Wants to live in the countryside only Monday to Thursday and could “relocate to a Cheltenham townhouse at the weekend” to enjoy shopping, medical facilities, theatres and restaurants.
Just how many houses do people think they are entitled to? Don’t ask about the buses and how to get to the surgery. And all those second homers spoiling the idyll! – Owl
Will Humphries, Southwest Correspondent www.thetimes.co.uk
A magazine editor who moved to the Cotswolds to pursue the good life has been ridiculed by locals after she publicly bemoaned the lack of taxis, the small size of schools and the presence of farm vehicles.
Jade Beer, the former editor-in-chief of Condé Nast’s Brides magazine, moved her family out of London six years ago after growing tired of “the sheer mass of people, weary of battling the daily commute and the long hours”. She wrote in the Evening Standard that they were “blissfully happy” after buying a cottage near the market town of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, “on a sprawling estate and we had views of cows to the front and sheep to the back”.
However, things took a turn for the worse when she realised that the countryside was not serenely quiet.
“Come summer, everyone who owns a motorbike seems to descend on the Cotswolds in large convoys, ditto vintage cars,” she said. She bemoaned the fact that her village had one taxi driver who needed to be booked “a week in advance” and only offered pick-up times he was willing to do. She also said the nearest hospital was 45 minutes away, and claimed her house was haunted.
She added: “In the immediate vicinity of our home there are half a dozen holiday rentals that are let almost year-round . . . We’ve seen mobile cocktail vans pull up outside for hen parties and cars thoughtlessly blocking shared driveways. If you are unfortunate enough to buy a house next to one, there is little you can do about it, since the owners typically do not live locally themselves.”
Beer said she wished she lived in the countryside only Monday to Thursday and could “relocate to a Cheltenham townhouse at the weekend” to enjoy shopping, medical facilities, theatres and restaurants.
Her comments provoked a storm of local ridicule. “What a ridiculous, small-minded, entitled, pompous moaner,” one person said.
Another said: “I live in the Cotswolds and I speak for many here. Move to Cheltenham if you must or, preferably, back to London and stay there. People like this push prices up and squeeze locals out of the housing market.”
Alun White, mayor of Stow-on-the-Wold town council, told The Times: “People should study an area before they move to it. We are deep in the heart of the country here and you can’t expect inner-city services.”
Beer is not the first media figure to come unstuck in the country. Liz Jones, the Mail on Sunday columnist, had her mailbox shot at in 2009 after she wrote disparaging remarks about the locals in Dulverton, Exmoor. She moved back to London in 2012.