Sir James Barrie (1860-1937) is undoubtedly most famous for his literary creation – Peter Pan. The Manadon street that bears his name has no direct link with Barrie and rather is just one of a number of streets in that area to be named after British writers.
Born in Kirriemuir, the son of Scottish weaver, Barrie was educated in Dumfries and Edinburgh and he started fiction writing about local rural life. By 1895, when he was 35, he had moved to London and it was while he was living in Bayswater, north west of Hyde Park, that he wrote his most enduring and endearing story. It was there that he regularly went for walks in Kensington Gardens with his Newfoundland dog Luath (the inspiration for Nana in the story). “Peter Pan, or the Boy who wouldn’t grow up” was first produced in 1904 – 27 December – and eight years later, in the wake of its early success he paid for the Peter Pan statue to be erected near the Westbourne entrance to the gardens.
Peter Pan was by no means his only work however and his impressive output includes Quality Street, the Admirable Crichton, What Every Woman Knows and Mary Rose.