Produce a small photo essay of 10 images that demonstrates your engagement with the lives, experiences and histories of your local community and it’s people.
My initial thoughts are:
There are a few farms in and around the village, but Jack’s farm is in the middle of the village. Jack actually died about a dozen or more years ago, his wife Joan is still with us, but no-one has seen very much of her for some time and there are home helpers who visit regularly. The farm, or what is left of it is managed by Brian – the son-in-law, we don’t think Jackie, the daughter, has much to do with the farm. The land they farm/own is spread around the village and a fair amount has been sold off in recent times – the house we own was built on land that Jack sold many years ago. As a farm it would seem it is barely hanging on, though it’s demise or survival is beyond my ken.
The football club used to be at the heart of the village, at least the beating heart but is now a pale reflection of it’s former glory. Situated within the Sports and Social club, the footballers were once very successful given the size of the village – it attracted good players from surrounding larger towns and played to a high standard. The Sports and Social Club is still in existence but also barely a patch on what it was a decade ago.
The shop. The only one left now in the village that once had bakeries, a butchers, several pubs, a mill and a cinema has survived adapting to meet the changing needs of the local community. It is a Post Office, a grocer, a cafe and an internet cafe as a community facility. Newspapers are delivered from there, Lottery tickets can be purchased, in fact there was a consortium that won a sizeable sum a few years ago. It is a going concern.
The church. Middle Barton doesn’t have a church, and the local Rector lives in the adjoining village – though the village boundaries are seamless and unless the traveller was aware it wouldn’t know when it had crossed a border betwixt one village and another. The diocese covers a few churches and slightly more villages and, as fairly normal I suspect, both the Rector and his wife are very active in the local community.
If I were to choose right now it would be the shop or the church (the church has a number of situations: several churches, the Vicarage and several community led groups that are associated with the church.