Bland’ town gets a roasting

PUBLISHED: 10:25 12 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 May 2010

The cover of the book

The cover of the book

A writer and newspaper columnist has verbally abused Letchworth GC, concluding in his new book that the town is bland. Scottish Londonite AA Gill is a food critic, travel writer, features writer for The Sunday Times and author of The Angry Island – Huntin

William Armitage – “I think it’s best to see his book as good entertainment”

A writer and newspaper columnist has verbally abused Letchworth GC, concluding in his new book that the town is bland.

Scottish Londonite AA Gill is a food critic, travel writer, features writer for The Sunday Times and author of The Angry Island - Hunting the English, in which he explores the ways of our nation and finds many instances to insult us.

While researching his book, he takes a trip back to Letchworth Garden Town (as he calls it) where he was once at school, at St Christopher, and says:

"...I'd better write something about how Fascistically angry the English

garden is..."

He continues: "I was once again struck by the aesthetic blandness of Letchworth. It's not even energetic enough to be ugly."

If it helps, it isn't very personal, Mr Gill is rude about the rest of England too, and is extremely rude about some places, such as Stow-on-the-Wold of which Mr Gill says: "Stow-on-the-Wold is the worst place in the world, and I say that without exaggeration as someone who has visited Darfur."

A name in books and a name in Letchworth is co-owner of David's Bookshop, William Armitage.

He said: "Letchworth does have more of a uniformity than old towns but if you compare it to other new towns I think it's done very well.

"It's only 100 years old and I think it's more peaceful, has more open spaces and has been a great success.

"It doesn't have its run down parts so perhaps he can't get a handle on this and that's why he thinks it's bland.

"I think it's best to see his book as good entertainment and shouldn't be taken as more than that.


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