The Mirror has identified Dursley (where Evelyn Waugh lived from 1937-1956) as a “commuter hotspot”. This is determined by its proximity to Bristol and is measured by the annual growth in housing prices. The Mirror puts Dursley at #2 in its housing sweepstakes with an annual price increase of 9.7% based on data collected by the real estate website Zoopla, outpaced only by Swanley in Kent (10.8%).
A local news site serving the area called GloucesterhsireLive.com thought Dursley had more to offer than rapidly increasing house prices and put together a list of 16 other advantages. Among these are three related to its literary associations:
12. A place in one of the most-read books of all time.
Anyone who knows the Harry Potter books will know the name Dursley – the horrid family who took poor Harry in after his parents died. They’re perhaps not the best advert for the town but they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
13. Literary links.
That’s not the only link with literature – William Shakespeare is believed to have spent some lost years in the town ….
14. Reading for the masses.
And aside from Evelyn Waugh living in nearby Stinchcombe for a while, William Tyndale brought literacy to the masses by translating The Bible from Latin. The 111-ft monument at Nibley Knoll, near Dursley, is a tribute to him.
The local newsite misses the irony that it was Dursley’s rapid post-war growth that caused Waugh to move away in 1956. He feared that this growth would soon envelope the adjacent and more rural village of Stinchcombe where he lived in a house known as Piers Court. His new home was at Combe Florey in Somerset which is considerably more distant from its market town of Taunton than Stinchcombe was from Dursley.