The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Portsmouth Names Bus Lane After Neil Gaiman Novel


Portsmouth City Council has today named a local bus lane after The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the latest book by novelist, comics-writer, scriptwriter, Doctor Who-contributor and all-round cult hero Neil Gaiman. Earlier this afternoon, a naming ceremony was attended by the writer, along with Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor, at the previously unnamed street in Southsea.

resizedGaiman’s newest novel is set in a semi-fictionalised version of the area in which he was born and grew up. In it, the adult narrator returns home to find all changed except for a mysterious, half-hidden track that eventually leads him to Hempstock Farm and the rediscovery of some long-buried memories:

“The slick black road became narrower, windier, became the single-lane track I remembered from my childhood, became packed earth and knobbly, bone-like flints. Soon I was driving slowly, bumpily down a narrow lane with brambles and briar roses on each side, wherever the edge was not a stand of hazels or a wild hedgerow. It felt like I had driven back in time. That lane was how I remembered it, when nothing else was.”

Said Cabinet Minister Lee Hunt of the occasion:

“We want to encourage a love of literacy among our young residents, and with Neil’s global following, hopefully this new name will put Portsmouth on the book lover’s map. […] Neil’s connection to the city strengthens our aspirations to promote Portsmouth as the home of great writing.”

Gaiman himself said that he was “gobsmacked” but “delighted” by the decision. He will be giving a talk this evening at The Portsmouth Guildhall.

Sources: The Mary Sue | The Guardian

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