Peter Rabbit, Mr. McGregor, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jeremy Fisher, and Tom Kitten are just some of the names you will probably remember from childhood. If not, it’s never too late to start reading the wonderful stories by Beatrix Potter. As a kid, I remember these adorable characters and their adventures, and gazing at the beautiful pictures throughout the books, and even watching them play out on TV. Even though I’m 22 now, I still love seeing the characters and flicking through a book now and then.
I’m going to tell you something that I don’t think I’ve actually said online in my blog before: I’m currently living in England (that everyone knows), but I live in a city called Gloucester. I’m telling you this because I need to for this post, and because I trust that you won’t hunt me down and stalk me. In
just around the corner from where I work, there’s a little lane I call the
Beatrix Potter lane. It’s not its real name, but on the corner on the tiny
street there is an equally tiny shop and museum; it’s called The
Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter Museum and Shop. Basically it’s just a
gift shop with all things Beatrix in it, but it’s there because it’s the exact
same shop that she wrote about and drew in her book The Tailor of Gloucester.
See why I had to tell you where I live now? Gloucester
If you’re not familiar with the story, Wikipedia has a short plot summary you could check out. The story takes place in the shop, and though it is fiction, they have turned the shop into an iconic tourist attraction, with her stories and drawings, souvenirs and trinkets, badges and figurines. While there are always people buzzing around and clogging the alley way, I think it’s a fantastic idea to have a Beatrix Potter attraction there, as it not only provides a great place for people to come and visit (and get excited by the fact that they are pretty much stepping into The Tailor of Gloucester book), but it puts a little of Beatrix’s memory, life, and her stories into the city, and that’s something I think we should do with more fantastic authors.
|Left photo: Painting of the shop from here|
Right photo: Photo of the shop at the moment, taken by me
Speaking of which, this summer I had the opportunity to go to her house (called Hill Top) up in the Lake District of England. Long story short, we were heading up to
holiday, and thought it was a great time to pop in on the way and check it out.
|Hill Top, her home.|
Photo taken by me.
It was really amazing, seeing the place where she wrote a lot of her beloved stories, and while, I discovered later, we weren't supposed to take photos, I did anyway. Please excuse their quality though; no flash and dim light, as well as sneaky photos, doesn't make for great pictures.
|In the house, and a Jemima Puddle-duck badge I bought.|
Photos taken by me.
At the door we were greeted by a lady who gave us a copy of The Tale of Samuel Whiskers (again, if you’re not familiar, read here), and as we walked around the dark creaky, but awesome, house we could match up her drawings in the book with the actual décor and furniture of her home. The Tale of Samuel Whiskers (also known as The Roly-Poly Pudding), was one that she wrote using her house as the setting. So, for example, there’s a spot upstairs, just at the top next to a door, where there is a hole in floor boards. This is where, in the story, the rats come in and out of. The vanity in this picture below is still there in all it’s glory, and as are many other things from the book. In each of the rooms there was a desk with some of her letters, drawings and original book layouts, which was amazing to see.
|Photos from here.|
|Me with Mr. McGregor, and the garden outside her house.|
Photos taken by me.
I really love going to places that are in books, or have been the inspiration for stories, but it’s even more amazing going to where authors lived, especially if they are early 1900s authors (her first story, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, was published in 1902), and things have changed a lot since their time. It’s really nice that organisations like the National Trust can preserve places like this for future generations, and future book lovers.
If you haven’t seen the 2006 movie Miss. Potter, do have a watch. It’s pretty cute and you get a great sense of both her life, and her love for writing and drawing.
If you live in
or are visiting, and you’re a Beatrix Potter fan, do pop in a have a visit.
It’s a National Trust property, and if you’re not a National Trust member, then
there is a small fee, but it’s very cute, and if you don’t want to pay to look
around the house, you can just walk on in and take a stroll around the garden.
It’s very pretty. England
And if you happen to be in
again, do pop into the Beatrix Potter shop. It’s easy to find and there are
signs everywhere. And, if you've spent all your money on cute things, come and
find me and I’ll shout you a coffee. Gloucester
This was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here.