Grantchester Meadows to be dug up?
The beautifully scenic meadows or Grantchester are a proposed site for housing development under the Labour government in England and, in particular, the Deputy Prime Minister, John “Two jags” Prescott.
According to The Guardian newspaper, “The meadows, part of a world heritage site and among Europe’s most cherished vistas, are feared to be under threat by a scheme to build 1,000 houses on a mile-long strip of land on their edge.”
“How sad,” the rock star Roger Waters, ex-Pink Floyd bass player and creator of The Wall, said yesterday when told b
y the Guardian of the scheme.
Waters’ 1970s song lyric, Grantchester Meadows, is nowadays as celebrated an anthem to the meadows as Brooke’s pre-first world war poem The Old Vicarage, Grantchester. Waters said: “I am very happy to help if the campaigners feel that I can.”
Despite sparse publicity so far, more than 3,000 residents have signed a petition. One star signatory is the eminent physicist and popular scientific author Stephen Hawking (more from BBC News website here and here).
The meadows have been so little disrupted by the centuries that their soil still has dips and bumps left by medieval strip farming. Grantchester is a Roman settlement; its name means “camp beside the Granta”, the river Cam’s old name.
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Yesterday Waters, 59, now a millionaire, said: “I spent many, many happy hours fishing
for roach with a bamboo rod and a piece of bread in that bit of the river Cam. I have powerful memories of the warmth of summer mud oozing up between my toes. That time turned out to be creatively important for me – my work is coloured to a certain extent by the sound of natural history.
“People need to be housed. It’s very difficult for young people. Developments in rural areas are, I suppose, inevitable. But I think when beauty of this level is the question, it should not be disturbed.”