The Old Days Were The Best...

The Old Days Are The Best

The picture of D.Tinkers little village shop and petrol pump in Torworth brings back memories of the days when it was a familiar part of the scene and a busy centre of service and social interest in the village. It stood in the shadow of The Huntsman Inn and there Was also a row of cottages standing sentinel nearby along the edge of the dangerous North Road until they were demolished and replaced by the row of bungalows that stand there now and a new shop (which was still run by the same person who had run the old shop until she retired in 1989 after 42 years service). The question is, why did all those little old buildings have to be demolished? Surely one of them could have been left there, to show something of the original style and character of the village.

There used to be a similar little row of cottages in Ranskill as well, standing just as close to the road (perhaps because Torworth and Ranskill have always shared the same taste and take a keen interest in what each other is doing). So again, the question is, why did all of those Ranskill cottages have to be demolished, without leaving any trace of their lively and hardworking existence? There had been a communal wash-house at one end of the row with a long, shallow sink where the womenfolk would no doubt gather on monday mornings to do the weeks wash for the family and enjoy a good natter at the same time. That sort of community activity was a vital part of village life before everyone got their own labour-saving domestic equipment and stopped sharing their joys and troubles with their neighbours on wash-day. It must have been a very good way of getting problems off your mind and receiving some helpful advice and sympathy to overcome the stresses and strains of daily life (no need for psychiatrists in those days!).

Nowadays, although the life-style of the two villages has changed a lot in recent sears, Torworth and Ranskill still share each others social interests and give loyal support to each other in village matters. They each have their own part to play in coping with outside influences and in matters of village protocol and good manners, Torworth displays a more formal attitude than Ranskill. However, Ranskill makes up for its lack of formality by being more able to respond adequately to the demands made upon it by people who know nothing about village life and dont know how to fit in without having everything changed round to suit themselves, and their indispensable motor cars, etc.

So Torworth and Ranskill give strength to each other and sturdily stand up for the good of their traditional community life which has been passed down to them by their families for generations. Can there be many people in the two villages living here today, who are descendants of the first ones who made their homes in Torworth and Ranskill? It is such a pity that those little cottages are no longer standing alongside the road, because they would have helped to remind us all of the harsh conditions that the previous residents had to cope with and the close companionship and reassurance they gave to each other in their way of life, and the fun they made for themselves. Its no wonder that many people say the old days were the best.

A.Stokes.

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