Tom Fort is best known as the author of The A303: Highway to the Sun, and as the presenter of the BBC Documentary of the same name. For his latest book, The Village News: The Truth Behind England’s Rural Idyll, Tom gets on his trusty bicycle and covers the length and breadth of England to discover the essence of village life.
We have lived in villages a long time. The village was the first model for communal living. Towns came much later, then cities. Later still came suburbs, neighbourhoods, townships, communes of one kind of another. But the village has endured.
The way we live now has changed the village beyond recognition, breaking the age-old connection between it and the land. Some can be as quiet as the graveyard, as their housing is bought up by city ‘weekenders’ and commuters. But across the country, the heart of the read English Village is still beating strongly – if you can find it.
Tom Fort’s journey looks back over more than six thousand years of communal existence. It is a whimsical, funny and revealing inquiry into the real story of the English village that we love and cherish.