Jane Austen and Winchester

Natalie, the heroine in Marriage A Journey and A Dog, lead a protest walk for peace, against the Iraq war. The walk started in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral. It’s an old town in the South of England. It has so much history as it was the capital of Wessex. The High street has Tudor looking buildings. It is a hub of life for local students. The river walks around the town are a pleasure at any time of the year.

IMG_0488

Winchester boasts a connection with Jane Austen as she is buried in the Cathedral, and was celebrated at last year’s flower festival. She could not have dreamt of the following her stories would have. Her home was at Chawton, 15 miles away.

Her stories are an inspiration and hugely entertaining.

If you haven’t already been, why not put Winchester on your list of places to visit.

Where is Eastleigh? Who was Benny Hill?

Market Street. Eastleigh. Houses like hers are pictured in blog 1.
Market Street. Eastleigh. Houses like Natalie’s are pictured in blog 1.

In reply to the first part of this question I thought I would put up a link to Wikipedia About Eastleigh. This site tells you all about the old railway town and about the Spitfire connection. It shows you a map about where in the UK it is.

Eastleigh is 1hr 10mins away from Waterloo, London, by train; 20 mins from Portsmouth and the ferries to France and the Isle of Wight; 10 minutes from Winchester and right next door to Chandler’s Ford. Southampton isn’t far down the motorway, and from the  M3/M27 connections you can access the South Coast and New Forest. So you can see it’s a handy area to live.

Oh, I forgot to mention Southampton airport from where Natalie flies. It’s a handy airport, but like all airports who wants to live under the flight path?

The community of Eastleigh includes a number of social housing areas. It supports a poorer section of the population.

The old houses built for the families of the railway workers are now popular with couples getting on the housing ladder and looking for a comfortable home, as well as people who have lived there all their lives.

At first it may appear an unlikely place to set a novel, but for the story I wanted to tell it was ideal. I needed a poorer town with lots of travel connections.

Older people remember Benny Hill, who lived in Eastleigh and worked as a milkman. This comedian was especially popular in America but not my cup of tea. He died in 1992. Whatever you think of him, he was a claim to fame for the town.

More to my taste is Colin Firth but we will come across him later in a Winchester blog.

Politicians have brought Eastleigh into the limelight for the wrong reasons. The recent case of MP, Chris Huhne, held the attention of the public like a tragic soap opera.

There are lots of interesting places Natalie visited and more photos and links to come.

I hope this blog continues to illuminate the book. I’m enjoying the experience of blogging with the readers of Marriage A Journey and A Dog.

Thank You for coming by.