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Pickwick

Middlewick Lane, just off the A4 from Bath in the very memorable area called Pickwick always seemed to me to be from a setting out of a Dickens' novel, or off a jigsaw puzzle photograph that I had scrutinised for hours as a lad. The houses were certainly in keeping with the name and some were even called Pickwick.

A 'round-about-house' on the A4.

A 'round-about-house' on the A4.

When I first glimpsed this place in the summer of 1974, I thought it was the 'real countryside' in the 'heart of England', how idyllic and peaceful it was, and still is. The college surroundings certainly made an impression on me that I will never forget. I had just come from living in a city and this was the opposite of that, a sleepy Wiltshire village. Living now on the west side of Britain also presented us easteners with more rain than we had ever seen before, and it was just continuous. A new ailment called 'foot-rot' would be part of the student way of life down here as was 'pneumonia' and 'bronchitis', such were the unwanted delights of living in the West country.

A4 through Pickwick.

Middlewick Lane entrance off the A4.

A4 through Pickwick.

Middlewick Lane entrance off the A4.

The A4 winding through the top of Corsham on the way to Bath and Middlewick Lane is just off to the right. What great secrets did the top of the lane hold?... Beechfield! Such spacious surroundings for art students to spend three years at doing what we enjoyed... being creative of course.

Renovated by a sculpture tutor?

Picture Postcard Pickwick.

Renovated by a sculpture tutor?

Picture Postcard Pickwick.


Eden Antiques.


Old Parsonage B&B, Dairy on the corner of Priory Street.

Eden Antiques.

Old Parsonage B&B,
dairy on the corner of Priory Street.

There are still many properties that are landmarks along the main road. I'm sure we all remember Robin Eden Antiques, then it was Matthew Eden Antiques. While on the other side further down towards the Priory Street junction is the Dairy. In the foreground is The Old Parsonage B&B with it's great chimneys, flagging down the passing tourists along the A4 from Chippenham to Bath.

Snail Alley, affectionately nicknamed.

Snail Alley, affectionately nicknamed.

Snail Alley (also Slug Alley), as I used to call it and having to walk down it every night in the dark from Beechfield to the town with the sound of crunching under my feet. All would be revealed in the morning when the return journey saw the devastation on the path. Thousands, (well probably not that many), of now inedible escargot's splattered before your eyes. It always amazed me how their relatives just came back for more the next night! I blamed it on the wet weather and poor lighting.

...well it's the wife's really!!

My smart cabrio...
mouseover photoswap

Parked in Middlewick Lane is my most favourite car.
Sorry couldn't resist this one, I'm a smart-fanatic!

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Prospectuses from 1950, 58, 61, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72 & 82          
Prospectuses from 1950, 58, 61, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72 & 82

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