top of page

Plums to Persia: A Worcestershire Childhood Revisited

By Patrick Campbell

ISBN 9781916919013


Plums to Persia revisits a South Worcestershire childhood almost eighty years on. The autobiographical elements cover the period during and immediately after the Second World War—the formative years in the writer’s life. 

To provide context, there are initial forays into local history, in particular that of Upton-upon-Severn. The account goes on to chart the time-honoured, if sometimes quirky, activities of rural existence: the focal points of infant school (where his mother was head teacher) and church, and the quotidian practices, seasonal happenings and annual rituals of life in a village. While some of this material is loosely factual and documentary, the general style is one of personal reminiscence, of memories larded with anecdotes and stories of local characters—including the author’s lovable but eccentric parents. 

The war exercises an uneasy if vague presence until the arrival of landmines and American GIs; the transition to public school offers a far more palpable and painful initiation. But at least the academy imbues the writer with a love of literature, an abiding affection which surfaces in a number of quotes and allusions from poetry.

But the memoir’s primary accent is that of the countryside, a domain where the three counties of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire meet, a landscape of the heart, a world of scrumpy and orchards; of the Malvern Hills, Castlemorton Common, Welland Brook and the River Severn; of pet grass snakes and crows; of stanking, bonfire night, conkers and village cricket. It is a familiar world that the country boy abandons with some trepidation.

Plums to Persia

    bottom of page