There are places in all our lives that connect us I believe. They maybe far away from where you might call home in your childhood, but you feel a connection. Or it might just be the place that you grew up in and never really grew out of. This past Sunday my Dad asked DBB if we would take him to visit my Nan and Granddad's graves. So off we went. The little village that my Dad grew up in is just on the outskirts of the town that we live in. The town seems to ever encroach closer to this beautiful little hamlet and I do fear that one day this little place will be swallowed up whole by the sameness as the rest of the town. I hope not. But you do see the signs of it already. Though still there is a sense the minute you drive into the village you get a sense that you have stepped back in time.
You can tell this village is a little bit special to my family by the way my Mum and Dad were finding graves of those long past that they used to know when they first got together. In some cases I suspect my Dad knew a lot of them all his life. It seems this little place gets under the skin of its residence and that they never want to leave this little village up on a windy hill. It certainly seemed the case for my Grandparents. They moved here when they were newly weds and with a growing family. They started off in one of the little flats that look just like houses and then finally moved over the road to the house that my dad and his five siblings grew up in.
There was something wonderful in walking round a place that I know quite well and have very fond memories of and my dad like the back of his hand I suspect. Taking my girls round showing them landmarks and the places that meant something to him in his life growing up as a boy and young man in a rural village. Over the stile they went into the fields that he used to work in when he was a farm hand. I did eventually climb over camera clunking away. I was so busy enjoying the view and capturing it all on lens that I missed my dad calling me as there was a deer running across the land. I will be honest I thought it was a large dog bounding around. Yes a real dumb bunny moment!
I love this picture above. My dad in his own world and memories and my girls just loving the views. But he was on a little mission as there was something he wanted to show them.
This tree has been here since he was a lad. He used to come down and play on it when young. How amazing that it is still here. All this surrounds the church and grave yard. At the far end of the graveyard there is still a little scrap of land that was part of the big allotments that have long gone. The fact that this graveyard is surrounded by life all around it is to me an amazing thought. That life still goes on but the past and those long lost inhabitants are somehow still remembered and part of the landscape here. I think that is a wonderful thing. Not many are lucky enough I think to feel or have such a connection with a place or time.
The building in the above pictures is of the old school. Yes this is the village school that my dad attended when he was a little boy. I wish I went to that school how beautiful it is.
The house my dad and his family grew up in and the gate he used to jump over so legend goes when he was in trouble with his dad. What a little scamp he must of been!
This pub is one of what used to be many that featured in my Dad's life as a young man. Like a lot of rural villages in England public houses are quite the feature and many of them in the past could of had at least 3 or four a stones throw from each other. Sadly now due to maybe the hard times everywhere is experiencing or maybe just changed attitudes to how we might spend our recreation a lot of them are closing down. This saddens me as I have always believed that pubs are a good social aspect of all peoples lives and how they can be meeting points to get to know each other. Particularly in small villages like this.
This picture is a sad one in a way because this was where my nan spent her remaining days after having a fall. She did not seem to get over it and got confused and distraught. My Grandad could not cope as he himself found out that he had cancer at the time. This house literally overlooks the little green where they lived all their married lives. I think she found that most upsetting understandably. They both passed away about 3 years ago. She died in the August and my Gramps in the October. Just months apart. Their ashes are kept in the local church. I thought it fitting that not only were they together but kept in the village like so many other residents of the past loved. But to also be forever part of the landscape and remembered long after our time.