Friday, 12 February 2010

A quiet time at Kirtling and Upend

To Kirtling and Upend and Woodditton and Saxon Street via the Cambridgeshire parts of Newmarket (sore point there, for other parts of Newmarket are still in Suffolk) today for more canvassing and calling.

Kirtling and Upend mean much to my wife and I. Sue has more than thirty of her Dobito and Norman ancestors buried in All Saints' Churchyard, and I claim relationship by marriage to others who lie there: Stephen Howard (1819 - 1892), of The Moat, Upend; his son, Alderman Stephen Goodwin Howard (1867 - 1934), a vice-Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council and MP for Sudbury; as well as the latter's son, Sir (Stephen) Gerald Howard (1896 - 1973), who was MP for Cambridgeshire and who was succeeded as our MP by Mr Francis Pym (later Lord Pym), with whom I worked locally.

And, surprise, surprise, I met an elderly lady (first name Olive) at her little thatched cottage who was born in Kirtling and who actually remembered the late Alderman Stephen Goodwin Howard and his family, who knew well Sir Gerald and Lady Howard and, of course, the late Mr and Mrs Ken Bowyer, whose family followed the Howards at The Moat. She (Olive) permitted me to photograph her framed in her window and beneath the thatched roof of her cottage.

Kirtling and Upend are charming places and very quiet, especially in the day-time, and Olive and I reminisced about the village and the school, which was closed in 1980. It is always sad when a village school closes but, in the case of Kirtling, its continued existence was threatened in part by the lack of housing development in the village. I contend that almost every community needs some development in order to ensure that basic services are maintained. A village school is a basic service and I don't want to witness any more village schools being closed in South East Cambridgeshire.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.