Tourists demand pensioner moves his ‘ugly’ Vauxhall Corsa ‘ruining’ view of cottages that feature on UK passports

I love news stories like this. Tourists are demanding that a pensioner moves his ‘ugly’ yellow Vauxhall Corsa that is ‘ruining’ their view of some lovely historic cottages that feature on UK passports. How selfish can you get?

The picturesque cottages date back to the 14th-century, making them the oldest inhabited properties in the UK, and are on Arlington Row in the village of Bibury in the Cotswolds.


I’m genuinely amazed that people are living in cottages dating back to 1380 when they were built as a monastic wool store before being turned into cottages for weavers in the seventeenth century.

These cottages are older than the Treaty of the Union (1707) that created the Kingdom of Great Britain, they are just a year older than the Peasants Revolt (1381), the Hundred’s year war was in full swing, it was a whole one hundred and twelve years before Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, and the Black Death only ended about 30 years beforehand.

635 years. They are 635 years old and people are still living in them.


Just looking at the cottages its easy to see why thousands of tourists flock there every year to see them, knowing how old they are is just the icing on the cake.

However many people have been left disappointed and frustrated with their pictures, complaining their carefully-framed shots, that they probably spent minutes creating as they guilt people into stopping and not walking into shot, are being ‘photobombed’ by a bright yellow car parked on the road.


Look at the yellow car there. Isn’t it wonderful? To think it is disappointing and frustrating so many tourists who visit the area.

The car belongs to 82 year old Peter Maddox, a retired dentist, who says his lack of a garage leaves him with no choice but to park on the street.

That’s fair enough, how many people park outside their own home for whatever reason? Why should he have to park somewhere else for the sake of someone else’s picture? Besides you can just use Photoshop or other image editing software to remove the car if it bothers you that much.

Putting my arty hat on for a moment, isn’t this picture a great example of modern life in some of the old villages in the UK? It’s a brilliant mix between modern life, and all its conveniences, going on in these historical places. You have a nice mix of old and new side by side in one photograph.

Plus if you want a true picture of the village you need the car in it. The village is lived in, it has electricity, and modern life, it hasn’t been frozen in time.

I’m sure if people are that desperate for the ‘perfect picture’ there are postcards, pictures, posters etc., they can buy somewhere.

Now if I lived where Mr Maddox lives I would charge people to move my car for an hour so they can take all the ‘perfect’ unspoiled pictures they want. The laws of supply and demand. Maybe make up some tacky signs as well.

You have less sympathy (if you have any) for these tourists when you hear what one resident of one of the Arlington Row cottages, Christine Charlton, said about the tourists opening her door if it is unlocked and peering in the cottage windows.

I don’t think people quite appreciated that these are peoples homes. They aren’t just some pretty historic cottages to go and gawp at and take pictures off. You can’t just wander inside and take a look around, people actually live there.

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