‘Middle England’ is a term that has a variety of meanings. Sometimes it’s code for the type of people who read the Daily Mail and say “I’m not racist, but…” and sometimes it means church coffee mornings, farmers markets and watching BBC 3.
Radio DJ Stuart Maconie (who is from Wigan and therefore not a middle-Englander, although he does live in the Midlands) travelled around the country, from Aylesbury and Bath to Lower Slaughter and Oxford, via local towns such as Meriden and Henley-in-Arden. The famous Henley ice cream gets a thumbs up, which in itself would be enough to mean that Maconie himself gets a thumbs up from me.
It’s more of a travelogue that a real investigation into what middle England means, but he does try to explore the notion through certain angles, such as music made by middle Englanders (including local lad Nick Drake) and food. Sometimes there’s no particular reason given for why he chose to visit one particular place over another.
It’s a decent read but doesn’t have a whole lot new to say, in my view.