PBOTD 27th September: Monica Edwards - No Entry

No Entry (1954) is another Monica Edwards title that was based on real-life events. Foot and mouth disease, then as now, was a disaster when it occurred because of the effect it had on the animal as a producer. There was no treatment, and the only preventative measure was wholesale slaughter and isolation. When the Merrows' farm is threatened by a nearby outbreak, the Romney Marsh foursome take it on themselves to patrol the borders and keep out anyone who might bring the disease and threaten the Merrows' entire livelihood.

I can remember as a child being driven past farms with disinfectant at the gates, and during the 2001 outbreak, my most vivid memory is the stink of the pink powdery disinfectant I used to have to make up every day to wash boots and car wheels whenever we went out, because we had sheep grazing on our field. We weren't allowed to go riding at the local stables in case we brought the disease with us, and dog walks took place along the roads. Footpaths were forbidden.

Fortunately foot and mouth didn't reach the Merrows', and it didn't reach us either. But I don't think anyone who saw the television coverage of the smoking, stinking mounds of slaughtered carcasses will ever forget it.

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The Romney Marsh Series
Wish for a Pony
The Summer of the Great Secret
The Midnight Horse
The White Riders
Cargo of Horses
Hidden in a Dream
Storm Ahead
No Entry
The Nightbird
Operation Seabird
Strangers to the Marsh
No Going Back
The Hoodwinkers
Dolphin Summer
A Wind is Blowing

More on Monica Edwards
Everything you ever wanted to know on Monica Edwards and her books: John Allsup's site


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