I always assumed I had been born in Wigan, a south Lancashire town slap bang between Liverpool and Manchester. The town is noted for the three Georges–Formbys Senior and Junior, both famous local comedians who reached national prominence, and Orwell of Road to Wigan Pier and Nineteen Eighty-four fame. The celebrated “pier” was a wharf on the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Now we can add an Arthur to the Georges.
I now find I was probably born in Camelot. Arthur’s fabled capital, which historians have apparently placed in Brookfield Road in the village of Standish, north of Wigan. This unprepossessing cul-de-sac lies off Old Pepper Lane where we owned a house for a time. It’s within an Excalibur’s throw of the nursing home where I arrived on the scene. Completely by coincidence, I am sure, there is a moribund Camelot theme park within a few miles of this newly postulated Arthurian seat. It could be ready for resurrection in the light of the latest news.
The story is flimsy but probably no more far-fetched than the many other attempts to place Camelot. Arthur and his knights were a peripatetic lot and Camelot has been located all over Britain, from Edinburgh to Cornwall. Yet no one knows if Arthur existed, let alone where Camelot is to be found. While the Wigan connection is an unlikely one, I have to say it is mildly exciting to suppose that I am a true son of Camelot. Roll on April 1.