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. . . a slightly off-kilter view of local life and worldly matters
  Whether seen as a much needed corrective, or a capitulation to the easily offended, the marketing and PR department at Greene King have been quick to disown their past links to slavery, and now the awkward name of two of their local pubs. It might be interesting to know how many West Suffolk people have complained about the Black Boy pubs in Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds*. Having worked in regional newspapers for many years, street surveys, or ‘vox-pops’ as we used to call them, are not always a true reflection of what the majority think on local issues.
“I don’t care if you have 50 people saying one thing, keep asking until you get an alternative view,” said one of my former news editors.
Apparently Christopher Tolkien, son of author JRR, hated the Lord of the Rings films because they “eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for 15-25 year olds.” While understanding Tolkien junior’s desire to preserve his father’s writings and legacy I think he is awry with his withering disregard for Peter Jackson’s films.
Now, while I read many books as a boy I somehow missed out on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, though I know bands like Led Zeppelin referenced Tolkien’s fantasy world in their songs. My sons, however, may not have been drawn to the books if it hadn’t been for the films which truly are blockbusters, with edge-of-the-seat action and astonishing special effects. Sure, the director Jackson has made a lot of money out of turning the books into films, but I think he did so with great craft and skill and ushered in a new audience for these Middle Earth adventures.
Still on films I finally got round to seeing last year’s big event movie Tenet. Strange that such an overwhelming film, plot-wise, left me so underwhelmed. I defy anyone to follow its labrythine storyline, or be impressed with the perfunctory dialogue delivered robotically by the central character played by John David Washinton or - with an abundance of ham - by Kenneth Branagh’s bad guy. Looks like we will have to wait until the autumn to see how it compares with another spy thriller - the almost permanently ‘on hold’ Bond adventure No Time To Die.
Iwas going to depart from cinematic talk but have to mention the recently screened film, The Dig, about the discovery of Saxon treasures at Sutton Hoo. An informant told me that last summer Ralph Fiennes - who plays the part of Basil Brown, the amateur excavator who uncovers the buried ship in one of the site’s famous mounds - had been staying at The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh during filming. Fiennes, helped by dialect expert Charlie Haylock, captures the local accent and it’s a lovely film, though we had to raise an eyebrow when a schoolboy on a bicycle makes the 28 mile journey from Sutton Hoo to Mr Brown’s home in Diss in no time at all.
There is a connection with West Suffolk in this remarkable story too - Brown was once a caretaker at Culford School and, in one scene, the eagle-eyed can spot a framed picture of Culford Hall on Edith Pretty's sitting room wall.
Following the January issue’s feature on yesteryear nightclubbing, one of our writers, Kim Smith, remembers regularly getting home at
4am the worse for wear. “In fact,” she says, “there was one memorable night when my friends and I couldn’t get a cab and they pushed me three miles to my mum’s front door in a shopping trolley as I couldn’t walk. The only thing that keeps me awake at 4am these days is insomnia.”
*The Black Boy pubs in Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury are now The West Gate and The Lady Elizabeth.
Richard Bryson
 Where to get your
copy of Bury &
West Suffolk
magazine (but hurry, they go fast)
Pick up Bury & West Suffolk magazine each month from Marks & Spencer, (Bury St Edmunds) Waitrose, (Bury, Newmarket and Sudbury) Boots, The Apex, Glasswells, Waterstones, Rougham Hall Nurseries, Brandon Country Park, FISH (Newmarket) plus selected hotels, shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs, boutiques, tourist information centres, hospitals, car showrooms and farm shops
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 The independent, multi-award winning regional magazine
BURY & West Suffolk magazine
March 2021 Issue 76
 A welcome in West Suffolk Why country life beats the city
Michelin man
Justin Sharp on Pea Porridge’s culinary ‘Oscar’
A very racy lady Recalling Lillie Langtry and her Kentford ‘pleasure palace’
An Ed start
He’s painted a
pop megastar, now see more of Jason Nunn’s work
How the dating rules have changed
People Food & drink Fashion Art Interiors Health & Beauty Events
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