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No Finer Life – a great success in Ubley

Friday, 09 March 2018 11:15

No Finer Life – a great success in Ubley No Finer Life – a great success in Ubley

On a cold night in March, Ubley Parish Hall came alive with musical theatre and the memories of Elizabeth, a Somerset land girl, from 1940 to the present day.


The Archer’s Graham Harvey, brought to the stage this true tale of an unlikely Cotswold hero and an enduring romance. What inspired a young Somerset land girl to set off in search of a best-selling author in the darkest days of war? The production moved between the 1940s and the current day, reflecting that our relationship with the land and issues of national identity, are timeless. The show featured live music performed by award winning composer, Alastair Collingwood, composer of numerous TV and West End scores. Elizabeth was played with sensitivity and humour by Rebecca Bailey, and the show was directed by James Le Lacheur, who has recently spent a year in London’s West End in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We finished off with a post-show discussion with Graham Harvey, ice-cream from Yeo Valley (thank you to Yeo Valley for their support), and The Archers theme tune.


CPRE hosted this performance to draw attention to the threat to our local countryside and farmland from unprecedented levels of house and road building. We want to make sure that we get the right homes built in the right places and that our transport infrastructure is sustainable. It is vital that we don’t damage our landscapes and natural beauty that important to so many local people, and draw so many more to live, work and visit . We are supporting our national charity, CPRE, in its efforts to influence the future of farming following the UK’s impending departure from the European Union.

Current pressures on our local area include plans (The Joint West of England Spatial Plan and Transport Study) for areas of mass development and new roads in North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire over the next 30 years. CPRE want to see an improved approach to house building that prioritises affordable housing on previously developed land, and enables people to live and work in an area without having to commute long distances or be reliant on a car.

Of local concern is further future expansion of Bristol Airport. CPRE Avonside is making the case for minimising the airports sprawling car parks, replaced by well-planned access with good public transport links. Tranquillity is threated by disturbance from the increasing number of flights; and we are concerned by poorly conceived new road proposals through unspoilt landscapes, which encourage greater use of private cars and further isolate those who cannot, or choose not, to drive.

‘No Finer Life’ was light relief from all of these concerns, but raised important message about the enduring nature of our countryside and landscapes and the place they hold in people’s hearts. We believe a beautiful and thriving countryside is important to people, wherever they live.

Sophie Spencer

Director, CPRE Avonside

07854 741130

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