Frugality, Imagination and the Vintage life: Roald Dahl’s village, Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden

Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is set in the tiny village of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire where he lived for 36 years. He was also buried in the village. I took a train from Marylebone with the family on a bright October day in 2015. We enjoyed a surreal vision of a horse on the ceiling:

It was so poetic and befitting an intro to our outing, since we were going to the village of one of the most treasured children’s authors of all time.

The village of Great Missenden

After 45 minutes we arrived and walked through the pleasant and pretty village surrounded by hills.

railway sign

signs

sign2

We saw some interesting old buildings and antique shops. Some of these old shops were actually in his stories, such as the Red Pump Garage on Great Missenden High Street, which appeared in Danny, The Champion of the World (1975), the Post Office Great Missenden… and… Sukhothai Thai fine dining restaurant? Just kidding.

The Museum

was very inspiring for readers and writers.

There was so much information on how to generate plots and create characters.

More importantly, I actually visualised Roald Dahl in his shed working away.

Although he was a successful bestseller author and probably minted, he was so frugal and humble. His shed has no decoration or anything pretty to look at. He wanted no distractions. He made all these makeshift fittings himself out of scraps and what he had. His old armchair was threadbare, he made a suitcase filled with logs for his footrest, he rolled up corrugated cardboard for his wrist rest. Nothing was designery, trendy, handmade or even shop bought. When you see his carefully and meticulously reconstructed shed, you will realise that nothing matters but the writing itself.

The most luxurious place is in the mind, I think Mark Twain once said.

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