and does not have an alcohol licence but the food is exquisite and the menu a delight of unusual dishes. I can only give the name to people who ask very nicely via the comment facility of this blog.
As a youngster I recall listening to the football results being read out on the Home Service every Saturday night. Such wonderful names the teams had! Fifty years later I have just learned where Port Vale is - it's near Stoke-on-Trent. It seemed that the football results were always followed by an urgent message for someone on holiday in Cornwall to contact a hospital in Sunderland where his mother/father/brother/sister was seriously ill.
On our return to SOT I mused on how easily an incorrect 'fact' can become common currency. In 1910 the six towns of Burslem, Fenton, Hanley, Longton, Stoke and Tunstall were combined to form Stock-on-Trent. But when Arnold Bennett wrote Anna of the Five Towns he changed this for the vast majority of the population.

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