Monday, July 10, 2006

Nempnett Thrubwell

It is difficult, (especially after a couple of gin Martinis), to convey the esoteric nature of our discussion about this small English town just south of Bristol – and the outright hilarity as well. This is especially true when we Googled up that Nempnett Thrubwell is the site of an ancient British barrow (or burial mound) knows at the Fairy Toot…which set off another round of giggles.

No, it's impossible. But Bob and Edith Fusillo and Barbara and I have now covered the subject in depth anyway.

Bob discovered that the name of this little 300-soul community was originally made famous by The Wurzels – the very same Brit scrumpy and western band whose top-selling single was “The Combine Harvester.”

(I have just been informed by Bob that Nempnett Thrubwell is at the top of a very steep hill. “Don’t tell I, tell ‘ee,” says Edith.)

It can't be got to, you know. Lying north of Blagdon Lake, Nempnett Thrubwell is isolated (but has a fine water pump). It‘s inside a network of little roads bounded by the A38, A368, B3114 and B3130. However, "whilst signposted from each of these major routes, a lack of any further signposting makes it difficult to locate the village when arriving by road." [My emphasis added.] Must be a state of mind.

A Bristol-living friend of the Fusillos, Sue Stops, originally told them about…uh, Nempnett Thrubwell. So what better way to celebrate a Monday than to sing a snatch of the Wurzels’ song, thank Sue second-hand, and pretend that we can talk with a Somerset accent as well as Bob can. (Which we can’t, but Bob and Edith are too polite to correct me.) On to dinner! This is what vacations are for.

Gracious thanks to for the photo. Ta, luv. No critical examination of Nempnett Thrubwell can be undertaken without recourse to Nempnett Thrubwell: Barrows, Names and Manors, by Richard Dunn. Highly recommended, £14.95: Somerset Records Office (Taunton).

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