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November 2018



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life on mars

TV Watch: Countrywise & Romney Marsh

I’d never watched Countrywise before yesterday evening, but glancing idly through the listings I spotted the words ‘Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway’ and gave the programme a go. I’m so glad I did, because it featured the landscape which is the background to Monica Edwards’ Romney Marsh stories. We saw the endless shingle beach at Dungeness, the vast grazing lands of the Marsh, dotted with Romney sheep and, of course, the sea. Best of all was the section devoted to the little railway. I wrote about it here, so was delighted by a close-up shot of the Hurricane. Since all the engines have been in use since the 1920s, this was the very same engine featured in Operation Seabird and in Malcolm Saville’s The Elusive Grasshopper. My only disappointment was that we didn’t get a look at Camber Castle. One of my favourite mental images from Monica Edwards’ books is of Tamzin and Rissa riding out to ‘Cloudesley’ castle. The programme is still available to view via the link above.


Illustration by Anne Bullen for The Summer of the Great Secret


My mum and I love watching Countrywise :-)
I don't know why, but I hardly ever watch country programmes.
Thanks for the illlustration. Pictures like that fuelled a thousand pony dreams when I was a child!
I love Anne Bullen's work. Oh, how I used to envy Tamzin!
I love Countrywise and watch it most weeks. I watch Countryfile as well. I like countryside programmes :)

I like your icon. I loved Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes.
I don't know why I don't like countryside programmes. Springwatch and the like bore me to tears.

I keep meaning to change a lot of icons but that one's a keeper. Wouldn't it be nice to have something as good as Life on Mars on again? I mean something where you can hardly wait for the next episode.
Ah, now I don't like Springwatch, bores me as well It's an entirely different format to the other programmes.

Yes, they were brilliant series. I bought the dvd sets so at least I can watch them again:)
I shall make time to watch it - I used to love the Monica Edwards books.
'used to love'? I still re-read favourites from time to time. I much prefer the Romney Marsh books to the Punchbowl ones.
I didn't mean to imply that I *wouldn't* still love them, but unfortunately I lost my children's book collection during a house move and don't have any to go back to. I'm sure I'll replace some of them at some stage, but I'm still on Lorna Hill at the moment.

I did love that one of the Punchbowl books where the parents get flu and ?Lindsay cuts off her hair and then pretends she's got nit stuff on her head (have I got that right? it's such a very long time since I read it...)


Romney Marsh & Countrywise

Oh, I wish I'd known the Romney, Hythe and Whatsit railway was on Countrywise ... husband and I went on that a few years ago and great fun it was, too. Love the Romney Marsh, have stayed at Rye and at Winchelsea, and walked by the Royal Military Canal in spring, which was one of the loveliest walks we have taken, when the may blossom was out, frogs were croaking and sheep were grazing or sitting under the hawthorn trees - utter bucolic perfection. And lovely Tenterden for food shopping, and Bodiam Castle on the railway too - not the same railway, I might add - from Tenterden ... a super place to visit.
My intro to the Romney Marsh was in a lovely romantic historical by Catherine Gaskin way back in the 1960s called Blake's Reach. Never read Monica Edwards as I wasn't particularly enthused about horses and ponies as a child. Read The Silver Eagle Riding School and Silver Eagle Carries on, but that's about it. Oh, and I had a lovely old copy of Moorland Mousie, but I preferred the ballet books of Lorna Hill.
Margaret P

Re: Romney Marsh & Countrywise

Sounds like you had some lovely trips. Apart from the first book, Wish for a Pony, Monica Edwards' books are only marginally about ponies. The girls ride, but as part of their adventures.