Broadway or Campden? - A Radio Battle of the Cotswolds

Evesham Journal: 2nd February, 1935

“The rivalry that has for countless years smouldered in the hearts of the residents of Broadway and Campden was fanned into flame before a radio microphone in the giant inglenook of the Lygon Arms, Broadway, on Wednesday evening.”      (30.01.1935)

In the cheering warmth of a great log fire, teams representing the two gems of the Cotswolds engaged in a verbal tug-of-war for the entertainment of listeners to the Midland Regional programme. For half an hour a battle royal was waged and at the end honours remained even.

Beautiful word pictures were interrupted by caustic witticisms, while historical references plunged the imagination into long ago Saxon times only to recall it at once into the prosaic present with jibes about petrol pumps and teashops.

Mr Paul Woodruff, world famous stained glass artist, presented a lovely picture of Campden, portraying his subject in all the past and present glory. But there followed the challenge of Mr E Warren, Broadway’s old established ironmonger, who accused Campden of living in the past while Broadway, proud of its place in history, was yet a pulsating and vital village.

That, in fact, was the general trend of the whole argument, Broadway said Campden was asleep in the past; Campden told Broadway it had sold its soul to commercialism.

Mr Geoffrey Jellicoe, the London architect responsible for the recent survey of Broadway in connection with the Town and Country Planning Act, was considered by Broadway to be their trump card. Mr Jellicoe spoke as an impartial outsider and gave the honours to Broadway.

But Broadway had reckoned without Mr W. Keyte. Mr Keyte comes of a family that has long ago as 1683 perpetuated itself in local history by donating a bell to the old grey tower of Campden’s parish church. He followed Mr P Dewey of Campden and Mr A Renfrew of Broadway, and there was just a suggestion of disdain in his broad Gloucestershire accents when he asked

How many of you round this table can say your fathers were born in these parts?

Mr Keyte spoke of the land, so important an element in the life and livelihood of Campden, and he finished on a note where rivalry was discounted – fox-hunting, beloved sport of the English countryside, in which Broadway and Campden found bonds in common. North Cotswold Hunt Kennels were at Broadway, so Mr Keyte decided that the beautiful village was not as black as some of his colleagues had made it out to be.

At the conclusion of the debate, Mr D G S Russell summed up, but each team remained convinced in its own arguments and the Cotswolds were permitted to resume once more their serene placidity.

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