Bilbury, Gloucester: Clever ad campaign?

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Bilbury, Gloucester: Clever ad campaign?

arlingtonTwitter has been a-tweeting this week about a yellow car that has been ‘spoiling the view’ in the Cotswolds village of Bilbury.

Bilbury, a sleepy little place, is a known tourist attraction.

There are some lovely photo opportunities and one of the most popular is the Arlington Row of cottages.

But tourists are taking to Twitter en masse to complain that a yellow car which is parked by the cottages is spoiling the view.

What a wonderful way for the village to get publicity all over the world. Is this really a wonderful destination marketing campaign?

Or is it a clever car ad?

Every report about this situation has mentioned that the car is a Vauxhall Corsa.

You can see Arlington Row in the photograph. The cottages date from the fourteenth century and they certainly are picturesque.

Just to the right of this photograph, a yellow car is parked, more or less permanently. It belongs to local resident Peter Maddox, an eighty two year old retired dentist.

He is not breaking the law – he is legally allowed to keep his car there when he’s not using it for trips to the nearest food stores.

Most of the local residents are unsympathetic to the would-be photographers. One resident of Arlington Row described how tourists would open her front door to look inside and they invariably peer in through the windows. ‘This isn’t Disney World’ she said.

I’d never heard of Bilbury before this furore began, had you? Well, we have now.  So it does make me wonder whether this was a planned tourism campaign. I know that I want to go there now – yellow car or not.

I love to see unspoiled country areas and historic architecture. But it does make me wonder:

What’s more important? Tourists getting the perfect photograph or a pensioner being able to buy his food?





Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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  1. My goodness, how crazy is that? Would they be okay if he drove an old Bentley? And tourists actually peer in the windows and walk in the doors?

    Oh wait. I once lived in a house that had some amazing artwork on the floor-to-ceiling fireplace wall. Complete strangers would stand and stare, from the sidewalk, thankfully, not up close with their faces pressed against the window. Every so often, some would knock on the door and ask to see the wall up close and personal.

    But what a charming street. I dream of all of us living in clean, tidy villages once again. Of course, in my dreams, we all live peaceably in such villages.

    • I’m sure that an old Bentley would meet with their approval 🙂

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful to return to village life? When I was a new bride, I lived in a village – not quite as pretty as the one in the article but reasonably so – where we had a wonderfully casual barter system.

      I made homemade bread and wine and exchanged them with villagers who grew fresh vegetables. We could pick watercress from the local river (CLEAN river) and even catch trout. It was close to paradise when I look back.

      Everyone looked out for everyone else. The HUMAN touch.

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