Somerset

Roald Dahl plaque for 'seedy' Weston-super-Mare

Roald Dahl Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Weston-super-Mare - or Weston-super-Mud as Dahl described it - has installed a plaque on the site of his former boarding school, St Peter's

A town described by Roald Dahl as a "seedy seaside resort" has unveiled a blue plaque dedicated to the author.

Weston-super-Mare - or Weston-super-Mud as Dahl described it - has installed a plaque on the site of his former boarding school, St Peter's.

Councillor John Crockford-Hawley said Dahl was "not exactly complimentary" about the town and "absolutely loathed" the school but both inspired his books.

The plaque is the third in a series of 13 being installed around town.

Image copyright BBC/Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
Image caption In his autobiography Boy, Roald Dahl (pictured here during his school days) said the school looked like a "private lunatic asylum"

The Cardiff-born author of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG was nine years old when he was moved from Wales to a boarding school in Weston-super-Mare.

"He was only here for a very short time and was not exactly complimentary about Weston," said Mr Crockford-Hawley.

"It's not something any publicist would want to advertise but he absolutely loathed it. It wasn't so much the town he loathed but the school."

'Spirit of writing style'

In his autobiography, Boy, Dahl not only described the town as a "slightly seedy seaside resort" but said the school - which has since been demolished - looked like a "private lunatic asylum".

"He was forced here by his mother and he took an immediate dislike to the school, which stayed with him for his four years," said Mr Crockford-Hawley.

Image copyright Google
Image caption St Peter's Avenue is a nod to where the school once stood

"But it gave him the spirit for his style of writing. So the wonderful children's books which he wrote later in life were based largely on his experiences - as bad as they were - in Weston-super-Mare."

Dahl stayed at the school until he was 13 before being moved to Repton School in Derbyshire.

St Peter's School was demolished in the 1970s and a housing estate built on the site. The plaque has been put on the side of a wall on the estate, which has St Peter's Avenue as a nod to what stood there previously.

Dahl, who died in 1990, also wrote James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Twits ,among many other titles, and has sold an estimated 250 million books worldwide.

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