Growing Up in Wartime Somerset: A Portrait in Watercolour Paperback
This nostalgic, humorous and richly illustrated volume celebrates the Somerset of years gone by. Syd Durston was seven when the Second World War broke out. As well as causing panic in Britain's cities, the war transformed life in the countryside in all sorts of ways. This is how one boy remembers life in rural Somerset during that time, where from `the age of ten you were at school between 9 a.m. and noon, and then you could work on the land until 8 p.m.'. It is an elegy to the levels and the moors, and the rich diversity of wildlife that could once be found in the fields - `thousands of grasshoppers, large and small, hopping everywhere, butterflies of all kinds feeding on the red clovers that were now in flower; the smell of the honeysuckle and the dog roses in the hedges' - and a lament for the landscapes and ways of life that we have now lost. From the outbreak of war to the drama of D-Day, Syd - whose watercolour paintings, many of which illustrate this collection, aim to show the reality of farming life as it was then - captures a moment in history as it really was. Containing more than 120 paintings, sketches and drawings, it will delight residents and visitors alike.