Love to the loveless

David Matthews describes the Quaker background of his novel

'There was so much to explore and discover.' | Photo: Joe Dunckley / flickr CC.

It probably would not be allowed now. The safeguarding implications would be horrendous. But when I first boarded at Sidcot School in 1968, aged eleven, it was the rule that all pupils not engaged in sports fixtures should be off the premises and roaming freely on Saturday afternoons. Some would gravitate to the village and loiter in Winscombe’s shops. Others, whether permitted or not, would slink off to the delights of Weston-super-Mare. For many of us, it was the fields and copses of the countryside which beckoned, whatever the weather.

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