How times have changed village life

Cottages at Chatburn
Cottages at Chatburn

Times indeed do change. I returned to the village of my birth (Chatburn) only 30 years ago and the marvel to show my visiting friends was the new bypass.

The old building I once attended as a school was gone, to cut out a sharp corner and create a super-swerve main road that has caused its own problems of excessive speed through the village.

The old mill – the heartbeat of the village for generations, was still there... and functioning. At Christmas when the refuse wagons came down the avenue there were cards and good wishes displayed in the windscreen. Christmas posters displayed in the windows proclaimed the joy at the birth of our Saviour. Round Table and churches came round to sing carols and the minister of the Methodist church came to join us with hot punch. Ministers are allowed to drink, but no alcohol is allowed in the manse. But now there is no minister in the manse and no resident vicar in the vicarage any more.

Manse and vicarage are no longer, the buildings only remaining as testimony to a bygone generation. And the once-flourishing Methodist Sunday school doesn’t exist any more. Pianos in pubs, as in local houses, for communal sing-songs are no more. Do we also change with the times?

Robin Parker,

St Chad’s Avenue, Chatburn