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What ho, Wimbleball!

17th November

What ho, old blood relation! This is the affectionate way that Bertie Wooster greets his Aunt Dahlia in the PG Wodehouse novels.

Hello, Bertie, revolting young blot comes the response.

Whatever your opinions about PG Wodehouse’s writing, the one element you cannot fail to be impressed by is the quality of his character names.

George Threepwood, Lavender Briggs, Sebastian Beach, Horace Pendlebury-Davenport, Pongo Twistleton, Percy Frobisher Pilbeam, Augustus Fink-Nottle, Hildebrand Glossop, the Reverend Harold “Stinker” Pinker and Gerald Wimbleball-Lake.

Congratulations if you spotted that one of those is not a PG Wodehouse character.

I visited Wimbleball Lake today. It is a reservoir nestled in the rolling hills of Exmoor and, in today’s magnificent weather, it was truly a picture. As a venue, it has walking and cycling trails, excellent fishing and lots of opportunities for watersports.

PG Wodehouse clearly never partook of any of these activities, however, because, if he had, he would surely have used Gerald Wimbleball-Lake as a character name.

Indeed, the author clearly didn’t visit Exmoor or Somerset much as he missed out on many corking names for characters in the innocent village names of the area.

Imagine Bertie meeting Mudford Sock at the Pelican Club or visiting Hinton Charterhouse at his country estate or having cocktails at the Ritz with Wooton Courtenay.

Amanda’s parents live in Nempnett Thrubwell. Sounds made up, I know. But it isn’t!

A tour of amusingly named places in the West Country. There’s an idea! And I think I’ll start at the beautiful Wimbleball Lake.

What ho!

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