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      16.01.2013 23:15
      Very helpful



      A small rural village in South West Pembrokeshire

      ===Bloom Where You Are Planted===

      I came across this quotation the other day and find it quite appropriate for me - as not being able to get out and about much apart from now and again on a mobility scooter I appreciate what is on my doorstep - in other words - my village.

      ===My Place===

      This village is really hardly a village at all - being cut in half by a large A road which takes traffic into the county and on to the coastal holiday resorts of Tenby and Saundersfoot.
      It hardly has a centre at all - being mostly scattered farmsteads - but now having a few more houses added here and there.
      We are lucky enough to have a little bungalow down a farm lane away from the noisy main road - and the views from our home are all green - fields and hedges - with cows in the fields, countless birds in the garden that are fed every day and the occasional fox in the lane, seagulls on the roof, the odd little vole and buzzards circling overhead - not to mention the five stray cats who have found and adopted us as their food providers!

      ===What is There===

      There is very little to the village as such - the church finally closed in 2009 and is now almost forgotten. It is a funny little church - up an out-of the-way lane and then you had to open gates and cross a field -and watch out for cows! Now it sleeps among its graves, bearing witness to numerous generations of my family which can be traced back over 260 years.
      The two chapels have also closed - one is now a Chapel of Rest and the other partly demolished and made into a memorial garden. We have a holiday complex clubhouse, a garage and shop combined and an active village hall.
      The village school closed in 1946 but the school field is a garden for use by villagers. The Claypits - where villagers were allowed to dig clay for their fires (you mixed the clay with coal dust to burn) is currently being cleared for community use as well.
      Although being along a main road the buses pass through but do not stop - no chance of getting on a National Express bus as it whizzes by.

      ===The People===

      Years ago the village was populated by farmers - mostly small mixed farms. Today within the village only one farm is visited by the milk tanker, and another just outside the village.
      Evidence of its old milking tradition can be found if you know where to look - as a few crumbling milk stands are now hidden behind brambles - but one or two have been preserved - and one even has the old milk churns standing proudly on it. Do youngsters these days even know what a milk churn is - and they cannot remember the old milk lorries.
      Today the village is not populated by related and intermarried families who each knew each other and helped out during harvest time. Today with everyone travelling by car (an essential if you live here) you often do not get to know some residents at all.
      However going round the village on my scooter, thanks to having a pavement along the main road, I see many people and on on quieter lanes you can stop for a chat.. Some people still go walking - or else they walk their dogs, and you can stop to catch up on the news as people did in years' past. It is good to know your neighbours - not to be in each others' pockets - but to pass a few friendly words and be there if needed.

      ===Groups and Societies===

      Within the village you will still find the Mothers Union meeting, there are Bowls games played in the village hall and there is an active Hall Committee which twice a year publishes a newsletter that gets hand delivered to each house.
      The Community Association maintain the School Garden and The Claypits and organise walks to local places of interest.
      Fundraising events are held in the hall and each year a service is held on Remembrance Sunday.
      A History Society was formed in 1999 who has produced eleven publications and held exhibitions. We were told originally that there was no history in our tiny village but we have proved that wrong by focusing on the people and their lives, and the history of the properties. We also collected all the memorial inscriptions - many of which are now eroding. There is history everywhere if you know where to look.

      ===Pictures on Geograph.org.uk===

      As my trips around the village are on my scooter I am now intimately acquainted with all its little features. I make a point of always taking my trusty 5mp camera with me and have now uploaded over 2,200 images of our village to the Geograph website. Nothing spectacular - just day to day shots of places and things around and about - even ordinary things such as the old milk stands and stone gateposts - which one day might not be there.
      As I cannot travel about as I would like and explore lots of new places I concentrate on where I am - and so I found the quotation at the top of this article particularly apt.

      ===Summing Up===

      This is not what I would call my ideal village - which would be one with a duckpond, village green, quaint church and vicarage, a shop, post office and village pub all within walking distance - and no busy road. However in life it is no good yearning for what you do not have, but about making the best of what you do have - so I appreciate being able to get around my village, chat to nice people, enjoy being able to feed and encourage birds to our garden and record all who lived here before us with the History Society.




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