Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Wold Newton Universe is another World!

I live in the Wold Newton Universe. Not the Philip Jose Farmer fictional creation (just referenced by author Rod Rees in his blog about his novel The Demi-Monde), but the real-life county of East Yorkshire, just a meteorite's throw from Wold Newton itself (yes, Jose Farmer fans - it is real!).

Just up the road from Cardigan Hall is a little place called Langtoft, just after Langtoft is a little place called The Old Mill Hotel and Restaurant and just at the end of their road are a couple of signs that the East Riding of Yorkshire Council (Eryc, for short) have asked them to take down.

The Old Mill Signs - A danger to road users, or an indication of somewhere you might get a tasty meal

Just as well, you might say, that might distract me, preventing me from driving safely and navigating that corner, but you would find yourself in something of a minority if you did. I can't recall ever hearing any stories about anyone ever having an accident on or near this corner. Not ever.

The signs have been there for 17 years. The current owners, Gary and Kathie, bought the place with the signs in exactly this location. But now, apparently, it's a real and present danger.


Just goes to show that every Council is staffed with its compliment of barmy jobsworths. Barely a day goes by when you don't hear about some place insisting on applying the letter of the law on an issue that no-ones's ever thought worth implementing before. Shame really, it usually overshadows the good work they do (the road to Langtoft is looking quite smart now, thanks for asking).

The BBC Radio Humberside and BBCLook North have both done pieces on it today (including a rather unsavoury reference to Peter Levy's lunchbox!). Peter Levy, for those of you who don't know, is the Roddy McDowall of BBC local news.

If you live anywhere near this place, go there. They serve fresh, locally sourced food, cooked to order and it's great. In fact, don't just go for a meal have a party. Get married and hold your reception there - no, get married there AND hold your reception there! Not getting married? Book yourself in for the Murder Mystery on May 7th!

If you don't live anywhere near The Old Mill, you could stay in one of their cosy rooms and, if you are partial to a little Philip Jose Farmer, use it as a base for your pilgrimage to Wold Newton. A sort of Wold Newton Family Holiday, if you will.

Honestly, it'll take you less than 15 mins to drive from The Old Mill Hotel to the meteor impact site and when you get back you can tuck into Breast of pheasant filled with a partridge and wild mushroom mousse and I'm not even kidding. The rest of the menu is just as cool.

Then you can relax and read your copy of The Demi-Monde. Like I'm going to read mine. I am. In fact, I will make a special trip up to the Old Mill for lunch this week and take my Demi-Monde with me for a quiet relaxing read.

Better watch that corner though, eh.

PS: You can find out more about the sign-saga in the Hull Daily Mail (AKA the East Riding Mail). I will, or course, report on further developments (eg what my braised steak in a red wine & onion sauce tastes like after my read-trip).


  1. You're a very lucky man, Your Grace, to live so near such an important place - world-shaping in fact. This is the village spawned Tarzan, Doc Savage and Sherlock Holmes.But the most world-changing effect wasn't from the raditaion of the comet (which has mutated every chef in the place to cordon bleu standard, so have a great lunch!) but from ....

    But that's another story.

  2. Now, I was pretty impressed to get a comment from an actual author whose book I'm actually reading, but now you're following me I'm honoured. I read a reference to Philip Jose Farmer in your blog, but I didn't realise you were steeped in the mythos. If you're stepping up to the plate to fill Jose Farmers shoes, you'd better have freakishly large mutant feet, but on the evidence of the Demi-Monde (first reading only...) you've already done an infinitely better job than Eoin Colfer did with his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy resurrection. More Frankenstein than Lazarus there I'm afraid. Thanks for following.

  3. We'll check out out on our next trip, although it will be hard to pass up staying at the Wold Cottage itself.

    You may be interested in THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSE FARMER series, which includes writers telling stories set in Phil's various universes (authorized by Phil's estate), including my own Wold Newton Origins series.

    And the latest Wold Newton novel, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE.



  4. I might not have many followers, but two published authors commenting on the same post. Awesome! I will check out both the anthology and Pemberley House (thanks for the heads up) just as soon as I've given The Demi-Monde a second read. You might want to give it a go, the author is hinting at a Wold Newton connection, but it's not evident (to me, at least) in this first volume. Let me know when you visit the Old Mill - I'll buy you a pint!

  5. Okay, well done and all that.
    See what you make of this.